The 3D Coat program is a great solution for designers who work with detailed 3D models. Most often, similar applications choose a specialization - one direction, for example, working with textures.
The 3D Coat program is a great solution for designers who work with detailed 3D models. Most often, similar applications choose specialization - one direction, for example, working with textures. But 3DCoat developers used a different path: the program works with multi-tasks at the highest level. In fact, this is software that simultaneously solves the issues of Retopology, 3D-sculpting, UV-mapping and 3D-rendering.
In other words, 3DCoat is a complete replacement for several programs at once. It saves time and money, because each program costs money, and there are all the solutions in one application. It’s enough for a designer to learn how to work with one application instead of mastering 3-5 different ones. Thus, the question of several programs compatibility is easily solved when developing a single product.
A user can download the demo version, which is free for 30 days and available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.
The application allows you to have your own workspaces, which are often called “rooms”. It’s their own working environment, as is now practised in most 3D programs when a user works with the tabs which are located near the viewport.
The main workspaces:
• drawing (texturing and different types of textures painting).
• retopo (work with retopology).
• UV camera (deployment, mapping).
• sculpting (digital, 3D sculpting).
Some rooms work with their own objects, such as Retopo, Paint and Sculpt, while others use Vertex Paint. If you want to know the color or depth, metallicity and gloss, these data can be viewed through the top, without using a UV map. This opens up more opportunities for a painter, creating PBR textures immediately or a little later.
Designers working with textures will see more familiar things in 3DCoat. It’s a user interface and keyboard shortcuts similar to Photoshop. It’s enough to use 2 hotkey combinations to extract and send created textures between these two programs. It’s convenient and functional, especially if you use 2 displays. It feels like programs complement each other, as it were, when the texture moves from 2D to 3D.
3DCoat has a built-in 2D texture editor. Due to the ability to fix the editor in the Paint room, a designer can easily switch between a 2D background and a 3D picture. In this case, the drawing in 2D will be immediately updated in the 3D window.
“Conditions” of drawing. This is a fairly large part of creating a product when working with this program. A user can select the conditions that interest him (“More in the shadows” or “convex” areas). A designer easily changes the picture, increasing/decreasing wear, extrusion, metallicity along the edges and other features. Moreover, you can simply adjust the desired changes by viewing them first, and only then apply them to the working model.
A user will need Tweak and UV rooms to change the objects that he brings to the drawing workspace, The Retopo room allows you to make low-poly meshes, while copying them to the Sculpt room, which serves as the starting point in the modeling. The Sculpt Mesh large area editing feature improves the joint retopo mesh adjustment. It implies interchangeable work between polygons and voxels without losing the original mesh with low polygons. However, all changes in Sculpt with high resolution are perfectly synchronized with the original. These features allow the 3DCoat application to confidently lead among similar programs on the market that work with 3D textures.
The Sculpt room has assembled a large set of curves and primitives to work with basic objects that have built-in Boolean and arbitrary shape deformations. It also includes mesh objects, palettes of curves and models, not to mention special tools that work with 3D printing like 3D Print Support and others.
The large PBR Shading library allows you to accurately display the appearance of the model. You can apply Texture Paint or PBR Smart Materials, which are applied to the PBR shaded, to better darken the surface. Let’s say, fabric can be applied to the character’s clothes, and a shader with subsurface scattering can be applied directly to the model’s skin. A painter can successfully apply small elements such as freckles or dirt on the skin. This option is easily visualized as a still image in the Render room.
The program also has a built-in Sculpt Layer function that allows you to modulate not only the layer level and local depth (brushes), but also delete information about the depth. Dynamic tessellation, applied to the sculpture layer and not violating it, is a unique feature of 3DCoat with sculpture layers. Don’t forget about applying logical values to the same layer, again, while the information about the depth of this layer will not be violated. Only information about depth in a specific area of the mesh with the applicable logical value is erased. All data outside the logical operation remains unchanged.
How does it look like in practice? Let’s suppose our model has sculptural changes on the skin like wrinkles. If a painter wishes to merge an object like a nail using the same sculpture layer, the skin changes will remain the same. That means, the depth will continue to be modulated at any other points. This unique technology in digital modeling represents a small revolution, while making 3DCoat a great tool for a designer.
A user can use the modeling and rendering of PBR textures for a model with high resolution in 3DCoat, working with the same stroke. All other similar programs clearly share these tasks, which takes a lot of user’s time. But it doesn’t apply to 3DCoat. When a user is correctly applying “Smart Material” and operating with depth and color parameters, all of it is used for Low Poly Paint or High Poly Sculpt objects. It doesn’t matter what kind of object you have - a rusty part, ground, stone or brick - if you want to simultaneously sculpt and draw the selected object in parallel, use High Poly Sculpt in 3DCoat.
A user applies a poly mesh over the sculptural object, using the voxel mode or surface mode, creates and edits UV maps here. Due to a wide selection of Polymodeling tools, including primitives, a user easily models within the application using polygons.
3DCoat uses modern tools for automating retopology, where a user can choose between two engines. The built-in Instant Meshes kit is used. There are no more complete sets of tools for retopology in the world market today.
Due to the integrated tools, the program allows a designer to easily perform:
• high quality sculpting.
• voxel modeling of structures (quickly and even without topology) and polymodeling with primitives and Kitbash.
primitives and Kitbash.
The program is chosen by conceptual designers who are not interested in a low polygonal topology. Such specialists need to create models quickly with high detail, but not to complicate the task with policies, edges and UV cards.
• to operate with UV cards, including editing.
• creating perfect textures using hand-painted or choosing ready-made options from photorealistic samples of PBR Smart Materials library.
• Retopologization at a high level, using modern tools like Auto or Manual retopology.
• 3D rendering using the standard 3DCoat engine. It’s possible to integrate with the Pixar Renderman program - with a specific Renderman license.
Physically Based Rendering (PBR) and Simple Textures features:
• microvertex and pixel by pixel drawing.
• PBR, including HDRL.
• easily customizable smart materials.
• work with multi-layer drawing and popular blending modes. Grouping layers.
• Photoshop integration.
• support for high-resolution textures (up to 16,000).
• fast calculation of curve maps and Ambient Occlusion.
• the widest toolkit to solve any problem for the designer.
Features of standard sculpting:
• dynamic tessellation.
• operations on logic with clear edges.
• a large selection of dynamic brushes.
Volumetric sculpting has its advantages:
• there are no topological restrictions; you can “sculpt models like clay”.
• the use of complex logic operations.
The program also allows you to prepare the developed model for 3D printing.
Unique tools for retopology
• Auto-Retopo, where you can configure the settings of the triangles.
• easy-to-understand tools for working with manual retopology.
• the ability to import the reference mesh.
• use of retopological groups.
• many settings for baking.
Fast and functional UV mapping
• professional tools for working with UV sets.
• a large number of UV sets.
• work with modern sweep algorithms.
• the ability to adjust individual islands.
• simplicity and high speed of UV mapping.
The developer of the program is an experienced specialist in the computer games development, which combined knowledge of 2D and 3D graphics, animation, modern design tools and others and developed a unique software product for 3D designers – the popular and revolutionary program of 3D model texturing named 3DCoat. Today 3DCoat is widely used by digital painters around the world.