Blender Texture Painting – Handpainting your Scene

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Sophie Rose Stübinger shows us how she took her 2D painting skills and translated them into Blender Texture Painting.

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About the Artist:

My name is Sophie Rose Stübinger and I’m a self-taught 2D artist from Germany. 

I’ve been diving deeper and deeper into the world of 3D lately, I’m determined to gain more experience in the area of Blender Texture Painting.

I think 3D art is the perfect way to not only recreate what you’re passionate about, but also to get a better grasp of different aspects of the art world, which can be transferred back to 2D paintings later on as well. 

The relationship I have with painting and drawing has always been quite strong and I’ve often found myself scribbling down little sketches, experimenting with painting on canvases etc. 

It was about three years ago when I discovered my love for digital painting and have been exploring it ever since then. 

Next to my passion for art, is my passion for games. 
What I find the most intriguing about games is their ability to create a completely new world which you as the player are part of.

Once I realized I can combine my two passions by starting a career in the game industry, I focused more and more on Game Art and decided to go that way. 

Currently, I’m about to attend the Cologne Game Lab university to study Digital Games with a specialization in Game Art. 

 
Social Media Links: 

References

I think there is nothing more inspiring than looking at the work of other artists and I do a fair amount of that on a daily basis. 

No matter whether it is on Artstation, Instagram or Sketchfab, there is no shortage of places to look for inspiration.

There are so many astonishingly talented people out there you can learn from. 

To understand how a painting or a 3D model is made, or why it looks the way it does helps more than trying to paint something you don’t have a grasp on yet. 

When I started to get deeper into 3D modeling, I spent a lot of time simply analyzing other people’s 3D models and I think it helped me a lot to get started. 

Howsoever, when I was browsing on Artstation, I came across the portfolio of Jimmy Malachier who is a 3D environment artist at Ubisoft and I couldn’t help but fall in love with one of his 2D paintings. (See below)

 

The colour palette, the mood and the shapes as well the composition really magnetized me and I just had to try and make a 3D model of it.

Originally, I didn’t plan on publishing it. I wanted to work on it as a personal project in order to practice. 

The more I worked on it, the more I fell in love with it though, and after Jimmy gave me the permission to publish it, I decided to share it with other people. 

Modeling in Blender

As for the modeling part of my workflow, I modeled all of the assets in Blender, and used a standard modeling process starting from a cube.

 After blocking out the main shapes, I focused on matching their size and position to the concept. 

While doing so, I always have the original image open to get the best possible result and be as close to the original as possible. 

Once I was done with the basic blockout shapes I went on by focusing on details such as the handle of the left sword or the band around the middle sword’s handle.

Blender Painting and Texturing

Texturing takes most of the time because I hand paint all of my textures. 

It gives the 3D model a personal touch, and I can still practice my digital painting.

Usually, I edit the textures externally because sometimes, I like to experiment with the different types of brushes and with the filters that Photoshop CS6 provides. 

Even though I realized that a flat round brush is all you need most of the times, it has become somewhat of a habit to simply do the textures in Photoshop because I feel the most comfortable with it, considering that I’ve used that program for quite some years now. 

Also, I feel I have more control with Photoshop. 

As for the texture painting process, I block out the main colors of all objects with Blender’s Texture Paint and add some brighter color to define the light. 

The same is done with a darker color for the shadows. After that I switch over to Photoshop and do the rest of the hand painting there. 

Still, the final textures are done in Blender because I have a better look at how the object actually looks like when textured and I might be in need to adjust some of it before rendering.

For the 3D model of Jimmy Malachier’s concept, I wanted to keep the textures quite rough and not very detailed. 

As mentioned above, the reason I did this 3D model was because I liked the simplicity, the mood and the colors of the painting as well as the shapes of the objects. 

Therefore, I wanted to stick to his concept as closely as possible. Below is an example of how one of the swords was done.

At first I blocked out the main colors in Blender, and after I was done defining the necessary lights and shadows to give me some kind of guideline, I moved on by switching over to Photoshop to focus on a broader color palette and some rough details. 

I often saved the texture and checked it in Blender to stick to the original concept of the 3D model. 

Even though it’s quite time-consuming, I considered it was the best way to keep the accuracy still in place. 

The last step was to add some transparent images to make it appear a little more lively.

To do that, I simply imported images as planes in Blender and adjusted their size and position to fit into the scenery. 

Generally, I really enjoy the texturing part of the process because it kind of brings the 3D model to life. 
 

Rendering

The rendering was probably the easiest part of the process because there weren’t a lot of things I did once I was done with the modeling and texturing part. 

Usually, I use Sketchfab to render and publish my 3D models because I think it’s the one that suits me the best at the time being. 

Considering that I’m in the early stages of my adventure with 3D modeling, I feel like Sketchfab gives me a great opportunity to try out different things and experiment. 

For this one, I merely used the Post Processing Filters by turning on the SSAO and tweaking the settings until I was happy. 

Generally, I also like to use the sharpness filter to make the texture pop out into the viewer’s eyes which I also did with this 3D model.

The last thing I did was adding some animated grain to make it look more lively. And here we have the finished 3D model:

Wrapping it Up

I really enjoyed working on this 3D scene because I was able to challenge myself, and improve my Blender Texture Painting. 

In hindsight, there are some things I should have done differently, e.g. making the wireframe more consistent or improving the UV mapping. 

But I think that’s how you recognize progress. Being an artist, no matter whether it’s 2D or 3D, hobby or professional, you’re never done improving your skills and the more practice you get the more you learn and level up your artistic finesse. 

 
I hope you enjoyed this article just as much as I enjoyed writing it!

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