Rendering Using Cycles in Blender
Illustration by Richard Downs

Rendering Using Cycles in Blender

with George Maestri

Video: Adding textures to materials

One way to add additional characteristics to a surface is to add Textures. So, let's take a look at how to add Textures within the Cycle's Renderer. So, we have got a basic scene here and I am going to go ahead and turn on Rendered in the viewport. You can see we have our table with our bowl. And in fact let's go ahead and start working on the table itself. So, I am going to go ahead and click on that and highlight it. And you'll see that it doesn't have a Material applied.

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Watch the Online Video Course Rendering Using Cycles in Blender
1h 28m Intermediate Jan 24, 2013

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The open-source 3D graphics suite Blender now offers Cycles, a rendering engine that adds a new degree of realism and professionalism to your projects. In this course, George Maestri introduces Cycles, and reviews its lighting types, materials, and render settings. Learn how to layer shaders, enhance surfaces with texture and gloss, and add lifelike lighting and shadows to your scenes. In the final chapter, follow along with a small, self-contained project, where a simple architectural interior will be rendered.

Topics include:
  • Controlling interactive rendering
  • Using the shader node system
  • Adding textures to materials
  • Adding bumps and displacements
  • Adding primary and secondary lights
  • Using ambient occlusion
  • Using objects as light sources
  • Creating cameras
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Blender
Author:
George Maestri

Adding textures to materials

One way to add additional characteristics to a surface is to add Textures. So, let's take a look at how to add Textures within the Cycle's Renderer. So, we have got a basic scene here and I am going to go ahead and turn on Rendered in the viewport. You can see we have our table with our bowl. And in fact let's go ahead and start working on the table itself. So, I am going to go ahead and click on that and highlight it. And you'll see that it doesn't have a Material applied.

Let's go ahead and add in a New Material. Now let's go ahead and rename it Table and for the Surface type, well let's go ahead and leave it at Diffuse right now. In the Color channel here is where I want to add some texture. You can see we have little buttons here are off to the right of each one of these, and in the Color one, when I select that, you'll see all the options I can place into that slot. So, we have what are called Converters, we have actual colors so you can actually do Brightness/Contrast, Hue Saturation Value and that sort of stuff.

We have a Mix option here very similar to the Mix Shader. And then we have procedurals such as Bricks, Checkers and so on. And we also have an Image Texture, which allows you to put an image file in there. Let's go ahead and just bring in a Basic Texture here. I am going to load up the Checkered Texture here and you can see how that renders. Once we have done that, you can see we have the color of the Checker, the Scale of the Checker as well as a Roughness. You can see here in the Node Editor we have a Checker Node.

So, if I wanted to change the color I can certainly change that color and you can see it changing here. We can also change this, maybe make it a darker color here, whatever we want, and we can also change the Scale, which is how much Checker do we put on there? And also the Roughness. So this Roughness actually points back to the Diffuse. Now if we wanted to, we could certainly play with this a little bit more. We can go into the Node Editor or we can just play here.

You notice how each one of these colors also has a little button here. So, when I click on this, we can put anyone of these types of Materials into this slot. If I wanted to I could put in a Magic Texture and when you put that in, you can see how that changes this Checker Texture. Here you can see I have this Magic Texture plugged into this Checker Texture, plugged into the Diffuse and you can pretty much see it here too.

Color 1 is now Magic Texture and we have our Depth and all of our controls for that so I can change those if I wanted to. So, as you can see this is one way of adding in Texture to a Material is to play with the Procedural Textures that are provided. But I am going to go ahead and back out of this and let's go ahead and just add in a simple image file. So I am going to go into my Node Editor and select that and delete it. Now another way of deleting these is to do it from the Materials window. You don't have to select and delete in the Node Editor. You can just go here to this Checker Texture here and just click on this and select Remove. Same thing.

And now basically I've gone back to my default, which is just a Color channel. So if I select my Color channel here, I can put in an Image Texture. Another way of doing it is to go into my Node Editor, Texture, Image Texture. Same thing. And in this case I have to wire that in. Now when I bring in my Image Texture, you'll see that it puts up this color and that's because it doesn't have the Filename yet.

So if I open this up and go into my Exercise files, you will see I have a file here called Granite.jpg and let's go ahead and open that image. And you can see now I have a granite table top. By adding in Texture you can add in either images or you can add in procedural textures or both to create complex colors for your Shaders.

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