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Hello Everyone,

I am new to Blender and digital sculpting, I've only been at this a month or so. Thus far I've been unable to find a good resource regarding painting digital sculpts that will be used for illustrative purposes. Therefore I do not wish to make low-poly versions. Attached are a few busts I've created of some of my characters ranging from caricature, fantasy as well as cartoon. I'm looking for an efficient way to paint these for rendering in Cycles. Does anyone have any recommendations as to best-practices for painting high-poly sculpts that will be used for digital illustration and not gaming? Is there a some additional software I could get for this purpose?

Thank you in advance for your help! Best regards, David Mansch www.mansch.com

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Blender.Se. I think that there are many different ways to approach the problem. Try to tell more about your goals and restrictions, why you are not satified with for example texture painting/vertex painting, why you would like to use additional software, for which purpose, what kind of style you have in mind.... $\endgroup$ – Carlo Nov 12 '17 at 17:55
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    $\begingroup$ You may use vertex paint (wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.4/Manual/Materials/…). $\endgroup$ – Paul Gonet Nov 12 '17 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ I'm a traditional illustrator hoping to expand into the 3D world. The painting toolset within Blender, so far, does not seem very efficient. I was hoping to paint directly to the sculpt similar to painting in Zbrush. I could use Painter, but the thought of laying out uv's in a clean manner for such a high-poly workflow is mind boggling. I was under the assumption Blender could handle this task. I am enjoying working with Blender and am hoping there is a workflow to support high-quality painting directly to the sculpt. $\endgroup$ – David Mansch Nov 12 '17 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ I tried Vertex Paint but it doesn't seem to render in Cycles, plus the toolset is lacking. $\endgroup$ – David Mansch Nov 12 '17 at 18:04
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    $\begingroup$ Vertex Paint can be rendered in Cycles just fine, see blender.stackexchange.com/questions/19459/…. Vertex paint is the nearest alternative of the PolyPaint in ZBrush. Regarding the toolset provide more info about your needs and what you don't find; "lacking" doesn't explain anything $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Nov 12 '17 at 18:30

Use Vertex Paint mode to color the sculpt. To make the vertex colors renderable set the nodes as pictured below (add the Atribute node with the vertex color's name and use it as a Diffuse color). There are some limitations in this method though- you have the access to only few brushes (compared to the ones available in Texture Paint mode) and the sculpted mesh should be very dense if you want to paint some detailed strokes. enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you Paul, exactly what I needed. You're a gentleman and a scholar! $\endgroup$ – David Mansch Nov 13 '17 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the kind words David. I've visited your website and have to admit you're a very talented illustrator. Really love your style. Awesome works! $\endgroup$ – Paul Gonet Nov 13 '17 at 2:35

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