Painting textures in blender

Painting textures in blender DEFAULT


A UV texture is a picture (image, sequence or movie) that is used to color the surface of a mesh. The UV texture is mapped to the mesh through one or more UV maps. There are three ways to establish the image used by the UV texture:

  1. Paint a flat image in the Image Editor onto the currently selected UV texture, using its UV map to transfer the colors to the faces of the mesh.

  2. Paint the mesh in the 3D Viewport, and let Blender use the currently selected UV map to update the UV texture (see Projection Painting).

  3. Use any image editing program to create an image. In the Image Editor, select the UV texture and load the image. Blender will then use that texture’s UV map to transfer the colors to the faces of the mesh.

Blender features a built-in paint mode called Texture Paint which is designed specifically to help you edit your UV textures and images quickly and easily in either the Image Editor or the 3D Viewport. Since a UV texture is just a special-purpose image, you can also use any external paint program, like GIMP or Krita.


Texture painting in Blender.¶

Since a mesh can have layers of UV textures, there may be many images that color the mesh. However, each UV texture only has one image.

Texture Paint works in both a 3D Viewport and the Image Editor. In the 3D Viewport in Texture Paint Mode, you paint directly on the mesh by projecting onto the UVs.


Memory Optimization

Texture Paint is fast and responsive when working in the 3D Viewport and when your image is sized as a square where the side lengths are a power of two, e.g. 256×256, 512×512, 1024×1024, etc.

Getting Started¶

The object to be painted on must first be unwrapped. UVs can be added traditionally, with standard Unwrapping Tools, or by adding Simple UVs in Texture Paint mode.


When no UV layers can be detected, Blender will display a warning message.

Once you have unwrapped your model to a UV map, you can begin the texturing process. To use texture paint you may do any of the following:

  • Activate the Texture Paint workspace. Here the 3D Viewport has the Texture Paint Mode enabled and the Image Editor is already switched to Paint mode.

  • In the 3D Viewport, select Texture Paint Mode from the mode selector in the header, and you can paint directly onto the mesh.

  • In the Image Editor, switch the mode to Paint (shown to the right).


Enabling Paint mode.¶

Once you enable Texture Painting, your mouse becomes a brush. As soon as you enable Texture Painting or switch to Texture Paint Mode, different tools become available in the Toolbar.

In the Image Editor, you paint on a flat canvas that is wrapped around the mesh using UV coordinates. Any changes made in the Image Editor show up immediately in the 3D Viewport, and vice versa. To work with the UV layout (for example, to move coordinates) you must go back to View mode.

A full complement of brushes and colors can be selected from the Sidebar region in the Image Editor. Brush changes made in either panel are immediately reflected in the other panel. However, the modified texture will not be saved automatically; you must explicitly do so by .

Texture Preview¶

If your texture is already used to color, bump map, displace, alpha-transparent, etc., a surface of a model in your scene (in other technical words, is mapped to some aspect of a texture via a texture channel using UV as a map input), you can see the effects of your painting in the context of your scene as you paint.

To do this, set up side-by-side areas, one Area in 3D Viewport set to Texture shading option, and in the second Area the Image Editor loaded with your image. Position the 3D Viewport to show the object that is UV-mapped to the loaded image. In the image to the right, the texture being painted is mapped to the “Normal” attribute, and is called “bump mapping”, where the grayscale image is used to make the flat surface appear bumpy. See Texture Mapping Output for more information on bump mapping.


If the header menu item Image has an asterisk next to it means that the image has been changed, but not saved. Use the option to save your work with a different name or overwrite the original image.


UV Textures

Since images used as UV textures are functionally different from other images, you should keep them in a directory separate from other images.

The image format for saving is independent of the format for rendering. The format for saving a UV image is selected in the header of the File Browser, and defaults to ().

If Packing is enabled in the File Browser’s header, or if you manually , saving your images to a separate file is not necessary.

Using an External Image Editor¶

If you use an external program to edit your UV texture, you must:

  1. Run that paint program (GIMP, Krita, etc.).

  2. Load the image or create a new one.

  3. Change the image.

  4. And re-save it within that program.

  5. Back in Blender, you reload the image in the Image Editor.

You want to use an external program if you have teams of people using different programs that are developing the UV textures, or if you want to apply any special effects that Texture Paint does not feature, or if you are much more familiar with your favorite paint program.

Known Limitations¶

UV Overlap¶

In general overlapping UVs are not supported (as with texture baking).

However, this is only a problem when a single brush stroke paints onto multiple faces that share a texture.

