Review of Right Hemisphere's Deep Paint 3D Version 2

More and more digital artists are turning to 3D development and needing to create and or modify their 3D objects not only as to their form but as to their material properties. Here is where Right Hemisphere's Deep products step in. There are two products by Right Hemisphere (RH) that complement each other, Deep Paint 3D version 2 and Deep UV version 1. I will be reviewing both. This review will be about Deep Paint 3D version 2.

Less than a year ago, I reviewed the first version of Deep Paint 3D with Texture Weapons. For an introduction to the product, you can find both a review and a tutorial.

For this review, I will refer to this version as Deep Paint 3D or simply as DP3D. What exactly does Deep Paint 3D v2 do? DP3D is a real time material based paint rendering system that enables painting from any angle on NURBS or polygon models. It works in 2D, 2 1/2D, and 3D modes. What do these modes mean?

3D mode is always active whenever a model is loaded into DP3D. When one is working in this mode, one is painting the model in three dimensional space with real-time rendering of color, bump, shine, glow, and opacity.

2D mode allows the user to view and paint an unwrapped bitmap of a single channel while painting a 3D model.

2 1/2D mode is used to paint two-dimensional images with color, bump, and shine rendered in real-time. If you have used Deep Paint, you are familiar with this mode of painting.

I will give examples of all these modes in the body of the review.

For those not familiar with 3D models, in order to paint a model it must be UV mapped. Most 3D modeling software does an adequate or barely adequate job of UV mapping. If a model is complicated, mapping in most 3D modeling programs can be very time intensive. Right Hemisphere's Deep UV is specifically formulated for that purpose.

Deep Paint 3D supports many file types. It can open and save the following 3D file formats: 3DS, OBJ, PRJ, 4DP, LWO, and DP3. DP3D can also open and save at least 57 2D file types such as PSD, PNG, EPS...............

DP3D works with WinTab compatible Graphic tablets and styluses and is closely integrated with the Wacom Intuos graphic tablet.

Deep Paint 3D also integrates through plugins with 3ds max, Maya, LightWave 3D, Softimage, and Photoshop including plugins and filters (In the DP3D itself, file>preferences>directories to set this up.)

Licenses for Deep Paint 3D can be purchased individually, included in the price of the software, or purchased for more than one machine. If one just buys a program, then one can only run it on one machine at a time. However, licensing and unlicensing it are not hard to do. The initial licensing seemed to work much faster than it did previously. I was licensed immediately. However, if it fails to license or unlicense, one has to contact and fill out a long form. This can be a headache. Because it fails to license or unlicense does not mean that their is a problem with the program. It can be a glitch that elicense systems has to rectify. This happened to me when I was unlicensing Deep UV to move it to my other machine. After I filled out the form, they requested a text receipt. I had no idea what they wanted so after e-mailing them and waiting, I finally called them. A form is generated when the program is installed called "receipt.txt." It is placed in the main window of the program. Had I known that, the process might have been completed in under a few hours. Just a helpful hint should the situation arise.

The system requirements for Deep Paint 3D V2.0 are:

  • Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 with IE 4.0 or later
  • A minimum resolution of 800 x 600 pixels
  • A graphics card capable of displaying 16-bit color
  • At least 64 MB of Ram
  • A Pentium 200-MMX processor or better
  • A CD-ROM drive for installation.

They recommend:

  • A Wacom Intuos or similar pressure sensitive Tablet
  • A graphic card capable of displaying 24-bit color
  • A Pentium III 266 processor or better
  • At least 128 MB or Ram (More for large model and texture sizes)
  • Windows 2000

When Deep Paint 3D works in its 2 1/2 D mode, it uses a lot of RAM because it calculates, processes, and renders all the characteristics of "real" paint at each brush stroke. Thus, the more RAM you have, the better off you are. However, because of the way DP3D works, you can work with a smaller file size and increase the resolution (and size) without a loss of quality when you are ready to output your work - something that is not normally recommended. Also, one has the option to use the program as a stand-alone or as a plugin. As a stand-alone, it conserves more memory. However, when working with big files, the amount of RAM recommended is the following.

Image Size Pixels
Inches @ 300dpi
Recommended RAM
1500 x1500
5 x 5
2000 x 2000
6.7 x 6.7
3000 x 3000
10 x 10
42000 x 42000
14 x14
6000 x6000
20 x20

On a personal level, I believe that one of the most important investments anyone can make who wants to do any work in 3D and or animation is to have as much RAM as he or she can afford, the motherboard can support, and keeps the system balanced. What I mean is that 1GB of RAM and an 8MB video card is a severely unbalanced system.

Deep Paint 3D V2.0 sells for US $995 + shipping. The upgrade price is from Deep Paint 3D V1 is $249 + shipping and from Deep Paint 3D with Texture Weapons to both Deep Paint 3D V2.0 and Deep UV is US $395 + shipping. All of these products can be downloaded and tried as demos from the Right Hemisphere site.

The program comes with a manual on the CD-ROM as well as tutorials under the folder entitled manual in the Deep Paint 3D directory. I printed out the over 200 page manual so I would have a hard copy reference. While the manual is informative, it is a little hard to use because the pages are not numbered, and, thus, in the hard copy one cannot find the page from the table of contents. I, also, did the tutorials. The only problem I found with the tutorials was that some of the files were not on the CD as stated. However, that fortunately was not a problem because these files were on the Right Hemisphere website under the tutorial section for Supported Products. These files had to do with tutorial 10, which was contained in Manuals/DP#D20Tutorials.pdf, which involved projection and surface painting. The files can be found at: One needs to navigate to Supported Files>Texture Weapons>Tutorial 3. I either looked at or did the tutorials and found them extremely useful. I definitely recommend them for users not familiar with the program or as a refresher if it has been a while since you used an earlier version of the program. While some are the same for Deep Paint 3D v2 as they were for version 1, there have been new ones added.

