Paint Tool Context

The Paint Tool Context provides an easy way to paint Crowd related objects in Maya (Population Tool slots, Entity TypesBehavior Triggers, Vector Fields...)

Example of paintable Crowd objects: Population Tool slots, PPAttributes, Navigation Vector Fields, Behavior Triggers


  • Golaem Shelf:
  • Golaem Menu: Paint Tool
  • MEL command: glmPaintToolCmd;​

Mesh and UV prerequisites

The Paint Tool uses UV coordinates from the attached meshes. Thus, for best results, the UV must be uniquely and homogeneously distributed over the geometry. This can be achieved with an UV unwrap in Maya. The typical result of badly distributed UV is paint appearing where you didn't paint. Bad UV can also lead to non appearing slots when painting density with the Population Tool.

It is important to notice that all geometry used to paint on must be frozen before painting on it.
The Paint Tool supports UDIM UV mapping. Thus, for technical limitation, UV are internally normalized.

Tool Settings

The Paint Tool Context Settings window is divided in five panels.

Paint Mode

This panel defines what type of data will be painted:

Allows to paint slots in a Population Tool locator. The slot density is linked to the brush color (white for maximum density, black for none)
Allow to paint Entity Types on a Population Tool locator.
Allows to paint PPAttributes values in a Maya particle system
Allows to paint directions in a Vector Field locator to control the navigation of Entities
Allows to paint colors in a Painted Zone locator to trigger behaviors

Target Node

This panel defines in which node the data will be painted. Its value changes depending on the selected Paint Mode:

Defines the node in which the data will be painted:

New button

Creates a paintable node (either a Population Tool Locator, a Vector Field Locator or a Painted Zone locator depending on the Paint Mode). This button is not available for the PPAttributes mode (but you can use the Population Tool to emit particles)

To be able to create a new node, a Maya polygon must be selected first. The Maya polygon will be used to compute the underlying painted texture.


This panel defines the attributes of the paint brush:

Determines the shape of the area affected by the selection (see Maya Artisan documentation)


Defines if it is a paint or an erase session.


Defines the radius for the brush. The radius valus can also be controlled with an hotkey (press b and drag the left mouse button)

Rotate to stroke

Rotate the brush according to the brush movement

A brush stroke without and with Rotate to stroke enabled

Notice that the Brush cursor display the current mode.

Paint, Erase and Resize Brush cursor

Paint Attributes

This panel defines the data which will be painted. Its parameters changes depending on the selected Paint Mode.

Population Tool Mode


Determines the density of the slots (the whiter the color, the more dense the slots).

The density is stored in the red channel of the painted texture.


Not used yet

Density of the slots depending on the painted color

Entity Types Mode


Name of the Entity Type to paint on the Population Tool locator. If the Entity Type is not connected to the Population Tool locator, the paint tool will connect it automatically.

Without texture, the painted EntityType is stored in the Population Tool, thus Entity Type is related to the Slot Id and not the Slot position. When using a texture, the Entity Type is stored in the green channel of the painted texture, so the Entity Type is related to the position of the slot.

PPAttributes Mode

PP Attribute Name of the PPAttribute in the currently selected particle system to paint
PP Type Painted component type (float or int)
Min Value Min value to paint (either a single or a vector value)
PP Value Max value to paint (either a single or a vector value)

Vector Field Mode


Strength of the brush

Trigger Mode


Color to paint


Strength of the brush

Trigger Mode



Draw Brush Outline

If checked the brush outline will be displayed



Amount of time in second before the brush reaches full opacity. 

A delay of 1 second on the left compared to a delay of 0 second on the right
Smooth The number of brush position samples averaged to compute the brush rotation. The higher the number is the more smooth will the brush rotation be.
Clip Brush Depth If enabled the paint p rojection starts from the brush position. If disabled, the paint projection starts behind the brush. it's better disabled on terrain with high slopes. For painting in building with stories, keep it enabled.

Load / Save Map

Load 32bits PNG

Displays a file open dialog to load a 32bits PNG. The image is stretched without keeping the aspect ratio. It's scaled to fulfill the painted map.

Save 32bits PNG Displays a save dialog to save a 32bits PNG from the painted map.

Render Splines

Render splines for every surfaces

Force the splines rendering computation for every painted surface linked with splines.