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3D painting

  1. Photoshop User Guide
  2. Introduction to Photoshop
    1. Dream it. Make it.
    2. What's new in Photoshop
    3. Edit your first photo
    4. Create documents
    5. Photoshop | Common Questions
    6. Photoshop system requirements
    7. Migrate presets, actions, and settings
    8. Get to know Photoshop
  3. Photoshop and other Adobe products and services
    1. Work with Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
    2. Work with Photoshop files in InDesign
    3. Substance 3D Materials for Photoshop
    4. Photoshop and Adobe Stock
    5. Use the Capture in-app extension in Photoshop
    6. Creative Cloud Libraries
    7. Creative Cloud Libraries in Photoshop
    8. Use the Touch Bar with Photoshop
    9. Grid and guides
    10. Creating actions
    11. Undo and history
  4. Photoshop on the iPad
    1. Photoshop on the iPad | Common questions
    2. Get to know the workspace
    3. System requirements | Photoshop on the iPad
    4. Create, open, and export documents
    5. Add photos
    6. Work with layers
    7. Draw and paint with brushes
    8. Make selections and add masks
    9. Retouch your composites
    10. Work with adjustment layers
    11. Adjust the tonality of your composite with Curves
    12. Apply transform operations
    13. Crop and rotate your composites
    14. Rotate, pan, zoom, and reset the canvas
    15. Work with Type layers
    16. Work with Photoshop and Lightroom
    17. Get missing fonts in Photoshop on the iPad
    18. Japanese Text in Photoshop on the iPad
    19. Manage app settings
    20. Touch shortcuts and gestures
    21. Keyboard shortcuts
    22. Edit your image size
    23. Livestream as you create in Photoshop on the iPad
    24. Correct imperfections with the Healing Brush
    25. Create brushes in Capture and use them in Photoshop
    26. Work with Camera Raw files
    27. Create and work with Smart Objects
    28. Adjust exposure in your images with Dodge and Burn
  5. Photoshop on the web beta
    1. Common questions | Photoshop on the web beta 
    2. Introduction to the workspace
    3. System requirements | Photoshop on the web beta
    4. Keyboard shortcuts | Photoshop on the web beta
    5. Supported file types | Photoshop on the web beta
    6. Open and work with cloud documents
    7. Collaborate with stakeholders
    8. Apply limited edits to your cloud documents
  6. Cloud documents
    1. Photoshop cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Photoshop cloud documents | Workflow questions
    3. Manage and work with cloud documents in Photoshop
    4. Upgrade cloud storage for Photoshop
    5. Unable to create or save a cloud document
    6. Solve Photoshop cloud document errors
    7. Collect cloud document sync logs
    8. Share access and edit your cloud documents
    9. Share files and comment in-app
  7. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Learn faster with the Photoshop Discover Panel
    3. Create documents
    4. Use the Touch Bar with Photoshop
    5. Tool galleries
    6. Performance preferences
    7. Use tools
    8. Touch gestures
    9. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    10. Technology previews
    11. Metadata and notes
    12. Default keyboard shortcuts
    13. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    14. Place Photoshop images in other applications
    15. Preferences
    16. Default keyboard shortcuts
    17. Rulers
    18. Show or hide non-printing Extras
    19. Specify columns for an image
    20. Undo and history
    21. Panels and menus
    22. Place files
    23. Position elements with snapping
    24. Position with the Ruler tool
    25. Presets
    26. Customize keyboard shortcuts
    27. Grid and guides
  8. Web, screen, and app design
    1. Photoshop for design
    2. Artboards
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    4. Copy CSS from layers
    5. Slice web pages
    6. HTML options for slices
    7. Modify slice layout
    8. Work with web graphics
    9. Create web photo galleries
  9. Image and color basics
    1. How to resize images
    2. Work with raster and vector images
    3. Image size and resolution
    4. Acquire images from cameras and scanners
    5. Create, open, and import images
    6. View images
    7. Invalid JPEG Marker error | Opening images
    8. Viewing multiple images
    9. Customize color pickers and swatches
    10. High dynamic range images
    11. Match colors in your image
