2023-02-07 Sculpt/Texture/Paint Module Meeting

Practical Info

This is a weekly video chat meeting for planning and discussion of development related to the sculpting and painting in Blender. Any contributor (developer, UI/UX designer, writer, …) working on these features in Blender is welcome to join and add proposed items to the agenda.
Write us a message in the module chat if you’re interested.

For users and other interested parties, we ask to read the meeting notes instead so that the meeting can remain focused.


  • Julien Kaspar
  • Joe Eagar
  • Ramil Roosileht


With the migration to Gitea and projects.blender.org, all current patches and tasks need to be reorganized/resubmitted.
This will take some time. Julien will make sure the workboard is all set up.

High Priority Bugs

Jow will look into the bugs that aren’t currently worked on.

Current Tasks

In Review

In Progress

Joe is still focusing most of his efforts on the Dyntopo refactor.
The undo system reworked was reworked.
The new elment ID system works now. Rewriting it in C++ made a lot simpler.
Next up Joe will create a branch of master to merge new dyntopo system and create a patch for review.
Once patch is available, a downloadable built should be shared soon for testing.
Afterwards there will be some followup work. But the scope is hard to predict.

Technical Documentation needs to still follow afterwards. This is a high priority connected to dyntopo refactor.

The roll brush texture mapping didn’t see any progress.
We will check in with Hans on discussing how to progress with the patch.
oe is making sure he can present his work.

Other Topics

T104022 Expand Mask: Inverted fill on mesh islands

Contributor needs help. Joe can chime in and give some advice.

More community tasks could have more technical details. Otherwise they are too vague. At least some pointers at files and important functions would be welcome.
Joe will look over some and add important info.

T104285 Updated Matcaps with specular layer

A task was created for safe keeping and further work by willing contributors.
Once a replacement set of Matcaps is finished it should be included in Blender.

There was a question of colored Matcaps.
This should be discussed afterwards as a separate task. FOr now we keep some matcaps colored but very basic ones can be white/gray.
Ideally we’d add saturation/exposure sliders for viewport settings.

Ramil volunteered to organise the Matcaps into a table (old vs new) and what needs to be tweaked/updated.
He’ll also highlight duplicates, mark some as good additions and others for removal.
He’ll also collect all Matcaps into one .blend which can afterwards be added to a public svn repository.

Base mesh essential assets

The essentials assets library is being prepared for node groups for Blender 3.5. We should do the same for base meshes for the 3.6 release.
What are the most essential base meshes? Stylized base meshes are already included and a realistic base mesh can be added too.

More info here:

What’s still missing?
We agreed that simple cartoony and a female realistic base mesh is essential.
Base meshes out of simple, disconnected shapes is also important as an early sculpting base.
Animal base meshes are great but can be optional for now.
The current set of stylized and realistic base meshes should stay as they are.

Many more asset (Building blocks, different workflows & styles) could be included in a separate asset pack instead. This needs to be discussed further.
Building block assets for characters/creatures could also be included as VDM brushes.
We could bundle some VDM brushes (facial features, creature aspects) in the essentials as well.

Environment assets, such as rocks, trees, etc. for previz are also welcome.
But they need to be universal.

The Call for Content via the devtalk thread needs to be revisited.
Also we can contact artists if they’d like to donate models.

Geo nodes can be used to add variations to the base meshes, instead of shape keys.
Face sets for pose brush should be included by default for fast posing and resculpting.
Face Sets in general could open up future door for faster rig setups and UV map creation.

Brush thumbnails design

The essentials library will soon expand towards hair brushes and sculpting brushes soon after.
We need to redesign the sets of brushes to use a consistent design template that makes it:

  • Easy to recognize brushes
  • Effortless to screenshot your own brush thumbnails
  • Fits well into the current Blender themes and color palettes
  • Screenshot operator to screenshot viewport (Maybe even with optimized viewport setup)

What about colors?
Colors (especially selective colors) can also obscure the shapes.
We should try to keep the use of colors to a minimum and for specific effects.

Alternatively colors could be added on thumbnail automatically based on the type of brush.
That could help users to identify what the colors mean.
But users could also default to screenshoting a new thumbnail with the same color as the brush it’s based on. Because a correlation is already set.

Should we differentiate brush thumbnails from different modes? How?
Subtle elements and differences like graphical elements and iconic overlays would be enough.

Julien will work on full proposal with a set of of thumbnails for current brushes and modes.


Please keep the brush-type colors. Blue/Red/Yellow/ Purple for Cloth really helps visually and speeds you up a little.

I would propose green for painting brushes, since it’s not used by anything but Mask by Color, which can be changed, or it can be a different value of green


Regarding this (I also read the design task), one thing I always found a bit confusing in the 2.8 redesign was having both the thumbnails and the icon for the brush:

I love the style of the sculpt icons and while I’m sure I’m missing something since this is a system I use scarcely, wouldn’t be better to just get rid of the thumbnails and have just the icons? Why having a brush with a specific icon that then has also a specific thumbnail? I personally like the approach of the curve sculpting brushes, where the icon and the thumbnail have the same icon. I know that was probably a choice for lack of dedicated thumbnails for curve brushes, but I find it less confusing and more visually pleasing.

Icons are for the Tools, while thumbnails are for the brushes. The difference is hard to detect now, but updating brush system will make it more obvious.

Personally I love this design that was proposed earlier. And I think everyone who saw that was in love with this. It has very visible 3D shapes that tell you exactly what brush does, and color to differenciate between types.


I understand. And yes, that design looks very nice, much more integrated with the rest of Blender UI, I like a lot how they are stacked in a column, instead of one thumbnail inside a big empty window.

Yes we’ll try to incorporate the colors in some way. They are a very helpful indicator and without them the thumbnails look too alike.

The plan is to get rid of the toolbar brushes and expose the brushes in the new asset shelf instead:

The old icons coulds till be utilized as icons in the thumbnail. See the design task here:

This is definitely an inspiration for the current work. Sadly, an automatically created preview of a stroke is not possible (or an unrealistic amount of effort).


Os there a place where we can see the design of the rework of dyntopo? To understand what was the target and the idea behind it.



Interesting, eager to see where all this goes, dyntopo was the worst sculpt system I touched, so I hope this effort improves it, no matter if it allows UVs and attributes because the biggest problem was stability, performance and lack of features like sculpt layers, also the lack of remesh to fuse things.

So IMHO is great to see this evolving, I hope it adds all that plus the UVs and attribute support because those two without the other things (specially performance and stability) turns dyntopo in something beautiful but a bit useless.

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You can already test it in the Sculpt dev branch, as far as i know.

Its great improvement in my opinion but i am also looking forward to sculpt layers. Maybe even dedicated displacement painting for super high res texture creation without the need of 50mio verts…

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