Click on desired Heading in Table of Contents to jump to Entry directly (once page is loaded) (and use delete key to return ;)

Neal Hirsig's videos cover single functions by short in-depth videos.
For your learning you might appreciate longer tutorials which cover more issues for a start, to get primary view - and come back to these single topic clips later.
Check out ( and eventually rate ) this ranking of alternative tuts for "Textures" on the learning network. If you suggest new links for this page, please tag them BLS_Textures.
You can also contribute without sign-up via surveys: see last heading on each page.

There are two general sets of textures in Blender:

  • Procedural Textures - internal, mathematically generated textures - and:
  • Image Textures - external images, mapped to the faces of an object

Procedural Textures - Gradient Blend

Video by Neal Hirsig

  • Excerpt along video (with some adjustments here for better understanding)

This video examines the "Blend" procedural textures

video settings for demonstration

  • plane (blue), tube, cube an sphere objects
  • default lamp, default camera and an additional low energy Hemi lamp to brighten up the shadows.
  • adjusted interface: split 3Dviewport window and set right one to "UV-Image Editor"
  • set render display (buttontab Render - Properties Panel, Render Display dropdown ) to "Image Editor", to display render there directly

Create new texture, or assign existing

Textures are linked to a previously assigned material:

  • select the object ( here plane)
  • and go to the Material Editor ( material buttontab (Sphere witch checkered texture) in the Properties Editor Window )
  • create a material and name it - here "Blue" assigned to the plane
  • then, click on the Texture context icon(tab)
  • if textures exist in your scene, link the material to the texture by the ID Data dropdown besides "new" and choose there from all the textures in the scene listed
  • or create a new texture via "New" button
  • by default, the type of a new texture is set to procedural Clouds texture
  • click on the dropdown box (Clouds) and select Blend

Blend procedural texture

  • many ways how it can be used
  • in this video: Gradient Diffuse Color - choose "Blend" as texture type from dropdown (default clouds)
  • note in "Blend" Panel (scroll down), that the default Blend is "Linear" (dropdown) "Horizontal" (button) Blend" - as indicated by the Preview

Exchange default blend by Ramp ("Colors" panel, below preview)

  • to exchange the default black to white blend, open the "Color" Panel and checkmark the "Ramp" checkbox (See video Ramp - Material to learn how to handle it)
  • the default settings with the left marker selected indicates, that the color (see underneath ramp) is black, with an Alpha value set a zero - transparent
  • select (leftclick) the marker to the far right, the color shows light cyan with Alpha value 1 - opaque
  • video sets left marker to gold and Alpha 1 - opaque, and right marker to dark magenta with Alpha at 1 - opaque
  • so the color band ranges from magenta to the right to gold on the left, set to linear
  • note that the color band does not reach magenta until the far right, and gold until the far left

Default Mapping settings

  • scroll down to the Mapping Panel
  • default settings for Coordinates are Generated (dropdown) by Blender
  • and Flat (dropdown) for Projection (texture will be projected flat across the mesh)

Default Influence settings

  • scroll down to Influence Panel
  • default Influence is set to Diffuse Color (checkbox marked)

When rendered now, the texture is projected flat on the surface of the (here:) plane, with the gradient running horizontally

Switch from Horizontal to Vertical in Blend Panel

  • scroll up to Blend Panel, switch Blend to "Vertical" and re-render - gradient mapped vertically
  • check the right (here: magenta) marker and set the Alpha to 0.4: re-render shows, that underlying material color Blue shines through the transparent part of the gradient
  • video names texture "MagentaGold (type name into Name box in main texture panel on top (above) "Type", between browse data icon and +,X)

Check Outliner Panel to see relation

  • open selected object (click on small plus symbol)
  • and its mesh named "Mesh"
  • Mesh has a material assigned, here called Blue
  • the material has a texture assigned, called MagentaGold

