VertexPaint Paintbox
 
 
 
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Select an object. Modify panel Modifier List VertexPaint Paintbox dialog (Click Edit in the Parameters rollout if it isn't displayed.)

Select an object. Modifiers menu Mesh Editing Vertex Paint Paintbox dialog (Click Edit in the Parameters rollout if it isn't displayed.)

Select an object. Utilities panel More Assign Vertex Colors Click Assign To Selected Modify panel Modifier List VertexPaint Paintbox dialog (Click Edit in the Parameters rollout if it isn't displayed.)

The VertexPaint modifier's Paintbox is a floating toolbox with various vertex painting tools. The Paintbox is launched automatically after the VertexPaint modifier has been applied to one or more objects. You can close the Paintbox by clicking the X button in the upper-right corner of its window. To open it again, click the Edit button in the Parameters rollout of the VertexPaint Modifier

NoteIf a VertexPaint modifier is assigned to the object, you can also display the Paintbox by clicking Edit in the Assign Vertex Color utility.

Interface

Vertex Color Display controls

Control the display of the vertex paint in the viewport by using the four icons at the top of the floating panel. You can easily switch between shaded and unshaded vertex color modes, or turn off the display of vertex color and or texture maps.

NoteThe first three of these buttons stay highlighted when you click them, to indicate which shading mode is active. Toggle Texture Display simply performs the action without becoming highlighted.
NoteThese controls have no effect on wireframe viewports, but work for all shaded viewports, including Lit Wireframe.
Vertex color display – unshaded

Displays the currently selected object in vertex color display mode. This mode is identical to the one offered by the Object Properties menu (right click on object, select Properties Turn On Vertex Color in the Display Properties group, making sure that Shaded is off.)

This has no effect on wireframe, but works on lit wireframe and all other shaded display modes.

Vertex color display – shaded

Displays the currently selected object in vertex color display mode, with viewport lighting (shading). his mode is identical to the one offered by the Object Properties menu (right click on object, select Properties Turn On Vertex Color in the Display Properties group, making sure that Shaded is on.

Disable vertex color display

Displays the currently selected object in its current shading mode without showing vertex colors.

Toggle texture display

Displays or hides texture maps on the currently selected object.

Viewport Channel Display selector

This menu allows you to select which one of the map channels to paint on:

  • Vertex colorsChoosing this lets you display the vertex color channel in the viewport.
  • Vertex alphaChoosing this lets you display and paint the vertex transparency channel in the viewport.
  • Vertex IllumChoosing this lets you display and paint the vertex lighting channel in the viewport.
  • Map ChannelChoosing this lets you define a numbered map channel to paint on. Define the channel ID number with the Map Channel Display spinner.

Map channel display in viewport flyout

What you see is what you paint, so whatever you select will both be displayed and activated for painting.

NoteYou cannot paint on all channels simultaneously as you could in the previous version of the vertex paint modifier.
Map Channel Display Spinner

This control lets you to numerically select a channel other than the 3 conventional ones listed above, for display only. If the channel you select is currently used for mapping coordinates, you'll see red/yellow/green colors corresponding to the UVW values.

You might choose map channels above the standard channel 1, 2, 3 that do typically get used for texture mapping. But you will need to keep track of your own conventions, and/or use the Channel Info utility to track what has been allocated for each object.

The Map Channel Display Spinner is only available when the Map Channel display button. If you assign a new vertex paint modifier or create a new layer and choose a particular numeric map channel, then select Map Channel display, the spinner will become available.

Lock button

The Lock button makes the Display Channel setting unavailable, and automatically sets Display Channel to whatever channel you choose on the Modify panel Channel rollout. Keep this turned on, to ensure that you're always displaying what you're painting.

If you want to glance at another channel without stopping your current paint session, turn off the lock and then switch the display channel. When you are finished, switch back and turn the lock back on.

Vertex Paintbrush group

Vertex paint controls

Here are the controls that let you access the paintbrush and the paint. You can choose color to paint with, from a color selector or from the scene. Choose to adjust the brush size or envelope, or launch advanced paintbrush options such as pressure sensitivity.