    12. Convert between color modes
    13. Color modes
    14. Erase parts of an image
    15. Blending modes
    16. Choose colors
    17. Customize indexed color tables
    18. Image information
    19. Distort filters are unavailable
    20. About color
    21. Color and monochrome adjustments using channels
    22. Choose colors in the Color and Swatches panels
    23. Sample
    24. Color mode or Image mode
    25. Color cast
    26. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    27. Add swatches from HTML CSS and SVG
    28. Bit depth and preferences
  10. Layers
    1. Layer basics
    2. Nondestructive editing
    3. Create and manage layers and groups
    4. Select, group, and link layers
    5. Place images into frames
    6. Layer opacity and blending
    7. Mask layers
    8. Apply Smart Filters
    9. Layer comps
    10. Move, stack, and lock layers
    11. Mask layers with vector masks
    12. Manage layers and groups
    13. Layer effects and styles
    14. Edit layer masks
    15. Extract assets
    16. Reveal layers with clipping masks
    17. Generate image assets from layers
    18. Work with Smart Objects
    19. Blending modes
    20. Combine multiple images into a group portrait
    21. Combine images with Auto-Blend Layers
    22. Align and distribute layers
    23. Copy CSS from layers
    24. Load selections from a layer or layer mask's boundaries
    25. Knockout to reveal content from other layers
    26. Layer
    27. Flattening
    28. Composite
    29. Background
  11. Selections
    1. Select and Mask workspace
    2. Make quick selections
    3. Get started with selections
    4. Select with the marquee tools
    5. Select with the lasso tools
    6. Select a color range in an image
    7. Adjust pixel selections
    8. Convert between paths and selection borders
    9. Channel basics
    10. Move, copy, and delete selected pixels
    11. Create a temporary quick mask
    12. Save selections and alpha channel masks
    13. Select the image areas in focus
    14. Duplicate, split, and merge channels
    15. Channel calculations
    16. Selection
    17. Bounding box
  12. Image adjustments
    1. Perspective warp
    2. Reduce camera shake blurring
    3. Healing brush examples
    4. Export color lookup tables
    5. Adjust image sharpness and blur
    6. Understand color adjustments
    7. Apply a Brightness/Contrast adjustment
    8. Adjust shadow and highlight detail
    9. Levels adjustment
    10. Adjust hue and saturation
    11. Adjust vibrance
    12. Adjust color saturation in image areas
    13. Make quick tonal adjustments
    14. Apply special color effects to images
    15. Enhance your image with color balance adjustments
    16. High dynamic range images
    17. View histograms and pixel values
    18. Match colors in your image
    19. How to crop and straighten photos
    20. Convert a color image to black and white
    21. Adjustment and fill layers
    22. Curves adjustment
    23. Blending modes
    24. Target images for press
    25. Adjust color and tone with Levels and Curves eyedroppers
    26. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    27. Filter
    28. Blur
    29. Dodge or burn image areas
    30. Make selective color adjustments
    31. Replace object colors
  13. Adobe Camera Raw
    1. Camera Raw system requirements
    2. What's new in Camera Raw
    3. Introduction to Camera Raw
    4. Create panoramas
    5. Supported lenses
    6. Vignette, grain, and dehaze effects in Camera Raw
    7. Default keyboard shortcuts
    8. Automatic perspective correction in Camera Raw
    9. How to make non-destructive edits in Camera Raw
    10. Radial Filter in Camera Raw
    11. Manage Camera Raw settings
    12. Open, process, and save images in Camera Raw
    13. Repair images with the Enhanced Spot Removal tool in Camera Raw
    14. Rotate, crop, and adjust images
    15. Adjust color rendering in Camera Raw
    16. Feature summary | Adobe Camera Raw | 2018 releases
    17. New features summary
    18. Process versions in Camera Raw
    19. Make local adjustments in Camera Raw
  14. Image repair and restoration
    1. Remove objects from your photos with Content-Aware Fill
    2. Content-Aware Patch and Move
    3. Retouch and repair photos
    4. Correct image distortion and noise
    5. Basic troubleshooting steps to fix most issues
  15. Image transformations
    1. Transform objects
    2. Adjust crop, rotation, and canvas size
