Blender 3D: Noob to Pro/Texture Settings

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Material texture settings

In the Properties window, you will find the Texture context, which looks like at right.

At the top you will see a row of three icons , which indicate texture settings to view and change:

  • World Texture — a texture to use for the sky backdrop
  • Material Texture — a texture associated with the currently-selected material
  • Brush Texture — a texture used for some other purpose.

There are two main types of textures in Blender:

  • Image/Movie textures
  • Procedural textures (all other types in the Type menu).

An image/movie texture allows a two-dimensional image (which might be static or moving) to be wrapped around the surface of a three-dimensional object in some way. Alternatively, a procedural texture directly maps a predefined three-dimensional mathematical function to the surface coordinates of the object.

The “Coordinates:” popup menu defines how positions on the object surface are mapped to positions within the texture coordinate space. All of these options specify automatic mapping algorithms, except one: the “UV” option. This one lets you work within the UV/Image Editor, where you unwrap the surface of the mesh onto a flat rectangle showing the texture image (this really only works with Image/Movie textures), and then move sections of the mesh around to make them show corresponding parts of the texture.

The “Projection:” popup menu further controls how the two-dimensional surface of the object is mapped to a two-dimensional Image/Movie texture. It seems to have no effect for procedural textures.

The “Offset:” and “Size:” X, Y and Z values allow simple adjustments of the position and scaling of the texture. Note that the size values work the opposite way to what you might expect: larger values here make the texture smaller along the corresponding dimension.

The image at right shows the common settings panels for all material texture types. Additional panels will appear depending on the chosen texture type; the settings shown are for the “None” texture, which is the same as having no texture at all.

Material Textures[edit | edit source]

A material may have more than one texture associated with it. At the top of the material texture settings (see above), is a list of the texture slots associated with the material. Slots may be empty (unused), and slots containing a texture may be enabled or disabled, by checking or unchecking the box at the right of the list item. Disabling a texture slot stops it having an effect on the material, which is the same as deleting the texture from the slot altogether, except it is easier to revert. This can be useful when trying to debug the effect of a combination of textures on the material.

World Textures[edit | edit source]

You previously saw how to set up colours for the sky in the World Settings; you can also add a sky texture as well.

World texture settings look similar to texture settings: again there are a number of slots, and there are mapping and influence options. But the mapping coordinates types are different (and there is no UV option), and the influence types are more limited.


Note that the only Influence checkbox checked by default is “Blend”.

If you’re wondering why your texture definition here is making no difference to your sky, either make sure the “Blend” checkbox is checked in your World settings, or check the “Horizon” Influence box here if you don’t want a sky gradation.