general:paint_workspace:tools

Fill Tool

In the “Paint Room” you have access to a comprehensive set of painting, texturing, adjustment and texture transformation tools.
These tools are located in the left side panel.


You can also press the Spacebar for quick access.

Paint Brush: This tool works in combination with the 3 Paint Channels, (Depth, Color, Glossiness), and its effect is influenced by which Brush shape is chosen from the Brush Alpha panel.
If no material is selected, the basic color or colors that are applied are indicated by the 2 color swatches at the top of this tool bar.
If a Material is selected, a combination of interactions occurs, based on the Brush Alpha shape and those Material channels which have textures assigned, as well as which basic Painting Channels you have “turned on”.
Tablet response can also be set via the “E” panel - along with various curve and closed spline methods of paint application. (See The “E” Panel).

Pencil: Allows to paint sharp pixelated shapes and separate pixels. It may be used for precise and low-res painting when each pixel is important. Use CTRL with depth turned off to erase. It is recommended to turn off “View→Linear texture filtering” in this mode.

Airbrush: A softer brush which has an “accumulation” coefficient. This brush produces the most profound “dabbed” painting effect when used with the “Paint with dabs” Brush Option selected.

Standard Brush and Airbrush

Color Operations: This tool has 10 different color adjustment functions which are “Brushed on”, reacting with Alpha and/or choice of “E” panel tool:

  • De-saturate: (decrement the chromatic level) When you press “Ctrl” the opposite action is performed, and it

increases the saturation of the color.

  • Saturate: (increment the chromatic level) When you press “Ctrl” the opposite action is performed, and it de-saturates the color.
  • Darken: When you press “Ctrl” the opposite action is performed, and it lightens.
  • Lighten: When you press “Ctrl” the opposite action is performed and it darkens.
  • Sharpen: This accentuates the color definition. Use “Ctrl” to smooth.
  • Smoothing: This reduces the color definition. Use “Ctrl” to accentuate the color definition.
  • Increase hue: Incremental adjustment of the hue. (use “Ctrl” to decrement the value). The “Transparency” setting influences the degree of hue change.
  • Decrease hue: See above.
  • Subst hue: Substitute the hue in the current layer with the current color swatch.
  • Hue&Saturation: Substitute the hue and saturation from the current layer with the current color swatch.

For example, paint on an object using color, then choose the Darken command. Paint again on the object in the same place to see how your current color darkens.
Try different color operation modes, as this function is highly dependent on the color channel’s transparency.

Magnification or reduction of Layer height: Choose the operations on the Layer height (increase or decrease).
When painting, it is only the current Layer height that is changed. Press “Ctrl” to perform an inverted operation.
When using this tool, both “E” panel functions and the selected Material are taken into account.

  • Magnification: The layer height is increased while drawing.
  • Reduction: The layer height is decreased while drawing.
  • Degree of change slider: This responsible for the degree of height change. The maximal value (100%) corresponds to height increase or decrease two times. It is located on the top panel. Use the “Degree of change” slider to limit the amount of change.

Shift Layer in tangent space: This tool lets you smudge, collapse and expand the area under your brush. All operations will be applied in screen space, so you should try to center the area to be modified in the best view position. This tool is intended to move only small details in the Layer.
NOTE: You must click the LMB to apply the last two operations.

  • Smudge: Smudge layer along motion.
  • Collapse: Collapse layer.
  • Expand: Expand layer.

Clone Tool: This tool can also be considered a “Texture Adjustment” tool, and it has quite a few options for use, so please read and test it out carefully to learn more about it.
Press “Ctrl-LMB” to mark a source point for copying, then paint using the LMB. You can clone your texture, not only with a standard Brush Alpha, but also with the frame and contour Brush functions (press “E” for Brush functions). There exist a number of methods for cloning:

