This tutorial will cover the process of making simple 3D flowers in Blender and register as 3D material in Clip Studio Paint. I will not cover the basics of Blender because it would make this tutorial too long, you can look for many basic Blender tutorials on Youtube.
The main reason why I bought Clip Studio Paint is for 3D material. In my mind at that time, I thought I could save a lot of time on drawing webcomic, but reality slaps me in the face because there are very few tutorials that can guide me on how to create and use 3D in Clip Studio Paint properly.
Today I am good enough in Blender that I don’t need to add 3D model to Clip Studio Paint anymore, but I think other users may need a guide and tutorial on this topic.
At the end of tutorial, I will share a 3D model i use in this tutorial so you can exercise.
Creating basic shape.
There are flat shaped flowers in nature, but it is rare, so it is better to avoid flat shaped flowers.
Start with an upside-down pyramid shape. Yes, flip the pyramid upward.
Creating this shape is not hard, you can do it after watching some Blender tutorials. But it is too deep so i will resize it to be shallower.
This is our basic shape; we will stick a texture on this shape, so it looks like flower. But we must unwrap the UV Map first.
Creating UV Map.
It takes some time for me to grasp about UV Map. It does not make sense for me who was a beginner at 3D world at that time.
In conclusion, The UV Map is a way for Blender to know how and where you want to place sticker(texture) on your 3D model. A set of coordination for a pixel of color on your image to paste on your object.
So, we create a blank 3D model without color, then we created map of coordination for this 3D model, and then we create an image to paste on the 3D model using this coordination map.
This “UV Map” will be stored in your “.blend” file, but the UV Map that is not in use in the file may be discarded after you close Blender.
There are many ways to create a UV Map in Blender. For this simple flower, first i change the viewport to top view (Numpad 7), then in “edit mode - face editing” i unwrap the UV and choose “Project from view(bounds)”.
The result is a flat map of a top view of my 3D model.
We will export this UV Map as UV Layout to guide us in texture painting. Basically, to draw a picture of 2D flower and then paste on the 3D model which we can import into Clip Studio Paint later.
On “UV Editor”, select “UV” menu on the top left then choose “Export UV Layout”
I named the file “Flower UV Layout.png” and choose size of 1024*1024 pixel (settings is on the right side of exporting window). I have a reason to name the file “Flower UV Layout.png”. Because this is just a guide and not an image texture i will use in the 3D model. If you do not name the file properly it will cause confusion and headaches for you in the future.
This “Flower UV Layout.png” is just a normal PNG with a line and color so we can see coordination of color pixel and the 3D object.
You can work from this file or create a new one and then import this layout as a guide, just keep the image proportion in mind.
In my workflow, I create a new file, named “Flower Texture” with transparent background, then put this layout on one layer. After that i paint simple flower petals and the middle part (pistil, stamen) on another layer.
You can create it to be a stylized flower or a realistic flower as you like but remember the size of flowers that you will use in your drawing. High detail would not show in your drawing if your flowers were displayed as small as fingernails. I experienced this time-wasting effort myself.
After i am satisfied with my flower, the “UV Layout” layer is hidden leaving only the flower over the transparent background. Then i exported this file as “Flower Texture.png” to keep the transparency value.
We will apply this texture to our 3D model in next section of tutorial.
Creating Image Texture.
Those who are familiar with Blender may use nodes to texture the 3D model. But for those who new to Blender use UV Editor may be easier.
Open the “Flower Texture.png” in UV Editor.
The texture will show on the UV Editor. Zoom out if the image is too big.
Hover your mouse cursor on the right viewport that displays your 3D model. Press “z” and select display mode to “Material Preview” so we can see our texture.
Currently it is not displaying our texture because we are not creating a texture for the UV Map yet.
On the right-hand side, in properties panel, select the material property and click small dot next to “Base Color” to create an “Image Texture”.
