Adding Colour and Texture


Texturing or texturemapping is the method in which you can apply image maps to 3D objects. This can be a very frustrating, but rewarding process. There is a lot to learn about applying texturemaps to you creations. This page only covers the basic process of applying an image onto an object. Jump to Texturing

Applying Colour

But first, I will cover how to apply colour to your objects.This is a quick way to add some more dynamic colour to your model instead of working with the same 'Blender gray.'

Step 1: Open a model in Blender.

Step 2: In Object Mode, select the part of the model you wish to apply colour to. In this case I will apply colour to the fuselage of the model

Step 3: Find and select the Colour button in the Panels Window.

Step 4: In the Panels Window is a tab labeled Material. Select the Add New button.

Step 5: The Panels Window will change to the Material Buttons view.
These panels give you a dizzying array of options! For basic colour, however, we will only concentrate on the highlighted areas (see above).
The large gradient square is the colour viewer and the controls with the sliders is the Color Picker.

Step 6: There are 2 main sections to the Colour Picker. The Colour, Specular and Mirror Region picker on the left and the Color Sliders on the right.

  • Col = The main colour of the object, also called the diffuse colour
  • Spe = Specular aspect of the object, in layman's terms this is the highlight colour or "shine" colour of the object
  • Mir = The Mirror or median colour between the diffuse colour and the specular colour

Step 7:
Click on the gray rectangle to the left of the Col button. The colour spectrum controls pop up. Here you can select the diffuse colour or main colour of your object.

Use the 'rainbow' bar to get you base colour and the larger gradient to get the hue. I am going to make the ship's fuselage a bright blue.

Alternatively, you can use the colour sliders to get the colours you need. Use the RGB sliders to mix you colours together.

R = Red, G = Green, B = Blue.

Step 8: Select a different object and keep applying colours to all your objects. Experiment with the Spe and Mir options as well.


Render the graphic


Applying a texture is similar to adding a colour, only there are a few more steps involved. I will now add textures to the model used in the colour example. Before you start, however, you need a texture to apply to you image! This can be practically any common image file like .jpg, .gif, .png, .bmp or .tif.

I will be using this texture called Midnight camo.jpg :

NOTE: This texture MUST be saved in the same location the Blender model is saved in.

Step 1: Select the object you wish to apply a texturemap to. Again, I will start with the fuselage.

Step 2: Find the Texture button Panels Window. and your panels will change to this:

Click on Add New

Step 3: The panel you were just in will change. Now select the button under Texture Type that says None and select Image from the menu that pops up.

Step: 4: Yes, a new panel opens. Select Load Image.

WOW! What happened! It's OK, you have now entered Blender's file browser

All of the files listed here are the files in the same folder as your Blender model. The ones marked by the blue square are the files that you can use a texture maps. I already know which one I need Midnight camo.jpg. Click on Select Image and the view returns.

You will now notice 2 things. The object does not change to the texture, and the Preview window now shows a thumbnail of the texture. You will only be able to see the texture applied to the object if you take a Render.

Step 5: So, this texture does not look so good wrapped around this object. It is stretched strangely in some areas resulting in 'banding.' There is a vital adjustment that we need to make in order to make the texture fit better on the object.

Find the Map Input Tab back in the original Material panel . Click on the Cube Option. Believe it or not, the fuselage is most like a cube.You will also notice that the Preview window changes. This is what is supposed to happen.

IMPORTANT: You will notice that there are 4 options to choose from - Flat, Cube, Tube and Sphere. You need to play around with these to find the right shape you need for each object you texturemap.

Step 6: Now take a Render:

See how the texture fits better on the object?

Now you have to texture the rest of your objects!!!
I will use a different texture for some other parts of the model. This one (concrete1a.jpg):

I will apply this new texture to the engines, weapons and other parts on the model, and change the Map Input to Tube (Cube for the small canards).

Thanks to Jerry Sereda of St James School Division and ManACE