  • Translation: In this mode, press “Ctrl+LMB” to select the source point.
  • Dx: The horizontal shift of source point.
  • Dy: The vertical shift of source point.
  • Mirroring: Copying with mirror-reflection of a plane. Press “Ctrl+LMB” to select the point for the plane to go through.
  • Inversion: Copying with inversion against the point. Press “Ctrl+LMB” to mark the center point of inversion: Center X and Center Y – positions of pivot point on screen. Press “Ctrl+LMB” in the corresponding places to change it.
  • Clone sector: Copy a sector rotated at a selected angle against the pivot point. Press “Ctrl+LMB” to mark the rotation center point. This mode can be used to multiply a pattern drawn in one sector all around. Center X and Center Y are the positions of the control point on the screen. To change its position, press “Ctrl+LMB” in corresponding place.
  • Number of sectors: Number of sectors when cloning a pattern in a sector.
  • Counter clockwise: When enabled, the sector will be copied counter-clockwise.
  • Symmetrical copy: Symmetrical copy lets you to copy a surface from one side of a model to make it symmetrical.
    Press “S” and activate symmetry before using this tool. This tool can be used on any of the three axes to copy symmetry.
  • Copy using Brush: This lets you copy using topological symmetry. You should set up topological symmetry before using this tool. Topological symmetry can be defined in the Topological symmetry tool by selecting two symmetrical faces.

Transform/copy tool:

Drag the frame and select an area to be transferred. The frame acquired can be dragged, or rotated. Use “Shift” to preserve proportions. Use “Ctrl” to drag vertices independently of each other. Press “Esc” to cancel the transformation and “Enter” to apply it.
This tool is good to use in combination with the Rectangle, Circle and Curve painting methods (press “E” to open the draw types menu).
The border width determines the edge softness when transforming. By disabling channels (Depth, Diffuse, Glossiness) you can limit the channels that are affected. In the transform mode the surface area is erased from its old location and copied onto the new one.

In order to simply copy without deleting, do not check the “Erase old position” option. It is possible to transform whole block of visible Layers and paste them merged or separately. You can select what to copy, not only with the Rectangle tool, but also by using the freehand selection tool, and others. The options for this tool are as follows:

  • Depth modulator: Additional depth modulator for the transformed area.
  • Opacity modulator: Additional opacity for the transformed area.
  • Specular modulator: Additional specular modulator for transformed area.
  • Export: Export selection to a .PSD file. Import: Import a selection from a .PSD file.
  • Edit: Edit image with an external editor that supports .PSD files. By default it is Adobe Photoshop.
  • Save: Save transform parameters and image to InstallDir \User- Data\StoreData\Rects
  • Load: Load transform parameters.

How to use the "transform copy tool" in 3DCoat By Christoph Werner. This tutorial you will learn the following:

  • How the Transform/Copy Tool works.
  • What the options of this tool are used for.

Copy/Paste: You can copy parts of a surface to the clipboard by using CTRL+C and then paste them using CTRL+V. If the cursor is not on an object, it will be pasted to the same place it was copied from. Images in the clipboard can be edited in another graphics editor, then copied back to the clipboard and pasted onto the object surface.
The copy command only records the currently enabled channels. In this way you can copy and edit any of channels - depth, Glossiness or color. If the color channel is open for editing, the color texture is placed into the clipboard; if it is disabled, then the depth texture will be placed into the clipboard; in case the depth is disabled for editing, then the Glossiness texture will be placed there.

Hence, you can copy and edit in a different graphics editor any of the channels depth, color or specular. If you press CTRL+SHIFT+C a new alpha brush is made from a surface part and added to the Brush list. When you press CTRL+SHIFT+V the mirror reflected part is pasted.

Bear in mind that copying and pasting are pen-turn sensible and depends on the currently selected alpha, and that only the features beneath the cursor are copied. Although the copy and paste hot keys are active in every tool mode, this tool is provided solely to display this hint. Copying and pasting objects with the help of hot keys is not limited to Copy/Paste tool, but is possible in any other mode.

  • Save: Save the clipboard image into a file.
  • Load: Loads the clipboard image from a file. Using these functions, you can create a library of stamps. Load a plane or a cube, for example, draw a button or a rivet, then save it to a file. As with depth, so the color and specular will be saved, too.