Paint All

Performs a traditional paint fill operation on the current object or sub-object selection. In the case of sub-object selections (vertices, faces, elements) the fill will honor those selections. In the case of soft-selections Paint all will do a “faded” fill, slowly tapering off the opacity based on the soft selection settings.

As with the Paint button, this will either paint on the current layer, if one is open in the Modify panel, or else it will create a new vertex paint layer instanced across the selected objects.

Paint

Starts the painting process. Once it is turned on, you can start painting on the current selection, by moving the cursor into the viewport and over the object.

If there is a Vertex Paint modifier highlighted in the Modify panel, you will be painting into that layer. But if the selected objects do not currently have a vertex paint layer highlighted in the modify panel, then a dialog appears letting you create a new modifier. This will be instanced across all the selected objects.

You will not see the results of your brush strokes, unless the proper display mode is set (above) Be sure your display mode and your paint target match. For example – if you are painting on the alpha channel, be sure you are displaying the alpha channel. If you are painting on the color channel, display the color channel. Brush strokes will use the color specified in the color swatch directly below the Paint button.

See Painter Options Dialog for more painting options.

Erase all

Erases all painting applied to the currently selected objects via the current VertexPaint modifier. This allows you to see through the underlying color of the object’s vertices. This underlying color might come from the object’s original vertex color, or from another vertex paint layer directly below it in the modifier stack. This supports soft selection as well.

Erase

Turns the brush into an eraser that will remove paint from the currently selected objects. Erase mode will actually erase any painting applied to the currently selected objects for the current layer of paint (allowing the true color of the original objects vertices to be seen, or the vertex paint layer immediately below the current one).

Pick color from object

Allows you to choose a color from the currently selected objects. The color is taken from a single vertex; region selection is not supported. The choice must occur near a vertex, or no color will be chosen. You can drag across a vertex of interest to pick up its color. Because this button enters a mode, it must be clicked to leave the mode, or you can choose another mode to turn it off.

Color swatch

The color swatch indicates the current color that will be used when painting begins. Clicking the swatch launches the standard color selector. Here you can change the color that will be used on the next brush stroke. It provides standard Hue, Saturation, and Brightness selection, along with Red, Green, and Blue selection and numerical entry.

Opacity

Controls the opacity of paint being applied to the currently selected objects in a single paint stroke (actually, any time before mouse up). This value represents the percentage of new paint that will blend into the color already applied to the selected objects. Successive paint strokes will continue to add this color until it overpowers the underlying color completely. The maximum value is 100% and 0% is the minimum value. A value of 50 percent will blend equally with the underlying vertex color in a single stroke (before mouse up).

The brush opacity serves to clamp the effect of each brush stroke, taken as a whole. If you pick a low opacity amount, then a single brush stroke will have only a small effect, no matter how much you scrub. This allows improved control over the density of a glaze of color, with an even glazing across all the painted vertices.

Size

Controls the diameter of the brush, as seen in the viewport. Size values range from zero to 9,999,999 and must be chosen appropriately for the size and resolution of geometry you are painting.

Brush Options

Opens the Painter Options dialog, where you can access advanced paintbrush controls. These are the standard set of Painter Interface options. The same options can be seen, for example in the Skin modifier, for painting weights.

Here you will find a rich selection of brush configuration tools that change the way your brush strokes apply color to the selection. Includes tools for mirror painting mode and using pressure sensitivity.

Palette

Click to display the Color Palette, which lets you create, edit, and manage custom palettes for use with VertexPaint.

Selection group

Tools in this group let you choose sub-object selection levels. You can select vertices, faces or elements. Includes the option to ignore backfacing so you can limit your selection to sub-objects that face toward you, and also provides access to standard soft selection options.

This creates a mask that will lets you determine what is being affected by your paint strokes, and any other operations you might apply, such as blurring or color adjustment. Erase functionality will also honor this mode selection.

NoteSoft Selection is supported on the various sub-object selection modes.
Select vertex

Allows you to select vertices from the currently selected objects. Once selected, only these vertices will be available for painting.