Tricolor Blend

Video selects sphere object with no material linked

  • assigns new material, named "RedGreenBlue"
  • adds a new texture via Texture Context button(tab)
  • select Blend procedural texture via Type dropdown
  • name it (here:) Tricolor
  • checkmark Ramp checkbox in Ramp Panel, assign three colors to markers:
  • add new via CTRL+leftclick or "New" button
  • select via leftclick and select color from color selector which opens by clicking color field
  • to delete a marker select it and click delete button
  • video sets Alpha full (1-opaque)
  • set Blend settings to linear and vertical - Render shows sphere with tricolor band mapped vertical
  • check same relation as above in Outliner Panel: object's -> mesh has -> material assigned -> which has texture assigned

Progression Settings (Blend Panel)

  • change from default Linear via dropdown
  • Quadratic
  • this progression setting uses a quadratic equation to determine the transition from one color to the other, starting off with a very large area for the first color marker, and gets progressively smaller
  • Easing
  • here the transition between colors is eased and smoothed to a greater extend that the default Linear progression
  • Diagonal
  • (video shows on plane as more obvious than on sphere)
  • progression runs diagonal from one corner to the other
  • see also:
  • Spherical
  • Quadratic Sphere
  • Radial

Video adds new material to tube: "TubeRamp"

  • opens texture button and adds existing (TriColor) texture

Make an independent texture from texture in multiple use

  • when applying an existing texture, the number count right to the name shows that several materials use this texture
  • Make an independent texture out of the selected in multiple use, which assigned then individually to the selected material,
  • by clicking on the number count button right of the name
  • Blender automatically names it TriColor001
  • Now changes to the texture don't affect the original Tricolor texture (on the object(s) it was already assigned to)

I inserted the following step "mapping to an object", (here tube) underneath as independent heading, this doubles, but helps to understand the following mapping topic better

  • the video now sets the Blend to Linear and Vertical,
  • and the Mapping to "Tube":
  • scroll down to Mapping Panel and select Tube from Projection dropdown

Color Panel / Ramp has its own Interpolation settings

  • scroll to Color Panel, the Ramp has its own Interpolation settings,
  • set to Linear (dropdown)
  • change Color Interpolation to "Constant"
  • Ramp shows color field without gradients, half green, half blue, third marker (red) is hidden and has to be moved in by leftclick-drag - create even distribution between red, glreen and blue manually
  • Render shows, according to settings: vertical non-gradient stripes
  • Change Interpolation to "B-Spline" which creates very soft edges

Mapping textures onto objects

  • set the Blend to Linear and Vertical,
  • and set the Mapping from default "Flat" to "Tube":
  • scroll down to Mapping Panel and select Tube from Projection dropdown
  • Render shows that tube has a vertical Tricolor gradient

Change from vertical to horizontal Mapping manually when mapping to object instead of default "Flat"

  • When you now change the Blend settings from Vertical to Horizontal - the effect is not as expected
  • (Render shows texture still mapped vertical on tube)

Note: you need to switch from vertical to horizontal render display manually via Mapping Panel:

  • scroll down to Mapping Panel
  • and switch axes-mapping manually via axes dropdowns (here z for x, x for z, y remains)
  • now TriColor gradient is displayed horizontally

Video shows second example to train manual Mapping

  • Cube -> assign new material (CubeRamp), -> then new texture (PinkRamp), -> Ramp checkmarked, -> create opaque 2 color gradient (Alpha 1)
  • Set Blend to Vertical and Linear
  • Change Projection to Cube in Mapping PAnel
  • cube has vertical gradient
  • change Blend to horizontal and render
  • produces different vertical, but not horizontal render
  • to get a horizontal mapping for a cube projection, you need to switch the x and z mapping in the Mapping Panel
  • Scroll down to the Mapping Panel again
  • exchange z for x, x for z there in axis dropdowns
  • now gradient is displayed horizontally in render

Image Textures

  • Excerpt along video

video settings for demonstration

  • plane (blue), tube, cube an sphere objects
  • default lamp, default camera and an additional low energy Hemi lamp to brighten up the shadows.
  • adjusted interface: split 3Dviewport window and set right one to "UV-Image Editor"
  • set render display (buttontab Render - Properties Panel, Render Display dropdown ) to "Image Editor", to display render there directly