In order to draw with a spline we shall determine a spline of several points first. When pointing the cursor onto one of the blue dots, it gets highlighted. By mouse-clicking you can capture it and drag in a new position. Click again to release the control dot.
Splines are handy to use together with stripes to carefully draw a chain or a string of riveting.
Click ENTER to apply the spline onto object. LMB to add new points to the spline. Use ENTER to draw a curve, CTRL+ENTER for to draw a curve with inverse depth. Use BKSP to delete the last point, ESC to delete all points.

Paint with Splines: Upon activating the Spline tool, the Parameters Panel will be activated.

Curves will be drawn correctly, even if knot points are far from each other and surface between them are quite curved.

What to do? With “Draw with spline” tool, you are not only able to paint and extrude, but also can:

  • Paint and Extrude: Use this option to paint and extrude along the curve.
  • Erase: Erase the current layer along the curve.
  • Freeze: Freeze along the curve. CTRL+ENTER – unfreeze.
  • Make Planar: Use this option to flatten the surface along the curve.
  • Set absolute height: Apply plane tool along the curve and then apply usual extrusion. It looks like setting the absolute (not relative) depth along the curve.

Ignore back faces: When this option is activated, you paint only on the visible part of the surface.
Closed curve: Closes the curve.
Use spacing: Points will be set along curve with some spacing and jittering. It lets you make new effects with curves.

There are many parameters for the curve tool:
Curve profile: First let’s take a look at the Curve profiles.

  • Uniform: The curve with no linear modulation.
  • Sharp: The curve sharp on edges.
  • Obtuse (flatten): The curve flattened on edges.
  • Arrow: One kind shape of arrow.
  • Arrow back: One kind shape of arrow.
  • Double arrow: One kind shape of arrow.
  • Arrow (Mod): One kind shape of arrow

Profile parameter: This parameter affects the linear curve profile in case you selected the sharp or obtuse profile.
Depth modulator: Modulator, impacting the entire curve depth.
Width modulator: Modulator, impacting the entire curve width.
Color Modulator: Transforms the current combination of points to a circle if possible.

  • To Circle: Transform the current set of points to a circle if possible.
  • To line: Transform the current set of points to a line if possible.
  • Subdivide: Subdivide curve.
  • Equalize: Set equal distances between points.
  • Toggle hardness: This mode lets you toggle the hardness of the spline vertices by clicking on he vertex. Pressing “Esc” cancels this mode.
  • Store: Save curve to a file with *.curve extension, placed into: InstallDir\UserData\StoreData\Curves\ by default.
  • Restore: Load curve from a file with CURV extension, located in: InstallDir\UserData\StoreData\Curves\ by default.

Moving the whole curve: Use the 3 icons on the right bottom of Parameters Panel menu. You can rotate/move/scale the entire curve.

NOTE: You can use “Ctrl” while dragging a point to rotate the whole curve and you can also use “Shift” while dragging a point to move the entire curve.

Painted Text Tool: Using this tool you can select the font for text, input the text so as to change the parameters of the curve the text is applied along. Use the following options with this tool:
Ignore back faces: When this option is activated, you draw only on the visible parts of the surface.
Closed curve: Draw a closed curve.
Flip text: Flip the whole text.
Depth modulator: Modulator, impacting the entire curve depth.
Width modulator: Modulator: impacting the entire curve width.
Opacity modulator: Modulates the opacity of the entire curve.
To circle: Transform the current set of points to a circle if possible.
To line: Transform the current set of points to line if possible.
Subdivide: Subdivide the curve.
Equalize: Set an equal distances between the points.
Toggle hardness: This mode lets you toggle the hardness of the vertex in a spline by clicking on the vertex. ESC cancels this mode.
Save: Save text and font in a .txt file, placed into InstallDir \User- Data\StoreData\Texts\ by default.
Load: Load text from a .txt file, located in InstallDir \UserData\ StoreData\Texts\ by default.