Select face

Allows you to select faces in the currently selected objects. Once selected, only these faces will be available for painting.

Select element

Allows you to select elements in the currently selected objects. Once selected, only these elements will be available for painting.

Ignore Backfacing

When this is on, prevents you from mistakenly selecting sub-objects facing away from the user.

Soft Selection

The same soft-selection options found in Editable Mesh and Editable Poly are available by clicking this button.

Image Adjustment group

Tools in this group allow you to perform overall color adjustment or image blurring without using the paint brush in the viewport.

Adjust Color

Displays the Adjust Color dialog, where you can find sliders for adjusting HLS or RGB values, preview the adjustment effect, and apply it.

Blur

Smoothes the pixels in the image so there is less contrast and color difference. Use this to get rid of harsh edges such as shadows created by the Assign Vertex Colors utility.

Blur Amount spinner

Blurs currently selected channel values (for example, vertex color, alpha) for the currently selected objects. Also supports sub-object selection of vertices, faces, and elements. With soft selections, the final blurred value is computed, and then combined with the original color according the selection; a 50 percent soft selection means that a vertex will become a fifty-fifty combination of its original color and the blurred color. Successive clicks of the Blur button will succesively blur the previous results, eventually washing out painting effects entirely.

Blur is useful for softening vertex color lighting information that is automatically generated by the Assign Vertex Color utility or rollout. Assign Vertex Color computes intensities per vertex. This is especially useful for low-resolution geometry and high-frequency lighting changes.

Blur Brush

Lets you apply blurring by using the same brush techniques and settings that you use to apply color. The Blur Brush respects sub-object selection and the Blur Strength setting.

Layers group

Mode

The layer mode drop-down list allows you to select a specific operator for this paint layer. The operator selected affects base color, alpha, illumination, and other information coming up from layers below it, or from the base object itself. The chosen operator controls how the incoming color is combined with any newly painted colors for the current level.

This mode is changeable at any time, without destroying previously painted information in layers above, below, or in the current paint layer. The following modes are supported per paint layer:

  • NormalThe layer color completely overwrites the base color.
  • OverlayThe color cast is shifted towards the layer color and contrast might be increased.

    It's useful when you want to make an object appear a different color but in the same lighting conditions. A fully bright or dark channel is never affected however, so if Red=100% and Green=0% in the base color, then neither the red nor green channels can be affected by the layer color.

  • ScreenEach RGB channel is moved towards full brightness, depending on the layer color. The result is at least as bright (never darker) than the original. Black is transparent in this mode.
  • MultiplyEach RGB channel is moved towards zero, depending on the layer color. The result is at least as dark (never brighter) than the original. White is transparent in this mode.
  • LightenWhichever color is brighter, the layer or the base, is used as the output. It operates on the whole color, and not channel-by-channel.
  • DarkenWhichever color is darker, the layer or the base, is used as the output. It operates on the whole color, and not channel-by-channel.
  • Color dodgeEmulates the effect of "dodging" a color print in a darkroom; the result is at least as bright (never darker) than the original.

    For each RGB channel, if the layer is at full value in that channel, the output channel will be at full value. Even if the layer value is less then full value, the output is still strongly brightened in that channel. For example, a medium-red layer color will add a significant red brightness to the output.

  • Color burnEmulates the effect of "burning" a color print in a darkroom; the result is at least as dark (never brighter) than the original. For each RGB channel, if the layer is zero in that channel, the output channel will be zero. Even if the layer value is above zero, the output is still be strongly darkened in that channel. For example, a medium red layer color will significantly reduce blue and green brightness in the output.

The next four Light modes essentially offer compromises between the destructive effect of Normal Mode and the toning effect of Overlay mode. Try using medium-value desaturated layer colors, since the light modes can be too destructive with bright, vivid layer colors. A neutral grey layer color is transparent in any of the light modes.