This will add new properties to the material of your 3D object. You can use the dropdown on the left to choose images that we already opened in the project or open a new texture image.
The texture will appear on your 3D object. The transparency is shown as black, we will change it to transparent but let’s rename “Material to Petal” so it makes more sense.
Scroll down the properties panel and add “image texture” to the “Alpha” the same way we did before. If the popup window is too big you can scroll up and down to search for “image texture”.
It should look like this.
It is still black, scroll down farther to “Settings” and change “Blend Mode, Shadow Mode” to “Alpha Clip” or “Alpha Blend”. This is the important part that causes me so much frustration. My texture is transparent, why it shows as black. You don’t know how long it took me to solve this problem.
Our model should show transparency now.
This flower is ready to import to Clip Studio Paint. Let's try it to see how. This part is also the part that causes me time of research.
Go to menu File > Export > Wavefront (.obj).
You also can export as “.fbx”. The reason i export as “.obj” is because i want to have the ability to change the texture of the flower later without using Blender. The “.fbx” has the ability to animate with bone but cannot edit or change the image texture easily without 3D software like blender.
In the Export window there are some settings that you need to consider.
The Forward Axis needs to change to “Y” because Blender uses a different Axis system from “.obj” standard. If you do not change these settings, the top side of your model will face the right-hand side.
This export will create two files, “.obj” and “.mtl”. You MUST copy and place the texture files in the same place as these two files. So, it should look like the below image. This also causes me some trouble with missing texture.
There are settings about the path of texture files relative to .obj, but it easier to just place the 3D model and image texture on the same folder and use as is.
You must NOT use SPACE in the file name. Your model inside Clip Studio Paint will get error and would not show a texture.
“Flower-Bed.obj” is okay.
“Flower Bed.obj” is error.
Including texture name.
“Flower Texture.png” needs to change to “Flower-Texture.png” use “dash” instead of space.
Import 3D model to Clip Studio Paint.
I know two ways to add a model to your drawing. The first solution is using Clip Studio Modeler to set up a 3D material. I will cover this solution later, i will focus on another solution that is just drag and drop the .obj file in to Clip Studio Paint.
You will see objects with black parts that do not look like flowers at all. We have to change the setting in Clip Studio Paint first.
Click the wrench icon to enter settings panel.
Go to Preferences > Rendering Settings and disable outline. We also disable backface culling because Clip Studio Paint may treat 3D models different from Blender.
Your 3D flower should show properly. If you saw weird reflection on the flower surface, try disable Lighting in Rendering Settings. This happens because our model has low polygon.
It took me a long time of research to reach this stage. I can’t find a tutorial on the internet that can teach me this solution.
You can duplicate and do a composition to your liking.
Because we use .obj as the 3D file, we can create another texture to use with the same object easily.
Copy the folder that contains .obj, .stl, and Flower Texture.png, change name to another kind of flower. I name my flower “Blue Flower”.
Draw a new flower with the same dimension image and transparent. Keep the texture file name to “Flower-Texture.png”.
Now you can add another kind of flower to the drawing by draping the flower.obj in the drawing canvas. Well, if you set it up in Clip Studio Modeler first, it will save your time to change the setting of the 3D object again. Or you can change the default settings of Clip Studio Paint.
Create 3D flower with stem and leaf.
This 3D file will be in the pack at the end of tutorial. Free of charge, can be used in commercial use. Not allow to sell it directly though.
I start with a sketch and planning.
Four types of flowers with different shapes and colors. I’m upgrading from a simple shape to a shape with more polygons. Move the middle ring up so i have a curved flower.
Unwrap the UV Map and resize it a bit so it’s easier to work with. Then export as “UV Layout”. I will use this layout to create 4 texture for 4 flower
Create a simple color texture. Since i’m creating a flower bed with many flowers so i don’t need high detail texture.
Dropping in Clip Studio Paint for testing.
Look bright and colorful after removing the line, culling, and lighting in preference.
