Getting Started with PaintSupreme 3D

Getting Started with PaintSupreme 3D

If you are new to using PaintSupreme 3D, here is a short tutorial to get you going.

Welcome Dialog

In the Welcome Dialog, select the resolution you want to work in. Otherwise you can also select an image to load and the resolution will be adjusted to the resolution of the image.

Choose in which mode you want to start working, 2D or 3D. 2D mode just deselects some 3D features otherwise enabled in PaintSupreme 3D. These options are discussed below and can be easily enabled again while working in PaintSupreme 3D. For this tutorial, enable 3D mode.

Once you press the "Create Project" button you can start painting on the canvas using the Brush tool which is activated by default.

Color and Material Settings

PaintSupreme will not only use the current color when applying tools, but also material settings and bumps. You can control if PaintSupreme 3D applies color, material or bumps by checking / unchecking the three buttons above the color wheel:

If you selected the 2D mode in the welcome dialog, the material and bump buttons are unchecked, please check them in this case.

When you click the settings button left of this button group, you can change the current color and material settings in detail:

You can switch the color mode PaintSupreme uses (like HSL or RGB) and change color values directly in the upper part of the settings which gives you more control than just using the color wheel itself.

In the lower part you can change the material which the brush or the other tools apply.

Materials inside PaintSupreme 3D are PBR based. PBR stands for "Physically Based Rendering". PBR materials allow for very realistic shading of objects, especially metals like gold and silver. The attributes of PBR materials used inside PaintSupreme are:

  • Metallic - Should be nearly always set to 1.0 for metals like gold and silver and 0.0 otherwise.
  • Smoothness - Defines the smoothness or roughness of the surface of the material. A value of 0.0 behaves like a diffuse material, it barely reflects light, a value of 1.0 is a perfect mirror.
  • Reflectance - The amount of color the material reflects.

Metallic and smoothness values are used to define metallic materials while smoothness and reflectance are used to work with other kind of materials.

Change the values and paint some brush strokes to see how the material settings behave. You do not need to close the material settings for this, just paint and adjust the values again. To the right of the color wheel you also have a preview which shows how the current material and color behave under a light source.

By default, the left mouse button is assigned to black and the right mouse button to white. When you paint just with black, you will not see any changes when applying material settings as black color does not reflect at all. The color is an important part of the material itself!

You can also enter the name of a predefined material to use above the color wheel. An easy way to get started! You can get a list of all inbuilt materials in the Materials Dock Widget.

 The Bump Scale defines how much depth the brush stroke uses, a higher values gives the brush stroke more depth:

Here are three golden brush strokes, the one the left uses a bump scale value of 0.3, the one in the middle uses one with 1.0 (the default value) and the one on the right uses 2.0.

When you use a drawing tablet, the brush stroke bump value is also modified by the currently applied pressure.

Layers, Lights and the Timeline

Layers in PaintSupreme 3D are arranged on a timeline. You can animate settings of the layer at the current time position by checking the red auto key button as shown in this screenshot:

So whenever you change a value for a layer or a light, a new key frame will be created at the current time position, allowing you to animate layers and lights.

Apropos lights, PaintSupreme 3D allows for 3 lights sources in a project. A light is a layer by itself which you can activate and deactivate. You can also change light settings, like the location of the light, the height / power of the light and so on. Lights actively change the appearance of the current project by illuminating pixels close to them and throwing shadows. They are an important part of any project.

Layer and Render Settings

When an object on the timeline is selected, you will see it's settings on the right in the dock window, an important setting for layers is the Render setting. This option is enabled by default when selected the 3D mode in the welcome dialog, it enables 3D rendering for the layer. Turn it off if you do not want a layer to be rendered, this will display pixels as they are, without modification by the 3D renderer. For example you would normally not render layers which have imported 2D images.

Loading and Saving Projects and Settings

You can load and save projects by clicking the corresponding buttons in the main toolbar. By default the projects will be downloaded into your default Download directory. You can optionally also save projects into your user account, to enable this you will need to register an account and log-in via the buttons in the toolbar.

PaintSupreme 3D projects use an ".paintsupreme" extension in the filename. 

When you are logged in, PaintSupreme will also automatically save user settings into your account, like custom shapes or materials. These settings will than automatically be retrieved the next time you uses PaintSupreme.


This ends our introduction to PaintSupreme, note that we are currently in alpha and the user interface is still changing. We will write more tutorials and reflect any changes of newer version in these tutorials.

Thanks for your interest in PaintSupreme!

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