Getting better at making alphas?

Hey everyone!
I’m still kind of new to VFX but I have a pretty idea of what’s going on, and as I get better, I’m starting to feel a bit limited by my skills at making alphas. I’m trying to make something similar to this here,
but I don’t know if I should just hand paint it, use a combo of filters in Photoshop, or learn substance designer?
Do you guys have any good resources, how do you guys do it yourselves? Any help appreciated!

I use krita and designer, haven’t used PS filters combos myself though I’ve seen ppl doing that. When I first started I just downloaded some special brushes for krita that are meant to help ppl paint clouds. Basically, I just scribbled out a few tiling cloudy textures then applied a bit of blur. Also just played around with each brush in the dock and made a few other types of noises.

then if you place a dozen or so noises in a folder your set for like 90% of alpha erosion situations.

Generally you want to make use of the full 0-1 range when your making noise, like you don’t want the noise to just be light gray and white because the texture can hold the whole grayscale range and then be tweaked in the engine with mult/power/remap/clamp/ect nodes. So having a wider range makes the texture more flexible.

As for designer, I’ve been using that more and more as I’ve learned more of the program. If your just doing vfx and money/time is tight it may not be worth it, but if your making textures for game props as well then it’s a really useful software.

So here’s an example of a texture I easily made in designer that be hard for me to draw in krita.

Pretty much just took a cell noise and used a warp node to distort it. Just a few minutes of work, for anyone with a basic understanding of the program. Now there may be a PS filter combo that could also achieve the same effect, but how do you go about finding that combo? I wouldn’t know what to search for … curve whirly distortion filter … idk
I have seen others drawing noises that contain patterns like this and I don’t mind hand drawing noises but it really has to be purely random noise or I just can’t do it, that’s why I got substance.