This Blender Texture Paint Tutorial explains how to paint directly on objects. We will cover all kinds of texture paint techniques that you can use in Blender. Texture Painting is a process of making your own textures by using painting tools on the 2D image that is projected onto 3D objects. Usually texture painting is used to create a stylized look, especially looking good on the low-poly models.
Texture painting also can be a way of creating details. Meaning that you can literally paint the details onto the object instead of making them out of geometry and wasting polygons on that.
Details painted on the object
Start Texture Painting
To start Texture Painting in Blender, first of all you need to create an object. A default Cube would be fine too. After that you need to create a UV map of the object. Default objects come with one ready, but more complex objects need one created. We have a good tutorial on how to do that and more – Blender UV Mapping Tutorial.
After a UV Map is created, we almost can start Texture Painting. A good idea would be to change to the “Texture Paint” Workspace from the top of the interface. It should look something like this:
On the left there is an Image Editor, then 3D Viewport opened in the Texture Paint mode. And the Properties Editor is opened on the Active Tool and Workspace settings, so we could control our brushes.
But before proceeding, you should notice that your object is pink and you can not draw anything on it, there is an error coming up.
This means that there is no image to draw on. You need an image that would be connected to the object and that would save the information about your painting.
Adding an image is easy. In the Properties editor at the top just click on the “+” button, where No texture is written. There would be a couple of options here, they are the kinds of textures that you can work on. Now we only need a Base Color, so choose that and in the appeared window you need to set a Name of the image, its resolution, color and other info.
After this is done, you can click OK and a new image would be generated. Then you can find the image and open it in the Image Editor to see all the changes in the real time.
And it is done. You are now ready to paint on your object whatever you like. Just start clicking on it with the brush active.
You will see that all the changes that you make to the object also would be visible in the Image Editor with the UV Map showing you on which part of the object the changes were made.
You can paint on both the object itself and in the Image Editor on the image, following the UV map.
Texture Paint Tools
In the top left corner of the Blender Texture Paint mode in 3D Viewport you can see that there are a couple of different tools available. Let’s look into them a bit and list them:
- Draw tool. The main and most important one. Allows you to draw on the object using different colors and Blend modes.
- Soften brush blurs the lines making them not as sharp. In the real world it is similar to when you use water to soften the lines of the paint.
- Smear tool makes it as if you would smear the paint with your finger. Making the colors that you smear – blend.
- Clone copies the last thing you drew with the Draw Tool and draws it again.
- Fill tool is quite understandable. Simply fills everything with a single color of your choosing.
- Mask tool. If you have a Stencil Image created in the Masking settings that situated in the Header of the 3D Viewport – you can mask parts of the 3D object, so they would be forbidden to draw on.
Texture Paint Brush Settings
When you selected any of the mentioned above brushes – in the Properties Editor there a lot of different new settings appear. We are not going to look at the all settings for the all brushes, but it will be nice to return and learn more about the main Draw brush.
At the top there is a Material Mode setting and Texture creation section that we used to create an image to work on.
Then is the Brushes section, but there are no selection of brushes available in the Blender at the moment.
The most important section is probably the Brush Settings. There you can change a Blend mode at which we are going to look later, the Radius and Strength of your brush and its colors between which you can swap and also save the colors in the Color Palette.
Then there some Advanced settings, settings for Textures and Masking. Also there you can find settings for Strokes. These settings will change how you apply paint to the object. For example make it dotted instead of constant or a straight line.
And finally at the bottom you can change the Falloff. This one is quite interesting, because the different falloffs can make a really big difference on the end result of the texture.
Another important setting here is the Symmetry. If it is turned on – it will mirror everything you do onto the other planes that you select. This is extremely helpful in the Texture Painting.
Texture Paint Blend Options
Returning back to the Blend Options.
We will not go into each of them, because there are simply too many. Though let’s look at some of them that are most used and most important. The default one is Mix. And it does what it says – if two colors collide – they will be mixed. So for example if I paint red over blue – I will get a purple color.
You should have noticed that there are kind of sections of the Blend modes. Meaning that some options are grouped together and separated from others.
After Mix goes the Darken group. They are different from Mix in the way that they don’t simply mix colors, but also darken them in different ways. So instead of the purple color you will receive some dark blues or really dark purples.
Next group is the opposite of previous ones. Instead of darkening – they lighten colors in different ways.
Group that we are going to look at now is really interesting and unusual. Just by itself it takes opposite colors from the ones I choose. Opposite meaning opposite on the color wheel, where you choose color. So my blue and red turn into yellow and cyan, which create green on the overlap:
But the interesting part here is not in the colors that we get themselves. The trick here is to overlap it on the original color. So you can see that they interact differently this time. For example Subtract did subtract all of the color and replaced it with black. While Exclusion excluded everything but the selected color.
Second to last group has a bit of everything and they also interact with original colors. Hue creates a hue of the chosen color over another one and can’t be used on the Alpha. Saturation simply increases the saturation of the colors no matter what settings you choose. Color is similar to Hue and Value takes the brightness value that you are using and ignores other settings.
The last two are simply to Erase and Add back Alpha.
There is a lot to Blender Texture Paint. And it is a really important skill if you are into making textures yourself, especially textures for games, as that is where this skill is used a lot. One of the main advantages of texture painting is that it allows you to create highly-detailed objects while maintaining low polygon count.