Join Christian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Overview of the texture paint mode and brushes, part of Creating a Game Character in Blender.
- At this point, we've attached all the parts of our creature together; we've applied the normal map, but there might be some reasons why you're not seeing your normal map as precisely as you want. There's two areas you want to check to make sure your normal map is showing. The first one is under Textures, the Texture tab, and make sure that Normal Map is checked under Image Sampling. The second one is over here, under your Viewport type, and we've been using Material for a while, but if you have Solid checked, you'll see your normal map doesn't show up.
So make sure that has Material checked on it. Next we need to get the model set up so that we can paint on it, and really, the only thing we need to do first is just set up a map so that there's something to paint on. The way we're going to do that is to come over here under our Texture tab. We're going to create a new slot, so click on a blank slot here and hit New. And then we're going to scroll down a little bit, and we're going to hit New here, and what that's going to do is give us a chance to name this diffuse, or color.
I'm going to change the size to 2048 and 2048. Make sure it's square. You can change the default color that you start with; Blender likes black as the default color. I know my minotaur's going to be kind of a dark brown, so I'm going to make it dark brown. And I'm going to leave the rest the same and hit Ok. Now that's going to make this big color swatch here, and if we click on this, it's going to apply it to our minotaur.
Next we want to change the light setting, so I'm going to click on Lamp, and my icon looks like this little curved piece with an arrow. I'm going to click on that because it's set to Hemi. You might have a different light set at this point; go ahead and click on Hemi and turn off Specular, and that's going to get rid of that specular highlight that I just find a little tough to paint around. We're almost set up. So next, we're going to come over to our Texture Paint.
We'll click on where it says Object Mode down here. Click on your model and go to Texture Paint. Now, if you don't see the Texture Paint menu, it should be over here on the left side of your screen. Some user viewports, or the resolution of your monitor, may squish it into that little plus sign, so just click that little plus and pull it out. And you should see something that looks like this. Now we can start painting on our model, but, by default, Blender thinks we want to paint on the top map over here under our textures first.
You see, our top map is our normal map, and we don't want to paint on that. So, I'm going to click on this Slots tab, and you'll see that that Normal is highlighted there; we want to click that Diffuse button and make sure that that is highlighted. Now we can go up to Tools, and if we click on our Brush settings, you'll see you have a few brushes to choose from. I'm going to be using these last three quite a bit, but for this, we'll just use the Texture Drop. And at this point, we should be able to draw directly onto our model.
I'm going to hit control-z and take that off. We'll add some color so that we can see it. You can change your brush size by hitting either f or shift-f, or you can change the settings right here under Radius. Or you could just use the brackets, just like Photoshop. I'll probably be jumping between those, and now we can paint right onto our model. You'll see that it's taking effect over here, but our image isn't saved yet.
So, I'm going to go ahead and show you a few more tools, and then I'll show you how to save that image. It's something that Blender does that's a little bit different. Alright, the rest of the tools that we'll look at, we've got some blend modes, so if I click, say, Add, I can choose different blend modes. We'll use the Darken. And you'll see that it's just changing the way that it adds, mixes the default. I'll probably leave it on Mix quite a bit. If I scroll down here, we get some Stroke settings. I'm going to be using the stroke method Space quite a bit, but I'll also switch to Airbrush.
I'd just recommend you try these out and see which ones you like better. The spacing is the amount of ink between the image that it's pasting down on your image. Usually a setting of, say, 10% is normal; you can bump that up to almost 1%, it just takes a little bit more processing power. We can hit Smooth Stroke if we want to drag a smooth stroke out, and Smooth Stroke is just going to make it so that there's this balancing tangent that follows back behind us so that it's nice and smooth.
I'll turn that off for a minute. And then we've got our brush types, which we saw in the sculpture brush, and that just allows us to change the tip of the brush that we're painting with. Also, Symmetry is down here at the bottom. I'm going to have Symmetry on for most of what I'm doing, so if I paint on one side, you can see we're painting on the other side. Now, if any element share UV space, so something like his eyes, it doesn't matter if Symmetry's on or off, it's still going to paint both, because they share the same UVs.
In my case, his eyes and his bracers do. You can see even with Symmetry off, his bracers are going to paint on both sides, but not his shoulder. And that's because they share the same UV space. Also, it projects as this sprays on, so you get these little spots that are skipping, you need to rotate around your mesh quite a bit, because it's projecting from the viewport right now. To save the image, Blender has this thing that it does not save the image for you, so even though this might look like what you want, and that looks like what we want, and even that little thumbnail looks like what we want, it's not saving.
To save it, we have to go to a different menu first, and so I'm going to split this window in two. I'm going to go to the UV Editor. Now, we've been doing this before when we set up our UVs. At this point, I need to tell Blender that we want this image in our UV map, and you'll see it looks like a flattened out version of this guy. There's his UVs with them all painted on. Then, we'll go to Image and Save As Image, and so, if I want to save this, it's going to save it as a PNG.
That's fine. I will save this in my Exercise files, and we'll save this as, say, Diffuse, and I'm just going to call this Diffuse1. Save As Image. And now, every time we make changes to this, we still have to save the image, so if I come over here and if I paint on him some more, I still need to come over here and hit either Image, Save All Images, that will work just fine, or if you don't want to have that window open, you can come up here to your Slots and hit Save All Images again, and if I hit that button, it actually now has saved the image.
As you're painting on your models. the painting part's relatively easy. You first have to set up your images so that you have something to paint on, a diffuse texture that's tagged as such that Blender knows to paint on, and you need to remember to save the maps, otherwise your maps will be gone. Blender doesn't save them in any way; it doesn't save them to another file or save them somewhere else. Your maps will just be gone, so you got to remember to save your maps.
- Creating a base mesh
- Building an armature
- Branding armature elements like ears and horns
- Sculpting the head and hands
- Creating accessories
- Creating a low-poly variation
- UV unwrapping the character
- Baking and applying normal maps
- Texture painting