Maya> texturing>3D Paint Tool

3D Paint Tool

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This tutorial covers how to use the 3d paint tool to paint texture directly onto your model in Maya.


Select the model that you want to paint. Your model needs to be UV mapped. If it's not already UV mapped, use automatic mapping. To use automatic mapping, go to the polygons menu set, select your model, and go to create UVs>automatic mapping.

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Set the menu set to rendering.

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Step one - Select your model and go to texturing>3d paint tool. Open the tool settings by going to display>UI elements>tool settings.

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Step two - There'll be an X over the brush. This tells us that there has not been a texture assigned to the shader that's assigned to the model. Make sure the attribute to paint on is set to color. You don't have to; you could paint a bump map, a transparency map, etc. Roll down the tool settings and go to assign/edit textures.

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Step three - Here's a rundown of the attributes.

Size X and Y - This is the size of the image that will be used as the texture in pixels. The larger the image, the more detail you'll be able to paint.

Keep aspect ratio - This means keep the ratio between the X and Y size portortional.

Image format - This is the file format that the texture will be saved as. As a rule of thumb, never use a JPEG. Windows bitmap is a good choice.

Now click assign/edit textures and you're ready to paint.

Painting Attributes

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Brush U - This is the brush's radius.A quick way of changing this attribute is to press B and drag with your mouse horizontally.

Artisan - This lets you select what type of brush tip you want to use. By clicking on the picture, you can select a bitmap to use as a brush tip. Click the browse button to select the bitmap image.

Paint Effects - Paint effects lets you paint paint effects directly into a texture. To do this:

Step one - Click on the paint effects brush.

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Step two - Click on the select brush icon to open the browser and select a brush.

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Color - This is the color that's being painted. You can use the eye dropper to grab color values from the interface, or click on the swatch to open the color chooser.

Flood - This floods the entire texture a solid color. To flood it a solid color, click flood paint.

Paint Operations

Besides using the artisan and paint effects, you can also erase, smear, blur, and clone.

The blending mode option changes the blending mode of the brush.

Saving the textures

You can save a texture by clicking the save button below the assign/edit textures button.

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In case you forget to save, it's best to have the option "save texture on stroke". That way it will save after your last brush stroke. The file will be saved in My Documents/Maya/Projects/your current projects(default)/3dPaintTextures/name of file/.

Painting on both sides at once

You can paint with a mirror of the brush on the opposite side so you can paint on both sides at once. Roll down to stroke and check reflection, then select the axis you want to mirror across.


This tutorial has covered the basics of using the 3d paint tool.

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