sculpting with texture as a mask

In Zbrush there is a way to sculpt with texture as a mask. Is it also possible in Blender? I have seen tutorial where someone was sculpting all bumps manually on textured model, but I would like to avoid that.

Thanks, but this is not exactly what I had in mind. I have a texture already painted on the model, and it would be great if there is a way to sculpt on that in a way that blender treat texture as a mask. In other words, pressure supposed to be controlled by color.

Or maybe somebody knows, how to use dirt map, alpha map or any other map as a mask?

Blender currently doesn’t have this feature, but there’s a rightclickselect proposal about it, so you should upvote it !

In the mean time I found a workaround but it requires 3 add-ons and the detail is limited to the resolution of your current geometry (although you will still be able to use dyntopo) :

Here’s how to do it :

  • enable Blender Internal renderer
  • select your object and go in Edit Mode
  • in UV/Image Editor, select your texture
  • in 3D view go in Vertex Paint mode
  • In Tool shelf > Misc tab > Bake, click on “UV Texture to VCols” (you can then go Back to Cycles if that’s where you were)
  • with your cursor hovering the 3D view, hit Space and search for “weight & color”
  • in Convert, select “Vertex color to weight” and in “Color type” select “Gray scale”
  • go in Sculpt Mode
  • In Tool shelf > Sculpt tab > Mask Tools, click on “Create Mask”
  • MMB drag on the 3D view to refresh the view and reveal the mask
  • BOOM !
  • haha !

It gets fast enough when you’re used to it. But if someone knows a quicker workaround, TELL ME !!!

Notice that since you can convert vertex colors to a sculpt mask, this means you can use “Paint Dirty Vertex Colors”! How neat ?
Don’t forget that unless you check “Dirt only” you won’t have a high contrast with pure white, so you may want to enable it and tweak the angle values to have a good contrast.

ALSO, you may notice that the Mask tools add-on (sculpt tab) has options to directly mask by cavity, but you will find that it looks crappy as f*** compared to “Paint Dirty Vertex Colors”.

BONUS : Mask by topology like in ZBrush with the Mask Tools add-on :

Thank you. Huge help

Wow, look on that big juicy brain on you. Really neat technique! Sorry for offtopic, but how do I upvote on rightclickselect? Should I comment first?

On the left side of the titles, you have the number of votes and up and down arrows. Click on the up one (no need to comment). I don’t know if you need to have an account in order to vote though.

Is it possible to use a texture to sculpt and to texture paint at the same time? I would like to sculpt a cliff with some rock textures. How would I be able to texture paint with the same coordinates I used in sculpting? Or is this not possible?


You can add a displacement modifier, add a texture to it and paint on it. When you’re done, you can apply the modifier and you will have a texture that matches the geometry.

This is most likely what arec was asking about. I’ve been asking about it for like a year now also.