Introduction to 3D Coat PBR texturing

Here is a short 3D coat PBR texturing tutorial on how to use smart materials (available in 3D Coat 4.5) and quickly create a realistic physically based textures. Smart Materials are excellent way to preview different material properties in real time within 3D Coat, and new Smart Materials can be also created from scratch.

What I especially love is the 3D Coat’s ability to create ambient occlusion and curvature maps. In some cases baking in xNormal is not necessary at all. Smart Materials can then take advantage of these maps to create different effects such as edge wear or dirt accumulation in occluded places. Tweaking Smart Materials on the fly is also easy due to the built in tools, so we can always precisely set the scale of scratches and such.

3D Coat PBR texturing
3D Coat PBR texturing with smart materials

I didn’t mention about it in the video but 3D Coat smart materials do cube mapping, which is kind of like Substance Designer’s tri-planar projection with a less fancy name, so no worries about those UV seams folks, they won’t show up. 🙂 Good times.

A good alternative

3D Coat is a solid alternative for more expensive programs such as zBrush. It is possible to create entire models from scratch within 3D coat nowadays. Topology tools as well as UV tools have always been a favourite feature of mine in 3D coat, but these days I am creating entire models from scratch within the application, starting from sculpting all the way to the retopology and UV mapping, and now, texturing too. There are some features that even rival zBrush such as per-pixel painting. At this price point, 3D Coat is such attractive alternative indeed.

What’s also great is the support for T-Mikk tangent basis calculation, making this fully compatible with xNormal maps and like.

I will be creating many more 3D Coat tutorials soon. Please subscribe to my channel by all means.

Please check out my 3D Coat PBR texturing video below.