Chapter 30. Painting in the Viewport Canvas and Rendering Surface Maps

Max is a 3D tool, and creating scenes with Max is quite a bit different from the traditional painting programs. Sometimes when you're working on a scene, especially when applying textures, you'll ache to return to those simple older painting programs of yesteryear. Happily, Max includes a mode that lets you simply throw paint around just like those old paint programs.

This paint mode is called the Viewport Canvas, and it turns the entire active viewport into a 2D surface; even better, when you are finished painting, your masterpiece is automatically transferred to the current object as a texture map.

If the ability to paint directly in the viewport doesn't interest you, then you'll be happy to know that you can use Max to render out a surface map that you can load into Photoshop or your favorite image-editing package and use as a template for your textures.

Using the Viewport Canvas

The Viewport Canvas lets you easily apply a painted texture to the selected object. It also has a feature that lets you choose the type of brush you paint with. The Canvas also includes a standard paint brush that is configurable and a Clone brush for copying anything viewed in the active viewport.


The Viewport Canvas feature is new to 3ds Max 2010.

To activate the Viewport Canvas, simply select the Tools

Figure 30.1. The ...

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