Painting texture directly vs. uv mapping

Community Forums/Developer Stations/Painting texture directly vs. uv mapping

Happy Sammy(Posted 2007) [#1]
Hi all,

Which method is better and faster?
Painting texture directly (eg.Tattoo) or uv mapping (eg. unwrap3d)

Thanks in advance.

taumel(Posted 2007) [#2]
Depends on what you're after, the model and the map. Painting on a uv-map, after you unwrapped it, can be easier for more accurate stuff or accessing certain areas of a model better. Painting on the model on the other side is very intuitive like sculpting as you access the areas you're seeing. Mind if i say that both ways work perfectly together in Modo... :O)

Pongo(Posted 2007) [#3]
Painting the texture and mapping UV's are two completely different things, so there is no way to compare them. They work in conjunction with each other.

Some points.
When you "paint" in a 3d program you are simply painting the texture on the surface of the object, but you still need to have the UV's in place (some 3d paint programs will do this automatically,...see comments below) I like to paint in 3d for organic things, or to block out major details, and then follow up with the details in a more traditional 2d paint.

UV layout is an art in itself. If you have poorly done UV maps, your texture (however amazing) will be stretched and/or distorted, and you will not be using the texture pixels optimally.

Say for example you want to paint a character's face. The usual method would be to unwrap the UV map and flatten it out. From there the texture could be painted in Photoshop or in a 3d paint program using those UV coordinates. Another option would be to load the 3d model with no UV coordinates into a 3d paint program. I use ZBrush, so I will refer to that here. If you do not have UV coordinates, ZBrush will create them for you by mapping every individual polygon and saving this into a new UV layout. This works fine as long as you are painting in 3d, but if you need to retouch later in 2d it can be a problem.

Lets say that I need to retouch the character and add a scar on the right cheek. If I load the texture in photoshop with the traditionally flattened UVs, I can paint the scar right in. The texture that was created automatically poly by poly, however, will look all scrambled and will be difficult to edit. You could still load it back into the 3d program to edit it normally.

This is why I prefer to have the best of both worlds. Properly unwrap your model, and paint in 2d/3d, whatever works best for the occasion.

Beaker(Posted 2007) [#4]
Tattoo requires you to UV map your model beforehand. I think there may be other much more expensive 3D paint apps that don't require UV mapping (Zbrush?).

Reactor(Posted 2007) [#5]
You can colourise a mesh in Zbrush and then use those colourised verticies to 'stamp' onto a texture, but your model will still need UVs, whether Zbrush's facet-like GUVs, or those made in a UV layout program. Zbrush's mapping methods (ala AUV/GUV) won't let you edit the texture afterwards in a image editing program (or at least, you wouldn't want to try) but the method is much faster. Also, you can transfer the texture back to colourise your model, make changes, and make another texture, so that's good.

Tattoo is horrible. I wouldn't look at it more than once, and only once if you have to. Save your pennies and go for Modo instead, if Zbrush's workflow isn't your cup of tea.

Pete Carter(Posted 2007) [#6]
Bodypaints one of the better programs for painting on to a mesh its also easy to do your uvs inside the program, plus its free with cinema4d now.

The main problem is getting sharp edges when drawing. its much easyer to draw lines on a flat texture and then tweak the uvs.

Beaker(Posted 2007) [#7]
Tattoo is fine, particularly considering it is free!

TeraBit(Posted 2007) [#8]
Tattoo is really showing its age now. It was fine at the time but is now getting a bit long in the tooth (>4 years old). As Beaker says it's pretty much free to use and can help in getting the basic details blocked out before refinement in a 'proper' 2D art package.

I always maintained that I would do a major update to Tattoo in Max3D (Decorator too actually!), but well, there you go. Things haven't gone the route I expected them to. :/

Reactor(Posted 2007) [#9]
Sorry TeraBit... I didn't realise you were the man behind the program. Still, I really, really hated using it. And, at that time I was willing to give anything a go to get 3D paint happening! It was mostly a UI issue. It put files all over my harddrive without asking me, and was just plain frustrating to use.

Nice to know it's free for those who need it.

TeraBit(Posted 2007) [#10]
Hi Reactor,

It put files all over my harddrive without asking me, and was just plain frustrating to use.

Ooer, that's worrying. Did you download it from my site?

I just tested the install and it all sits in one directory (a couple of subdirs for the examples etc.), no external stuff at all! It doesn't even write to the registry.

The UI was / is a problem, since Blitz3D had no native GUI.

Note: My webhosting provider wnet down recently and the whole shemozzle got corrupted when they tried to restore. If anyone downloaded Tattoo in the last few weeks they likely got a version that wouldn't run O.o

I've updated the archive now with the proper version.

Reactor(Posted 2007) [#11]
I recall telling it which directory to place the texture into, and somehow wound up with a ton of images littering my desktop. Ah well. Back when I played with it there seemed to be this huge gulf between painting apps. There was Tattoo for cheap (along with a couple of others which were okay for blocking colour in and not much else), and then there were BodyPaint and Deep Paint 3D, which cost the earth. It was frustrating at the time not having a half-decent middle ground.

chwaga(Posted 2007) [#12]
Is tatoo capable of painting an IMAGE onto someone as if it were paint?

chwaga(Posted 2007) [#13]
ooh, found out how, awesome! Tatoo just went up 20 levels in my self-conscious ranking!

however, the view navigation methods are annoying.

TeraBit(Posted 2007) [#14]
however, the view navigation methods are annoying.

Yeah, next one will be better 8D

chwaga(Posted 2007) [#15]
how does tatoo compare to 3d-brush?

TeraBit(Posted 2007) [#16]
how does tatoo compare to 3d-brush?

Well... it's cheaper 8D

3D Brush looks like it's aiming at snapping more at Z-Brush's customers than a simple texture workflow.

It'd be like comparing Helicopters and Bicycles, both forms of transport, but aimed at different people. THe main difference is one costs a fortune but doesn't require you to peddle so hard.