One of the most exciting 3D-painting tools for artists - Maxon BodyPaint 3D - is due to ship next week, according to distributors HiSoft. BodyPaint 3D lets artists and designers paint textures and material channels onto 3D objects in real-time, and is based on the same architecture as Maxon's flagship 3D modelling, animation and rendering package Cinema 4D XL. Maxon says users will be able to load an object to texture, and paint with as many as ten material channels concurrently. BodyPaint 3D will deploy Maxon's unique RayBrush technology that lets users paint onto a raytraced image in 3D in real-time. The company says that reflectivity, bump, transparency, specularity and other channels can be painted in real-time with direct feedback in multiple 3D views. Maxon says the new tool with boast the abilty to handle huge geometry and data sets with minimum hardware support, and that it can work in real-time with models ranging from thousands to millions of polygons. The tool will support a range of popular 3D formats, including C4D, OBJ, 3DS, QD3D, VRML 1 and 2, LWO, and DXF. It will offer integrated support for Wacom's Intous tablet range, says Maxon. A demo will be available shortly, says HiSoft, and BodyPaint 3D is expected to cost £479 including VAT. It is available for both Mac OS and Windows.