Programs for Texturing 3D Models

That Only The Best 3D Artists Use

Product 3D modeling becomes increasingly popular in furniture manufacturing and marketing. A far more flexible and accessible tool than traditional prototyping and photography, 3D provides manufacturers, retailers, and marketers with high-quality visuals suitable for all their needs. As demand rises, so are the requirements for the professionalism of a 3D rendering company. Skills, experience and the appropriate hard- and software are all important for getting stellar 3D imagery. 

So what programs for texturing 3D models a professional 3D artist should know? Read on to learn about our top 7! 

#1. Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop

License: $20.99/mo, 7 days free trial

OS: Windows, macOS


One of the most popular and universal tools across the CG industry, Adobe Photoshop works great when it comes to texturing 3D models. Photoshop allows one to create textures and maps from scratch and apply various filters and layer styles. Adjustment layers are one of the major pros in comparison to other software. 

Photoshop being industry standard for various fields means there are numerous tutorials and courses, as well as a strong online community. However, Adobe’s subscription-based model may be a downside for many users. 

#2. ZBrush


License: $39.95/mo, 30 days free trial 

OS: Windows, macOS


 ZBrush is one of the programs which are considered the industry standard when it comes to 3D sculpting and texturing. Powerful customizable 3D brushes allow lots of creativity. It works great with high-polygonal models and therefore can be used to create stunning visuals for marketing. 

The main downside of ZBrush is that its interface, while highly customizable, might be quite hard to get hang of and is not very intuitive. However, there’s a robust online community and opportunities to learn from others, and, when the UI is conquered, the program might be used as a universal 3D tool.

#3. Blender


License: free

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux


Blender is an open-source program that covers all stages of 3D production, from custom 3D modeling and rendering to animation. The interface is quite intuitive. There’s a strong online community around Blender, so there’s no shortage of tutorials, and all bugs are reported and fixed in no time. New versions come out approximately once in 3 months. 

Although Blender itself is free, there are some add-ons that improve the workflow which can cost between $1 and $300, and some of them are subscription-based.

 In comparison to other programs for texturing 3D models, Blender might lose the race to some of its competitors when it comes to texturing specifically. Most CG professionals will still need to use Photoshop or other apps. Still, it’s one of the industry’s beloved programs as it is really versatile and allows modeling, texturing, editing videos, and even creating 2D animation. 

 #4. Autodesk Mudbox

Autodsk Mudbox

License: $10/mo

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux


Mudbox is one of the most user-friendly and versatile programs for texturing 3D models. It is geared specifically towards 3D painting, is easy to learn, and can boast a great online community. 

Sculpting and painting tools are very artist-friendly. Advanced retopology tools allow creating high-quality meshes from imported or sculpted data. On top of that, the program allows painting directly onto 3D models.  

There are not many downsides of the app, although many believe that Autodesk monopolized the 3D industry, and their pricing, therefore, is at times unreasonable.

#5. Adobe Substance 3D Painter

Adobe Substance 3D Painter

License: from $19.99/mo, 30 days free trial

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux


Substance Painter is one of the most powerful programs for texturing 3D models as it was specifically designed for it. It allows one to paint in full 3D and supports 4K HD shaders. While Photoshop is more geared towards UV maps, Substance Painter works great for organic and hard surface texturing. 

The app is easily integrated with the other Adobe products, so one can import and export the files without any trouble.

On top of that, the app works with all major OCs but is quite demanding in regards to the quality of the hardware: for proper work it requires powerful graphic card or at least a gaming-grade computer.

#6. 3DCoat


License: $49-568, 30 days free trial

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux


3DCoat is quite similar to ZBrush when it comes to sculpting and painting. Despite this, among other programs for texturing 3D models, 3DCoat is one of the most beginner-friendly. It doesn’t mean however it has no uses in a professional setting: many users name 3DCoat as their first choice when it comes to creating hand-painted textures. 

The program has many tools for Mapping UV, sculpting voxels, and accelerating CUDA. It is also one of the top choices for retopology, which in its turn helps to prepare the surface for smoother texture mapping.

#7. Mari

3D Mari

License: $68/mo or $2,393 one-time purchase, 30 days trial

OS: Windows, macOS


 Mari is a program for 3D texturing that allows the artist to paint on 3D models, using thousands of textures up to 32Kx32K pixels. There are also color and other filters, noise, and masked blends. An artist can paint directly over a 3D model. 

Mari is quite expensive, but it’s a very powerful tool when it comes to highly realistic texturing. Due to the levels of realism it allows, Mari is especially beloved in the film industry. Mari was used in producing “Avatar” and lots of video games as it allows the creation of high-res textures which look great even in close-up shots. 

Check out CGI services we offer to learn all the innovative solutions you can use for your business.

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Now that you know the industry’s top programs for texturing 3D models, it will be easier to communicate with a 3D studio on your next project. A project manager will make sure all your needs are reflected in a brief, and the studio chooses the most suitable software.

Want to get some jaw-dropping 3D images with photorealistic textures for your business? Contact us for top-notch 3D rendering services and get stunning visuals in no time! 

Stacey Mur

Content Writer, Copywriter

Stacey is a content writer and a CG artist. Outside of work, Stacey enjoys musicals, Star Wars, and art talk. A proud Corgi parent.

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