The use of Shaders on a mesh allow you to quickly see a realistic or impressionistic real time preview of your sculpture with various materials applied.

A while back, 3DCoat added the ability to use PBR shaders in the Sculpt Workspace. Although not intended as a replacement for smart materials in 3DCoat, the new Physical Shaders offer a great way to use GGX lighting and physically based rendering on highpoly sculpts in 3DCoat.

Some Shaders can be baked into the diffuse color layer of a “Baked” Retopo mesh, thus streamlining the texturing process in certain situations.

Primary shader properties can be edited, and altogether new Shaders can be created from scratch giving you a powerful set of visualization options.

Creating, using & editing shaders

Sculpt Room - Custom Viewport Materials: by Anton Tenitsky.

You click with the LMB to select shader to apply to the current object. If you click the RMB on a shader, you’ll then get more options.
After assignment you can change shader properties like color of texture in Sculpt Tree > RMB menu.

Delete: This will delete the shader you clicked on.
Share item: Save item as 3dcpack file to share with other users.
Share items folder: Share items folder as 3dcpack - file to share with other users.
Rename shader:
Construct New Shader: Construct new shader based on this shaders. You will be able to give new name and assign new textures and other parameters.
Select as Default Shader: This will apply the shader that you clicked on, as the default shader. Each time a new volume object is created, it will then have this new default applied.
Edit Current Object’s Shader Settings: Edit settings of the shader that is assigned to the current object.
Edit Permanent Shader Settings: If you change shader settings there they will remain changed for all future objects where this shader will be used.
Refresh this preview:
Refresh All previews: These two options simply refresh the shader tab. Helpful if you are having trouble with a newly created shader not showing up as a selection.
Apply to Visible:
Apply to Sub-Tree:

Move items to…:

The most basic kind of shader has absolutely no custom settings (like the Default Shader). They are what they are and can’t be modified.
The second kind of Basic Shader does have adjustable parameters as shown in the above dialog - which is obtainable through selecting a Shader, Right-Clicking over the Shader Icon and choosing one of the “Edit” commands from the pop-up menu.

These types of Shaders have a number of additional properties that involve the use of textures (not mandatory).
Shown above is the main “Edit Dialog” which include the use of textures for controlling things like Normal and Bump, Simulation, Reflection simulation and Cavity simulation.
Experimentation is the key to success, here.
Lots of new shaders have been created by users over the years, and can be found in the “3DCoat Exchange Library” part of our Forum.

- On version 2021 PBR sculpt shaders are updated, if you assign normal map, the type of normal map is detected automatically, also you may rotate each of 3 planes separately in shaders parameters.
This makes possible making the correct shader of the wall, for example. Also it is possible to flop R/G channels of normalmap in shader settings.
The PBR shader baked to texture correctly as well.

These are special Shaders which get their characteristics from a certain type of Texture file which contain artificial lighting, color, specular, transparency and shading properties.
To create these Texture files, special software is needed and links to both the software and techniques for creating convincing textures can be found on the Forum, in the “3DCoat Exchange Library” section.

The node editor allows you to build HLSL shaders visually. Instead of writing code, you can create and connect nodes in a graphical way. The node editor instantly displays your changes and is simple enough for users new to creating shaders.

Node editor description

A Node defines an input, output or operation on the Node editor, depending on its available Ports. A Node may have any number of input and/or output Ports. You create a Graph by connecting these Ports with Edges. A Node might also have any number of Controls, these are controls on the Node that do not have Ports.

You can collapse a Node by clicking the Collapse button in the top-right corner of the Node. This will hide all unconnected Ports.

Components of a Node are port & edge.


A Port defines an input or output on a Node. Connecting Edges to a Port allows data to flow through the node network.

Each Port has a Data Type which defines what Edges can be connected to it. Each Data Type has an associated color for identifying its type. Only one Edge can be connected to any input Port but multiple Edges can be connected to an output Port.

You can open a contextual Create Node Menu by dragging an Edge from a Port with left mouse button and releasing it in an empty area of the workspace.

Default Inputs: Each Input Port, a Port on the left side of a Node implying that it is for inputting data into the Node, has a Default Input. This appears as a small field connected to the Port when there is no Edge connected. This field will display an input for the ports Data Type unless the Port has a Port Binding.
If a Port does have a Port Binding the default input field may display a special field, such as a dropdown for selecting UV channels, or just a label to help you understand the intended input, such as coordinate space labels for geometry data.


An Edge defines a connection between two Ports. Edges define how data flows through the Shader node network. They can only be connected from an input Port to an output Port.

Each Edge has a Data Type which defines what Ports it can be connected to. Each Data Type has an associated color for identifying its type.

You can create a new Edge by clicking and dragging from a Port with the left mouse button. Edges can be deleted with Delete (Windows), Command + Backspace (OSX) or from the context menu by right clicking on the Node.

You can open a contextual Create Node Menu by dragging an Edge from a Port with the left mouse button and releasing it in an empty area of the workspace.

There are many available Nodes in Shader editor. For a full list of all available Nodes see the Node Library.

Make procedural shaders for Sculpt objects using Node graph editor by Alexn007.

Once you get your procedural shader, this is the command used to bake procedural to geometry:

Bake shader nodes: Bake procedural mesh deformers, materials from Node editor to the real color/displacement. It may be helpful for the export.

Toon Shaders: This video demonstrates the usage of the recently added Toon Shaders to 3DCoat's Sculpt workspace.

PBR Shaders: This video begins the demonstration of the new PBR Shader system in 3DCoat's Sculpt workspace, to include the new SKIN shader that renders true SSS (in the Render workspace).

The new PBR Shaders include a new skin shader that can render true SSS in the render workspace of 3DCoat. The tutorial walks through some of the many shader options in the panel, and shows how you can change default shaders or make your own shaders when working.

  • general/sculpt_workspace/shaders.txt
  • Last modified: 2022/11/28 00:24
  • by carlosan