3D Texturing Tools

Top-10 Software in 2021

Naturally, when ordering product 3D models from CG artists, manufacturers and marketers expect to get the highest quality 3D objects and scenes. However, often it’s bad texturing with seams and twisted patterns that gives away an amateur 3D modeler. Although, it’s not about 3D texturing tools, it’s mostly how a CG artist uses them.

CG specialists must have advanced 3D modeling and texturing skills to make top-quality photorealistic models. And only those artists who work in a 3D modeling company can be fully trusted. See it for yourself a studio provides their employees with all necessary hardware, latest 3D soft, add-ons, and other 3D tools. On top of that, 3D companies oblige all artists to take special training and courses so they deliver top-notch 3D modeling and texturing services.

So before ordering 3D modeling, ask client managers for a portfolio and make inquiries on what 3D tools they use for modeling and texturing. To keep up with modern 3D technologies, read on our top-10 3D texturing tools that every professional will use in 2021.

#1. Autodesk Mudbox

A Logo of Autodesk Mudbox 3D Texturing Tool

OS:  Windows, macOS, Linux

Price:  $85/year

Free Version: no

Free Trial: 30 days

Mudbox is a 3D sculpting and 3D texturing tool powered by Autodesk. Thanks to Autodesk’s reputation, many CG specialists trust it and make tutorials and courses on its new features for the growing community. 

Aside from a user-friendly interface and brush-based workflow that many 3D artists find tactile and intuitive, Mudbox has an advanced retopology tool. It allows creating clean meshes from any imported and scanned data, which reduces the number of polygons and makes 3D texturing smooth and seamless. After retopology is done, CG experts can paint textures directly on a 3D model and bake texturing to keep it visually appealing but easy-to-render at the same time. 

#2. Adobe Photoshop

An Image for Photoshop Software That Has Many 3D Texturing and Painting Tools

OS:  Windows, macOS, Linux

Price:  $20.99/mo

Free Version: no

Free Trial: 7 days

Photoshop is a legendary photo editing software used by professionals for various industries. Because it’s so popular, there are also various tutorials and courses on Photoshop and a strong community of users all over the globe. Also, its developers are constantly improving the CG tool and upgrading existing functionality to enhance the working experience and simplify the workflow.

Photoshop meets high industry standards and allows CG artists to use a wide range of plugins with new functions effects. Today it provides all important 3D tools like painting in 3D and creating custom textures and maps from scratch. After the texture is ready, CG artists can save it in a .png file format and export it to another soft.

#3. Blender

An Image for a 3D Sculpting and 3D Texturing Tool

OS:  Windows, macOS, Linux, Free BSD

Price:  free

Free Version: yes

Free Trial: no

Blender is an open-source 3D creation suite that works for all the 3D processes possible — from 3D modeling, rendering,  rigging, simulation, compositing and motion tracking to video editing and even 2D animation. Blender has a powerful rendering engine, an intuitive interface and all 3D sculpting and texturing tools CG artists may need.

Because Blender is also free software, it stands out from many other 3D texturing tools and has a strong community around it. Almost every CG artist uses Blender and reports detected bugs so that developers fix them in the next Blender version. In the end, you get a working 3D tool that is also truly improving from release to release.

#4. ZBrush

A Logotype for a 3D Sculpting and 3D Texturing Tool

OS:  Windows, macOS

Price:  $39.95/mo

Free Version: no

Free Trial: 30 days

ZBrush by Pixologic is one of the 3D modeling and 3D texturing tools CG experts use for creating high-resolution 3D models. ZBrush is similar to traditional sculpturing and has powerful inner processing. This feature allows you to create any complex 3D objects from billions of polygons without buying expensive graphics cards.

Using ZBrush, CG artists can sketch out a 2D or 3D concept and make realistic 3D objects based on these sketches in the same 3D soft. Also, ZBrush tools allow adding lighting and atmospheric effects to the 3D scene and getting photorealistic renders. Moreover, with ZBrush, CG artists can easily prepare any model for 3D printing or export it to other soft or app.  

#5. Adobe Substance Painter 

An Image for Adobe Substance Painter Texturing Tool

OS:  Windows, macOS, Linux

Price:  $99.90 PROversion

Free Version: no

Free Trial: 30 days

Substance Painter is one of those 3D texturing tools that allow users to paint in full 3D. Therefore, you can use it to create textures and paint masks that can then be imported to other 3D tools and material filter generators. 

Another advantage of Substance Painter is that it’s compatible with other Adobe products and all popular operating systems. Although, some users find Substance Painter effective for hard surface texturing only because it works with a limited number of UV maps. 

