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This course provides an overview of modeling, animating, and rendering 3D graphics in the open-source software Blender 2.6. Beginning with a tour of the Blender interface, author George Maestri shows how to create and edit basic objects, work with modifiers and subdivision surfaces, and apply materials and textures. The course also demonstrates lighting 3D scenes, setting up and using cameras, animating objects, and assembling basic character rigs.
In this chapter, we are going to go over textures. Now textures can add additional realism to your materials, and they can be bitmapped images. They can be procedurals. There's a whole array of ways to create textures, and we'll get in to those. But before we do that, we need to understand a little bit about the Texture panel and how textures relate to materials. So we are just going to add a very simple texture so we can understand some of that process.
So we are going to start off very simply. I just have the default scene open here, and I am going to go ahead and select my default cube. Now I am going to go ahead into my Materials panel here. In fact, I am going to go ahead and expand that so we have a lot of room to see what we are doing here. I am just going to keep the standard default material, and we are going to go ahead and just change the diffuse color a little bit so that it's a little bit more blue. Now this is just a solid color, but if we want to add something a little bit more rich, we can use a texture.
You can find Textures over here under this little checkerboard button, and this brings up the Textures panel. Notice how this is very similar to the Materials panel in that we can have a list of multiple textures and we can apply multiple textures to an object. But right now let's just stick with the default texture, and that's called Tex. If we want, we can change the name to whatever we want, but let's just go ahead and keep it to default. Now under here we have a Type. This is the type of texture that we want to apply.
If I click on this, you will see I get a list. And we can have anything from Clouds, if we want we can just go through some of these Clouds. Here you can see these are cloud textures. Environment maps. Images or movies, this would be for bitmaps. We can do Marble. We can do Stucco, that sort of thing. And each one of these, if you notice, they have their own parameters, and each one has its own custom things that you can do. So if I change this to Marble, you can see the number of options expands.
But we are not going to get into that too much right now. Now as you start changing the texture, you do want to be able to see how it looks on the material. So we have a preview here of the marble, but we can see it either on the material itself or on both. So you can see this is my texture and this is how it looks on the object. In fact, if I go over to my Materials panel, you'll see that that texture has overridden my diffuse color.
And you'll say, well, it doesn't really override it because I have white and black here and in my material I have blue and fuchsia. Well actually that is what it's doing, and let me show you where that's affected. If we go all the way down to the Influence rollout here, you'll notice that this has a color associated with it, and that seems to be that color. Well it is, and what we can do is we can actually change this color if we want.
And if we look at this, we will see that what's happening with this particular texture is that it's overlaying the original color, so it's almost like an alpha channel. So where this is black the original color shows up; where this is white the new color shows up. And in this case it's that yellow color. Now this is just one way for these textures to work. If we were to apply a bitmapped texture it would completely override the color.
But let's stick with this for just a little bit and take a look at how this Influence works. The Influence is basically what is the texture affecting? So in this case, and by default, it affects the color. So if I turn this off, you'll see that well the additive color goes way. If I turn it on, you can see I can dial it back to 0 or dial it up. But we don't have to affect just color; we can affect other parameters.
So if I were to click on Intensity, you can see how that kind of pops in. If I were to affect Emit, what this does is it takes the white and it adds that to the Emit value in the shade. Or in other words it makes itself illuminate where it's white and keeps it the standard color where it's dark. In fact if I turn off Color, you can see how that affects it, so basically it turns up Emit for those areas. So I am going to go ahead and turn that off. And we can also affect things like Specular or Geometry.
If I turn this on for Normal, you can see how all of a sudden this white-and- black area now becomes a normal map. So in other words it creates bumps on the surface of our object. So I am going to go ahead and turn this off. Now how this blends back into the original color is determined by this Mix parameter here. So how this color blends back into the original depends on this Blend parameter here. By default it's set to Mix, but we can certainly do an additive--in other words, add to the original color.
We can multiply the original color, we can darken, and so on. If you're familiar with Photoshop, you would probably be familiar with these as well, because these are very similar to the Blend modes you find in Photoshop. But I am going to go ahead and turn this back to Mix. Now once we have this texture applied, it does show up in my material. Now the one thing is you don't really see in the material where that texture is coming from. If you're in another package, such as Maya or something like that you might see a little marker here that tells me that my diffuse color is coming from something else.
So it's a little bit different than some packages, but just know that you have your texture here and the Influence determines which channel in the shader or in the material that it's affecting.
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