    3. How to crop and straighten photos
    4. Create and edit panoramic images
    5. Warp images, shapes, and paths
    6. Vanishing Point
    7. Use the Liquify filter
    8. Content-aware scaling
    9. Transform images, shapes, and paths
    10. Warp
    11. Transform
    12. Panorama
  16. Drawing and painting
    1. Paint symmetrical patterns
    2. Draw rectangles and modify stroke options
    3. About drawing
    4. Draw and edit shapes
    5. Painting tools
    6. Create and modify brushes
    7. Blending modes
    8. Add color to paths
    9. Edit paths
    10. Paint with the Mixer Brush
    11. Brush presets
    12. Gradients
    13. Gradient interpolation
    14. Fill and stroke selections, layers, and paths
    15. Draw with the Pen tools
    16. Create patterns
    17. Generate a pattern using the Pattern Maker
    18. Manage paths
    19. Manage pattern libraries and presets
    20. Draw or paint with a graphics tablet
    21. Create textured brushes
    22. Add dynamic elements to brushes
    23. Gradient
    24. Paint stylized strokes with the Art History Brush
    25. Paint with a pattern
    26. Sync presets on multiple devices
  17. Text
    1. Add and edit the text
    2. Unified Text Engine
    3. Work with OpenType SVG fonts
    4. Format characters
    5. Format paragraphs
    6. How to create type effects
    7. Edit text
    8. Line and character spacing
    9. Arabic and Hebrew type
    10. Fonts
    11. Troubleshoot fonts
    12. Asian type
    13. Create type
    14. Text Engine error using Type tool in Photoshop | Windows 8
  18. Video and animation
    1. Video editing in Photoshop
    2. Edit video and animation layers
    3. Video and animation overview
    4. Preview video and animations
    5. Paint frames in video layers
    6. Import video files and image sequences
    7. Create frame animations
    8. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    9. Create timeline animations
    10. Create images for video
  19. Filters and effects
    1. Use the Liquify filter
    2. Use the Blur Gallery
    3. Filter basics
    4. Filter effects reference
    5. Add Lighting Effects
    6. Use the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
    7. Use the Oil Paint filter
    8. Layer effects and styles
    9. Apply specific filters
    10. Smudge image areas
  20. Saving and exporting
    1. Save your files in Photoshop
    2. Export your files in Photoshop
    3. Supported file formats
    4. Save files in graphics formats
    5. Move designs between Photoshop and Illustrator
    6. Save and export video and animations
    7. Save PDF files
    8. Digimarc copyright protection
  21. Printing
    1. Print 3D objects
    2. Print from Photoshop
    3. Print with color management
    4. Contact Sheets and PDF Presentations
    5. Print photos in a picture package layout
    6. Print spot colors
    7. Duotones
    8. Print images to a commercial printing press
    9. Improve color prints from Photoshop
    10. Troubleshoot printing problems | Photoshop
  22. Automation
    1. Creating actions
    2. Create data-driven graphics
    3. Scripting
    4. Process a batch of files
    5. Play and manage actions
    6. Add conditional actions
    7. About actions and the Actions panel
    8. Record tools in actions
    9. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    10. Photoshop UI toolkit for plug-ins and scripts
  23. Color Management
    1. Understanding color management
    2. Keeping colors consistent
    3. Color settings
    4. Work with color profiles
    5. Color-managing documents for online viewing
    6. Color-managing documents when printing
    7. Color-managing imported images
    8. Proofing colors
  24. Content authenticity
    1. Learn about content credentials
    2. Identity and provenance for NFTs
    3. Connect accounts for creative attribution
  25. 3D and technical imaging
    1. Photoshop 3D | Common questions around discontinued 3D features
    2. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    3. Print 3D objects
    4. 3D painting
    5. 3D panel enhancements | Photoshop
    6. Essential 3D concepts and tools
    7. 3D rendering and saving
    8. Create 3D objects and animations
    9. Image stacks
    10. 3D workflow
    11. Measurement
    12. DICOM files
    13. Photoshop and MATLAB
    14. Count objects in an image
    15. Combine and convert 3D objects
    16. 3D texture editing
    17. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    18. 3D panel settings