Add new points into the spline by “Left-Clicking”. Use “Enter” to apply, with depth. Upon applying, the text will be extruded outward over the curve. Pressing “Ctrl-Enter” indents the text into the object. Use “Backspace” to delete the last point, “Esc” to delete all points.

Click on a blue sphere to move it. Painting with text along a curve allows you to paint and extrude, as well as letting you Erase/Freeze/Make Planar/ Set the absolute height. You can place text along any polygonal surface and along any contour.

Spline Image Tool: You can apply an image along a spline curve with this tool. You can select the images used for Depth texture/Color texture/Specular texture to tile along a spline. There are several settings and functions:

  • Number of tiles: Specify the number of tiles. A lower number produces fewer tiles.
  • Falloff: Opacity falloff.
  • Extrusion: Extrusion of the whole texture.

The other parameters are the same as used with Paint with Splines.
With the “Place Image Along Spline” tool, you also can Erase/Freeze/ Make Planar/Set absolute height. Here is an example of using an image along a spline to freeze an area.

Eraser: Erasing the Color, Depth or Glossiness in the current Layer. Eraser intensity depends on the slider for Eraser transparency. Erasing only effects your currently active Layer.
Hide: Hides selected polygons. “Left-Clicking” with a Brush hides parts of the surface by painting on the model. Pressing “Ctrl”shows previously hidden surface areas. Use “Ctrl-X” to unhide all.
“NUM+” or “NUM-” makes the hidden area wider or narrower.
“Act as Pencil” Need to be ticked ON to erase as well but as Pencil tool using sharp round. Great if need to delte fine details (by pixels).

Hide Poly Tool: Make some faces invisible. Using the additional Hiding menu you can save/load hidden areas as presets. In these instances you will also have a drop-down list so that you can select between these presets.

Hide Menu

Additionally, you can access the more advanced functions of the Hide tool in the main menu in the Hide Menu Top bar. For convenience, you can also undock this menu (like any other menu) and place it in an easy to access area. With this menu you are not only able to hide surfaces by painting on the model, but you also can hide the whole object by selecting the object you want to hide.

For example, if there are several sub-objects in the scene, you can use “Hide Sub-Object” to hide a specific object, as in the picture below. If there is only one object in the scene, “Hide Sub-Object” will hide only that object. You can also hide faces by their specific material, use “Hide Material”. Select one material from this menu and all the surfaces with that material will be hidden. The other commands are self-explanatory.

Freeze Menu

This is a mode of freezing surface parts to prevent their subsequent change. Freeze mode can be conditional, for example for relief, flat or colored parts depending on mode selected. Blocking masks the action of feathering. Freeze mode is an operation opposite to selection. Press “Shift” to smooth out the edges of blocking.

This drop-down list provides the various Freeze modes. When the Brush goes along the surface, it gets masked in accordance withthe condition you choose in this menu. There are five masking modes in total:

  • Freeze all: Mask with a touch of the Brush or mouse-click (default mode).
  • Convexity: Mask the convex parts of the surface.
  • Concavity: Mask the concave parts of the surface.
  • Not key color: Mask all, except the color currently selected.
  • Key color: Mask the color currently selected.


There are three sliders on the top bar for the freeze tool:

  • Contrast: This parameter increases the freezing contrast.
  • Smoothing degree: Sets the smoothing level of the freeze area.
  • Freeze degree: Controls the level of the opacity of freezing. Masking can be saved to a file and loaded. In this way you can create a set of handy masking outlines for your model. If you saved at least one file, subsequently, you will have a drop-down list offering a selection of files.

Of course you can also access many more options for the Freeze tool in the main menu of the top tool bar.

  • Freeze the surface: Freeze all the surfaces with the current condition. Invert freeze/selection. The frozen surfaces will be unfrozen and the surfaces which were not frozen will be frozen.
  • Toggle freeze view: There are six modes with which you can view the frozen area.

Many of the other commands are self-explanatory as well, and you are strongly encouraged to explore each one.

