UV painting

Hi all,

No real experience in UV painting

Looking for advice regarding UV painting this model of Einstein i’ve created (with a view to printing as full colour sandstone within Shapeways). Can i UV paint a mesh this dense? I’m intuitively guessing it’s too dense!? Any advice/direction greatly received.


Hi, you need a better unwrap than that else all your tri faces will share the exact same coloring. For starters see:

Unwrap from there.

What format does shapeways expect for color printing? If it accepts vertex colors and the mesh is dense enough you could paint vertices rather than a texture. Just an alternative, not necessarily better.

This Einstein figure looks lovely.

This entirely depends on your computer specs. But if it’s too laggy, you can always retopologize your model and paint on the low poly version. This way you’d get a clean model for printing (without losing any detail of course).
If you plan to do that feel free to ask me for advice on it.

Thanks ChameleonScales for your reply and kind compliment.

For the moment it seems that SHapeways will accept a vertex painted 3DX file and is suitable for coloured sandstone! I was wondering whether retopologising would be the best option. The query i did have about this approach is this; retopologising would mean using a subdividision modifier. Once the modifier has been applied i’m guessing the UV texture will still fit it??

Thanks again

Hi LoboTommy,

Thanks for your reply. It does seem that Shapeways will accept a vertex painted 3DX file for full colour sandstone printing! This approach seems the speediest in the instance. Thanks again for your help!


No probs. From a quick search it seems there might not be a .3dx exporter for Blender, but that .vrml might be an option? You’ll have to investigate further / confirm your format and pipeline. I was expecting .ply would work but see no mention of it. :man_shrugging:
Share pics when done? Cheers

Sorry i meant .x3d (if that’s different!?) and v2.79 certainly exports in that format and it seems to upload to SHapeways fine. Proof will be in the printing! I will certainly post finished pics.

Thanks again!

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The best in this situation is to use the multires modifier so you can work at any subdivision level you want and not lose any detail in the end, by using this technique:

As for retopologizing the mesh, since you’re not going to animate this model, you’d be better off using Instant Meshes.

Ah! I’v never heard of Instant Meshes…looks useful. Thanks very much!

Had a look at instant meshes but can’t install it - its far from simple! Apparently, it won’t run on anything older than OS X 10.12 (mine is 10.5 and can;t upgrade further!) DO you happen to know if there’s version that will run on older OS X…can;t find one!

Sorry but I have no idea, being a Linux user who’s never held a mac.
Otherwise you can always retopologize directly in Blender, though that will take much longer.

If you do so, I recommend using my backface hiding add-on rather than Zacharias’s Alt+B trick (he seemed to approve it in the comments)

Thanks Chameleon,

Was a long shot question! Done re toplogising before but yeah, it’s a labourious process!

Thanks for your help!

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Little forum habit tips: Remember to link your finished project thread in the WIP thread when you post it and to accept an answer as a solution if your problem is solved

Okay! Thanks! Think that’s done it!

U’re welcome. Sorry I thought the other einstein 3D print was in the “Finished Projects” category but it’s actually in “Work in Progress”, so what I said about linking the thread was not so relevant.