Back to Blender and add a base of flower, add stem, add leaves, multiply the flowers.
Need more random elements like rotation and bending.
Bending and rotation make the flowers look more natural. Next step is to create three more type of flowers.
When you are working with multiple 3D models, you will get confused real fast if you do not categorize and arrange the files properly. My workflow is to put the file together in one folder and move everything together.
The main “Flower Bed” folder is for the main Blender file for creating 3D model. I copied the main file to this “Flower-Bed-1” because it is a file that exports the “.obj” file. It means that whatever you did with the main file will not affect the file that is used for export this “.obj”.
I am using “dash” instead of space in folder name “Flower-Bed-1” to remind myself not to use space in “.obj” name to avoid texture error when import into Clip Studio Paint.
This somehow consumes some space in your storage when you accumulate a lot of files. If you have a small SSD or HDD, you might need to adjust.
“Flower-Bed-1” is for the red flower, i will create “Flower-Bed-2” for next flower. It is just the “Flower-Bed-1” folder that copied and renamed, the content inside is identical.
I will just create a new texture using the same file.
Just by changing the texture image i can create a new group of flowers easily.
Remember! Do not use SPACE in your file name. .obj, .mtl, texture files. Clip Studio Paint and Clip Studio Modeler don’t treat space kindly.
And two more flower.
Import and register 3D objects in Clip Studio Medeler.
Now we are going to register these flowers in Clip Studio Modeler. Launch Clip Studio Modeler and choose to create new 3D object.
The official tutorial already covers this subject.
To the right-hand side of the screen, click the tree icon then click the folder icon next to the plus icon.
Navigate to your “.obj” that you exported from Blender.
Use the tool on the top left to control your camera or go to menu View > View entire object.
And you will see the flower point at you.
“Why?” That is what i said when i saw this the first time.
The reason is that when you import 3D object by drop .obj into your Clip Studio Paint the software uses a different Axis system from Clip Studio Modeler.
I don’t know what the developer is doing, i’m not qualified enough to judge. Just remember this when you are exporting 3D models from Blender to .obj.
If you are using a model by drag and drop into the software, export with Y Axis forward.
If you plan to register the 3D models in Clip Studio Modeler.
Export with default settings, “Y upward” instead.
In this case, i want to register a model in Clip Studio Modeler so i export the 3D models again with “Y Axis” up. This is the default setting of Blender .obj exporting.
With these settings, the 3D model will face correctly when imported to Clip Studio Modeler.
If your model looks weird, go to the top-right and enable/disable the view in view settings.
Next settings are in the Sketch panel.
Click the icon and at the bottom of the panel. Click on the “NO” square to generate the thumbnail. This thumbnail will show the 3D material panel in Clip Studio Paint.
Next is to uncheck “Light” and “Outline” option. Disable outline is necessary if you are using texture with transparency instead of the shape of 3D model.
And the last is to “Apply current settings to new files” so we don’t have to do this every time we setup new 3D material.
Save the file to your desired location. After saving your file go to menu File > Register as new material. New window will popup.
Name your material and pick the location. I created a “Custom” folder inside “3D” category. My recommendation is to add one tag that indicates the custom-made 3D model and not official Clip Studio Paint 3D model, it is easier to search for your 3D model this way.
Launch Clip Studio Paint and create a new file. Look at your 3D material panel, you will see the 3D material you just registered. To use it, just drag the 3D material from the panel to the canvas.
I have to disable “Backface culling” in Rendering settings. If you have more than one 3D model, you can apply these settings to all 3D material by clicking “Apply to all models”.
And, done! This is my workflow of how to create 3D models in Blender and register as 3D material to use in Clip Studio Paint.
Free 3D model for testing.
These are a model i used in this tutorial. Download and try to register as a 3D material to use, free of charge in personal use or commercial use. But do not allow the user to sell the 3D models materials directly. I’m still the rightful owner of this material.