Paint Tools


All of the Paint Room Tools (where applicable, the measure tool for example, does not) respect Alphas, Materials, Stencils, Strips and Stroke Modes. Using a combination of these functions you can paint specifically when and where needed. You can also store any combination of these functions with one of the paint tools as a preset for use later, or to share with your team, or anyone else. When using a Material, it is worth noting that the color of the Material will be modulated by the current color in use. If you wish to not modify the Material color, use pure white (255,255,255/fff) to paint.

Nearly all of these tools can also paint Color,  Spec and Depth at the same time, by toggling the respective Icon for each of those paint channels on the Top Bar. You can also perform a blurring or smoothing, with some of the tools below (Brush, Pencil,  Airbrush, etc.), on all of these channels by holding and stroking with SHIFT+LMB.

Not only can you paint on your Paint Object directly in the 3D Viewport, you can also paint directly on the UV Map in the Texture UV Editor, using almost all of the Paint Room tools, Alphas, Materials, Stencils,  Strips and Stroke Modes (Brush Components).

Brush Brush Tool

The de-facto painting tool in 3DCoat. This is a very versatile tool for stroking on your Paint Objects. Paints directly to pixels of the UV Map with a nice smoothing falloff along the edge of the stroke. Using various Brush Components to modify how this tool works for more advanced painting effects.

Pencil Pencil Tool

Similar to the Brush Tool, except this tool paints every pixel in the brush, respecting all Brush Components except for Alphas. Great for painting Color Masks for programs such as dDo, or just getting precise pixel placement details.

Airbrush Airbrush Tool

Paints similar to the Brush Tool, except with a build up effect while stroking, akin to a real Airbrush. Respects all Brush Components.

Color Ops Color Operations Tool

Allows you to use an Airbrush-like stroking tool to desaturate, saturate, darken, lighten, sharpen, smooth, and change the hue of the colors under your brush.

Height Adjustments Height Adjust Tool

Increase or decrease the height/depth value of the current paint layer, under your brush.

Shift Shift Tool

Smudge, Pinch or Expand the paint details under your brush. Degree will change the amount that each of these operations is performed at.

Clone Clone Tool

Allows you to specify an area to clone and paint across your Paint Object. Hold CTRL then LMB click where you want your Clone Location’s center to be. The Clone Location will follow your strokes, based from the center of your original Clone Location. Let’s look at the different modes for this tool.

  • Translation: Allows you to quickly clone areas by following your exact strokes, just on the other side of the Clone Location.
  • Mirroring: Hold CTRL then LMB click where you want your Clone Location’s center to be, this tool will then create a virtual symmetry plane based on the Clone Location center.
  • Inversion: Inverts your movements across the Clone Location center. You move up, the Clone moves down. You move left, the Clone moves right.
  • Clone Sector: Specify how many radial copies around the Clone Location center and paint as many clones around it.
  • Symmetry Copy: Symmetry Mode must be active for this mode to work. Copies painted pixels from one side of the Paint Object to the other. Make your strokes on the side that you want to copy to, not copy from.
  • Copy Using Brush: Upon activating this mode, 3DCoat will ask you to define “red” and “blue” polygons for topological symmetry. Once defined you can then copy red to blue, blue to red, flip red and blue to be the opposite color, copy Freeze Masks and Save/Load the marked polygons for red and blue respectively.

Transform Copy Transform/Copy Tool

Allows you to use a Lasso Stroke Mode to select an area of the Paint Object, that is viewport based. Once the selection is made it is automatically copied and remains viewport relative, but can be skewed by LMB dragging on each of the vertices of the floating selection. To reapply the copied area to another location, navigate in the 3D Viewport, align the copied selection to where you want it and press ENTER to apply it. Copies Depth, Color and Spec. Let’s look at some of the other options for this tool.

  • Depth/Opacity/Glossiness Modulator: Specify a percentage of the copied value to be pasted. 1.0 is 100%, 0 is none.
  • Erase Old Position: Deletes the copied area, but keeps it as a floating, copied selection.
  • Copy Visible Layers: Copies all visible layers, instead of just the selected layer.
  • Paste Merged: If multiple layers were copied, turning this on will merge and paste all of the copied pixels to the selected layer. If it is not turned on, each copied layer, will be re-pasted to the same layer it was copied from.
  • Export/Import: Saves the copied selection to disk.
  • Edit: Allows you to edit the copied selection as an image in your preferred image editor.
  • Save/Load: Saves/Loads the copied selection and control vertices as a preset to disk.

Copy Paste Copy/Paste Tool

Allows you to copy and paste painted areas. Press CTRL+C to copy parts of a surface to the clipboard. Place the cursor where you want the paste to occur, then press CTRL+V to paste the contents of the clipboard there. If the cursor is not over an object, the copy is pasted to its original location. Images in the clipboard can be edited with the external graphics editor, then placed back to the clipboard and pasted onto the surface of the object.
The copy command only records the currently enabled channels. In this way you can copy and edit any of channels – depth, Glossiness or color. Press CTRL+SHIFT+C to add the copy as a new alpha. Press CTRL+SHIFT+V to mirror the paste. Please note that copying and pasting 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.

Spline Paint Spline Paint Tool

Use a spline to paint with. Use the LMB to place new vertices or add between existing vertices, of the spline. RMB on vertices to change their hardness. LMB+Drag to move existing vertices. RMB+Drag to change the size of vertices.

You can also do a bit more than just paint with this tool. You can also use it to Erase, Freeze, Make Planar ( flatten areas under the spline) and set the absolute height of the area of the stroke, ignoring stylus pressure. Let’s look at some of the other options.

