Why You Should Start Using The Sculpt Mode Paint Brush Now

Using Vertex Paint Mode be like: …Now that we’re at a decent looking place, we’re gonna add some vertex paint to our model. We start with applying the base skin tone to the whole mesh. It’s normal to experience a bit of lag but don’t wor… Oh, it’s…not…responding. This could take a while. But don’t worry, with a decent computer, ten minutes should be a maximum.

Hey guys, Tobi here. I know I’m kinda late on this topic but I just can’t NOT talk about it. And maybe there could be someone reading who doesn’t know about it, so…Alright.

We probably all know that a few weeks ago, Blender officially released a new instalment in the Blender 3 series, which was 3.2. If you didn’t know, now you do. Yay! :smiley: It, of course, has some new stuff, such as improved caustics and light groups (which I know nothing about) and of course, the big, new bad boy (which for some reason isn’t on the website’s homepage), sculpt mode paint brush and the new color attribute. :unamused:
It’s all so different from vertex paint mode and vertex colors. With these tools, you can now apply color data to each vertex of the mesh, making you able to texture characters and objects without retopology, UVs and …cough…ahem…huhg. Okay, I know I was describing exactly vertex color but I promise, it’s really different.

To start with, rather than it being the mode we know and DON’T love with its limited settings, it’s a tool in the sculpt mode with various new settings to influence how the brush affects the color attribute data. I feel like its appearance in sculpt mode is done partly because being able to add color to rough, dense topology is usually a tool for sculptors. So, its natural habitat should be in sculpt mode. With that, I can say blender sculpt mode is getting more like ZBrush. Better watch out boys. Now, that’s the least close thing to Z Brush among the perks of the new paint brush.

Now, remember how there’s this setting to retain masks when you remesh? Well, I didn’t until two weeks ago , due to my lack of attentiveness. Well, now you know. The setting is now active by default (for those of us who didn’t know it existed). And so is a new setting which does the exact thing…but for color attribute data. Yes, I’m saying you can now remesh and keep the color data. Which means, you can get color on your sculpts early on. Sometimes, getting some color on very early, especially the various skin zones, could really help with gauging proportions as you move, plus, it kinda ties it all together and sometimes, makes you feel more comfortable or confident as the sculpt progresses. Now, that’s a competitor for ZBrush’s polypaint.

Now, to the real money maker. In comparison to vertex paint mode, paint brush is light speed. It handles large amounts of polys well with minimal lag experienced, leading to a smooth painting experience and the confidence to raise the poly count for cleaner sculpting and painting. When using the old vertex paint mode, there was always lag even with surprisingly small poly counts. A lotta times, it led to blender stopping to respond for some time, and even outrightly led to crashes. But now, with the new tool, you can paint on extremely dense meshes with even better performance than texture painting. Personally, I’m gonna try a new texturing workflow for complete characters where, instead of painting on image textures and experiencing inexplainable lag, I’ll take my retopoed and UVed character, duplicate him, apply as many subdivisions as necessary, then use the paint brush to paint my textures which I’ll later bake into images. Not sure if this’ll actually save time in all but I feel like the painting experience will be more fluid.

Alongside the paint brush, another color attribute influencing tool is the color filter which is added to the filter section of the sculpting brushes and tools (with cloth filter, mesh filter etc.). Have you ever wished that vertex paint mode had a fill tool, or ever had those moments where you don’t like how the colors are looking and you wanna influence the whole color data on the model? Well, that’s where the color filter brush has you covered. With the various filter types: fill, hue, saturation, value, brightness, contrast, smooth, red, green and blue, you can influence the corresponding property of the color data all over the object.

So, if you haven’t gone up to Blender 3.2 for whatever reason or the other (e.g.awesomenessphobia), you gotta do so now and try out the new sculpt mode paint brush. You will DEFINITELY LoVe

If you wanna know more of the plans for Blender 3.3 and other future versions, the Blender peeps released a video. But from what I remember, the whole painting thing is gonna be changed. Texture paint mode and vertex paint mode will be removed and replaced with a unified paint mode. In this mode, the same way you can normally choose which vertex color data or texture image you’re painting on, you’ll be able to do the same but all in the same mode or something. I can’t clearly remember much, so I might just be filling you with baloney, so it’d be beneficial if you checked yourself.

Thanks for reading.