Instead of resorting to more conventional programs such as Photoshop or Substance Painter for texturing 3D models, we can take full advantage of the capabilities of Blender, a software that is often overlooked in this context. Although there are more common programs, Blender offers significant potential without the need to constantly export and import between different platforms.

This tool allows us to create textures directly in the same program where we have designed our 3D object or character. Although less well known for this function, Blender provides a comprehensive solution that can simplify and streamline the texturing process, avoiding the need to rely on multiple programs to complete the job.

Let’s paint! Start painting over our 3D models in Blender

Let’s start the texturing process in Blender. To do this, the first thing to do is to open the program. Personally, I’m going to use the cube that is generated by default when Blender starts, but you can choose to load any previous project or start one from scratch to practice texturing in Blender.

Once the program is open, we will notice that at the top of the interface there are several tabs. Among these tabs, we find one called ‘Texture Paint’. Left-clicking on this tab will take you to the texturing view. Notice how the screen is split in two: now we can see the UVs of the object on the left side and the 3D view on the right side.

Create base material and texturise!

Within the ‘Texture Paint’ tab, when we try to use the brush tool located on the left side of the 3D view, we can notice that nothing happens. This is because we have not yet assigned a base colour material to our 3D model. To do this, let’s go to the right side of the program, just below the list of elements in our scene, we will find a ‘+’ icon. By clicking on this icon, we can add materials so that we can start painting on our model. After doing so, we confirm with ‘Ok’. Once this step is completed, we will see the material added to the list, allowing us to select the brush tool. As we move the brush over the model, we will notice that we can now visualise what we are painting.

To choose the colour, we can simply do so from the section where we adjust the brush size, either at the top of the program or in the right section of the interface, just below the place where we created the material for our 3D object.

Important step: Brush settings in Blender

Inside Blender while texturing, we can change the brush settings. If we look at the top of the Blender program, we will see from the left side, how is the brush we are using, the colour of the brush, the radius and the hardness of the brush. With the radius, we can make the brush bigger or smaller, while with the hardness, we can make it paint more or less. 

This setting is ideal to play it before starting to paint on our 3D model, because we can leave it exactly as we want and so it looks much better on the model that we are doing the texturing. This configuration can also be found in the menu on the right side, but it is more complicated to see with the naked eye, so in general it is more common to use the settings that we find at the top of the Blender interface.

Other texturing tools in Blender

Below the brush, we find other tools that can be very useful when creating our texturing in Blender on our 3D model. If we go down below the brush in order we find the following tools:

Paint pot: This tool is a classic tool that we can find in all the programmes that allow us to make certain texture changes. What it does is to place a solid colour on the whole 3D model that we want.

As you can see, the task of painting on a 3D model in Blender is quite simple. Although the result may not be as precise as using a specialised program such as Substance Painter, it offers a viable solution for a variety of needs and projects.

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