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Let's Paint!


MiikaH is doing some eye-popping experiments with dynamic mesh painting.

MiikaH writes:

This system allows you to "paint" textures with other animated objects or particles. The "canvas" can be any mesh and it can even be animated. You can also specify colors for painter objects. Result will be saved as an image sequence that can be used on canvas as texture to produce preferred effect.

However, this project is still in very early stage so there is no downloadable build or patch available anytime soon. Test builds (Windows) and patch code are now available!

Displacement map painting

Particle Painting

Mesh Paint Sub-steps

Painting Mancandy


About the Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Can imagine using the fluid painting to colour a mesh then setting fire to that texture from the points with the painted material on it.

  2. Extremely cool and potentially very useful! I can imagine the flood of new CG splatter/gore tests posted on Youtube when this feature is integrated. Splattering blood and brains over your character will be the new fluid sim :)

    Would be really useful if the dynamics could be calculating at the same time as the displacement for more realistic interaction, but that is probably way outside the scope of this tool. Although the new dynamics work from Aligorith combined with Miikas' work here would be a very interesting mix indeed.

  3. That's rather cool. Though for me, the ability to paint textures on a surface (like shown in the other video a few days/posts ago) is more useful. The displacement painting could be cool when your character is walking through the snow, for example.

  4. Great demos ! I already love this tool ! I was looking for something like that for a while to get wet surfaces on the path of a stream of water...

    Thanks a lot ! Blender is going to include some new marvelous tools !

  5. At CB. I don't really know what you are talking about. Still this is really useful in animation (obviously) as it added more layer on object interaction (spilled water, wiping a window, spray painting objects, dirty footprints).

    Very great feature! Would found lot and lot of uses.

  6. @MonkeyOnMyShoulder

    There already is "dissolve" that fades paint away during time. And my next goal is to add some sort of "effect" system. It should include at least gravity based dripping and expanding/spreading.

  7. That displacement painting would be mind-bogglingly useful for scenes with people walking in snow (like the opening shots of Sintel)... Merge! Merge! Merge! :D

  8. Imagin applying the displacement map paint into the game engine, like in snow scenes or stuff like that, that stuff would be otherworldly.

    But, step at a time, first well have to wait until particles are included in the game engine.

    Apart GE. THIS STUFF IS GREAT. I really see lots of really cool awsome developments for blender and have no idea how you guys do that stuff!

    Congratulations men! really awsome future.

  9. Could have a character walking along, and everywhere they sit, the ground glows?

    Could have a particle system of cold wind that slowly 'freezes' objects as the air hits them?

    Or have an tonne of objects being dropped and making 'dents' in everything they hit, painted on and also producing displacements in the things they hit?

    .. The possibilities with this kind of feature really are limitless on how it could be used. Just one feature, yet so many possibilities? This is the kind of stuff we need in Blender! \o/

  10. Stephen Ashby on

    I used mesh paint to create a saw cut in a mesh. Unfortunately, I had to take all of my png's into photoshop to change the black to grey, or else the entire mesh was displaced, and not just the saw cut.

    Am i doing something wrong? Is there a better way to do this?

  11. @Stephen Ashby:

    You could use Displace modifier. That way you can adjust "zero displace" level.

    But yeah, I guess using gray neutral is the the Blender standard. -> Changing it to next version so it's an out-of-box ready displacement map. :)

  12. Integration with the GE would make Blender even more powerful and useful for pro game developers, not to mention the time saved when using it for animation. A very useful and smart feature.

  13. that looks like it could be extremely useful (like for all those times you just decided to use millions of particles to get a similar effect, but not nearly as effectively, and it leaves you machine useless for weeks sometimes)

    I especially like the one with the mirror :-)

  14. AMAZING!! blender has needed these features for a long time, displacement map painting will be great especially for snow

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