3D Texture Painting in Autodesk Maya

When we are working with textures in Maya there may be times when we want to paint a texture directly onto our model.

This is best described with an example:

  1. Create a simple cube
  2. Decrease the height and increase the width and depth (Flat cube with equal width and depth)
  3. Increase the divisions of the object so that we have a very detailed top surface:
    – Click on the Cube input in the channel box and update the subdivisions as follows
    – Subdivisions Width: 60
    – Subdivisions Height: 5
    – Subdivisions Depth: 60
  4. Go to ‘Mesh Tools’ > ‘Sculpt Tool’, this will activate the tool
  5. From here you can double click on the tool icon that appears beneath the left hand tools (move, scale, rotate, select etc…)
  6. The ‘Tool Settings’ window will open
  7. From here you can adjust brush using the options provided
  8. Create a basic mountain shape on the object by clicking and dragging with the Sculpt tool activated
  9. In the top left dropdown, select ‘Rendering’ (Probably set to Modelling at this point)
  10. Open ‘Texturing’ > Click on the small square next to the ‘3D Paint Tool’ option
  11. This will open the 3D paint tool window
  12. Things to experiment with:
    – Brush tools:Should be familiar with these options
  13. You’ll notice that if you hover over the image you’ll get a red cross cursor, this means that you cant yet paint as we have not selected a texture map
  14. In the Tool Settings window, scroll down to the ‘File Textures’ panel
  15. Click on ‘Assign/Edit Textures’, this will open the ‘Assign/Edit file textures’ window
  16. In this window update the Size X and Y values (Worth experimenting with)
  17. Select the image format from the dropdown (Stick with JPEG for now)
  18. Click ‘Assign/Edit Textures’
  19. You’ll notice that the cursor when hovering over the object in the workspace changes to a plus, this means that you are able to texture paint
  20. In the ‘Tool Settings’ Menu, The ‘Flood’ section will colour the entire object with what you select
  21. The ‘Color’ section will indicate the colour of the brush
  22. Paint onto the object! Boom!!
  23. Save the scene, then opene 
  24. Go back to the workspace and select the entire object using the object select tool
  25. In the attribute editor find the lambert node (tab), you’ll notice that the colours channel is black
  26. Click on the Icon next to the Color channel under the ‘Common Material Attributes’ section (This icon is called ‘Input Connection’)
  27. This will take you to the material that you added, during the 3D texture painting
  28. You’ll notice that there is no ‘Image name’ in the ‘File Attributes’ section, this is because the data relating to the painted texture is only saved in our memory
  29. To fix this, got to ‘Texturing’ > Square button next to ‘3D Paint Tool’
  30. Scroll to the ‘File Textures’ section and click on ‘Save Textures’