3d Model Painting Software

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ZBrush is a 3D digital sculpting application developed by the American company Pixologic and combines 3D modeling, texturing and painting. It is considered to be one of the best and most popular software for creating 3D models.

ZBrush does not use any CAD programs to create its models. Instead, it uses a “3D pixels” technology which is similar to sculpture. Each pixel, which is called “pixol”, contains information on depth, orientation, material and color value, making ZBrush one of the most user-friendly software for modeling and texturing.It is basically addressed to experienced users, since this software has many complex features and tools which offer increased freedom while designing.

It provides great depth and customization capabilities for everything from sculpting and brushes to materials and rendering, that’s why it has become the industry standard for highly detailed digital art in the fields of movies, computer games and illustration.

The video below may help you understand what the new features of ZBrush can offer to the designers.

  • Considering that ZBrush is the most recommended and professional 3D sculpting software, we are very proud to have recently launched a partnership with ZBrush, allowing its users to directly export their 3D models and print them from our online 3D printing service in just one click!
  • If you need a 3D modeling program, but also a great painting and sculpting software, Mudbox might be the perfect solution.

Mudbox is considered the main competitor of ZBrush and it is acquired by Autodesk.

  • The application provides high-resolution digital sculpting, texture painting, and displacement.
  • Models created with Mudbox start as a polygon mesh that can be manipulated with a variety of different tools.
  • It uses a more traditional approach than ZBrush in terms of software, as the model can be subdivided and then the individual volumes of the part can be sculpted with the available number of polygons.
  • In addition Mudbox, as more traditional software, uses layers to store different detail passes, to add masks on the layers and to blend them.

List of 10 Best 3D Texture Painting Software of 2021

This way, its users are allowed to sculpt and to mold their 3D model without making permanent changes.The tutorial below, provided by Autodesk, is very enlightening on how Mudbox works:.

  • Another 3D modeling software developed by Autodesk, this timeless challenging and more user-friendly.
  • Meshmixer’s 3D sculpting tools are somewhat basic compared to higher-end tools like Mudbox and ZBrush, however, because they are combined with dynamic remeshing infrastructure, it is possible to create extremely detailed surfaces with much lower polycounts.
  • It is recommended for beginners in 3D modeling, students, designers, engineers and 3D hobbyists, as all the information and tips someone in the beginning of his designing career may seek are stored on a very detailed online manual provided by Meshmixer.


  • The video below can give you an idea of how Meshmixer works:.

In case you want to take your passion about 3D modeling one step further and you want to 3D Print your creation with our online 3D Printing service, check Sculpteo’s tutorial about how to Prepare your model for 3D Printing with Meshmixer. Blender is the free and open-source 3D modeling software developed by Blender Foundation.

It can provide 3D modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, motion tracking, video editing and game creation. Blender’s sculpting software is pretty advanced, yet ideal for beginners, as thanks to its latest versions and the continuous upgrades of its software, its users can enjoy sculpting and creation of parts without worrying about stretching the underlying mesh.

Users may also consult the webpage for tutorials and manuals, which are very helpful.

For those who use Blender software with the intention to 3D Print their designs, there is this Sculpteo tutorial, which aims to teach the best practices for modeling, correcting and exporting a 3D file for 3D printing with Blender 2.7.

Sculptris is another 3D sculpting software developed by Pixologic, and if you are a beginner in digital modeling, it is a great ground to experiment on with the basic tools of ZBrush. Its tools are easy to learn and it is a pretty user-friendly software to handle if you have no prior experience. Another advantage of this 3D modeling software is that since Sculptris and ZBrush are connected, the skills that you learn using Sculptris can be furtherly upgraded by using ZBrush.

In addition, Sculptris files can be easily imported and sent to ZBrush with a single button click!

If you are already using Sculptris and you wish to see your models 3D printed, check this Sculpteo tutorial. 3D-Coat is a great 3D digital sculpting tool from Pilgway designed to create free-form organic and hard surfaced 3D models from scratch.

Its main features- which are also its main advantages over its competitors- are its use of 3D pixels (called “voxels”) to easily digitally sculpt the design, the ability to create fast and user-friendly UV maps, the ease and variety in texturing and the retopology tools that it provides. In case you want to see how really 3DCoat works, check the video below:.

Last but not least, Maya is another software coming from AutoDesk, as Mudbox and Meshmixer, yet not free. Maya software is able to produce animation, modeling, simulation, and rendering in order to help artists work faster with enhancements to existing workflows and providing new tools.

Since recently Maya 3D modeling software is updated, it is also possible to sculpt virtual 3D surfaces like you sculpt real 3D objects from clay or other modeling materials.

