Is anyone here experienced with Ps Extended? I saw a video on-line of someone painting directly on a model and was wondering if that meant you don’t have to unwrap your object. The school I go to provides CS3 Ext but I thought its 3D capability’s really sucked and I couldn’t figure out how to export the model with the texture back into blender. Although it seems that Adobe has considerably improved the 3D in more recent versions (CS5/6), the price is not something I can afford at this moment.
Cs6 is in beta at the moment and you can check it out for free for a limited time. Never used the 3d element of it, but I’ve read a lot of criticism of it. For painting directly onto the model I personally use zbrush, there are some other alternatives out there also that will probably? do the job better than PS. Thinking of 3d coat, mudbox, sculptris etc. Until Ptex is more wide spread you’re probably always going to have to unwrap your models, it becomes much easier after a few attempts.
Also, if you are only painting on your model and not mapping any other textures to it, you can often get away with just using stuff like Blender’s “smart UV project” tool. The painting isn’t BAD, per se. You get Photoshop’s normal painting tools, which are fairly powerful, and most people are familiar with them. Not only the brush tool, but also things like the dodge/burn/sponge tools, the blur and smudge tools, etc. You can also open the textures you are generating as 2D images to tweak them and then go back to painting (it works the same way as editing the contents of a smart object). On the other hand, viewport navigation is pretty awkward, and the performance isn’t always the best.
Even Photoshop CS6’s performance is quite bad for 3d painting, and the interface quite horrible. Painting in Blender, though not as powerful as far as tools go, is a better experience, if you ask me. Or try 3d Coat, Maxon BodyPaint, zbrush, just as seanser suggests.