My current workflow is:

  • UV unwrap my 3d object in Blender
  • Export UV map as a .png
  • Import UV map into photo editing software (Photoshop/ClipStudio Paint)
  • Create a new layer and paint the UV map in a separate layer, using the UV map as reference (where the outlines are)
  • Save the painted UV map as a png
  • Import the painted UV map .png as a texture in Blender.

The most time consuming part of this workflow is that I have to keep a mental reference to what part of the UV map maps to what part of the 3d object. Sometimes I don’t know which part of the 3d model a certain part of the UV map refers to and I find myself making brush strokes in Blender on the texture to determine where it maps to on the UV map.

Is there a way (built into Blender or an addon) that can:

  • Add reference numbers/letters to the exported UV map
  • Export a third angle projection image of the 3d object (or something similar) that has the same reference numbers/letters as the exported UV map to use as reference when painting over the UV map in Photoshop/ClipStudio Paint

I know Blender allows you to paint directly onto the 3d model (Substance Painter also allows this) but my computer does not have enough power to follow this type of workflow.

I am open to look at existing workflow's that follow a similar process.

Here is an example of the UV map that I want to generate as reference: enter image description here

Here is an example of the projection image I want to generate to help map the UV map to the 3d model: enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Where do those shapes inside UV cells come from? It kind of looks like sub-grids of a high poly version of the mesh. 🤔 $\endgroup$ May 24, 2021 at 7:19
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkusvonBroady the projection image (the second image) was just an example image I downloaded from the internet as an example. The first image is a UV map of the default cube. $\endgroup$ May 24, 2021 at 14:50

1 Answer 1


The closest I can come up with:

Go to the "UV Editing" work space

Select your object and enter edit mode

Create the UV map. Here I'll use the default cube and its default unwrapping for simplicity.

Use the UV menu to export the UV Map to a file:

export UV Map

Make sure to check "all UVs" in the file dialog:

All UVS checked

Create a new image using the "+ New Button"

Set the background color to whatever works for

Make sure you create a blank image:

enter image description here

Switch to the image editor:

switch to image editor

Switch to paint mode:

switch to paint mode

Use the paint brush to add your annotations:


Save the image to a file:

saving the image

Now you have two images files, one with the outline of the UV Map, the other with annotations. Load them into your favorite image editor as layers, with the UV map above the annotations. Set opacity to taste and you end up with something like this in the image editor:

layers in the image editor

You can even use this technique to temporarily put the annotations on your model by giving it a material that uses the image you created as an image texture:

shader to show annotations

Using the shader:

enter image description here

This will even allow you to place the correct orientation for the faces, if they happen to be otherwise indistinguishable.


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