  • Ignore Back Faces: When on, ignores all back facing polygons. When off, will projection paint on all polygons.
  • Closed Curve: Closes each end of the curve by connecting the beginning with the end.
  • Use Spacing: Use Spacing from the Brush Options panel to create different types of effects, using brush Alphas along the spline.
  • Curve Profile: A number of different preset shapes of the curve.
  • Profile Parameter: Adjust the end points of the curve for the Sharp and Obtuse Curve Profiles.
  • Depth/Color Modulator: Applies depth and color as a percentage of the Depth and Color Opacity values. 1.0 is 100%, 0 is none.
  • Width Modulator: Applies the spline at a percentage of the current vertex size for each vertex in the spline.
  • To Circle: Tries to create a circle with the vertices in the spline that you currently have.
  • To Line: Creates a straight line between the first and last vertices of the spline.
  • Subdivide: Subdivides the amount of vertices of the spline. Makes it easier to conform the spline to the surface if the vertices are far apart from each other.
  • Equalize: Tries to smooth the distance between vertices.
  • Toggle Hardness: Toggles the state of the vertex you have selected, between hard and interpolated. Same as RMB clicking on a vertex.
  • Store/Restore: Allows you to save/load a preset to disk for the spline profile and it’s location in world space for later use.

Spline Text Spline Text Tool

This tool is identical to the Spline Paint Tool, but it additionally uses text that you may specify in the Tool Options panel, to paint with. The only additional option this tool has over the Spline paint tool, is that you can flip the direction of the text with the Flip Text toggle.

Spline Image Spline Image Tool

This tool is identical to the Spline Paint Tool, but allows you to paint with an image along the spline. You can specify an image for depth, color and Glossiness. Noe that the more vertices you add to the spline, the larger the image will become. You can adjust this by adding more tiles to the spline with the Number of Tiles parameter mentioned below, or by adjusting the Width Modulator for the single image.Additional parameters for this tool are:

  • Number of Tiles: Specify how many times the image is duplicated along the spline.
  • Falloff: Alpha transparency falloff that is along the width of the spline.
  • Extrusion: Additional extrusion along the spline, but does not respect the image chosen for depth for this tool. Only uses the width of the spline to determine this extrusion.

Eraser Eraser Tool

Erases the active channels when stroked. You can erase any channel independently from any other, simply toggle the channel you want to erase to be on, and off for the channels you don’t want to erase. Great way to “dirty things up”, or make them appear worn too, by erase-painting areas.

Hide Polys Hide Poly Tool

Hides polygons that you stroke over. Helpful if you need to see areas within that might be under another polygon.

Freeze Freeze Tool

Freeze areas so that they cannot be painted on. Frozen areas can also be saved/loaded and more from the Freeze Menu.

Fill Fill Tool

Allows you to fill areas with a color, or a pattern. The areas can be entire Paint Layers, Surface Materials or Paint Objects. You can also use a color tolerance  to limit the fill area. Press ENTER or by clicking one of the respective area fills, to apply the fill. Let’s look at some of the other parameters.

  • Fill w/ Freeze: Instead of filling with color, depth and spec, it will fill with the Freeze tool, and allowing large areas to be frozen. By using color tolerance with this function, you can also select areas that might be hard to hand paint.
  • Fill w/ Smooth: Instead of filling with color, depth and spec, it will smooth the bordering pixels of painted areas.
  • Gradient Mode: Allows you to paint with a graded fill. You can use Linear or Spherical gradients. When on, there are further options for this mode:
    • Gradient Pick Points: Select the start and end points of the gradient.
  • Use w/ Other Tools: Allows you to use the the Fill tool parameters with other tools, such as the Brush, Pencil and Airbrush tools. Very useful for painting noise and other similar effects.
  • Pattern Type: Specify an image or procedural algorithm to generate noise for patterns that will modulate the fill. Very good for filling areas quickly with patterns. Further options for Pattern Types are:
    • Pattern Depth/Pattern Color/Pattern Spec.: Toggles each mode on or off respectively.
    • Depth Amount: The amount of depth to fill with.
    • Extrusion: Additional extrusion, but does not respect the image or procedural chosen, rather it raises or lowers the entire filled area.
    • Color Preference: Bias from Convexity Color or to Concavity Color. Lower values are bias toward convex, higher values toward concave.
    • Convexity/Concavity Opacity: Adjusts the opacity of the color for the respective parameter.
    • Convexity/Concavity Color: Allows you to specify a color for the respective parameter.
    • Convexity/Concavity Spec.: Allows you to specify a  amount for the respective color.
    • Save/Load: Save and load presets for the Fill tool.

Magic Wand Magic Wand Tool

A hybrid tool, mixed between the Freeze and Fill tools. This is basically a Freeze Filling tool, that you can use color tolerance and control the amount of freezing with.

Blend Modes Sampler Tool

Samples all channels that are active, when clicked. Will sample depth, color and Glossiness. Hover your brush and press the “V” key to activate as well.

Normal Flatten Normal Flatten Tool

Flattens the normals under the brush. Larger brushes will flatten larger areas.

Topological Symmetry Topological Symmetry Tool

Upon activating this tool, 3DCoat will ask you to define “red” and “blue” polygons for topological symmetry. Once defined you can then copy any painting done on red to blue, or blue to red, you can also flip any painting from the red section to blue, and vice versa. Copy Freeze Masks and Save/Load the marked polygons for red and blue respectively.

Measure Measure Distance Tool

Measure the distance between two points, with a stroke. Click and holding with the LMB you can measure from the beginning to the end of your stroke allowing you to more accurately sculpt to scale. Releasing your click will deactivate the measuring tool.

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