Want your Blender models to look different than the default gray? Then you're going to need to use some textures. Read through our step-by-step tutorial to get a grasp on textures and the UV editor, then use what you've learned on your own objects to make them look real!
Textures are the way the surfaces of your meshes appear, representing the look and material of an object. Creating a texture is quite easy but fitting it properly and choosing the best settings can be tricky.
In this tutorial, we’ll texture a cube, but the steps are generalized to any 3D object.
The first steps are to create a texture, which we do prior to adding it to an object:
Now you have a new texture named “Texture”, which you can rename by simply typing a new name in the text box.
To get started with your texture, there are two parameters to keep in mind: texture type and coordinate type.
There are 15 texture types in Blender. Most of them are for shaping your texture in Blender itself, but in this tutorial, we’re going to import an image.
The coordinate type determines how your object will wear the texture, with respect to edges, orientation, etc. While there are 10 coordinate types, setting the coordination to UV will allow you to work with the texture in the UV editor.
UV mapping is the process of projecting a 2D image onto a 3D object, where U and V are the axes of the image and X, Y, and Z are the axes of the object.
Here’s how to set up your texture:
To texture the mesh properly, we’ll have to unfold it and give it a texture to wear. This means that your texture image isn’t going to be a square but rather 6 of them, which are oriented in such a way that folding them produces a cube.
For this tutorial, you can use this texture. I’ve numbered the squares so that the sides can easily be distinguished in the final 3D model.
The following two steps load the image:
In order to unwrap (Blender’s way of unfolding) your cube, you have to mark the seams yourself. The seams are guidelines that Blender will follow to unwrap the mesh.
You can mark the seams in the following way:
If you unselect the cube you should be able to see your seams in red lines. Keep in mind that there are 11 ways of unfolding a cube, and this is the best-known one. You just need to match the texture with your unwrapped cube.
Once unwrapped by the seams, the cube is ready for texturing. As the final steps, you’ll need to load the texture into the UV Editor and adjust it.
Here’s how to see the unwrapped cube and fit your texture:
You might notice that your texture is not yet visible on the cube. That’s because the “Display Method” is set to “Solid”, meaning the 3D Viewer will ignore textures, lighting, etc. To view your final object, you’ll have to render it.
And there you have it! The same floating cube but this time with a texture. You can also view your texture in the 3D Viewer:
That’s it! You now know how to texture a cube. The steps are the same for other meshes too: Mark the seam lines, unwrap the mesh and load a suitable texture image. The key is to choose the seams since the mesh will unwrap the way you tell it to and once it does you need to have a fitting texture image to use.
License: The text of "Blender – How to Add a Texture" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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