Join Mikey Rogers for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Paint Through tool and Eraser tool, part of Learning MARI.
- Before we explore brushes on the other tools, let's first import some images into our scene and start projecting onto our model. Let's create a new layer. I went ahead and removed all the other layers, so we can start from scratch. If we go over to our Image Manager, there's a button right here that will allow us to import images, so we'll click that and browse to a spot on our disk where we saved our reference images. We use reference images for now and we'll go ahead and bring in our actual textures in another movie.
If you can go ahead and select the first one and then Shift + Select the last one, there's a bunch of different file types that MARI supports but the basic traditional ones, like JPEG, are perfectly fine. And that's what we'll be bringing in for now. These are just the reference images. Go ahead and click Open. And it kind of lays them out in our Image Manager here. What we can do is if you grab one of these images, you can sort of just drag it over here into the Viewport, right where our Paint Buffer is.
You'll see right away that our Paint Preview tool changed, from the clouds to the circle basic brush. If you look over here, it automatically brought us to our Paint Through tool. Like I mentioned in a previous movie, we have different brushes for different tool types. Again, if you go back to P, you'll see the Paint Through tool go away and we're back to our Paint Brush tool and the brush that's associated with it. The shortcut for the Paint Through tool is U.
You can go back between those two by hitting P and U. Another shortcut for accessing your brushes pretty quickly, without having to go back to your brush editor, if you hold K on the keyboard, it brings up a nice little pallet here. I'm just holding down K the entire time and you can go and click through on all these and you can browse your different brushes. We'll just pick a basic brush, maybe like this Linear. In order to manipulate the image in the Viewport you can hold Shift, to sort of pan it around.
You can see behind our image is our model. If you hold Command, it sort of rotates it around. If you hold Command and Shift at the same time, it's a Scale tool. You can drag left and right to scale the image up and down to suit your needs and use a combination of all those three Shift, Command, and Shift + Command and drag to manipulate it. If you go to your Tool Properties over here, or wherever that may be, and twirl this down, where it says Texture, you have this little thing called Preview Alpha.
That lets us get a little peek into what's behind the image. It doesn't affect the opacity of the paint that's going to be placed on the model. It's basically like the name implies. It's a Preview Alpha of our image, so we can maybe see a little bit more of what's going on behind the image. Sometimes it gets in the way, so we want to bring it down maybe to a little bit lower level. You can keep scrolling down here and you'll see things like your Image Scale. If we scale it up, we can see how that works in real time over here again.
You can even change things like make it negative and it'll flop the image one way, or you can make a negative here and flip it upside down or even type in specific values like a 1 here and a 2 there and now its height is going to be a different proportion from its width, based on the values that you set here. Maybe that's cool but it may not be very conducive to paint a skewed image, in this case. If you want to, you can also drag the edges of the image here to scale it back into place.
But again, it's now kind of ruined in a sense. You can click this Reset right here and it'll just put us back to 1 to 1. Let's scale this down and you'll notice something. If I want to go ahead and line this up and start painting down, again I don't recommend painting from your Reference Images but just as an example of how the Paint Through tool works. You can see how it lines up with, let's hit B on the keyboard to bake it down. You'll see how it lines up with the well but if I zoom all the way out, you'll see that the image size stays the same relative to our model.
If we zoom all the way in, its relative size to the model is different. If you're working fast and wanting to project stuff in different angles, that's going to be annoying to have to zoom in and then scale this back up or zoom out and scale this down. MARI has a really cool tool here called Pan Lock and Scale Lock. With those turned on, if you pan the model over here, it sticks. If you pan it over this way, it sticks with it. Up and down, it tries to follow it wherever it goes. Additionally, if you zoom out, the relative size of the image stays with how you are looking at the Viewport.
A rotation is another issue. You can't rotate a 2D image so it tries its best. It just sticks where it was initially. But, with zooming and panning, it's a pretty awesome tool to have on. I make sure I always have it on when I'm using the Paint Through tool. Just to finish it off, if you go through here you can see the other stuff, like Rotation. It's the same thing as what we were doing earlier. It's just another way of manipulating it. Here's Scale. It does pretty much the same thing as our image scale here.
And then, Translation you can fine-tune the translation. If you want to type in a specific number or something like that, you can do that. If you want to get stuff out of the Viewport, out of the Paint Buffer, you can hit the E key and that's your Eraser tool. And again, you can pick a different eraser brush. You can choose this one here and erase with that brush here, hit U again. You see how it keeps switching the brush type based on the tool that I have selected. If I hit P, it'll go back to my Paint tools. You can go back and forth using all these different shortcuts and having your brushes that you have set up for those tools already set up.
It lets you work dynamically and a little bit more your own style and pace. Erasing Paint out of the Paint Buffer only scratches the surface of what's possible in the Paint Buffer manipulation. In the next movie, we'll discover some really powerful tools that allow us to transform the paint in some really cool ways.
This course will guide members through the ins and outs of this essential visual effects tool. Author Mikey Rogers, a CG artist who has worked on eye-catching spots for Nike, Google, and Sony, covers everything from initial model import and scene setup to channel and layer creation and export. He also touches on shader creation inside of MARI, which allows you to view your work in a physically accurate environment using HDR lights. The course closes with a series of projects that demonstrate real-world workflows for painting different wood and stone textures.
- Adjusting the cache and other MARI settings for best performance
- Working with adjustment and procedural layers
- Using and customizing the default MARI brushes
- Transforming and warping the paint buffer
- Using different projection modes
- Dynamic masking
- Making a tileable texture
- Repurposing diffuse maps
- Painting wood and stone
- Exporting channels
- Saving out and importing MARI archives