general:interface_navigation:brush_components:brushes

Use “T” key quick access the Brushes Panel.

This is a list of brushes within 3D. You can add your own brushes in TGA, PSD or ABR format (the pen format used in Adobe Photoshop). Press on the “Folder” icon to add it. The brush added will appear in the list of brushes availables.
You can also use a 3D model as brush.
A brush can be colored, provided the image contains alpha-channel. In this case the alpha-channel will be used as a mask for depth.

Use CTRL or SHIFT to select several pens, you will see several pens selected in the preview, these will be used randomly.

In order to change Brush radius use key “[“ and “]” or mouse wheel (provided the correspondent adjustments were made in the Preferences menu).

To change depth press “—” and “+” or mouse wheel (provided the correspondent adjustments were made in the Preferences menu). You can do the same using sliders in the top pen panel.

First press SHIFT and draw again. You will see the surface getting smoothed.
Change the smoothing intensity using the “Smoothing” slider.

First press and hold on LMB then press SHIFT and draw again. Then you are able to draw very straight lines just like the way in Photoshop. Click CTRL and draw – Cavities are drawn.


You can see the red line rotating on the Brush cursor when “(“ or “)” is pressed. If you choose an asymmetrical Brush shape then this rotation shows the Brush orientation.
You may use hot keys “(“ and “)” or the mouse wheel (under correspondent settings in the Preferences menu) to rotate the pen counter clockwise or clockwise accordingly. Parameters of rotation range from 1 to 360 degrees.


The Brush (or Alpha) panel allows you to select images that can be used to create different brush profiles.
These are “profiles” that affect both the depth of the Brush application and the shape of the “bristles”.

However in 3DCoat they consist of four painting channels and each “Brush” includes 4 Layers arrange themselves into Color-Transparency, HeightMap, Specular and EraseMask.
The order of these Layers, in the external editor, are important. Looking at each of these individually:

  • Color/Transparency
  • Height/Depth
  • Specular
  • Erase Mask

So each Brush can paint multiple channels at the same time, if you choose to. Making them less an “Alpha” and more of a multi-channel image brush tip. We maintain the term “Alpha” to keep with the industry standard terms.
Brush Alphas can also be built from 3D object files, extracting the height map based on the model view.

Choose a Brush you like from the list of icons.Press on the “Folder” icon to add more.
You can add your own Brushes in TGA, PSD or ABR format (the format used in Adobe Photoshop).
The Brush added will appear in the list of Brushes available. You can also use a 3D model as a pen.
A brush can be colored, provided the image contains alpha-channel. In this case the alpha-channel will be used as a mask for depth. Use CTRL or SHIFT to select several brushes, you will see several brushes selected in the preview, these will be used randomly.

Right clicking on any unselected Brush alpha invokes a comprehensive list of alpha editing functions.

Brush Options: Opens the “Brush Options” panel.
Delete Brush: Deletes the selected Brush.
Save to PSD/TIF: Saves the selected Brush alpha to either file format.
.PSD is more intuitive, while .TIF is more precise, giving you more channels to save and manipulate elsewhere.
.TIF can contain 7 channels - RGB, alpha, height, specular and the “Erase mask”.
Load from PSD/TIF: This replaces the alpha that has been right-clicked on with an of your choice, save in either the .psd or .tif formats.
Edit in external editor: Creates a “live” connection between 3DCoat and the external editor you have specified in the “Preferences” section (The default editor is Photoshop).
Selecting this option opens the specified editor and any changes that you make and save from the editor are automatically loaded back into 3DCoat.
Edit as 16 bit TIF: This allows you to save in 16 bit format, rather than 8 bit. Using this option causes the Brush to be saved as a .psd file, allowing it to be reloaded automatically, each time it is edited and saved in the external editor.

On the right side of the tab, you’ll see an arrow pointing down. This opens a set of functions allowing you to view and change the current Brush Settings, Add and Create new Brush Folders, Add Brush “Packages” as well as choose a display size for your Brush.

- By clicking this there will be many more advanced options:
Refresh Brush Preview: Refreshes the Alpha icon.
Brush Options Panel: Opens Brush Options Panel.
Add New Folder: Allows you to choose a pre-defined folder of alpha shapes to be added to the “Folder” list.
This option will allow you to copy the Brush (that you right-click on), to a folder named in the “Folder List” that you have previously defined. All the “New folder” names you have defined will appear here.
Add Existing Folder: Allows you to choose a single brush from a folder, thus adding all the brushes in the folder to be included in the folder, now with the name of the chosen file, which is then listed in the “Folder” selection list.
Add pictures from an existing folder. A new Brushes/Strips folder with the same name will be created. Select at least one file to automatically add all the files from the folder to the list.
Add Brushes from package: Adds Brushes that have been packaged into a “Penpack” file format.
If you want to create your own package and share your custom Brushes, please RMB an use the command create .penpack.
Folder: Select a folder with Brushes. A selection list of all folders you have enabled 3DCoat to access. The icons from this chosen folder will then be visible in the “Brushes Panel”.