Instead of using clay, the virtual 3D surfaces are constructed using polygons.

It is recommended that you use a graphics tablet in order to take full advantage of Maya’s sculpting features. However, you can still sculpt using a standard three-button mouse.

Even though it may be a difficult software for beginners and you can sometimes experience bugs when designing, Maya is one of the leading industry 3D animation packages, it has won several awards and still has a lot of users. It is also common for the designers to combine the Autodesk software to reach the final result, as it happens to the illustration below:.

Ian Spriggs’ 3D portraits made using Maya and Mudbox. SelfCadis a recently launched 3D modeling software, that offers a big variety of designing tools for sculpting, slicing and 3D drawing.

Substance Designer

  • It is a great CAD software as it is a package that includes all the tools that a designer needs to have.
  • SelfCAD’s sculpting empowers creativity using gestures and helps your ideas get the desired shapes fast and easy.
  • It is easily accessible and you can use it online without downloading it.

All you have to do is tosubscribe hereand start your free trial period. If you are interested in learning more about 3D modeling software, this article about the Top of 20 simple CAD programs is for you!If on the other hand you are done with 3D modeling and you just wish to 3D print your creation, check which inwhich format your file needs to beandupload it to our online 3D Printing service!

Photo Credits: Link from The Legend of Zelda by ZBrushCentral member Caleb Nefzenhttp://zbru.sh/1w5. Options Considered. Slant is powered by a community that helps you make informed decisions. Tell us what you’re passionate about to get your personalized feed and help others. Substance Painter. Support lots of modern 3D formats including DAE and FBX - ideal for game developers.

There are some add-ons that can speed up your workflow, but while some paid add-ons cost between $1 and $29, others cost between $30 and $300 (some are premium subscription-based). This means that those who can't afford it will have a harder time completing their Blender projects. It Sucks, it is for losers See More.

Platforms:Windows, Linux, Mac, FreeBSD. Technology:C, Python. Blender is licensed under the GPL. Very intuitive, pretty interface and free, very useful to just quickly open and use, no sign ins, paywalls or big installs! Good keyboard shortcuts for everything. Keep your left hand on the keyboard and your right hand on the mouse. Blender originally came with a game engine suited for making Blender a AIO solution for making games as well.

Slicers & 3D Printer Hosts

  • However, in Blender 2.8, this has been removed.

However, a emerging project named Armory3D is your go-to solution if you like Blender-native workflow. Very bad in motion graphics See More. The Blender particle system can at times be a little limiting and finicky (and buggy) to get working.

Even if it can get most straight forward jobs done, it is far from the most advanced system, and could benefit largely from advancements. Arihan Sharma - Sir John A Macdonald Sr PS (1540)'s Experience.

It offers a round solution (it covers many areas and professional fields) for a freelancer, for free, constantly updated, very polished, and allowing high quality results that clients do require.

After some learning, it becomes very useful for professional work. The latest version (2.8) is free. It has more features, a redesigned User Interface, and better functionality.


  • But for those who don't have a computer with a advanced GPU (with OpenGL 3.3 or higher) will never be able to use that version, unless they have and can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on new computers/devices.
  • wont load but who cares SUPPORT See More.

Blender provides a full rigging system, and automates animation by interpolating between keyframe positions. Is not capable of real hard surface for industrial design because is not able to reproduce surface continuity degree as a NURBs does and average vertex normal destroy surface radius.

If you want free and open source use armor painter. You dont have to pay. you can just compile it yourself or asks someone 4 someone elses excecutables without it being illegal. Releases are made every ~3 months. Does not handle polygon intersections well. And needs tweaking by hand points or adding average vertex normals via modifiers.

This software is very powerful for a free program. It has multiple features available at your fingertips. Whenever a bug is detected, you can report it to the developers of Bender and/or Blender add-ons, and they will fix that problem for the newer version. If you've used Blender for more than 10 minutes, you know what I'm talking about.

Blender is definitely a powerful tool-- If you get it to work. Sculpting in real time, for an example. Sometimes it straight up doesn't work. Blender's new intuitive interface in 2.8, along with its powerful toolset, along with its one-stop shop solution for 3D Artists, VFX Artists, and the like is a must-to-try if you're delving in 3D today.


  • Although blenders 3d painting and sculpting tools (mostly painting) are not at par with specialized software like Substance painter, z brush, or mari; it is more than capable of getting most jobs done if the user takes the time to learn and understand it.
  • Blender embeds Python 3, which can be used to write add-ons, tools, extend the interface, rig characters and automate tasks.
  • Blender's node-based compositor has comprehensive video sequencing and post-processing features.

