The Paula Sanders Report: Using Deep Paint 3D for Creating a Picture

nickcharles · March 6, 2006 1:12 am

I loved Right Hemisphere's Deep Paint and was sorry to see it go off the market even though a free version was available. However, Deep Paint 3D, which is used to paint and texture 2D and 3D models, can also be used to create the same type of art work as did Deep Paint. I decided to take a picture I had created, and using various cloning tools add texture to it. Basically, I add texture by making the bottom layer the cloning layer, and working on different layers above it for different elements in the picture. I usually start with the furthest element and work my way forward putting each element on a different layer. When I save this file as a psd file, it will be brought into Photoshop in layers so I can work with each one. Unfortunately, Deep Paint has not been updated for a long time. I had trouble using it with Photoshop CS2, but found as a stand-alone it worked just fine. I usually work with relatively small images of 900 x 1200 at 72 dpi, and then in Genuine Fractals Print Pro, enlarge them. However, before I used Genuine Fractals Print Pro I did work much larger. Before I start, let me state that the settings are different than they were in Deep Paint. You cannot always set up brushes with the same settings. I also use a Wacom digitizing tablet.


Step 1 - Open Deep Paint 3d (dp3d) and in file type choose all files. Navigate to the file you will use and open it.

Step 2 - Go to the Command Panel. Open up the layers menu. Click on Set Clone Source and set it, using the Opacity slider, to about 40% or where you are comfortable. I do not use Clone Trace, for it automatically sets the opacity to 30% and I find that is too light. Notice the second to last command, Clear Layer. This command is invaluable when you want to try out a brush and its settings.


Step 3 - Now is as good a time as any to discuss saving the image. When you first save it, you can save it as a dp2. But you might not know where it is stored. When you save it, a folder called name.prj is created and it is stored in that folder. My initial folder was called bluesky. The screen capture below shows the hierarchy of folders where the dp2 image is stored.


Step 4 - Decide on a style for the picture. I am going to use brushes that will create a texture on the canvas. I am also going to choose a textured canvas. Double click on the Canvas image to select it and choose one when the pop-up menu appears. Click OK. Also look at the tool bar and the red arrow. It is pointing to the cloning tool. Any brush in dp3 can become a cloner by choosing this icon.

Step 5 - Go to the layers palette and make sure that cloning is set. It has to be done each time you open the program Then add a layer on top and double click on it to rename it. Name it Sky.


Step 6 - Click on the top arrow to start a new category for your own brushes. You will modify brushes and then save them in this category.


Double click on the name of the brush to bring up the Brush & Paint preset editor just to look at it and know it is there. The paint type is set for most of the preset brushes. However, you might want to experiment with different paint types. Oil is a good setting to create a raised texture.


In the Command panel, go to the brush settings and create brushes to your satisfaction. Dry brushes, Oil brushes, Bump brushes, and Bristle Brushes are some of the best for creating rough textures. (Enlarge the canvas using the magnifier and move it around using the Hand icon in the vertical toolbar. Hitting the space bar accesses the Hand tool.)

If I am not using a Cloning brush, I use the Cloning tool. Do not check Paint Valley. Before you leave each layer, go to the background layer and close the eye to see if you have left out any sections. To save a preset, click save on the Command Panel under the picture of the brushes. When you choose cloning, you will see a panel over the Command Panel with cloning options. Choose Artistic. All of these options are flexible; these are just starting places.


For each of the brushes that I used, I tried a lot of others and played with many combinations. I usually use the Jitter carefully because when you are cloning over a dark color, it tends to leave white spots. If you keep the Space setting at 0, it is OK. I do set Scale in Stroke Behavior to 100% so I can get variations with my Wacom tablet.


When I find a brush I want to modify I do Save As and add it to the new brush category I created. See the screen capture above that shows the new category as Paula 2.


It will show as copy f...... I will change its name so I know what type of a brush I have created and put it in my Paula 2 category.


Even though you are not creating this picture, I am using it as an example as if you were. In the Rocks layer, note the different directions of the veins of the rocks. Make sure the angle of the brush follows the veins. Change it be clicking on the arrowheads accented by the red arrow. Also, as you work on the rocks in the back, decrease the strength of the brush.


When you create the tree bark, be aware of the angle of the brush, also, and change it to conform to the tree limbs. You will find that when you have the limbs on one layer and the leaves above them, the limbs will show through the leaves.

When you create the skin, remove the Artistic feature of the cloning tool so the skin will be smooth.

Step 7 - Save As a PSD if you have Photoshop. All the layers will be intact. You will, however, lose the lighting effects that give the picture some of the 3D quality. 3D effects will still remain.

The following is a screen capture of the image from within Deep Paint 3D.


The following is the image from Photoshop.


Step 8 - In Photoshop make any changes necessary to your image. I didn't like the sky so I changed it.


For information on Deep Paint 3D, go to

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  • The Paula Sander's Report is a regular Renderosity Front Page featured column, where Paula investigates and comments on graphic software, techniques, and other relevant material through her reviews, tutorials, and general articles.
March 6, 2006

Article Comments

Flamingo_Pat ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 07 March 2006

Cool I'll have to look into Deep paint 3d I guess. I use 3ds max6 for all my 3d stuff. I have the old Deep paint program I bought it a year or so ago off of ebay new with the book for 99 cents and 3.00 shipping and I love it.

british_rob ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 10 March 2006

hey i too use 3ds max 6 and deep pain, i love them both i got deep paint off the front of a mag, and boy was that mag a gd buy.

crocodilian ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 11 March 2006

Paula, thank you for this. Deep Paint is one of those relatively little known applications that make the world of computer graphics so much fun. It always felt like there was someone passionate behind it-- thanks for reminding us of it! Croc

Alex_Antonov ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 12 March 2006

Paula, thank you for this article! i love Deep Paint and I use it for my pictures.

UVDan ( posted at 10:04AM Mon, 08 June 2009

Where did all the pictures go?

Bobby5555 ( posted at 5:43PM Wed, 12 September 2018

Paula, many years ago I used Deep Paint 2.0...with your presets! I'm trying to find a copy of Deep Paint 2.0 and, possibly, a copy of Deep Paint 3D. However, the most important thing I need is how to install (merge) your presets that came with DP 2.0. Hope you get this message and thank you in advance...........rmo555 at gmail dot com

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