First, let me start by saying this step is completely optional! Blender has integrated texture painting functionality, but if you prefer to work entirely in a 2D application like GIMP or Photoshop, that is completely your option. That said, Blender’s painting abilities are pretty solid and are a great way to block in colours rapidly.
You enter Texture Painting mode the same way you enter Object or Edit mode, in 3D view. Just pull down the mode dropdown and select Texture Paint.
Once in Texture Paint mode, hit T to open up the Tools panel.
Clicking the Brush icon allows you to select between the various brushes:
While the controls right below the brush allow you to select the active color, set the brush strength, radius and blending mode ( as in colour blending ):
There is a ton more functionality in there, such as painting with a texture pattern, changing brush stroke styles, etc… but we will just be using the painting tools to block in our basic colours. Most jets have a grey on grey camouflage colour and that’s what we are going to go with here.
Let’s start with our base color, from the colour picker, select a light grey colour. Then set the radius to a large value and keep strength at 1 ( full ). Like so:
Now you should see a very large circle over the cursor in 3D View. This represents the radius of the brush. Left clicking will paint with the current brush:
Now, let’s look at something rather cool. As you paint in the 3D View, it will automatically update in the UV window:
Even cooler, you can paint in the UV window and it will update in the 3D view. To paint in 2D in the UV window, simply click the Mode dropdown at the bottom of the UV/Image Editor window and select Paint.
Now you can paint in the UV window! Keep in mind though, colour and brush selections are still done from the Tools panel of the 3D view.
Now I am just going to paint the entire Jet in our light grey colour. Keep in mind you will have to rotate and zoom the camera around to get in every nook and cranny while painting. Fortunately you can easily see from the UV windows if you missed a spot. You of course could just paint in the 2D layer, but then you don’t get nice crisp edges in the texture map.
Here is the fully painted jet:
Next I simply vary the grey-ness of the brush and randomly layer colours to get a gray on gray camo pattern. I then pick a slightly darker gray and colour in the cockpit area.
That’s it for painting in Blender. Next up we will finish the details of our texture in an external 2D graphics package.