Blender runs the Cycles path tracing engine under the hood. Cycles is a very powerful rendering engine capable of full path tracing (light fall off, caustics, volumetrics). It is mostly compatible with OpenCL and CUDA rendering, and is implementing mycropolygon displacement features.

The upcoming release has a viewport engine called EEVEE whereby you can see and interact with your work in render mode in real time! The trick with Blender is to get used to its usage philosophy, as it keeps consistent through all the application.

Once you get it, every feature or addition is learnt naturally, almost effortlessly. You don't have to switch between software when you want to do different things. Because modeling, sculpting, composting, video editing etc can all be done in blender. There's a huge community to help you get started immediately. Many of the people in the community are also contributors of Blender's Development.

Whether it's donations, add-on creation, blend files, renders, animated videos, bug reports, or even feedback, contributions are one of the biggest reason Blender is becoming a better alternative to the industry standards of 3D Software. Blender 2.8 now makes 2D a first-class citizen in Blender, allowing to compose drawings as blender objects on top of 3D objects.


  • Since Substance Painter allows users to paint in full 3D, it can be used not only to paint full textures, but can also paint masks which can then be used in other tools (like Substance Designer) for material filter generators (like the ones used to make edge wear and dirt).
  • It will die a slow miserable death.
  • Way too expensive.

The free trial is the only thing free, but it can only be useful for 30 days. You'll have to pay a lot of money for the full version, and even if you do get it, it won't work on a normal computer. You will have to pay for an expensive graphics card to use it, or an expensive gaming computer to install it on, which means a lot more money flying out of your pocket, wallet, and/or bank account.

Plus, since it's now an Adobe product, meaning it's only available via subscription. The best software for texturing that is being developed curently. Substance painter has builds for all 3 major platforms. Arihan Sharma - Sir John A Macdonald Sr PS (1540)'s Experience. SP can be purchased on Steam but will only get a year of free updates. UDIM is limited but it is currently being developed.

easy to use, full workflow See More. Can work with models composed with a couple of uvmaps at most. This makes spainter very limited and only suitable most of the times to hard surface texturing.

An Overview Of The Best 3D Printing Software Tools

  • Harry Bailey (Zombie Battle Divisions)'s Experience.
  • You can not export substance (sbsar) files in Painter.
  • 3D Coat supports the creation of your own PBR materials that are ready to be used in the PBR workflow.

Voxel is quite heavy on your computer, if you intent to use this as your main model and sculpt app do enough research to see if your computer can handle it and if you have the right graphic card for it. If you really have doubts , just go ask in the forums. You can texture in many styles with this app, but when it comes to Handpainting, as seen in World of Warcraft and Torchlight, 3D Coat is the one that many professionals will advice you to as their top choice.

This is a paid texture program. Why is it in this list? You can save and open your texture work in apps like Photoshop, work on them and send them directly back to 3D coat. It will remember your layers and update.

The cheapest version available only lets you paint on 7 layers, which is very unfortunate. Robust software similar to Zbrush for sculpting / painting and texturing. Voxel sculpting is entirely free from the bounds of polygons and topology. 3D coat is also known in the game industry to be a great app to preform retopology.

3D coat makes UVing your work go super fast and it's actually quite fun because you're finished in a breeze. Lighting changes when you turn the model. Awful interface. Very few tools. Aweful, poor tools, poor UVing, doesn't do 3d acceleration well, the worst part of awesome Cinema 4d.

Quixel Mixer

  • There are programs that provide much more for much less. Specifically, it is very bug laden for such an expensive software.
  • It's like the damn thing was written in the seventeenth century.
  • It's like they made it bad on purpose.

Though it is expensive, if you wish to use it continuously you can constantly renew your trial with lovely fake emails. Learning this can benefit your career into games or film. Not made for hobbyists or indie game developers. If you're not in the gaming industry and want to achieve maximum realism with your textures. Mari is the tool. Though Substance Painter is catching up to Mari in terms of texturing wiht higher res textures, this program is what is used in tandem with Zbrush most commonly in Film.

For the Game industry it is Substance Painter and Zbrush. Mari can handle 32K textures since 2010. It was used in creating the characters faces and such in the Avatar movie, as close-ups require such high-res textures. ArmorPaint allows artists to paint across multiple maps at once. This allows for easy creation of coherent color, roughness, and bump maps.

Armor Paint is open-source, but the official binaries are not available for free. Unless you can compile it yourself, or you run Arch Linux or a system based on it and can use an AUR package that'll build it for you - you'll have to pay to use this program.


  • The user interface is clean and it is very immediately useful with little more than one comprehensive tutorial or a read through of relevant material.

Supports GPU acceleration. Since it is run entirely on the gpu, it makes painting huge maps nice and smooth on modern graphic cards.

