Color Picker

The color picker allows to set a color to paint or project on the mesh. It can be used to pick colors from external images or to adjust an existing one within the application.

The color picker window appears when clicking on any color field in Painter, which can be found in Properties or within any additional settings or menus, like Display or Shader parameters.

Color fields also feature an eyedropper next to them, and it can be used to quickly pick colors both from within the application or from outside. The eyedropper can also be used on a different screen. To use the eye dropper, click and hold while moving the cursor around. 

Color picker window

Once open, the color picker is semi-persistent, which means that it will stay open until a change of context - for instance, when switching from a paint layer to a fill layer. It is possible to move the window around and place it anywhere on any of the available screens. However unlike other windows the color picker cannot be docked.

The window has a vertical layout and is comprised of three sections.

Gradient picker

The hue sliders allow you to select the shade of color to display within the gradient field. Once the general shade is selected, it is possible to hold and drag the crosshair cursor in the gradient field to manually select the desired color. 

The new selection will then appear on the left side of the color field. The right side displays the previous selection - it is possible to click on the previously selected color to make it the current selection. 

This section also contains a hex code of the currently selected color. By default, this hex code is selected when opening the color picker in order to facilitate copy-pasting from another source. The value can, of course, be entered manually. 

An alternative to setting a color via hex or via manual selection would be the eyedropper, which, as described above, can be clicked and maintained while moving the cursor to a preferred picking location. 


Color sliders allow for a manual adjustment of individual values. By default, these sliders are dynamic, which means they adapt their appearance to the color context. This Dynamic sliders option can be disabled via the dropdown menu.  

The sliders can be regulated in either of two modes - HSV or RGB.


HSV stands for Hue, Saturation and Value.

Hue allows you to cycle through the global color families, much like the vertical gradient slider. 

Saturation controls the richness of the selected color, and goes from grayscale to fully saturated. 

Value determines how dark or light a color is, and it ranges from fully black to fully white. 

It is possible to choose the type of ranges the HSV sliders use via the dropdown menu.

Floating point values enabled: All sliders are represented from 0 to 1 values. 

Floating point values disabled: The hue slider is measured in degrees, like a color wheel. Saturation and Value use percentages. 


RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue. These are the main colors used digitally to represent all possible colors. 

Each color slider represents how much of the color in question is present in the currently selected color. If we take the below image as an example, the color selected contains a hundred percent of red, but only fifty percent of blue and green. 

It is more common to have the RGB sliders measured via 0-255 values. This can be done by disabling the Floating point values option in the dropdown menu. 

Color swatch

Color swatches offer a way to save colors so they can be reused at a later point or to construct color palettes for specific projects. Once the target color is selected, it is possible to press the plus button in the Swatches section of the color picker, and this color will appear at the top of the list. Swatches are stored across projects and sessions, so they will not reset if you close Painter or begin a new project. 

A swatch can be deleted by right-clicking on it, or alternatively all swatches can be bulk-deleted via this section's dropdown menu. There is no limit to the number of swatches that can be saved - when the amount of swatches exceeds three lines, a scroll bar will appear in this section.

Swatches are stored as .ini files directly on disk. The swatch file default location is the user folder Adobe Substance 3D Painter > swatches