Perspective View & Faces Behind the View¶

When painting onto a face which is partially behind the view (in perspective mode), the face cannot be painted on. To avoid this, zoom out or use an orthographic viewport.

Perspective View & Low Poly¶

When painting onto a face in perspective mode onto a low-poly object with normals pointing away from the view, painting may fail; to workaround disable the Normal option in the paint panel.

Typically this happens when painting onto the side of a cube (see Bug report T34665).

© Copyright : This page is licensed under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 Int. License. Last updated on 10/14/2021.


This Blender Texture Paint Tutorial explains how to paint directly on objects. We will cover all kinds of texture paint techniques that you can use in Blender. Texture Painting is a process of making your own textures by using painting tools on the 2D image that is projected onto 3D objects. Usually texture painting is used to create a stylized look, especially looking good on the low-poly models. 

Texture painting also can be a way of creating details. Meaning that you can literally paint the details onto the object instead of making them out of geometry and wasting polygons on that.

blender texture paint details

Details painted on the object

Start Texture Painting

To start Texture Painting in Blender, first of all you need to create an object. A default Cube would be fine too. After that you need to create a UV map of the object. Default objects come with one ready, but more complex objects need one created. We have a good tutorial on how to do that and more – Blender UV Mapping Tutorial.

blender texture paint smart uv project

After a UV Map is created, we almost can start Texture Painting. A good idea would be to change to the “Texture Paint” Workspace from the top of the interface. It should look something like this:

blender texture paint workspace

On the left there is an Image Editor, then 3D Viewport opened in the Texture Paint mode. And the Properties Editor is opened on the Active Tool and Workspace settings, so we could control our brushes.

But before proceeding, you should notice that your object is pink and you can not draw anything on it, there is an error coming up.

blender texture paint missing materials

This means that there is no image to draw on. You need an image that would be connected to the object and that would save the information about your painting. 

Adding an image is easy. In the Properties editor at the top just click on the “+” button, where No texture is written. There would be a couple of options here, they are the kinds of textures that you can work on. Now we only need a Base Color, so choose that and in the appeared window you need to set a Name of the image, its resolution, color and other info.

blender texture paint create texture

After this is done, you can click OK and a new image would be generated. Then you can find the image and open it in the Image Editor to see all the changes in the real time.

blender texture paint image editor

And it is done. You are now ready to paint on your object whatever you like. Just start clicking on it with the brush active. 

blender texture paint

You will see that all the changes that you make to the object also would be visible in the Image Editor with the UV Map showing you on which part of the object the changes were made. 

You can paint on both the object itself and in the Image Editor on the image, following the UV map.

blender texture paint image editor

Texture Paint Tools

In the top left corner of the Blender Texture Paint mode in 3D Viewport you can see that there are a couple of different tools available. Let’s look into them a bit and list them:

blender texture paint tools
  • Draw tool. The main and most important one. Allows you to draw on the object using different colors and Blend modes. 
blender texture paint draw tool
  • Soften brush blurs the lines making them not as sharp. In the real world it is similar to when you use water to soften the lines of the paint.
blender texture paint soften
  • Smear tool makes it as if you would smear the paint with your finger. Making the colors that you smear – blend.
blender texture paint smear
  • Clone copies the last thing you drew with the Draw Tool and draws it again.
blender texture paint clone
  • Fill tool is quite understandable. Simply fills everything with a single color of your choosing. 
blender texture paint fill
  • Mask tool. If you have a Stencil Image created in the Masking settings that situated in the Header of the 3D Viewport – you can mask parts of the 3D object, so they would be forbidden to draw on.
blender texture paint mask

Texture Paint Brush Settings

When you selected any of the mentioned above brushes – in the Properties Editor there a lot of different new settings appear. We are not going to look at the all settings for the all brushes, but it will be nice to return and learn more about the main Draw brush.

blender texture paint settings

At the top there is a Material Mode setting and Texture creation section that we used to create an image to work on. 

Then is the Brushes section, but there are no selection of brushes available in the Blender at the moment.

blender texture paint brushes

The most important section is probably the Brush Settings. There you can change a Blend mode at which we are going to look later, the Radius and Strength of your brush and its colors between which you can swap and also save the colors in the Color Palette.