If you are familiar with the fill tool in Photoshop or other photo-editing programs, then you should be quite familiar with this tool already. It lets you fill in self-contained areas based on a number of parameters you can specify. There are three main parameters by which you can fill:

  • Layer: Fill the whole Layer.
  • Surface Material: Fill the entire surface material of the object.
  • Object: Fill the Paint object.

There are sub-options for this tool as well, that you can use with each of the three main filling methods: Use color tolerance: This lets you fill in your color or material based on its “closeness” to another color. By using the slider you can adjust this value. The higher the tolerance, the larger area and/or more existing colors it will fill.

  • Use Color (Albedo) Tolerance: Fill areas with similar to the pick point color.
  • Fill with freeze: Instead of a color fill-in, the surface will be filled by freezing. The Freeze degree slider is responsible for maximal freeze values.
  • Fill with Smooth: Smooth the closed area instead of filling with color.
  • Fill with Eraser: Fill with Eraser.
  • Gradient mode: Lets you fill-in by setting two points. The vector between them is considered the main direction when using distortions. If you have chosen the Fill with gradient, the surface will be filled with color gradient from the main color to secondary one.

Otherwise, the main color is used for filling-in. If the pen radius differs in the starting and final point of the line, then the modulation scale will smoothly change from the start to the final point. You can use gradient filling in the fill tool in a much more intuitive way.

  • Limit by angle: Limit the expansion by the angle between faces.
  • Fill Tool expansion area can be limited by the angle between faces: Fill Tool by angle

Use with Other Tools: If this option is chosen then modulation will be applied to other tools - for text, curves, and standard painting.

Modulation type: In case the “Use with other tools” option is selected, the modulation acts not only in the “Fill mode”, but with the standard modes. There are are number of basic and user-adjustable types of modulation available:

  • No modulation: Filling will be done without additional modulation.
  • Noise: Random noise.
  • Gaussian noise: Gaussian noise applied:
  • Wavy surface: Wavy surface y=sin(x).
  • Random modulation with Stripes: Stripes that are perpendicular to the main axis.
  • Saw: Saw-tooth shape.
  • Hexagon: A correct hexagonal grid will be used as the volume texture when modulating.
  • Random spheres: Space filled with random spheres will be used as the volume texture when modulating.
  • Pores: Generation of pore-like surface.
  • Spots: Generation of “pimpled” surface.
  • Fractal N1:
  • Fractal N2:
  • Fractal N3:
  • Fractal N4 (cracks):
  • Fractal wood N1: A set of distorted planes perpendicular to the view direction.
  • Fractal wood N2: A set of distorted cylinders. To set the cylinder axe, go into the lines mode.
  • Fractal tree N3: Wood with knot imitation.
  • Custom:
  • Rough skin:
  • Add custom: This lets you create your own custom modulation type.

Depending on the modulation chosen in the “Modulation type” menu you will have the ability to adjust a number of parameters for each one. They are as follows:

  • Peak position: The position of maximum.
  • Scale: Scale of modulation.
  • Anisotropy: The degree of stretching or compression of details along the direction selected. If no direction is set, then it is a vertical axis. Switch into the lines mode to specify the direction.
  • Width of jag:
  • Pores size:
  • Spots size:
  • Cracks width:
  • Edge contrast: This parameter determines the smoothness of the edges in cube mapping.
  • Bump texture: The bump texture to be used in cube-mapping.
  • Color texture: The color texture to be used in cube-mapping.
  • Name: The name of a custom pattern.
  • Color texture: The color texture to be used in cube-mapping.
  • Name: The name of a custom pattern.
  • Delete pattern:

Pattern Modulate depth: Select this point if you want to modulate the depth when filling. The parameters are as follows:

  • Depth modulator: Modulation value.
  • Extrusion: The addition extrusion. “-1” means that the surface will only be indented, “1” – only extruded.

Pattern Modulate color: Select the corresponding color operation and paint with it. Vary the opacity to make the effect stronger or weaker. These parameters are listed as follows:

  • Color preference: This slider determines the preference of color use between color for convexity and concavity.
  • Convexity opacity: Convexity opacity modulator.
  • Convexity color: This color corresponds to convexity.
  • Concavity opacity: Concavity opacity modulator.
  • Concavity color: This color corresponds to concavity.

