In this tutorial about 3D coat I will explain how you can use the painting feature to draw directy onto your 3D model with 3D coat. For this prupose I designed a very simple object using Blender:
Yes I know, this is quite ugly but works well for a demonstration of the painting of 3D coat:-) I exported the object to Wavefront-format (obj) and imported it into 3D coat by selecting File->Import->Import for pixel painting using the following settings:
After the import the object looks like this in 3D coat:
3D coat has generated the UV-mapping for us cause UV-mapping type has been set to Auto-mapping. Another option would have been to do the UV-unwrapping with Blender or 3D coat and set the option to Keep UV. The generated layers for painting can been seen here, the first one (empty) I renamed to color_map:
The next thing I added was a layer for ambient occlusion of the object which can be calculated using 3D coat (Menu Textures-> Calc occlusion):
3D coat has created a layer now which contains the ambient occlusion (baked shadows). I used 8 post-smoothing steps to get a nice result with smooth shades.
Now you can select the color_map-layer for painting and fill areas of the object or the whole mesh using the Fill-tool (bucket):
As you can see the layer for ambient occlusion resides in the background and is blended behind the other layers just like in photoshop or gimp.
A last thing I want to show is painting onto your object using masks. When you define a mask (a desaturated texture) and draw onto your object, the parts which are black are not used for painting, only the lighter ones:
With this mask selected we draw onto the object using the Brush-tool. The result of this action looks like this:
3D coat has a layer-system for drawing (like photoshop or gimp), but you can still use an external editor for editing your textures. Define the editor in the Preferences of 3D coat:
I am using Photoshop elements (very old version) for editing the layers of 3D coat. To edit the layers in sync with 3D coat using photoshop you have to choose Edit all layers using external editor:
Now all layers can be edited in the application you defined as external editor:
When you change a layer here, the texture is synchronized automatically in 3D coat:
I hope you like the painting possibilities of 3D coat, try it, there are a lot of more options available like painting with texture-brushes, painting depth to normalmaps and many more.