Then there some Advanced settings, settings for Textures and Masking. Also there you can find settings for Strokes. These settings will change how you apply paint to the object. For example make it dotted instead of constant or a straight line.

blender texture paint strokes

And finally at the bottom you can change the Falloff. This one is quite interesting, because the different falloffs can make a really big difference on the end result of the texture.

blender texture paint falloff

Another important setting here is the Symmetry. If it is turned on – it will mirror everything you do onto the other planes that you select. This is extremely helpful in the Texture Painting.

blender texture paint symmetry

Texture Paint Blend Options

Returning back to the Blend Options. 

blender texture paint blend modes

We will not go into each of them, because there are simply too many. Though let’s look at some of them that are most used and most important. The default one is Mix. And it does what it says – if two colors collide – they will be mixed. So for example if I paint red over blue – I will get a purple color.

blender texture paint mix blend

You should have noticed that there are kind of sections of the Blend modes. Meaning that some options are grouped together and separated from others.

After Mix goes the Darken group. They are different from Mix in the way that they don’t simply mix colors, but also darken them in different ways. So instead of the purple color you will receive some dark blues or really dark purples. 

blender texture paint blend darken

Next group is the opposite of previous ones. Instead of darkening – they lighten colors in different ways.

blender texture paint blend lighten

Group that we are going to look at now is really interesting and unusual. Just by itself it takes opposite colors from the ones I choose. Opposite meaning opposite on the color wheel, where you choose color. So my blue and red turn into yellow and cyan, which create green on the overlap:

blender texture paint blend difference

But the interesting part here is not in the colors that we get themselves. The trick here is to overlap it on the original color. So you can see that they interact differently this time. For example Subtract did subtract all of the color and replaced it with black. While Exclusion excluded everything but the selected color. 

blender texture paint blend exclusion

Second to last group has a bit of everything and they also interact with original colors. Hue creates a hue of the chosen color over another one and can’t be used on the Alpha. Saturation simply increases the saturation of the colors no matter what settings you choose. Color is similar to Hue and Value takes the brightness value that you are using and ignores other settings.

blender texture paint blend hue

The last two are simply to Erase and Add back Alpha.

blender texture paint blend erase alpha


There is a lot to Blender Texture Paint. And it is a really important skill if you are into making textures yourself, especially textures for games, as that is where this skill is used a lot. One of the main advantages of texture painting is that it allows you to create highly-detailed objects while maintaining low polygon count.

blender texture paint tutorial

Hand-painted shield

See also our other Blender Tutorials and top 3D Model Reviews.

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With texture painting on Blender, there are a few steps to take before pulling out that pain brush and painting your model.

Also, the complexity of texture painting will also depend on the complexity of your model. So in this mini guide I opt to demonstrate the steps to texture painting using a very basic model such as a cube.

How to physically paint over your Blender 3D model!

The assumption here is that if you are a decent to good modeller, then you likely know how to texture paint. In essence, this is a starting guide and using a basic model will likely get the message across which you can then replicate on more complex shapes and geometry.

So What Is Blender Texture Paint?

As the name suggests, Blender’s text paint is a built-in paint feature designed so that you can physically paint over your UV textures which then transposes onto your model. Alternatively, you can physically paint over your model which then transposes over your UV textures.

Of course there is an other option, where you can download your UV texture and edit that externally using photo editing tools like Photoshop or Gimp and then re-upload to your 3D model.

However, in this example we’ll be doing the drawing / editing directly on the model using Blender’s texture paint tool!

Let’s take a look at the steps we shall be covering

  • Step 1: UV unwrapping your model
  • Step 2: Accessing Blender’s texture painting panel
  • Step 3: Adding a base color (a little like a primer coat before painting)
  • Step 4: Choosing different brush and paint types
  • Step 5: Painting directly on your model

So let’s getting started with the step-by-step guide… remember we’ll be using a simple cube for demonstration purposes.

Step 1: UV Unwrapping Your Blender Model

Load up Blender and conveniently the default cube shows up.

Go into ‘Edit Mode’ by left clicking the cube and then choosing ‘Edit Mode’ at the top menu.

How to get your 3d Blender model into edit mode.

In the newer version of Blender (2.92.0) the cube will already be highlighted in orange. If not highlighted in orange, simply hit the ‘A’ key on the keyboard to highlight it.

What edit mode looks like on Blender and making sure all vertices are selected

Now we want to UV unwrap the model, which is essentially the process of turning your 3D model and flattening it into 2D sections.

To do this, while in ‘Edit Mode’ (and model highlighted in orange), simply hit ‘U’ on your keyboard and then click ‘Smart UV Project’ from the menu.

UV unwrapping your model

Step 2: Accessing Blender’s Texture Paint Panel

At this point it would appear nothing happened, but you will now need to click the ‘Texture Paint’ tab on the top menu to see the texture paint panel AND your model in flat pack!

Step 3: How To Add A Base Color (a little like a primer coat before painting)

Notice above how your model has turned purple?

That means it has no texture to paint on. So at it stands we cannot paint anything on our model until we add a base color.