Pattern Modulate Gloss: Select this option if you want to modulate Glossiness channel. These parameters are as follows:

  • Roughness2: Convexity Gloss modulator.
  • Roughness1: Concavity Gloss modulator.

To apply the new fill pattern you should specify a texture for the Bump channel and a texture for the Color channel (optional). They will be mapped on an object using cube mapping with soft edges. The screenshot to the right shows the difference between usual cube mapping and mapping with soft edges. In this way, you can texture objects seamlessly, with ease. It is easy to create materials like skin or pores with this method.

Save/Load fill parameters: Using the menu “Store/Restore” you can store parameters of the Fill to file, located in “InstallDir\User- Data\StoreData \Fillers\” folder by default.
Here are a few things that are worth noting about the Fill tool. You are not only able to use the Fill tool separately, but also in combination with other methods. For example, we can use the Fill tool in combination with a Material.

Pay attention when lines modes and Fill tools are used in combination, you can fill closed spaces with a color gradient. Another thing to note is that if your fill area is very large, you may get a warning prompt from 3DCoat letting you know that it may take a while to fill. If that does happen, please be patient! The application hasn’t frozen… just calculating.

Magic Wand Tool: Freeze areas with color tolerance. Use SHIFT/CTRL to add/subtract areas. Click Invert Freeze/Selection if you want to operate over frozen areas in other tools.

Pick: Extract the Color, Glossiness and Depth from the surface of an object. Use the V hotkey to select the primary color and depth outside this tool. You can change picking preferences using this tool:
Use H to select the top layer. Use the hot key “LMB-V” to pick the primary color and “RMB-V” to pick the secondary color outside this tool. Use “G” to pick the depth of the Brush.

Make planar: Flatten the painted normal map surface details beneath the Brush cursor as you paint.
This tool flattens the geometry on the object. Use the LMB to make the surface inside the Brush cursor flat. The Brush shape is stored. By choosing the “Smoothing” command, the advanced Plane tool menu with a set of options opens:

  • Normal source: This option determines if the normal and point of the plane should be taken from the first click position or from the current point.
  • Plane extrusion: Lets you make additional extrusions while making the plane. It works like a clay brush.
  • Make planar: Makes the surface planar.
  • Cut off: Cuts off parts above the plane.
  • Fill mode: Fills holes below the plane.

Topological symmetry lets you copy surface pieces if they have a symmetrical face structure - even if they are not symmetrical geometrically.

Select the red face with a “Left click” and then select the blue face. It is better if they are adjacent. Either way, the contents should be symmetrical to each other. This lets you define the topological symmetry. The settings for this tool are as follows:

  • Work mode: Lets you choose between two modes: setup symmetry by picking two symmetrical faces or copy from one side to another using the Brush.
  • Copy red to blue: Copy the red part of mesh to the blue one. You should define them before using this tool.
  • Copy blue to red: Copy the blue part of mesh to the red part. You should define them before using this tool.
  • Flip Layer: Flip Layer using topological symmetry.
  • Copy freeze mask: This is pretty self-explanatory. It lets you copy a freeze mask from one side to another using the topological symmetry tool.
  • Save: Store symmetry state to .SYMM file. Load: Restore symmetry state from .SYMM file.

This measure tool lets you measure distance between two user specified locations. Here are the parameters:

  • Original mesh units: You can define the units of measurement and measure line length.
  • Units to display: You should choose the units to display.

There are parameters in these combo boxes: Meters (m), Millimeters (mm), Centimeters (cm), Kilometers (km), Feet (ft), Inches (in), Yards (yr) and Miles (mi).

  • Scale: The scale can be used to transform units. Usually you don’t need to enter this value manually.
  • Length: The length of the red line.
  • general/paint_workspace/tools.txt
  • Last modified: 2021/05/05 18:02
  • by carlosan