  • Soft lightVery similar to Overlay, but even more gentle, and it does not tend to increase contrast as much.
  • Hard lightMore like Normal mode than Overlay, it will change color cast somewhat. It is fairly destructive like Normal mode, especially with bright layer colors.
  • Vivid lightBrighter layer colors produce a Color Dodge effect, while darker layer colors produce a Color Burn effect, although the effect is generally weaker than Dodge or Burn.
  • Linear lightFor each RGB channel, if the layer color is more than 50 percent bright in that channel, the output will be brightened, and if the layer is less then 50 percent bright, the output will be darkened. As an example, if you want the top of your image to be twice as bright, and the bottom to be half as bright, use a gradient from 75 percent gray to 25 percent gray, top to bottom.

The next four modes are used to control the HSV channel values of the image instead of using RGB channel value.

  • HueThe output color has the saturation and value of the base color, with the hue of the layer color.
  • SaturationThe output has the hue and value of the base color, and the saturation of the layer color.
  • Color The output has the value of the base color, and the hue and saturation of the layer color.
  • Luminosity The output has the hue and saturation of the base color, and the brightness value of the layer color.
NoteUsing the show end result button in the modifier stack for the current paint layer will allow you to interactively paint under any over laying paint layers (vertex paint modifiers that are above the current one in the object’s modifier stack). This allows you to see the final results of your paint strokes for any paint layer in the stack.
Opacity Slider

Allows you to set the opacity of the current vertex paint layer, from 0 to 100 percent. 100 percent Opacity means that the current layer is entirely opaque: you cannot see through it to the layer directly under it or to the base vertex colors of the objects being painted.

The opacity of a layer is animatable. Simply turn on Auto Key, move the time slider and adjust the spinner value. This will set a keyframe.

NoteIf you painted on the layer with a brush opacity less than 100 percent, then colors stored in the layer can already be less than full opacity, and the final opacity at any vertex is a product of the two values. If you vertex had only 50 percent opacity worth of paint applied to it, and the layer is 50 percent opaque, then the vertex will appear 25 percent opaque overall.

Be aware that the paint opacity is different from the vertex alpha channel. Values less than 100 percent incrementally reveal any vertex color, alpha information, and so on, coming from vertex paint layers beneath it, or the base object's original information. Opacity values can be changed for the current layer at any time. Since vertex paint layers are preserved in the modifier stack you can return to a particular layer at any time and adjust its opacity to tune an object’s final appearance.

NoteThe opacity for a specific paint layer should not be confused with “alpha” information for a given vertex. Opacity controls the mixing of painted information in the modifier stack for the currently active map channel (whether it be color information, alpha, illumination, or any arbitrary map channel from 1 to 99). Alpha Channel information (by convention) is intended to be used specifically to indicate the transparency of all combined color information for a given vertex.

Another way to think about the opacity slider is that it is identical to the amount spinner. The difference between them is that opacity is for the entire layer, where as amount is for the current brush stroke (between a mouse down and mouse up period when painting). Changing the amount spinner after painting does not affect what is already displayed on the screen; where changing the opacity layer does. In the end, the current vertex paint layer being applied generates a final color that is the combine result of amount and opacity. The whole concept should be quite natural to any Adobe Photoshop user. However, Photoshop is able to display a light grey and dark grey quilt as a background to give a visual cue about layer opacity, whereas 3ds Max does not support this same display cue. So in 3ds Max, more attention is required of the artist to understand the opacity of each vertex on each layer.

Opacity numeric entry field

Allows you to enter an opacity amount. Range=0 (completely transparent) to 100 (totally opaque).

New Layer

Click to create a new VertexPaint layer. Clicking new layer displays a New Layer dialog.

Delete Layer

Click to delete the current VertexPaint layer. This removes the modifier from the stack.

Condense to single layer

Click to condense all vertex coloring into a single layer in the current VertexPaint modifier. Use this to modify existing vertex coloring within the current modifier.

Condensing layers is a two-part operation: First 3ds Max adds a new VertexPaint modifier to the stack, combining vertex coloring applied directly with Editable Mesh/Polygon and from previous VertexPaint layers according to the settings described above. Second, it deletes any prior VertexPaint modifiers.

If Preserve Layer has been turned on for a particular VertexPaint layer, then its colors are “baked” into the new VertexPaint modifier, but the preserved layer isn't deleted from the stack.