Friday, October 22nd, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

ArmorPaint 0.8 ships

The Armory development team has released ArmorPaint 0.8, a major update to the promising open-source 3D painting app, adding path traced rendering and texture baking, decal layers and edge wear materials.

The release also adds new iPad and Android builds of the software, live link plugins for Blender and Maya, support for the Metal and Vulkan graphics APIs, and ArmorPaint Cloud, a new online asset library.

The software, which is free to compile from the source, and costs under $20 for compiled binaries, is seen by many a possible future alternative to tools like Adobe’s Substance 3D Painter.

A standalone 3D painting tool for creating game-ready PBR texture maps
Developed by the team behind open-source game engine Armory, ArmorPaint is a standalone 3D texture painting tool capable of generating PBR texture maps for use in other game engines or DCC software.

It was first released in early 2018, and is officially in early access.

Like Substance Painter, ArmorPaint enables artists to texture models by painting directly on their surface in a real-time 3D viewport.

Users can import 3D assets in OBJ, FBX and STL format, or as Blender scene files. Texture maps can be imported in a range of standard 2D formats, including PSD and HDR.

The software includes its own node-based material editor, making it possible to create base materials for the model directly within ArmorPaint.

Alternatively, users can import existing sets of PBR texture maps, which ArmorPaint will then automatically assemble into a material.

Users can then paint material properties onto the model using a set of Substance Painter-like tools, including a basic paintbrush; an eraser; fill, clone and blur tools; plus an experimental particle brush.

Both the 3D view and a corresponding 2D view showing the UV layout update in real time: the software is GPU-based, and is described as offering “seamless” 16K texture painting on a “high-end graphics card”.

Completed texture maps can be exported as 8-bit JPEG or PNG files or 16-bit/32-bit EXRs. It is also possible to bake a range of geometry-based texture maps, including AO, Cavity, Curvature and World Space Normal.

ArmorPaint 0.8: ray traced rendering and baking, edge wear materials and a new decal system
To that, ArmorPaint 0.8 adds new features right across the board, including support for real-time path traced rendering in the 3D viewport.

The functionality is also available in the new Bake workspace – added as part of an overhaul of the software’s UI – making it possible to generate ray traced textures.

There is also a new Material workspace for composing and exporting materials, along with a lot of related new features, including support for procedural Edge Wear materials.

The update also adds support for decal layers and makes it possible to use decal textures as brush masks.

It is also now possible to group texture layers, set group opacity, apply Fill Masks, use unlimited masks per layer and to set mask blending properties.

New import and export options, plus live links to Blender and Maya
Changes affecting integration of ArmorPaint into a production pipeline include the option to import vector shapes in SVG format and USD assets in USDC format.

There are also new integration plugins for Blender and Maya, which create a live link between the two applications, in the same way as the existing plugins for Unity and Unreal Engine.

Changes to export workflow include materials presets for Minecraft RTX and Unigine, plus the option to export texture atlases for games, and to pack maerials or brushes into ArmorPaint .arm files.

Support for Metal and Vulkan
Under the hood, the software also supports Apple’s Metal API for GPU acceleration in the macOS build, and the cross-platform Vulkan graphics API, with an experimental VKRT (Vulkan Ray Tracing) build for Linux.

There are also new iPadOS and Android editions, available as commercial apps, plus “initial support” for virtual reality headsets and for high-refresh-rate monitors.

New integrated online library of CC0 materials, textures and HDRIs
The Armory Team has also launched ArmorPaint Cloud, an online library of materials, brushes, decals and HDRI environments, accessible directly from within the software.

At the time of writing, there are over 100 materials available under a CC0 licence.

Pricing and system requirements
ArmorPaint is available in early access for Windows, Linux, macOS, iPadOS and Android. The integration plugins are compatible with Blender 2.80+, Maya 2018+ and the current releases of Unity and Unreal Engine.

The source code is available free under a zlib licence. You can find instructions for compiling from source on GitHub. This third-party video tutorial explains how to compile ArmorPaint on Windows 10.

To help support development work, compiled binaries are available via Gumroad, and cost €16 (around $19). Once you’ve bought the software, further updates are free. The iPad and Android apps cost $16.99.

Read a full list of new features in ArmorPaint 0.8 in the online changelog

Read an overview of ArmorPaint in the software’s online manual