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How do you texture assets efficiently in a PBR workflow?

I'm pretty strong at modelling but fail at texturing completely.
That question is vague as fuck.
Physically Based Rendering (PBR) workflow is not any easier or harder than previous surface lighting (aka BRDF) models (such as blinn/phong) for the texture artist as far as artistry goes.
The key difference is that the end results will look better and remain consistent for different light conditions without further tweaking once set up.
It requires the texture artist to have a better understanding of the algorithm in use tho than previous models to make the most of it
and to set up the texture values correctly as they are supposed to mimic the BRDF's of actual real world materials.

Thing is there is not a specific BRDF model that is the 'PBR' model so what is right will be specific to the implementation of PBR in the shader you end up using.
Even older shaders where ofc 'physically based' in the phenomena they set out to describe so the term itself is confusing.
What it really should be understood as when the term PBR is stamped on a shader today is that the shader is set up to 'conserve energy'
meaning a surface will never return more light than it recieves, if it reflects brightly in a spot it dims the scattered/diffused light from that same spot so the total
contribution from the pixel never goes brighter than mirroring whatever light hit that spot.
It's also important to ensure you feed the shader maps in the correct colorspace as the internals of a PBR shaders depend on linear vs sRGB colorspace to make their magic
so make sure you read any documentation on how to set those up correctly for any maps used by your your shader/engine.

To then author different materials correctly you need to know a small bit about the physics of the material you set out to author and what values in what maps represent the properties
of that material. As an artist you basically need to take a crashcourse reading up on the PBR concepts til you understand them conceptually on a phenomenogical level.
Meaning you don't have to understand any of the maths involved but you need to understand how the shader behaves and what texture values corresponds to what type of materials and why.
Once you gain a bird's eye view of what's going on with PBR it'll demystify the whole process, but without that you'll find a lot of confused information from artists that think they know what they're talking about.
But do I use textures or use procedurally generated textures? I'm practicising substance designer but everything looks like ass compared to a photo texture
Not the person you replied to, but this really depends on what your use case is.
If you have a very large area on a model to cover, where a normal photo texture would be repeated many times, you should probably use something procedural, to make sure it doesn't look tiled.
If the area is small (or at least small enough that it only uses one or two repeats of the texture) then by all means use a photo texture if that's easier for you.

Although it should go without saying that this is very general, you can use a procedural texture pretty much anywhere, and also there are certain types of photo texture where many repetitions are more acceptable.
Don't start with Designer use Painter. Designer is too advanced for an beginner and can be frustrating and tedious.
Learn Painter by simply following the tutorials on their YouTube channel (they are excellent) and search the web for free substance materials and build a library.
That's it:
Learn Painter so that you are fluent with it.
Build a library of procedural substance materials as well as tile-able materials. Image sets made up of Color, Roughness, Normal, maps etc...
Give it some time of regularly learning and doing and you can become good with texturing.

Learn how to use photoshop then move onto substance painter then designer.

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