  Discontinuation of 3D features in Photoshop

Photoshop’s 3D features will be removed in future updates. Users working with 3D are encouraged to explore Adobe’s new Substance 3D collection, which represents the next generation of 3D tools from Adobe. Additional details on the discontinuation of Photoshop’s 3D features can be found here: Photoshop 3D | Common questions on discontinued 3D features.

You can use any Photoshop painting tools to paint directly on a 3D model just as you would on a 2D layer. Use selection tools to target specific model areas or let Photoshop identify and highlight paintable areas. 3D menu commands let you clear away areas of a model to access interior or hidden portions for painting.

When painting directly on the model, you can choose which underlying texture map to apply paint to. Typically paint is applied to the diffuse texture map, which gives a model material its color properties. You can also paint on other texture maps, such as the bump map or opacity map. If you paint on an area of the model that lacks the type of texture map you’re painting on, a texture map is automatically created.

Available 3D painting methods

Different painting methods are appropriate for different use cases. Photoshop provides the following 3D painting methods:

Live 3D Painting: (Default in Photoshop) Brush strokes made in the 3D model view or the texture view are reflected in real time in the other view. This 3D painting method offers high performance and minimum distortion.

Layer Projection Painting: The Gradient tool and filters use this painting method. The Layer Projection Painting method involves merging a painted layer with the underlying 3D layer. During the merge operation, Photoshop automatically projects the paint onto the appropriate target textures.

Projection Painting: (Default in Photoshop Extended CS6) Projection Painting is suitable for painting multiple textures simultaneously or for painting the seam between two textures. However, in general, it is a lower-performance painting method and may result in cracks when you’re painting complex 3D objects.

Texture Painting: You can open the 2D texture and paint it directly.

Photoshop Live 3D painting
Live 3D Painting

Some tips to paint 3D models

  • If the model area is hidden, you can temporarily cut away surface areas that are blocking your view. See Reveal surfaces to paint on.
  • If you are painting on curved or irregular surfaces, you can get visual feedback before you paint of which areas can best receive paint. See Identify paintable areas. You can also set the paint fall-off angle, which controls the amount of paint applied to angled surfaces. See Set the paint falloff angle.
  • While painting texture seams, a single brush stamp applies only to one side of the seam. Move the center of the brush across the seam to paint its other side.

Paint an object in the Live 3D Painting mode

  1. Open the 3D model in the 3D model view.
  2. Open the texture document that you want to paint. To do so, double-click the name of the texture in the Layers panel.
  3. Select Window > Arrange > Tile to view the 3D model view and the texture document side by side.
  4. Using the Brush tool, paint the 3D model or the texture document. Your brush stokes reflect automatically in the other view.

Switch to the Projection Painting mode

  1. Create or open a 3D model.
  2. Select 3D > Use Projection Painting.
  3. Paint your 3D model.

In the Master 3D document, Photoshop uses the Projection Painting method by default for painting operations.

Unwrap UVs of a 3D model

Photoshop provides an option to automatically unwrap UV maps for your 3D model.

  1. Open the 3D model.
  2. Select 3D > Generate UVs.
  3. The warning When using Generate UVs, all of the meshes' materials' textures will be flattened is displayed. Click OK to continue.
  4. In the Generate UVs dialog box that appears, choose the following material and unwrapping options:

Merge Materials

If multiple maps—for example, Diffuse and Bump maps—exist on a single mesh, combine them into one map.

Example: Combine two different Diffuse maps into one Diffuse map.

If you have multiple meshes, each of them will still have their own map. For example, if you have three separate meshes with three Diffuse maps, you'll still have three separate Diffuse maps for each mesh.

Preserve Appearance

On a best-effort basis, maintains the look of the 3D model and its textures when new UVs are generated. If you choose to not enable this option, the current textures are not preserved.

UV Map Size

Select the required size for the generated UV maps (pixels x pixels). You have the option choose 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, or 4096.

Low Distortion

Keeps the texture pattern more intact, but can create more seams on the model surface.

Fewer Seams

Minimizes the number of seams that appear on the model. This can produce more stretching or pinching of the texture, depending on the model.

  1. Click OK.
  2. You can view the generated UVs under the Diffuse section in the Layers panel.

After generating UVs for a Fuse model, the model moves from its original position. This is a expected behavior in most rigged models, as the rigged position is different from the position of the mesh. The model shifts to the mesh position because the rig is removed when generating UVs for that model.


To preview any of the generated UV maps, hold the cursor over the layer item in the Layers panel. To open the UV map in a separate window, doube-click that layer item.

