Colors in Paint Template

Starting to get my head wrapped around UV texture mapping and have what I hope is a really basic question:

I want to take a screen grab of the UV editor into my image program (Photoshop Elements) and use it as a template. Nothing earth shaking there, but the colors are somewhat difficult to work with. That dashed white line on two shades of dark grey background is hard to see when the opacity is reduced.

What I really want is a white or (preferably) transparant background with the lines drawn in black. There may be some photoshop magic I can work, but I’m new to that one as well.

Any help would be appreciated.


I may not be much help since I do not know the differences between PS Elements and regular PS. Can you color select the white lines, and copy (or cut) them to a separate layer? This would let you change their color (to black) and also control their opacity in relation to the background.
In Photoshop, this is done using Color Range… under the Select menu.

Hope this helps.

I’m mostly there, I can do an invert, and then apply a threshold layer. This gives me a white background with dark lines for my template.

One thing I cant figure out how to do in Elements is take the white and delete it so that all I am left with is transparancy.

I think I can do this in GIMP, but I’m trying to simplify my life somewhate and GIMP doesn’t seem to work well with my tablet.


This is what I use.

Simple to use. Export your object from Blender with the OBJIO script.
Open the obj file with UVMapper. You can change the mapping type
with this program (cylinder, planar, spherical, etc…). When you find a map you like, save the object…and then save the texture as a bitmap.
Open that bitmap with GIMP, add a new transparent layer, set the transparency level to 80%, paint away. When you are finished, set the transparency level to opaque, flatten the image, and save.

Now, when you open your model (import it with the script), everything is perfectly alligned. The obvious advantage of using this method, is that you can use mapping options not directly available in Blender.
If you assign different materials to the object, UVMapper can split the map
according to those materials (hand, arm, leg, and so on).

Hope this helps you.

Thanks. That is a pretty nice program. I haven’t got it all figured out just yet, but I think that this is a good way to go.


OK, I’m not quite there.

I’m using Blender 2.28 and the updated OBJ IO script.

In Blender:
I export to obj, seems to go fine.

In UV Mapper:
I open it in UVMapper, create a mapping. This seems to go fine.
I also create a material and assign it to all of my models (I’ve tried without this step as well).
I save the model, and save the texture map.

In Elements:
Open the texture map save as 24bit BMP, draw some random squiggles. Save again.

Back in Blender (new instance)
Import the model.

The model always comes in great, but there are no material indicies, and the Alt-Z view just shows pink. If I go to the UV editor, I can see the UV mapping that I created, and if I load the texture map file it lines up fairly well.


  1. Should the material and texture image be imported assigned? Or would you expect that last step of having to manually assign the UV image?

  2. Even when I assign the UV image, this still doesn’t seem to create a material. Is this assignment independent of the material system? If so, how do you go about importing bump maps, etc.?


UVMapper creates new uv coordinates from an existing model. It exports the model with those new coordinates. You still have to assign an image to the model. Sometimes, you have to change the direction of the normals ( Flip Normals button in F9 edit mode). In the materials buttons, “tex-face” must be activated for the UV to render. These are the basics.

The uv assignment is done after creating a material, if you did not create one before you exported the model. I create many materials for a model before I export it, to segment the different maps. For example, a simple character can have red assigned to the arms, blue assigned to the head, yellow assigned to the body, and so on. You can assign uv coordinates to the model as a whole before exporting it, or create new ones when you open the model with the mapping program. You can group according to material, which allows cylinderical mapping on the head and planar on the body. When you save these coordinates…that is all you are doing.
To create bumpmaps, load an image as a texture ( 8 bit greyscale), choose the mapping type in the material buttons as UV, and enter the name of your object. The image that you load should be the same image that you are using for your uv, but an altered version of it ( what details you want “bumped”) Using sevral layers of texture, you can use different maps for specularity, reflection, hardness, etc…

Try this out and let me know how it goes.

OK, I think I get it now. Sadly, I am at work so I have to wait until tonight to try it out.

Love your signature BTW. I try to stress getting it right on simple things to my kids (setting the table, scales on the piano, etc.) Never had the right words to say why this was important. That one goes on my office door.

Thanks again for the help,


Looks like I have it. I still had a few steps that felt accidental, but I did manage to do the roundtirp and get a texture that I had drawn onto my model.

Thanks so much for the help,

Not a problem. I am glad you were able to make some sense out of my jumbled response. I have been working very long hours for the last few weeks, and I am having trouble understanding myself at times.