Creating your own Matcaps (a cool way to viz characters in Blender)

Posted by Lee on March 12th, 2016 | Comments (14)

Learn how to make our own ‘matcaps’! A great way to not only visualize models for sculpting and modeling but also animating and putting a scene together in the viewport!

[Download the characters and scene from this tutorial]

[Matcap image files]

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Curious to know how to create a Matcap from scratch and also apply and render these in the Cycles renderer? Check out the tutorial extension below going into more detail on this!

[Download the files from this tutorial]

[Matcap Generator]


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  • Ach Hadda

    this is interesting :D

    • Lee Salvemini

      Hey Ach, thanks!! -Lee

  • Jaroslav Novotny

    Reflection mapping for a matcap? Should be Normal mapping..

    • Lee Salvemini

      Hi Jaroslav, for Blender’s UV reflection mode it actually seems to be normal mapping under a different name :) Which means you can be in textured solid mode in multitexture and see the effect, rather than needing to hit ‘alt+z’ and be in GLSL mode. It’s very much my personal choice here for how I’m using these matcaps (not exactly their intended purpose).


  • Education after 12th
  • Joseph Brandenburg

    Will this not work in Cycles?

    • Lee Salvemini

      Just added a tutorial extension with info for applying matcaps in Cycles Hope you like it!

      • Joseph Brandenburg


  • Olivier Etienne

    Very useful tutorial, but the video title is Misleading: Creating your own matcaps (which I was looking forward to!), Shouldn’t it be : How to use a custom Matcap?

    • Lee Salvemini

      True! I whipped up the title quickly and didn’t take into account the other context it would be taken, and how popular the idea of ‘creating’ custom matcaps from scratch is. I will update the title and on youtube :) -Lee

      • Olivier Etienne

        Thanks for taking my comment into consideration.

    • Lee Salvemini

      Maybe I will be able to add to this and make an extra tutorial on the creation!

      • Olivier Etienne

        That would be really really good.
        I thought it would be easy and I tried in Blender by creating a sphere and put point light to give the Matcap effect but it did work out.
        I will look forward to see what you can come up with.
        thanks again.

        • Lee Salvemini

          I’ve created a tutorial extension with more info on these areas. Hopefully it adds a bit more to getting these setup easier :D Cheers!