It is not completed yet, which may lead to support drop, or a software that is not entirely usable. A simple and robust "blender-based" node system to modify brush channels. When exporting your maps in higher resolutions in Substance Painter - it'll re-draw all your strokes in the background to make sure the exported textures have as much detail as possible.

Armor Paint doesn't have such a feature so far - if you paint on a small resolution texture - you're stuck with it, or you'll have to manually re-paint it yourself to get a higher resolution texture. ArmorPaint falls under the zlib license. The zlib license has been approved by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as a free software license, and by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) as an open-source license.

3D Modeling Software

  • It is compatible with the GNU General Public License. As such, the program is FREE if you compile it from source, and (as of August 2, 2020) costs only €16 to purchase pre-compiled binaries.
  • The brushes are projected with a simple viewport projection, which can lead to weird warping of the brush on irregular surfaces.

ArmorPaint received a $25,000 Epic Mega Grant. This is a large donation of money given by Epic Games through their MegaGrant Program to programs that show great promise. These grants are unconditional and recipients are expected to continue program development as they see fit. These grants can not be used to purchase unpurchasable software (open-source software).

Sculptris is not primarily geared towards 3d painting, but rather sculpting. It also is not designed as a top of the line tool, but as a simple intuitive introduction software. This means it is a bit lacking in simple features, such as an eraser tool.

Free 3D painting software which can be used in commercial projects is a rare thing, and Sculptris holds up to very few competitors in its domain. Its free and easy to learn :) See More. Although 2048x2048 is plenty for most indie developers, the lack of 4k support is definitely be a huge draw back for models that require larger textures.

BodyPaint 3D

  • Sculptris has great editing tools that allow designers to concentrate on sculpting and completely immerse themselves into making models, forgetting about all the complex methods modelers usually have to use in their daily business.
  • Sculptris has no support for specularity (or roughness) maps, which are necessary in a PBR workflow.

Sculptris supports bump map painting, which can then be exported as a bump map, or as a normal map. Sculptris does not support N-gons which can make importing 3D models from other applications to paint them a little more complicated. A single-user license for ZBrush costs $795. But, Pixologic has not charged a penny for upgrades to licensed users since inception.

Anyone who has purchased Zbrush has not been left behind. Meshes sculpted with ZBrush can contain billions of polygons, but tools are provided to cleanly reduce the poly count.

Does not lend itself to cinematic or artistic renderings due to a strange perspective system found nowhere else in 3D which warps according to the relationships between models and rendering viewpoint - there is no real 'camera'. It is sufficient for rendering your work on a sculptural piece or industrial design, but KeyShot Pro or any other PBR rendering program that uses a camera are recommended for scene rendering, at least in 4R7.

Can transfer work between other packages via AppLink and/or Bridge seamlessly. Though, it's fully customizable.


  • Like for any software, there is a learning curve.
  • ZBrush lets the user sculpt an object in fine detail with customizable 3D brushes.

Every iteration of Zbrush has evolved beyond the last and has kept all other 3D package devs on their toes consistently. Due to the nature of the program and how it uses high poly mesh sculpting it is best to consider this app when wanting high poly models, as that is what it aims to do best.

No other 3D package has had continued support from their parent company or community like ZBrush has had since inception. ZBrush is a long standing industry standard for sculpting and painting 3D models which means you are guaranteed a solid application with lots of good learning material. While it is technically free, it only allows you to export with a UE licence to a UE project, very inconvenient.

It's freaking free. Platforms:Windows, Mac. But, uh, "exporting" is as easy as opening up the file locations. Limited options during trial. You can use this software on your devices for as long as it has a browser.

List of Paid and Free 3D Modelling Software

  • This means you can work on your projects using your personal computer, laptop, and soon on your tablet.

The login service doesn't work fuck this shit See More. Desktop targets:Windows; Macintosh; Linux. It's a subscription-based program. you'll have to pay between $5 and $20 in order to continue use of PaintCube once the free 7-day trial is over.

You can build your work in layers of texture information as you complete your model. Nobody should use Adobe products. Same as Autodesk. They love to force customers to pay every month to use any of their products in every way possible, instead of providing them the customers with a free, no trial, basic version of their products.

Probably because they can. Also no, Photosop is terrible for 3D texture painting. There's a free mobile app available for iOS, Android & Windows Phone. Can´t even see what I´m doing See More. Platforms:Windows, macOS.

Tethered capture:via Bridge.

While you can still buy CS6 from 2012 without needing a subscription by contacting Adobe support or the cut-down Photoshop Elements, any full-version version of Photoshop past CS6 requires a subscription.