To do this, click on the ‘texture draw’ tab, then the ‘+’ button and finally select ‘Base Color‘ from the drop down list!

Selecting a base color for your model before texture drawing on it

You’ve finally added a base color and your model should have turned grey!

Step 4: Choosing Different Brushes & Paint Types

What we are going to do is select a color from the color wheel (in this case blue) and then move our cursor (which is now a circle) over our model and start painting it but left clicking the mouse button and holding it down.

Paint and color controllers on Blender interface

Note: The cursor circle (aka brush stroke diameter) can be increased or decreased in size using ‘[‘ or ‘]’ keys on your keyboard.

Step 5: Seeing Your Paint On UV Unwrap

One thing your might notice is that while painting your model, you will not see the paint show up on your UV unwrap.

That’s because you need to change one setting and everything is sorted.

Simply click the arrow pointing downwards and select ‘Material Base Color’ from the drop down menu.

Note: Now while you continuing drawing on your model, you will see your UV unwrap update in real time

You are done!

Texture Paint Brushes

By default, there is only one brush type on Blender, which limits the type of stroke you may want to paint on your model. It looks like this:

It’s possible to customize your own paint brush stroke. However, why do that when you can use a photo editing tool such as GIMP that already has an array of predefined brushes at hand?

In Step 2, we have UV unwrapped the model. This essentially breaks the model down into a flat pack. In the case of a 3D cube, the model has been broken down into 6 squares and laid down flat.

Export the flat pack (unwrapped map) and then import into GIMP. From there simply paint your texture using the array of brushes available.

Once completed, import it back into Blender and all your work will reflect onto your 3D model.

Blender Texture Paint Not Working

A common complaint by Blender users is the texture paint feature often not working. As far as I can tell, there is no bug or issue with the feature itself and it’s often the user not following the instructions properly.

I believe the biggest culprit is forgetting to set the model to “Base Color”. Miss this step and you’ll not be able to paint on the model, giving the impression the feature is broken and not working.

For a better understanding, go to Step 3 in the instructions above.

Closing Thoughts On Texture Painting

This is yet an other powerful feature that Blender has on offer. And as you may have guessed, this skill is vitally important for the making of games in the gaming industry.

The primary advantage of texture paining is it allows for the creation of highly detailed models that are made up of low polygon count.

Essentially, the texture design can be detailed enough to hide the fact the model has a low polygon count. Low polygon count models allow for faster render times and nicer texture designs provide a better gaming experience.

✓ Is Blender good for texture painting?

Blender has a built-in feature called Texture Paint that allows you to either paint directly on your model, or on the UV unwrapped (flat pack) version of the model. Work on one and the other automatically updates!

However, photo-editing tools such as GIMP provide more flexibility when it comes to texture creations and have an abundance of brush strokes. Your flat pack version of your model can be important onto GIMP, worked on, and then reintroduced into Blender.

✓ Can I get free textures for Blender?

Sure, there are many places that provide free textures that can be used on your scene. Note, that these textures aren't just limited for Blender users, they can also be used for other 3D modelling packages. Here are some recommendations:



Texture Painting in Blender

Texture Painting in Blender

Introduction to Texture Painting in Blender

Blender is one of the free software that can be used to create 3D animation, motion graphics and computer graphics tools setup and attributions that can be used for all the project aspects and requirements. There are many attribution and work methods out of this today we are going to see texture painting work tool details, its performance, its performances and multiple uses of it. Texture Painting tool is slightly similar to ms paint options, and this color the created will be applied to models which will be already having default Lambert (default color to models which is gray). Texture painting is the traditional method of texturing that is available within Blender.

How to Use Texture Paint Mode in The Blender?

Texture paint is similar to the ms paint tool, where there is a slight difference in usage of the tool as this tool is integrated with Blender animation software. We can use texture painting too directly to paint on to the model option and also using the UV window painting option we shall see in detail below. In the initial process, we shall make the blender software available on our devices and then open it.

Step 1: Create a Model using Line, Polygon, and vertices and shapes with Blender and create the model as required before using the texture paint tool. Create a model on which it should be used. Here in the demo, we are going to taking a portrait of the paint frame. And we shall use the texture paint tool to paint pictures on its front side of the portrait.

Blender Transform mode

Step 2: Create 2 new screen windows by dragging the corners of the work screen. So now, in total, we shall have 3 prospective of the model to view at the same time. The 1st one remains in model mode, the 2nd one as UV mode and the 3rd one with Node editor mode, as shown below.