#6. 3D-Coat

A Logo for 3D-Coat Texturing 3D Tool

OS:  Windows, macOS, Linux

Price:   $49-568

Free Version: no

Free Trial:  30 days

3D-Coat by Pilgway is 3D sculpting and painting software that brings endless opportunities for custom 3D modeling. Using it, CG artists are able to create free-form organic and hard surfaced 3D models and do retopology in order to prepare surfaces to smooth texture mapping. 

Using 3D-Coat, CG experts can create any type of UV maps and texture models with natural painting tools. It allows users to make their own physically based rendering materials which provide high shading quality. All in all, 3D-Coat is a great photorealistic 3D texturing tool for both static imagery and animation.

#7. ArmorPaint

A Logotype for ArmorPaint Texturing 3D Tool

OS:  Windows, Linux + experimental macOS and Android builds

Price:  $18 

Free Version: no

Free Trial: no

ArmorPaint provides CG artists with the option of painting multiple maps at once. This allows them to create custom textures and materials with complex colors and bump maps. To make 3D painting smooth and fast, ArmorPaint supports GPU acceleration which means it is running on the graphics processing unit and its resources. Of course, you need the latest advanced hardware for a seamless perfect workflow. Again, CG artists from well-reputed 3D companies have all they need to use such 3D texturing tools to their fullest. 

On top of all that, ArmorPaint has experimental versions that can run on an iPad. This option allows CG specialists to create stunning complex textures even outside of the office and gives them additional creative freedom.

#8. Mari

An Image for Mari 3D Tool for Texturing and Painting

OS:  Windows, macOS, Linux

Price:  $629/year

Free Version: no

Free Trial: 30 days

Mari from Foundry is a powerful soft that provides CG specialists with unlimited texture painting. It can handle thousands of textures per one 3D model which allows creating the most complex objects and characters. Because of its naturalism and cutting-edge performance it’s one of the most popular 3D texturing tools used in the movie industry.

For the next version of Mari, developers collaborated with 3Delight and VRay teams. Together they focused on providing CG artists with closer approximations for their texturing and rendering, as well as simplifying the workflow between Mari and Katana, the lighting and rendering application. All in all, Mari is a professional 3D tool that experienced CG artists use mostly for animations and complex tasks.

#9. SelfCAD

A Logotype of SelfCAD Tool Used for Sculpting and 3D Texturing

OS: Windows, mac, Linux

Price:  $14.99

Free Version: for students only

Free Trial: 10 days

SelfCAD is one of the most popular browser-based and cloud-based 3D texturing tools. It allows CG artists to create 3D models literally from scratch, i.e. from 3D sculpting and texturing to 3D printing the final object. 

On top of that, SelfCAD has a huge database of already completed 3D printable designs, and a comprehensive library of objects and parts. This way, CG artists can save time on working on 3D models without compromising on the quality of 3D objects.

#10. PaintCube

A Logo of PaintCube 3D Texturing Tool

OS:  Windows, macOS, Linux

Price:  $50/year

Free Version: no

Free Trial: 14 days

PaintCube is another web-based 3D texturing soft that provides CG artists with a convenient and seamless UV workflow. Firstly, it has all the painting and 3D texturing tools to paint textures directly onto the models in 3D space. Secondly, it has a layering system that allows creating and organizing layers of texture information while painting. Once the texture is done, it can be easily customized, edited and exported to Photoshop, or used for VFX applications and games.

Download CGIFURNITURE price guide and learn the costs of top-tier 3D visualization projects of different scales!

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These were 10 the most advanced 3D texturing tools and programs that will be trending in 2021. Surely, they all have their pros and cons, as well as different prices and characteristics. Now, based on our review, you can determine which 3D tool will work best for your project and ask your CG artists to use it.

Ready to order quality 3D models for your business? Reach to us for first-class 3D modeling services and 3D texturing!

3D modeling is a CG technique that allows producing a 3D object or surface with the help of 3D software. There are 3 types of 3D modeling – solid, wireframe, and surface. CG artists may use a different kind of 3D modeling depending on the task they have.

3D texturing is the process of applying a 2D texture to a 3D object. It is based on wrapping a 2D image around a 3D model and creating a certain surface. To create photorealistic texture, CG artists can also add maps, sculpt, paint and shade it as they need before proceeding to render.

Surely, turnaround time varies because of different factors and 3D studios. For example, per average TAT is one working day for a simple 3D object and two days for a complex one.

Every 3D studio has its own pricing policy, so the cost depends on a contractor, as well as the complexity of a 3D model and deadlines. CGIFURNITURE charges $99 for a simple 3D model and $229 for a complex object.

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