Smart Materials allow you to paint with physically accurate materials, as well as create them. They can be projected upon your mesh with various methods and allow for advanced textures to be painted very quickly.

Use of Smart Materials in 3DCoat 2022: The video demonstrates how Smart Materials work in 3DCoat.

How did u apply mat in different objects of same model like the parts of THIS truck ?

- 3DCoat lets you do that through its layer system automatically. if you want something to only apply to a specific part hide some paint objects or mask the layer…this is a main strength of coat as opposed to other programs.
- 3DCoat will let the user pick the objects (contiguous meshes) and fill it with a Smart Material, using the FILL tool. You can also click on individual UV shells/islands in the 2D Texture Editor, if you prefer to work that way. There are other options as well, such fill everything (visible in the scene) on a single layer, or fill by UV Map, etc.

- Naming Smart Materials in the materials list.

Quick Start Smart Materials:

Preview options: If you choose to display mask/material in at least one of the channels (depths and/or, colors and/or glossiness, see more detail about them below) a new panel shows up on top.

All 3 Paint Channels, when enabled, will react with any Material that is currently selected from the Materials Panel.
Every Material can contain a separate texture for each of its channels: Color, Depth and Glossiness.

If no Material is selected, (disable the use of Materials by clicking the large “X” in the Materials Panel), then each Paint Channel will respond based upon which Brush Alpha has been selected.

Smart Materials allow you to create and paint with Physically Based Rendering Smart Materials. These materials consist of multiple parameters to achieve realistic, or physically accurate results.

New Materials can be added to an existing Smart Materials Folder simply by clicking on the large “+” icon in the Material Panel. The thumbnail image of each new material is created based upon which texture image you select for that Material’s “Color” channel.

New Material Folders can be created or loaded by pressing the small “Down Arrow” at the top right of the Material Panel and selecting either the “Add new folder” or “Add existing folder” options.

Share item:
Share item folder: Share items folder as 3dcpack - file to share with other users.
Attach to the current layer: Right Click on a Shader in the panel. Choose attach to the current layer.
Refill Material:
Fill Entire Mesh:
Refresh Preview:
Move Items to…:
Set as Factory Defaults (Entire Folder):
Set as Factory Default:
Restore Factory Default :

It will show a small icon in the layer of the Smart material. Now if you select another layer and then re-select the layer with the attached Smart Material it will be highlighted in the Shaders Panel. You can only attach one Shader per layer.

Hover your mouse over the icon in the layer and a larger preview will appear. There is no name given but the preview is fairly large.

Once a Smart Material has been attached to the layer you can edit it with the Smart Material editor and it will auto update on the mesh after you save your edited Smart Material. You can not reapply a Smart Material in the viewport manually using this method but you can detach and re-attach the Smart material if you needed to reapply it.

You can not manually paint on a layer with a attached material.
Of course this would require more layers but is one way of keep tracking of your Smart Materials after they are applied and if they need editing.

The above is a good way of testing Smart Materials too and editing them.


Right Click on a Shader in the panel. Choose attach to the current layer. Detach a Smart Material same method or right click on the layer itself for the option to detach.

You can name layers in way that you know which part of the model they were applied too.

Then you have a complete way of knowing what part of the model your are working on and the Smart material attached to it.

The Opacity, Depth opacity and Roughness opacity above the layers in the layers panel all still function.

How to use
1. Right-click on the Smart Material you want to use
2. Click 'Attach to the current layer'
3. You can see that the Smart Material is attached to the selected layer.
* Attached Smart Materials work individually.
4. If you need to edit, right-click on the layer and edit it in the Smart Material Editor.
5. If you need to change to a different material, right-click and use the same Attach to the current layer.

All of these have the same Smart Material attached, but the color has been changed on the layer.

As many layers as you like can create a Smart Materials, allowing for quite complex materials. There are also a number of parameters for these layers, let’s take a look at those Smart Material Properties now.

Name: Name of current Material.
Overall Displacement Scale: .
Overall Cavity Modulator: Determines the overall area of effect for the material.
Preferred Mapping: Use various mapping types to apply your material. Cube Mapping is the recommended mapping type used with seamless textures.
Layer: Assign Texture to Layer hierarchy or create new ones.
Color: Specify a diffuse or albedo texture or color.
Depth: Specify a greyscale image for depth.
Glossiness: Specify a greyscale image for glossiness.
Metalness: Specify a greyscale image for metalness.
Condition Mask: Specify the area the material layer is applied to. There are various conditions, which are listed below.
Edge Scattering: Specify with an image how the edges of the condition are treated.
Mask: Masks with an image the areas that are and are not covered.

