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Manipulating canvases

When you select an mesh and you have texture coordintes for it (either via unwrapping or by importing them) then you will be able to access the canvas view, where you can use vector graphics to draw on the texture that is applied to the mesh and some more.

Canvas view

Document management

In the side panel for the canvas view you will be able to view the current objects and layers for the canvas that is currently selected. From the panel you will be able to select and organize the layers.

From the bottom of the panel you can move, rename and delete easily each object or layer.

Creating objects

There are three types of objects that can be created within the canvas view.

  • Curves: curves are made out of several connected points and can be created with a number of different workflows. You can create a curve with its control points in a way similar to what you do in other vector graphics tool. You can create a curve using automatic interpolation so that the position of the control points will be automatically inferred. You can also create some prefab shapes such as rectangles, ellipses and such. It is possible to combine different curves into a compound path to obtain a more complex shape with alternated fills and holes. To do that, select all the paths to combine and choose "Make compound path" in the contextual toolbar.

  • Text: Text can be rendered within the canvas. There are a number of things to consider when using writing within botcha. For example, the font need to be present on the system.

  • Image links: Images and image links include an existing 2D rasterized graphic and add it to the canvas document. If an image is added as a link then what happens is that the graphics will be connected to the one on disk. If you change the image, you can reload and get it updated in your canvas. This allow you for example to do some of the work in an application you are comfortable with and then get your work updated inside of botcha3d.

Fill and strokes

Each vector object has its fill and stroke information. You can modify fill and strokes of selected objects directly on the contextual toolbar or you can open a panel for the desired object with the bucket button on its entry (A). If there is no selection, the fill and stroke info on the contextual toolbar refers to default fill and stroke. New objects created will have fill and stroke equal to the default one.


  • Fill: There are 3 options for fill that are settable using the combo box in B.

    • Color: Fill the object with a color. If color option is active, the button in C will open a color edit panel (D) where it is possible to edit a new color or pick one from swatches. The panel on the right also shows the color edit widget.

    • Material: Fill the object with one of the materials from palette. If material option is active, the button in C would open a selection panel for the material, similar to the one on the right panel. Material option also enables the button in E that launches the command to transform material for the currently selected objects.

    • None: Disable fill for an object. In the right panel use the fill checkbox to enable/disable.

  • Stroke: Stroke can be enabled or disabled (F). The button in G will open the color edit panel (D) where it is possible to edit a new color or pick one from swatches. It is possible to modify cap and corner style of the stroke (H). The options for cap are: Butt, Round and Square, while the options for Corner are: Miter, Bevel and Round. The width of the stroke can be edited with widgets in I. It is also possible to draw a dashed line setting the dash property to stroke (L).


There are several options to import both raster images and existing geometry into canvas.

  • Images Currently supported images format are .png and .jpg. Adobe Photoshop .psd files, are also supported. Botcha will import the resulting image from the .psd file and, if it was saved with extended compatibility, also each different layer as a separate image. Moreover, the Adobe Illustrator plugin imports the exact resulting raster image in addition to geometry.

  • Vectors Botcha can import vector graphics form .svg and .3dm files. With the Adobe Illustrator extension it is also possible to import vector graphics directly from .ai files.


There are several options to export both raster images and vector geometry from canvas.

  • Images You can export your canvas as .png, .jpg, and also .psd files.

  • Vectors You can export vector geometry from canvas as .pdf, .ai, .3dm files. Moreover, you can export your canvas in Botcha Adobe Extension format (.bae) to enable Illustrator bridge.

Adobe Illustrator Extension

Botcha comes bundled with a plugin for Adobe Illustrator. This is designed so that the user can draw the geometry in Illustrator and import it easily into Botcha. To enable a bridge to Illustrator, user must first export current canvas as Botcha Adobe Extension .bae file in a desired location. The export command will also create a link to the exported file into your canvas.

Inside Illustrator, to show the Botcha extension click on the upper menu bar: Window > Extensions > Botcha. If you can't find Botcha extension check out Illustrator plugin manual installation. You can now import the previously exported .bae file clicking on Import and browsing to location. This will import the canvas from Botcha and all the geometry existing before exporting (currently not supporting texts).

Once a .bae file is imported in Illustrator, an .ai file is created in the same folder. You can draw new paths and even modify existing ones at will. When you want to update the current drawing to Botcha, use the Save command in the extension panel to update the bridge file.

Inside Botcha, to import the work back from Illustrator, you need to refresh the file link of the bridge. As a result Botcha will update existing paths and create all the missing layers (only first level layers) and the missing paths. We try to keep the same order of the object between the two software, but it is not guaranteed. Botcha will also import an image that matches the result from Illustrator. In this way, all unsupported features can still be imported as an image.

It is possible to work both on Botcha and Illustrator at the same time, but it is not recommended. If you want to update changes made in Botcha to Illustrator, you must export the .bae file again. It is possible to overwrite the previous one.


Illustrator extension can not handle materials. If you are using materials images, they would not show up in Illustrator.

Color picking

If you need to copy fill and stroke from one object to others, it is possible to do that in one click using the color pick command from the toolbar.

Mirroring objects

All the objects in canvas can be mirrored along a desired axis using the mirroring command from the toolbar. The command produces a mirrored copy of the objects, leaving the original ones unaltered.

Rasterize and normal editing

To add some small details to the surface of your object without generating more geometry it is possible to use a normal map. Materials often use normal maps, but let's suppose that you need to carve a vector graphics logo for example. For this kind of situations Botcha has a specific workflow.


In canvas it is possible to obtain an image of selected objects using the rasterize command from the toolbar. The obtained image is embedded in the document.

It is possible to obtain a normal map from each image in the canvas. To do that, select the image and click "edit normals" button in the contextual toolbar. Here you have the preview of the map plus various options to generate it:

  • Detection mode lets you choose the strategy to detect the target part of the image that has to be raised or carved. "Edges" uses an edge detection algorithm and picks the edges as the target. "Color" lets you select a color that is picked as the target. Each pixel is set as target proportionally to the similarity to selected color. "Alpha" option will selecte target pixels considering their opacity. Higher opacity means higher target value.
  • Height regulates the height of the target part. Between 0 and 0.5 means carved, between 0.5 and 1 means raised.
  • Slope regulates the size (in pixels) of the slope. Raising the slope number will expand the target area.
  • Strength parameter regulates the sharpness of the slope.
  • Inherit alpha mask is the property to have the same opacity of the original image in the normal map.
  • Mask omogeneous areas is the property to set as transparent the pixels that do not modify normals direction.