Add an Image Texture

  • select the plane object,
  • add a new material and name it (see in video/excerpt above, how)
  • add a new texture and exchange default procedural Cloud via dropdown to: "Image of Movie" as Type
  • scroll down to Image Panel
  • if you have an existing image in the scene, select it via ID Data dropdown (Image icon) left to "New" Button
  • To assign a new image, press "Open" button
  • this displays Blender's file browser
  • locate image, select it and press "Open" button in browser
  • The Image texture is now displayed in the Preview of the Texture Editor
  • a local file path to the image is listed in the path box of the Image Panel
  • name the texture (here: BrickWall)
  • scroll down to the Mapping Panel
  • default settings: Coordinates: Generated (by Blender) Projection: Flat
  • this means that the image will be projected flat across the whole object
  • scroll down to the Influence Panel
  • default settings: Diffuse checkmarked
  • means that the image will replace the diffuse color of the object
  • Render shows Brick wall applied to plane
  • Outliner Panel relation
  • succeeding: object (plane) -> mesh (Mesh) -> material (PlaneBricks) -> texture (BrickWall) -> image (Brick_Wall)

Adjust Image Repeat (size for repeated patterns)

  • go to Image Mapping Panel in Texture Editor and see default settings
  • Extension is set to Repeat
  • Repeat is set to x=1, y=1 - which means the image has no repeat
  • increase repeat to repeat the image - here make bricks seem smaller

Adjust Orientation

  • open the "Image Sampling" Panel (above)
  • and checkmark the "Flip X/Y Axis checkbox
  • this changes the direction of the here: bricks form vertically to horizontally

"Pack" the image to save it with the blend file (not just the path)

  • By default saving the blend file would only save the path and demand the image to be at the same place
  • To pack an image to a file, go to the UVImage Editor (here alreay displayes, open by display menu dropdown in other window otherwise)
  • Under the Browse ID Data dropdown box in UV Image Editor, select image
  • Now click on the Image menu button (left to the ID Data dropdown), and select Pack from this dropdown

Add Image texture to basic objects

Add Image Texture to a Sphere

same procedure as above

  • when image is opened into file
  • notice the path file
  • and the pixel size listed underneath
  • scroll down to the Mapping Panel
  • select Sphere as mapping projection
  • (name it -> pack it (see above) to save it with the file)

Add Image Texture to a Tube

  • same procedure, select Tube as mapping projection

Add Image Texture to a Cube

  • ..select Cube as mapping projection
  • the render shows that the image is projected to all six sides of the cube, with one image for each side automatically

Adjust Size of an Image

  • scroll down to the Mapping Panel
  • see Size controllers
  • by defaut the size is 1
  • z-value has no effect on a 2D image
  • decreasing from 1 / here: 0.5 zooms into the image

Offset the Image Mapping

  • ..by adjusting the Offset value in the Mapping Panel

Influence Panel

  • The image texture is replacing the diffuse color because the Diffuse color checkbox is checked by default and the influence is set to full - or 1
  • set a diffuse color to be seen in the material panel
  • If the Influence is lowered, e.g. to 0.5, the underlying diffuse color shines through the image texture
  • If you uncheck the diffuse color box, the image texture has no influence on the render - only the diffuse color is displayed
  • by default, the type of Influence Blend is set to "Mix"
  • that means texture is mixed with the diffuse color to whatever extent indicated by the diffuse slider
  • with color checkmarked at full, or 1, the underlying diffuse color is completely overrun by the image texture
  • the Influence Blen can be changed from "Mix" to any available blend type by dropdown
  • e.g. Lighten - the image texture is now used to lighten the underlying diffuse color - see render
  • e.g Darken - to darken the diffuse color
  • e.g Hue - the image texture will affect the hue of the diffuse color
  • e.g Saturation affects the saturation of the diffuse color
  • checkmarking the Inverse checkbox inverts the influence of the image texture

Using the Image textures, in special in combination with the Diffuse and Specular Shaders, Ramps, Transparency, Mirror controls offers a limitless number of certain treatments
In later tutorials we will see it is also possible to use image textures to influence a wide variety of Blender controls

