A better texture paint - Layer interface

This boy “Wayward Art Company” created this video that makes clear the deficits that currently the interface of texture paint lacks, I think it should be redesigned a process of “layering texures” that makes more user friendly and automated the processes performed in this video.
A better interface of texture management through the paint texture panel, without having to go through the nodes first is needed.


Yes. This area needs lots of improvements. I really hoped we could do more to this during the Code Quest.

Layers, nodes, masks - all this can be made much simpler and more straight forward. We can still leverage nodes under the hood, but present a super slick interface for working with textures.

I’m not sure we can do much in time for 2.80, but I really hope we can make some positive changes for 2.81.


Nice!! I’m looking forward to that… so far I’ve used the Bpainter addon, which is handy, but I’d much prefer a blender developed feature :heart_eyes:

Good to hear that there are plans but the map creation allready got improved which is also very handy to use. So we need another code quest for texture paint and sculpt mode and maybe for the vse.

There is a huge addon I have recently discovered for Texture Baking. Maybe this will give some light:


@natecraddock I call your attention to this post because what is described in this video up above, I believe you are the most appropriate person for this implementation.

After the great work done with the outliner, I know that I demand too much, but I think you are the perfect candidate for a “texture-shading layer system” …
A kind of wrapper connected with the node shading system that creates the nodes automatically when we create the levels, the cut and paste, the creation of groups, the merging of this levels , etc … just like in the work you did with the outilner, but for the editing of texturing-shading levels.


I made a proposal for this some time ago: https://blender.community/c/rightclickselect/PKdbbc/


nice … but I was thinking of something more about the “2D photo editor” layers …
also substance paint adopts a similar system of layers …


In my proposal the 3d and 2d editor are synced, so you could just stack up paint layers for more traditional painting (you can also do this in substance painter)

This Quest should try to cover also the baker of textures, and the principled bsdf node for export through glTF.
About the baker f.e. you can’t bake curvature, metallic and height maps; you can’t use a baked Object/World normal map to convert it into a Tangent space normal map (a technique still used and even necessary for some tricky shapes) ; the roughness bake is in sRGB instead of Linear. Changing color space on unsaved image set it black.
There is no antialiasing and the baker is very slow (and the slowest texture to bake is the ambient occlusion) and really RAM consuming preventing you to bake 4K textures into the range of production time, so even the 8K become impossible.

The principled bsdf node lack slots for ambient occlusion, emissive, depth (parralax or tesselation) , maybe others I don’t remember right now but surely other users will report.

UDIMs are a nice add and luckily they are around the corner, so not much to say about it.

All that to say the workflow & potential of the improved painting/material quest will be crippled if the actual limits of the baker and principled bsdf are left untouched.

Also the UV tools for unwrapping and manage uv islands are pretty much primitives if not inexistent.
The packer waste too much UV space, and the textel density along an uv-island is pretty stretched (which produce more visible texture seams than necessary).
The auto-seam (aka Smart UV Project) while it could works “fine” on hardsurface models, it also utterly fails when used on organic shapes. A good option would be an ambient occlusion method to guide the automatic uv seams along the ‘crevice’ areas of the model;
The Smart UV Project (aka auto-seam) generate too many uv islands -literally a clusterf*ck of little & crappy uv islands- , most of time they can also ruin the final aspect of normal map (and other textures) applied on your model.


Hey! Thanks for thinking of me, and while I do agree that texture painting needs some help, and I think it would be a fun project, I sadly don’t have any time for this. I am busy with school, and I still have some unfinished outliner work that I would like to complete. Perhaps in the future, but I think it would be best to get some very solid plans made, get some good discussion going, etc. then find someone who is willing to work on it! :slight_smile:


Sorry, but I had to try, I saw such obvious similarities with the outliner, which I thought was to point out this, especially now that substance painter is no longer available with a permanent license, I thought that undoubtedly there now more people will support such a project for blender …
@Ton are you already aware of it?

No worries :slight_smile: I totally support the idea and hope it goes somewhere!


I always find this kind of detail funny, because it shows how we miss opportunities.

Marmoset is now widely used only because of the way it bake materials. A small patch on blender fixing the theme of baking, would have made all users who bake their objects in marmoset, paying between 200 and 400 dollars, would have gone to blender.

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An incremental improvement would also be a good idea. No need to have it perfect in one update. The first update that would be nice is to just have those basic layer system functions.


Essentially it would be a matter of creating a new clearer immediate and simplified ui and then incrementally making it efficient … (proof of use)
And when everything is ready and in good working order … the current painting ui is abandoned / removed