The best way I believe to describe this product is to describe it from its working modes starting with its 3D mode. As stated before, when you work in 3D mode, you are working on a 3D model that has been UV mapped either by Deep UV or by a 3D modeling program. While working on the model, you can also work on the UV map itself in 2D mode. The following examples will illustrate how this can be done. A basic possible sequence of events is as follows. (1) A 3D object is brought into DP3D; (2) the material layers can be brought in merged or separate; (3) It will look like this. (4) Next, channels are selected such as color, bump, shine for the various maps.


(5)Painting can be done in 3D as well as 2D at the same time. (6) You would click on the C(olor) channel to activate the 2D map and also (7) click on Image>Display Wireframe to display the wireframe.


(8) Even maps of hidden objects can be created. These illustrations are meant to give an idea of how 3D objects can be brought into Deep Paint 3D and painted, textured, etc.


These UV maps can be exported to Photoshop and then sent back into Deep Paint 3D. This makes the workflow very easy.

When I wrote a review On Deep Paint 3D with Texture Weapons, I also wrote a tutorial on Using it with Poser 4 to create to paint a 3D figure. The method I used (which is just one of many that can be used) still applies. It can be found on the Right Hemisphere site or on my sites - Tutorial.

DP3D has integrated workflow for many of the popular programs such as 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage 3.X, LightWave 3D, Rhino, and, Photoshop. I cannot comment on the first four since I do not have those programs. The Rhino plugin worked correctly although the instructions could have been more clearly written. I discovered, strange as it might seem, that the Photoshop "send and receive" or "image" plugin which is used when one is in 2 1/2 D mode for Windows 2000 was missing from the CD. It, however, worked in Windows XP. I immediately contacted Right Hemisphere. The Support from Right Hemisphere contacted me immediately and directed me to a link on their forum. I had missed the link on the forum because I had looked under troubleshooting and the link was in the FAQ section of the forum. Anyway, I got an answer and am passing it on with more information on where to find others should the need arise. If you are not familiar with the forum, it is now where most of the support questions are answered. This one appeared in the FAQ section of the DP3D forum under " Why can't I send an image to DP3D from photoshop?" One can, now, download the missing plugin and install it in the plugins folder of Photoshop.

Another method of painting and texturing 3D models is projection painting. It is used when the UV mapping is discontinuous or distorted. This feature is an inherent part of Deep Paint 3D version 2. Projection paint sessions can now be stored. In addition, different projection resolution layers can be used. Projection painting is very easy to do. One can turn it on and off at will and go between surface and projection painting. The screen capture on the left shows some of the options available for Projection painting.

If, for example, an object does not have a UV mesh associated with it, it is very easy to go from Deep Paint 3D to Deep UV. There is a button on the tool bar for that purpose.

A unique facet of Deep Paint 3D is its 2 1/2 D painting mode. It shares this painting mode with another one of Right Hemisphere's products Deep Paint. I have been using this latter product for many years. To learn how to use some facets of it, I suggest using some of my tutorials found on my website or on Right Hemisphere's website. 2 1/2 D mode gives a brush the ability to have color, bump, and shine channels. One of the best ways to describe what this program can do is to show some of the effects of the brushes. In version 2 of Deep Paint 3D, each brush is depicted as it looks for more accuracy. This includes a brush preview, similar to what one finds in Adobe Photoshop, version 7.

As stated earlier, Deep Paint 3D can be used as a stand-alone program or as a plugin for Photoshop. When working in the 2 1/2 D mode, one can use layers to the same advantage as one does in Photoshop. One can control the opacity of each layer as well as work with a few filters that are native to Deep Paint 3D. However, through the use of the Plugin Manager, many of Photoshop's filters can be used in DP3D. Personally, my favorite aspect of this mode is to create cloner brushes and work on many layers to create an image that varies from the original by the type of cloner brushes that I have created. It is very easy to create and save brushes in this program. In addition, I have seen some excellent painting done using these brushes. To see some go to the Right Hemisphere Gallery.

Some of the features not discussed in the body of this review are:

  • the large array of image processing tools including a number of selection tools
  • multi-layer support for bump, color, shine, opacity, and glow channels
  • dynamic 3D zoom, pan, and rotate
  • the ability to create an image stamp in 2D or 3D by capturing an image with new image and clone brush features
  • ability to do batch operations
  • splines manipulation

For a complete list of features and a breakdown of features new to version 2 of Deep Paint 3D go to the appropriate product's section on the Right Hemisphere website.

This is a software product where you get many programs in one. You get the ability to paint in 3D mode on uniform UV meshes and on non uniform UV meshes through Projection paint as well as on flattened meshes using 2D painting. You, also get the ability to do totally artistic painting without thinking of 3D models at all using the 2 1/2 D mode. In addition, Deep Paint 3D can act as a stand alone product or in conjunction with Photoshop. I used with versions 5.5 through 7 easily. And one cannot forget that it also integrates with various 3D programs as well as Deep UV, should it be necessary to create or modify a UV mesh. It is obvious I have a high regard for this program except I believe a little more care could have been taken to make sure that all the contents necessary to run the program were on the CD, and if not, the information could have been posted in a more visibly accessible place. Should this be a determent from purchasing the program, absolutely not, because the program runs flawlessly.