Decal Image Textures

  • Excerpt along video
  • A common problem when faced with image textures is the need to add one image texture on top of another Image texture
  • this is sometimes referred to as "decaling"

video settings for demonstration

  • plane object
  • default lamp, default camera and an additional low energy Hemi lamp to brighten up the shadows.
  • adjusted interface: split 3Dviewport window and set right one to "UV-Image Editor"
  • set render display (buttontab Render - Properties Panel, Render Display dropdown ) to "Image Editor", to display render there directly
  • select the plane object and click on the material context button, select new and name it (here) PlaneBricks
  • open Texture context button, click "New" and select "Image or Movie" from Type dropdown (replacing default Clouds)
  • in the Image Panel click on "Open" and select the image from your harddrive -> click Open
  • In the Image Mapping Panel set the x and y Repeat to 3
  • and checkmark both mirror boxes so that the texture tiling will be reasonably smooth
  • render - name texture (here:) BrickWall
  • check linking of Data in Outliner Panel: Plane -> has mesh (Mesh) -> linked to materia (PlaneBricks)l -> with assigned texture (BrickWall) -> image file (Brick_Wall.jpg

Add a second texture

  • select second texture slot
  • select "Image or Movie" from dropdown
  • name texture (here:) "Danger"
  • Open button - open image
  • render scene: second texture renders above first
  • if you uncheck second texture in the slot list, the first is displayed
  • Blender renders textures in the texture list from top to bottom

There are two general methods for Decaling

UV Mapping

  • Instead of the default Generated Blender mapping
  • be sure that second texture is checkmarked in the texture list (slots)

UV Mapping Editor

  • go to UV Mapping editor (already open in video window setting)
  • select texture from Browse ID Data dropdown box (Image icon in bottom-menu)

3D Viewport Editor

  • move cursor to 3D viewport editor window and press TAB button to enter Edit Mode
  • with all vertices selected:

UV Image Editor (window)

  • select Mesh dropdown in bottom menu-header and select "UV Unwrap" and "Unwrap" fro sub-dropdown
  • this unwraps the plane mesh in the UV Image Editor (here 4 vertices, as simple plane)
  • press the A key in UV Image Editor window to select all the vertices and
  • pres S key to scale the plane up until the second texture is in a proper proportion to the plane face (here the idea is to display the Danger image on the brick wall, resizing the Danger image to fit to the final rendering)
  • press G key to position it right
  • look closely: one of the edges is read, this is the bottom edge of the plane's face
  • press R key to position bottom right (here: R, 180, Enter)

3D Viewport

  • TAB out of Edit mode

UV Image Editor

  • turn UV Editor to Render result ( via image icon dropdown in UV Image Editor bottom header)

Mapping Panel

  • go to Mapping Panel in Texture Editor (Properties Editor Window)
  • change Mapping from default "Generated" to "UV"
  • (note that first texture, here BrickWall, is still using the default flat mapping)
  • if you render, second (here Danger texture) smaller, but still set to repeat, so covers plane tiled)
  • go to Image Mapping panel to set Extension from Repeat, to Clip
  • Danger texture is now decalled on top of the BrickWall texture

By Empty Object

another way to reach this effect is to place the second texture (Danger) on an empty object and place the empty on the first object (BrickWall)

3D Viewport

Add Empty

  • object selected
  • press Shift + S and snap Cursor To Selected (dropdown)
  • this places cursor on object origin
  • Add an Empty object
  • name it (here: NoWarEmpty)
  • select the plane

Texture Editor

  • go to the Texture Editor and select a third texture slot
  • Add another new texture (Image or Movie type)
  • name it (here: NoWar)
  • press Open button and select image > Open
  • scroll down to Image Mapping Panel and change from Repeat to Clip so that it is not repeated
  • then change Mapping coordinates from Generated to Object
  • click in Object box and select Empty as mapping coordinates

3D Editor Window

  • go to 3D Editor Window (turn off translate widget) and select (NoWar) Empty
  • notice that z-axis of the Empty object is pointig straight up
  • by default object mapping in Blender will be placed along the z-axis
  • to make the image visible in the render: press R key, followed by y key, followed by Enter:
  • this rotates the Empty so that the z-axis is facing outwards
  • align Empty x,y axes with planes' x,y axes (Top View)
  • press G key and move Empty a little in front of the plane object
  • Render: NoWar image is rotated to side and has a white line around it
  • to adjust: local orientation: R key and Z key twice - adjust degrees (here 90) (rotates image 90° around local Z axis)
remove white line (which often happens when decaled image has transparent background as this png has)
  • checkmark "Premultiply" checkbox in Image Panel
  • check relation in Outliner Panel