Smart Materials have a number of aspects in 3DCoat. There is the viewport Shading, Import/Export of Smart Material Texture maps and Smart Materials for painting physically accurate materials.

Starting from 3DCoat 2021.53 the RGB cavity was introduced as the default calculation method in Texturing. This is a very significant feature for the PBR Painting over the Texture/Mesh.

- First you need to make sure that the RGB cavity version is enabled, to do this go to the Edit >Preferences go to the Tools section and select use RGB cavity as the default cavity calculation method.
- After enabling the function go to the Texture Menu then select the Calculate Curvature option. In order of the Calculation to be make you need to wait a bit.
- Now we can see how a Cavity map (RGB) appeared in the layers.

- First you need to add Conditions to Degree value (more on convex like example) to see “vase” options.
- Focus on a new edit icon -it looks like a vase-, this was added and did not exist before and it is with the spin edges that the update function is configured. It is the additional cavity width: The 0 value means that the cavity is taken from the materials settings as-is.
Values less mean sharper cavity, more than 0.5 - widening of the cavity. Or course you need a RGB cavity layer in the scene to vary the cavity width.
It works only on such conditions: more on concave, more on convex, less on concave, less on convex, more or flat and more on curved (you can use any of these modes).
- The new parameter is responsible for the radius cavity. It is also affected by degree and contrast adjustments.

- Overall Cavity Modulator
- Cavity area width
- Additional Cavity width
- Degree
- Contrast

The Use of RGB Cavity in 3DCoat 2021


Height/Color Limiter Conditions
Select how depth, color and Gloss of your brush strokes are affected by colors, height and other parameters. Remember to set to “None” when you finish using this option.

Conditions can be accessed by clicking the icon next to the Condition Mask layer (and next to Degree), this gives even more access to various ways to apply your material layer.

These conditions are:

Always: Applies to every pixel of the layer.
More on Concave: Applies to areas that are more concave, and lets you fill crevices.
More on Convex: Applies to areas that are more convex, applying the material to more rounded external surfaces.
Less on Concave: Similar to More on Concave, but applies in the opposite form by allowing a little less in concave areas and a little more on convex.
Less on Convex: Similar to More on Convex, but applies in the opposite form by allowing a little less on convex areas and a little more in concave.
More on Flat: Applies only to flatter surfaces.
More on Curve: Applies only to more curved surfaces.
More on Lit: Applies to areas that are well lit, uses an Ambient Occlusion map to determine placement.
More on Shadow: Similar to More on Lit, but applies to the darker areas of an Ambient Occlusion map.
More on Top: Applies only to the upper areas of the surface.
More on Bottom: Applies only to the bottom areas of the surface.
More on Sides: Applies only on the sides of the surface.

Conditions: This video demonstrates the usage of Conditions to apply paint according preset restrictions, such as Cavity/Recessed areas, Edges/Protusions, Flat, Curved, Lit, Shadow, etc.

Physical Base Rendering

Stencil & Smart Material Preview Options

Preview Options
When activating one of the Materials or Stencils, or both simultaneously, you’ll have a new panel on screen.
This panel contains all of the editable functions for both Smart Materials and Stencils.

Add several images to new folder

- What if I have some set of images like the one in the pic above, is there a way to set them up in a folder structure that 3DCoat can import? They are only Albedo images for projection painting.

On Smart Material Panel select Create New Folder, then press 3 dots icon.

Select the option: add existing folder.

Navigate inside folder content and select only the first pic. Press open.

Add existing materials folder

Add the Smart materials from an existing folder. A new Materials 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.

This is the complete list of aliases (at the end of the filename) used to recognize the texture usage:






Clip mask:



The any of . - ~ may be used instead of the _ sign.

If any map is named with a space in the name, the texture is assigned as new Smart Material.

PBR Smart Materials: This is just a quick video I made showing some of 3D-Coat's new and awesome PBR materials. You can create all new materials from scratch but it comes with a bunch of pre-made ones and they have a ton of functions you can adjust to change the way it looks. By Phil Nolan.

Links to some noteworthy 3rd party assets.

Improved Brush Engine & Flat Material Thumbnails

PBR (Smart) Materials by Phil Nolan: This is just a quick video I made showing some of 3DCoat's new and awesome PBR materials. You can create all new materials from scratch but it comes with a bunch of pre-made ones and they have a ton of functions you can adjust to change the way it looks.

Misted glass: Video process misted glass in real-time by Roman Makarenko.

  • general/paint_workspace/materials.txt
  • Last modified: 2022/07/26 22:12
  • by carlosan