Less than a week after FiberMesh to Splines, Marius Silaghi has released Projection Painter for 3ds Max.
Projection Painter exports a snapshot of your model from 3ds Max to Photoshop (or whichever 2D app you favour) for painting, then automatically reprojects the updated texture onto the geometry.
The plugin enables changes to be projected onto separate layers and edited independently of each other.
The snapshot exported to Photoshop includes the effect of the normal map and lighting, enabling artists to paint in context, without having to guess how the diffuse texture will interact with other maps.
All the other map types (bump, specular, opacity and so on) can also be exported for painting.
Cheap and effective
The workflow means hopping from one app to another, and as you can see from the video above, there’s a slight delay while Max updates, so it’s not quite as seamless as using a dedicated 3D paint package like Mari. But at a fraction of the cost, it’s an option that a lot of less specialist artists may find attractive.
Projection Painter for 3ds Max is available for 3ds Max 2011 and above, and any paint package that supports the PSD file format. It costs €50 (around $65).