Bump Texture

  • Excerpt along video

In Blender a Bump texture is a name given to a texture that is applied to the Normal Influence channel
It results in a simulated impression of 3D detail on the object's surface
The effect is a simulated 3D effect, created by Blender Shader, based on the color values or brightness of the bumpmapped image
A bumpmap can either be a procedural map, or an external image file

video settings for demonstration:

( Simple circle animation setting around an object)

Coin-like object, two closed circles, and a tube-like rim to close them
Two sun lamps and two Hemi lamps set an a very low energy level
Camera constraint to Empty which is placed on the center of the disk
Camera also has a Follow Path constraint, which constrains it to a Bezier circle path during the 100 frame animation
On frame 1 disk is faced straight up, a little above center

Add texture

  • select front circle object
  • texture the disk (one cent coin)
  • add a new material (named PennyFront)
  • add a new texture (FrontBump)
  • Image Or Movie - open Image
  • here: greyscale:
Color Value for Bumpmaps
  • Bumpmaps use color value information to create 3D effect, black: zero, white: 1
  • You could also use a colored image, as crolrs have a value too, but simple to create greyscale image in Gimp of Photoshop by lowering Saturation to zero

Influence Panel

  • scroll down to the Influence Panel
  • uncheck default Color (under Diffuse) and checkmark Normal channel under Geometry
  • leave the control level at 1

Mapping Panel

  • leave default Generated coordinates and Flat Projection
  • but increase the size of the image slightly by decreasing the scale size to 0.98 (X and Y, Z has no effect on a 2D image)
  • Render the scene
  • note that the Bumpmap uses the color value of the greyscale image to create a simulated 3D effect
  • The areas that where dark in the bumpmap / image are light in the rendering
  • The effect is, as if the image is embossed in the disk
  • select Render Slot Number 2 (bottom header or Render Window and go back to 3D Editor (to header of Render Window)

Influence Panel

  • change the Normal setting from 1 to -1
  • Render
  • now the 3D effect is reversed: more like the image has been stamped on the disk
  • press J key in Render Window to switch between the 2 renders
  • elect Render slot 1 via dropdown again

Texture Panel

  • select second texture slot
  • add a second texture, name it (here: FrontColor)
  • open image (here colored Lincoln cent image)
  • Leave the Diffuse Color settings for this texture
  • Leave Generated Coordinates and Flat Projection in Mapping Panel
  • but decrease Size by setting to 0.98 again

To see difference: select Render Slot 2
and go back to 3D Editor

  • Select the first (FrontBumpmap) texture
  • and uncheck the Normal checkbox in the Influence Panel
  • Render again to get a render without the Bumpmap
  • see the difference in texture richness through the 3D simulation

create the same for backside
( Normal checked, at -1 and Color unchecked under Diffuse in Influence Panel
( Leave Generated Coordinates and Flat Projection )

To render it go to frame 50, where the camera faces the other side of the coin

To render the animation,

  • click on the Render icon on the Properties Panel Window - which displays the rendering controls
  • in the Output Panel:
  • set the Render Output to "Quicktime Movie"

Suggest Improvements via survey or learning network

You can help to aggregate and rank complementing and alternative resources for each wiki page/topic.
Your contributions will be the foundation for a fluent improvement of this learning resource.

The survey embedded underneath enables you to contribute to this collaborative filtering without joining a new tool/network; after sending your contribution you can see what others suggested.

(Network members , please check the surveys for new contributions to add to the link-list.)

You are always welcome to join the learning network and add or "like-vote" (for) your favorite new option here. You can find the right page-tags on the surveys and on the introduction paragraph for each page.

If you join the network, please cast your vote for your favorite alternative/complementing tutorial per tag/heading - and if you find a better one, please "unlike" your earlier vote and "like" the new one.

This helps us to improve this resource most fluently.