Stencil Mapping Tutorial

Hey guys,

Never stencil mapped in Blender or really at all before, are there any good tutorials out there? I seen some for BProjection but that’s obsolete now apparently. Just can’t find much info on the default Blender way of doing things!

Thanks in advance! :cool:

Search Vscorpionic on youtube. There is a tutorial on Texture Painting.

Thanks for the reply mate. I’ve watched that video and others countless times now and I cannot get this working. It is in no way at all a simple process in my opinion.

It’s the whole getting the layers and textures set up that I’m struggling with. None of the videos really explain in great detail this process. Deadline is looming and I have spent hours and hours trying and failing and getting this working. :frowning:

Can anyone help me please? I’m hardly an idiot so have no idea why I’m struggling with this so much.

Okay this is killing me. I’m gonna explain in a bit of detail what I’m looking for and I hope to god someone is kind enough to explain the steps to me.

I have sculpted a stone fireplace as pictured:

I have unwrapped it and now want to paint the object using this texture for example:

I want to use the method of having the texture appear as an overlay over the object I’m painting and I move, resize and rotate the texture around to fit where I want to paint on top of. I know it’s entirely possible and normal to do this but I cannot for the life of me get it set up.

I’ve seen various tutorials where people apply empty pure black textures to the object first. I’ve seen people creating several UV maps and referencing one to the other when painting. I’ve seen materials and textures being used which is weird to me as I’m used to nodes and the Cycles way of working. The whole material/texture route for BI is confusing to me as I’ve never learnt it.

All I’m hoping for is what I imagine is a few basic steps to get from the stage where I have an unwrapped model to where it is set up and ready to paint. I can work out and learn the painting as I go. I would just like some help in getting it set up.

This has really set me back now the time I’ve spent the last week trying to muck about with this and frankly just putting it off as I’ve struggled so much. If there is someone out there that can take a few minutes explaining this to me then please please do. You would be a lifesaver.

Cheers guys. :slight_smile:

Using 2.67b, you can access the stencil brush this Texture to the Brush by first choosing the icon that looks like a brush, then add a texture - then change to Image and pick your image from the source destination folder.

Switching to Texture Paint mode (assuming you have already unwrapped your mesh and added a new image to paint to) you can then see the texture paint controls in the tool shelf in the 3d viewport. Just underneath the Alpha and Mix mode of the brush, you see a tab marked Texture. Click this and choose your desired texture image you already set up as a brush (since more than one are possible, I inlcude this). In this tab you can choose mapping, and default is Tiled - switch to Stencil and you should then hover your mouse over the viewport, and see a light overlay of your image in the viewport.

Painting is as easy as just using F to define the strength, and painting. To simple use the stencil, RMB to drag it, Shift RMB to scale it, Ctrl RMB to rotate it (might be mixed up, I don’t have a mouse to check right yet)

Remember to save your texture as you paint it so that you don’t lose your work.

Simple illustrated example :

Have your model unwrapped and in the UV/Image editor have a texture assigned to it

Go to Texture Paint mode

Now in the Texture panel, enable the “Brush Texture” button

Click on New to add a texture, set the Type to Image/Movie then at the Image tab click on “Open”

Browse to your texture and load it

Back to the 3D View in the Texture Paint mode, in the toolshelf, click on the Texture tab and select your brush texture (if you have defined only 1 , it should already be selected), if you have added several , click on the texture preview and select the texture you want.

Now change the Brush Mapping to “Stencil”

Move your mouse cursor to the 3D view, you’ll see the texture appearing semi transparently

While holding Right Mouse button you can move that stencil around with your mouse
While holding SHIFT+Right Mouse button (and moving the mouse) you can resize that stencil
While holding CTRL+Right Mouse button (and moving the mouse) you can rotate that stencil

Now you can paint on your model by painting on the stencil (that will project itself on the model)
Remember to set the size (shortcut F) and strength of your brushes ( shortcut SHIFT+F )

You can paint using the stencil in the UV/Image Editor too, as long as you set its mode to Paint (default being on View), same controls as in the 3D View for the stencil

1 Like

Sanctuary, your tutorial is perfect - this should be on the wiki pages

Hi guys, thank you a hundred times over. :smiley: You have saved me.

It seems so so simple the way you describe it. As Craig says, your tutorial is perfect Sanctuary. Not to take anything away from you either though Craig! I have no idea why some of the tutorials I’ve read and watched do things in a much more convoluted way. It really confused me. This method could not be simpler though. I’m painting away now as we speak, but just had to quickly jump in to say thanks.

I’ll probably have more questions but the only thing I’m curious of at the moment is to do with stencil resolution. I’m painting bricks from a 10k x 3k photo right now, it runs perfectly smooth and fast but the overlay is very low resolution. Can this be fixed? The detail paints on fine, I would just like the overlay to appear as full resolution too. Hope this is possible?

Cheers again guys!

OUTSTANDING TUTORIAL Sanctuary. I have been looking for something this simple and clear for months you should print it up and put it on the wiki. One question how do you make the uv unwrap in the uv/image window stand out more so you can see where you are painting?


I got this far - where I am stuck is, after having applied the stencil, when returning to Object Mode and Rendering, the stencil is not there! What am I missing?

Many thanks

I might as well post it there in case similar questions happen

Something to keep in mind is that in Blender what you will render are materials and texture attached to them, not what is in the UV/Image Editor

So once you have created a texture with the stencils from the Texture Paint mode you will need to do the following :

  • In the UV/Image Editor , click on Image -> Save As and save the image and save it into by example a PNG image file

  • create a material to your object by going to the Material panel and click on the “New” button

  • once done a new material is created and selected, then go to the texture panel and click “New”

  • change the Type to “Image or Movie”

  • click on “Open” and load the image you saved previously

  • At the Mapping tab, change the Coordinates to " UV "

Now when you will render your object it should render the new texture you have created with the stencil.

Note, that is for Blender Render, i don’t use Cycles, so if you want to use Cycles i can’t help more.

Thank you Sanctuary! You’r my hero :slight_smile:
Been close, but could not quite figure this out. I wish this was part of the Wiki.

Your help is SUPER appreciated! Good karma to you!

In cycles, just add a “texture”, image texture node and load up your image there. Attach to the diffuse node attached to the “surface” in your material output node and there ya go!..UV is default, so u need to unwrap your model as stated, if not, add a “Input”, texture cord. node and set to what ever you want, usually generated if model is not unwrappd. But you need to unwrap to paint.


Very cool … have never tried doing this before… thanks for the tutorial! Great share!

Great tutorial Sanctuary.

I’ve been using Zero Brush… it’s amazingly simple to use.

I tried Zero Brush a few weeks back and could not get it to work as advertised… the YouTube video said that if I "clicked on the paint button everything would be set to start working… but not so… not sure why… I didn’t pursue it after that… I’m sure it works … I mean I could see it works on the youtube video… it’s just that it didn’t set everything to imediately start painting the way It was said to do in the youtube video… perhaps it’s because I was using Blender 2.71… maybe there’s some compatability issue…