Node Editor Mode

Step 3: Change the render engine, which is default as Blender render to Cycles render. To perform the dynamics faster so then the color applied in UV will be reflected on the model, and if we apply color on the model, it quickly reflects on the UV texture map. The speediness also represents the System configuration so use a good performing system. For the best experience of making things awesome and visual realistic to view and experience.

render engine

Step 4: Enable the Use Nodes option available from the node-based editing tool at the left bottom corner. This creates a basic texture sink between both models and UV texture maps. Whenever the color is painted, it will be in the sink in both the places. We can make a few more edits using a Node-based editor; we shall see them in further conversations below.

node-based editing tool

Step 5: Other than default texture Lambert (File), we can create our own texture file with basic background color as a background. Use the material options on the right side of the application as shown in the below image and create a new file by clicking the + button on the material type. New material creates as “Material1” rename it by using mouse selection completely and type texture name wanted.

Texture Painting in Blending-1.5

Step 6: We shall unwrap the model using UV smart project option. To do this, we shall go to the model window. Change the mode of editing to object. Whenever we unwrap the model, we need to change the mode to object the complete objects unwrapped. Whereas if we unwrap in editing mode, only the selected face gets unwrapped, and the remaining face must be unwrapped again, which may cause overlap, or it takes time to unwrap each time and is not a best practice for unwrapping.

Do set mode to object and go to shading and UV’s from the right corner pane. Click on the UV mapping dropdown and select “Smart UV Project”, which helps to unfold the face smoothly and with few basic settings.

Texture Painting in Blending 1-6

After clicking on the smart UV Project, we see this window popping up where we can change a few settings such as Angle Limit, Island Margin, and Area Weight, etc. Now we shall talk about Island Margin, which helps in keeping margin distance between each face in UV while unwrapping.

Smart UV Project

After clicking on Ok, we can see all the faces in the UV map window got unwrapped along with the margin as planned.

Texture Painting in Blending 6-2

Step 7: Now, we shall work on the UV mapping pane. Click on the +New button to create a new default texture. If we already have a texture, we can add it using the open option beside it. After clicking +New, a new window opens showing the below details. Create a name for the texture; set Width and Height as requires; color can be selected if we want to give solid background color; we can go with it by selecting black. And click Ok to reflect it in on the UV mapping.

Texture Painting in Blending-1.7

Step 8: As we have seen, the new texture created is applied to UV, and now we shall save the texture in our PC in local drive space to directly load in the future, avoiding losing of files. Click on Image and select Save As Image, and the saving browser window opens to save the file as required and easy to access to load.

Texture Painting in Blending 1-8

Step 9: We can use the texture paint tool to directly paint on the model by changing the Object mode to Texture Paint mode, as shown below.

Texture Painting in Blending-1.9

Step 10: We can see the complete model turns to magenta as there is no texture assigned, so it’s transparent. To add texture saved earlier. Go to nodes window, click Add and click on Texture and select Image texture. A new Image texture window loads in the nodes pane.

Texture Painting in Blending-1.10

Step 11: Click on open and load the texture into the node and sync by joining them.

Texture Painting in Blending-1.11

Step 12: Set UV map also to paint mode from the bottom corner as shown. We can paint by UV map texture area and directly by painting on a model that will be in the sink as we mapped those using nodes. Use multiple colors and options of stroke, a radius of brushes, etc., to make your texture pain and model more attractive.

Texture Painting in Blending-1.12

We can even rotate UV’s based on Habits and practices for the demo painting we have done.

Texture Painting in Blending-1.13

Conclusion – Texture Painting in Blender

This helps to make our own creative things to attract and showcase in resume to grab opportunities in the interviews. This technique is used more in creating games, small education training animation videos, storytelling, etc., as they look more handmade and attract clients, and we can put out of box thoughts to add creativity with practice.

Recommended Articles

This is a guide to Texture Painting in Blender. Here we discuss the Introduction and how to use texture paint mode in a blender, along with its Steps. You may also look at the following articles to learn more-

  1. Steps to Apply Texture in 3Ds Max
  2. Top 9 Plugins in 3ds Max
  3. 8 Types of Adobe Illustrator Tools
  4. Blender Tools (Types and Features)
  5. Complete Guide to Types of Adobe
  6. How to Add Texture in Illustrator?

In painting blender textures


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jayanam writes:

In this tutorial I show how to use texture painting with Blender 3.0 and also mix shaders to paint with layers. I paint a texture first onto a wood handle (e.g. for an axe) and then add another principled shader with a mask to have a paint-layer above the texture.

About Author

My name is Matthias from jayanam and we are recording gamedev tutorials for our youtube channel. We are also creating models and games using Blender, Unity, Krita and other applications.


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