Icon Size: You can also change the size of the icons, to the size specified.
Tiny: Sets the alpha icon set to a very small size.
Normal: Sets the alpha icon set to the default size as seen when the program opens for the first time.
Large: Sets the alpha icon set to a size larger than the default size.
Huge: Sets the alpha icon set to a bigger size.

To create a brush in a 2D painting application, you must have 4 layers each corresponding with the 4 main channels of a Alpha brush in 3DCoat. The order of these Layers, in the external editor, are important. They are:

  1. Color: This contains the Brush color as well as its corresponding Transparency mask. This mask affects the Glossiness Layer, as well.
  2. Height/Depth: affects displacement for sculpting and the height/depth with image based painting. The “zero” height of this Layer corresponds to “middle gray” or (127, 127, 127). Darker values correspond to concave area will create valleys and lighter values correspond to convex areas will create peaks.
  3. Specular: White represents maximum Specular. Black represents absolutely no Specular, with shades of gray representing intermediate values. The Color layer of the Alpha’s alpha transparency also determines where Specular painting occurs.
  4. Erase Mask: This layer is used to create alphas that ignore certain values, in other layers, while painting. Remember that this mask affects the lowest Layer in the list.

- If all the .tif channels are used, they will all be imported and used according to the table below.
- If you only use some of the available channels, those you do import will also be used according to the table below.

  1. CH: A&H
  2. CH: 1 – A 2 –H
  3. CH: 1, 2, 3 – RGB, 2 – A, H
  4. CH: 1, 2, 3 – RGB, 4 – A, H
  5. CH: 1, 2, 3 – RGB, 4 – A, 5 – H
  6. CH: 1, 2, 3 – RGB, 4 – A, 5 – H, 6 – Spec
  7. CH: 1, 2, 3 – RGB, 4 – A, 5 – H, 6 – Spec, 7 – Erase mask

By clicking on the Folder icon in the Brush Tab, you can import a number of file formats in to be used as a pen.

The model can be rotated and scaled. Rotate the model by pressing LMB, move the model while holding SPACE, scale it with RMB, rotate within the screen frame by using the combination of ALT+LMB.

By clicking on the Folder icon in the Brush Tab, you can import a number of file formats in to be used as a pen.
In the image on the right, you can see the editing viewport for importing a 3D mesh. The model can be rotated and scaled.
Rotate the model by pressing LMB, move the model while holding SPACE, scale it with RMB, rotate within the screen frame by using the combination of ALT+LMB.

Creating a 3D Brush: This video demonstrates how to take a model you already have on your hard drive or create one directly in 3DCoat to use as a 3D Brush; replicating the object along your brush stroke.

You can choose texture size and the image proportions. The use of non-square images is especially handy when creating strips as described below. Using slider in the right lower corner you can adjust the models level of dipping into the background plane which determines the zero Brush level.

Replicating Objects on Model Surface: This video begins a demonstration of various techniques one can use to create an object in 3DCoat, and either generate a 3D Brush alpha from it, or replicate instances of it along the surface of another object.


Brush Creation: This video I cover the creation and importation of PSD image files from photoshop and 3D object files as brushes. By Javis Jones.

Creating Custom Brush Curves & Move Stamp Brush: This video demonstration covers two new features in 3DCoat. Including the ability to create your own brush alpha using a Curve Profile Editor, and then the new Move Stamp Brush (in the E-Panel). This allows you to preview the result, yet move it about the model until you're happy with the placement..

Square Brush Alpha Support: This video demonstrates the support for square brush alphas in 3DCoat. When loading images/brush alphas in for the first time, no additional steps are needed. This video focuses on getting previously loaded brush pallets to utilize the new support..

Hotkey access to Brushes and Panels: This video demonstrates the ability to use hotkeys to bring panel's and pallets directly to your cursor and how to keep 3DCoat from switching to different brush packs when choosing a different brush or tool.

  • general/interface_navigation/brush_components/brushes.txt
  • Last modified: 2019/10/13 20:58
  • by carlosan