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Starting with the Paint Setup Wizard

From: CINEMA 4D Essentials 4: Materials, Texturing, and Lights

Video: Starting with the Paint Setup Wizard

The first step in the process of working with BodyPaint is to optimize the UV mesh of the object you want to paint on. This can be a very time-consuming process, but fortunately, BodyPaint has a great Paint Setup Wizard that will automate a lot of the process for you and give you pretty decent results. I've got the Spacedude character here and I want to optimize his mesh and create materials that I can paint on. Now, before I run the Paint Setup Wizard, the first thing I want to do is to create a new material that's going to hold the textures that are created when I actually execute the Paint Setup Wizard.

Starting with the Paint Setup Wizard

The first step in the process of working with BodyPaint is to optimize the UV mesh of the object you want to paint on. This can be a very time-consuming process, but fortunately, BodyPaint has a great Paint Setup Wizard that will automate a lot of the process for you and give you pretty decent results. I've got the Spacedude character here and I want to optimize his mesh and create materials that I can paint on. Now, before I run the Paint Setup Wizard, the first thing I want to do is to create a new material that's going to hold the textures that are created when I actually execute the Paint Setup Wizard.

So in the Material Manager, I'm going to double-click to make a new material, and let's call this material Spacedude. Let's apply the Spacedude material to the Spacedude mesh. Now that we have our material applied, let's switch our layout over to BodyPaint 3D Paint. Now, if you're already in the BodyPaint 3D Paint layout, then you don't need to do this step, but I'm going to switch over to that layout. Now that I'm in the BodyPaint layout, there is this great button right here, the Paint Setup Wizard. Let's go ahead and click that. We're presented with a dialog box, and it's asking us, what objects and materials would we like to work on? You can see it's listed out all of the objects.

And if I uncheck one, then it unchecks all of them. So, I'll leave the Spacedude Mesh checked. And then in the Materials, you can see, there's my Spacedude material checked as well. If you have multiple object hierarchies in your scene, then you're going to want to turn off the ones you don't want to paint on and only create materials for the ones that you want to. Now, because I only have the Spacedude in here, I can leave everything checked. Now that I've got all my checkboxes taken care of, I'll hit the Next button, and this is going to ask me what type of UV Setup I'd like. For most of the things that I do, Optimal Cubic Mapping is just fine, so I'm going to leave those defaults alone. Let's hit Next.

Now it's asking me, what material channels would I like to create, and how large would I like to create them? I'm going to leave it on Color for now, and I'll leave the color gray. If I click on this swatch, I can be presented with a base color to make everything, and I'll leave it on gray for now, and I'll hit OK. For now, I'm just going to create the color channel, but just know that I could come back and create more channels anytime I wanted. You're not limited to just working with color if all you created was color here. Over on the right-hand side of the window, it is asking me, how large would I like to make my texture? BodyPaint is a bitmap application, just like Photoshop.

You're going to be creating a TIF file from the end of this process, and that TIF file is resolution-dependent. The best advice I can give you is to create the texture as large as you can stand, based on the resolution that your finished output is going to be. The last thing you want to do is to make your material too small. It's much better to have too much resolution than too little. For the purposes of today, I'm going to create a TIF that's going to be a maximum width or height of 3,000 pixels. Once I click Finish, the Paint Setup Wizard quickly runs through its process and presents me with this dialog box, giving me a summary of what it did.

You can see it created a texture called Spacedude, Color, and it's 2741 x 3000. There's that maximum value. Now, I'll hit Close, and here I am, in my document. Now, what has actually happened here? What's actually happened is that in the materials--let's go to the Material Manager here, and click on the materials to look at the Material options. In the Color channel of this material, Spacedude, it's created the Spacedude_Color.tif. Now that I've run the wizard, this Spacedude_Color.tif file is being stored in memory.

Before we do anything else, we need to save our document. I'm going to go to the File menu and do a Save As, and then I'll navigate to the Wizard subfolder in the exercise files, and I'm going to call this one wizard-WORKING and hit Save. And it's going to ask me, do you want to save the changes to the textures as well? And I say yes, I do. And now my images are saved. Now, let's hide CINEMA 4D and take a look at what happened out in the Finder.

Now, here I am in the exercise files folder, and you can see I've got, in my Wizard subfolder, there is my Spacedude_Color.tif file that got saved out. That wasn't there until I just saved. So, let's move back to CINEMA 4D. Now, the next thing we want to do is take a look at the UV mesh. Up here in the interface is the Texture tab. Let's click on that. And we've got this large gray area here. What we want to do is first select the material in the Material Manager and then go to the UV Mesh menu and tell it to show UV mesh.

When we do that, we see some lines that correspond to the polygons on the surface of our object. And you can see they've been arranged in a very specific way. And this enables us to paint on our model. Now, it's left me with the Brush tool active. I can actually click and paint anywhere in this layer, and I just drew a line across my object, and look what happened. In the Editor window, you can see that I actually drew a line across my object here too. Any painting that I make in this window here shows up on my model in the Texture window as well.

You can see, there are those white lines that I painted. Now, in the Layers palette, I've been painting on the background. I'm going to undo those changes, Undo, and Command+Z or Ctrl+Z until we get rid of all that stuff. So you can see the Paint Setup Wizard has done a pretty decent job of arranging the UVs on our object. If I were doing a super-high resolution mesh that was going to be for film quality, I would normally want to do the layouts myself manually. But for most purposes, especially in motion graphics, the UV Paint Setup Wizard will give you a great result.

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