Target a texture type for painting

You can target eight different texture types for painting:

  1. With your 3D model open, select 3D > Paint On Target Texture.
  2. Choose the texture type that you want to paint.

In 3D models having multiple textures, only the texture that you open and start painting on is painted.

Photoshop Choosing Paint On Target Texture from menu
Paint a target texture type

Paint in the unlit mode

You can choose to paint your 3D objects in the unlit mode. This mode ignores any lighting in your scene and wraps raw texture data of the appropriate type around your 3D objects. Painting in the unlit mode lets you paint without shading and with greater color accuracy.

Follow these steps:

  1. In the 3D panel, select Scene.
  2. In the Properties panel, select Surface.
  3. Select Unlit Texture from the Style pop-up menu.

Reveal surfaces to paint on

For more complex models with interior or hidden areas, you can hide sections of the model for easier access to surfaces you want to paint. For example, to apply paint to the dashboard of a car model, you can temporarily cut away the roof or windshield, then zoom inside the car to get an unobstructed view.

  1. Select an area of the model that you want to cut away, using a selection tool such as the Lasso or Marquee tool.

  2. Use any of the following 3D menu commands to reveal or hide areas of the model:

    Hide Nearest Surface

    hides only the first layer of model polygons within the 2D selection. To quickly peel away surface of the model, you can use this command repeatedly while keeping the selection area active.


    When hiding surfaces, rotate the model if necessary to position surfaces so that they are perpendicular to your currentview.

    Only Hide Enclosed Polygons

    When selected, the Hide Nearest Surface command only affects polygons that are fully within the selection. When unchecked, ithides any polygons touched by the selection.

    Invert Visible Surfaces

    Makes currently visible surfaces invisible, and invisible surfaces visible.

    Reveal All Surfaces

    Makes all hidden surfaces visible again.

Set the paint falloff angle

When painting on a model, the paint falloff angle controls how much paint is applied to a surface as it curves away from the forward-facing view. The falloff angle is calculated based on a “normal”, or straight line projecting out from the part of the model surface that faces you. For example, in a spherical model such as a soccer ball, the falloff angle to the exact center of the ball as it faces you is 0 degrees. As the surface of the ball curves away, the falloff angle increases, up to 90 degrees at the edges of the ball.

Photoshop Setting paint falloff angle

A. Eye/camera angle B. Minimum angle C. Maximum angle D. Paint fade start E. Paint fade end 

  1. Choose 3D > 3D Paint Falloff.

  2. Set the minimum and maximum angle settings.

    • The maximum paint falloff range is 0 - 90 degrees. At 0 degrees, paint is only applied to the surface if it is facing directly forward, with no drop-off angle. At 90 degrees, paint can follow a curved surface such as a sphere to its visible edges. At a 45 degree setting, the painted area is limited to the areas of the sphere that don’t curve away at more than 45 degrees.

    • The Minimum falloff angle sets a range within which paint gradually fades as it approaches the maximum falloff angle. For example, if the maximum falloff angle is 45, and the minimum falloff is 30, paint opacity decreases from 100 to 0 percent between 30 and 45 degrees of falloff.

Identify paintable areas

It may not be clear just from looking at a 3D model whether you can successfully paint on certain areas. Because the model view may not provide a 1 to 1 correspondence with the 2D texture itself, applying paint directly to the model is different from directly painting on a 2D texture map. What appears to be a small brush on the model may in fact be much larger in relation to the texture, depending on the resolution of the texture, or how close you are to the model when applying paint.

Good paintable areas are areas where you can apply paint or other adjustments to the model surface with the most consistent and predictable effect. In other areas, paint may be undersampled or oversampled due to your angle or distance from the model surface.

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Choose 3D > Select Paintable Areas. A selection marquee highlights the best areas for painting on the model.

    • In Scene section  of the 3D panel, choose Paint Mask from the Preset menu.

      In Paint Mask mode, white shows areas good for painting, blue shows areas where paint will be undersampled, and red shows areas where paint will be oversampled. (To paint on the model, you must change from the Paint Mask render mode to a render mode that supports painting, such as Solid.)


The areas selected by Select Paintable Areas, and the paintable areas shown in Paint Mask mode, are partially determined by the current Paint Falloff setting. A higher paint falloff setting increases the paintable area, a lower setting decreases the paintable area. See Set the paint falloff angle.

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