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When a 2D texture is applied to a 3D model, the TextureCoordinates often need to be split into multiple chunks to minimize distortion. These splits often cause seams in the texture, which need to be removed by an artist.

There are some common workflows for solving texture seams. It is often easier if the seams can be painted non-destructively, on a separate layer with transparency.

2D Paint

  1. Paint & save in your 2D painting app (Photoshop, GiMP, etc.).
  2. Reload the texture in your 3D app (3ds Max, Maya, etc.) to examine.
  3. Repeat until seams are solved.

Integrated 3D Paint

Use a 3D paint tool or plugin inside your main 3D software to paint directly on the model.

  • Mari Vs. Quixel ? Polycount Forum thread has 3d paint comparisons and workflows from multiple artists.

  • Zbrush
    • Polypaint uses vertex color to paint details on the model. This can be converted into a texture using Texture Map, or the model can be exported to a texture baker like Xnormal.

Dedicated 3D Paint

You can use a dedicated 3D painting program to paint directly across seams.

  • Blacksmith3D Paint
  • BodyPaint 3D
  • CrackArt
  • Mari
  • P-XCEL
  • Substance Painter

Multiple UV Channels

Fix seams by using two UV channels and baking textures:

  1. Create a UV layout and texture for your model.
  2. Create a 2nd UV layout which moves the UV splits away from the existing seams.
  3. Use a baking tool to render the existing texture into the new UV layout.
  4. Use a 2D painting tool to fix the seams.
  5. Apply the fixed texture to your model, and bake it back into the original UV layout.
  6. 3ds Max Tutorial for this process - by Peter Kojesta

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