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In this video let's go over how to map an image texture to an object. So start out with a square here and as you can see we have a basic gray boring material. If we expand on the texture side, we see that there is a default anti-texture already mapped according to original coordinates to color. What we are going to do is change that and map that to an object but first we need to add that object in 3D space. Let's go ahead and position our cursor to be in front of the box and press Space > Add > Empty and let's change the name of that Empty to Decal by typing in Decal here in the Object field.
That renames that empty object to the Decal. So, selecting the box again now, we can map our texture to that object by clicking Object and entering the name of the object in the Object field, which in this case is Decal. If whatever you typed in, the field is now red or blank, it means you either typed in the name wrong or typed in the name of an object that doesn't exist. So check your capitalization, check your spelling and like that if Blender ever like refuses to take your entry, it's probably just some minor misunderstanding like that.
Now, let's go ahead and assign our texture by loading in the image. So if we come over here to the Texture buttons. We have our Texture channel but Blender doesn't know what kind of texture you want to pick. So let's go ahead and pick image. What we are going to do is load up an image of my daughter from the library that is a transparent image and has an alpha channel. So if you click Load over here, a panel pops up that allows you to pick the image. So let's go ahead and select the image from the library.
So what we want to do is we would navigate up one directory, then click on Library > Images > People > Rebe > balloon premul.png. I have been talking about alpha channels and like that and the PNG format supports the alpha channel. What rolls in over here, then gives you a little preview of just her with her favorite balloon. By default an image can be a still, a movie or a sequence of images. In this case, it's just a still image. That's 640x480. We are going to use the Alpha channel of this image and we are going to extend the colors of the image outward instead of doing the normal repeat.
That takes all of these border pixels and instead of repeating the image and tiling it across the surface, it only uses it once. So now that we've set up that, we can also show the image with Alpha preview, which shows a checkered background where the image is transparent. So now when we comeback over here, let's go ahead and remap this image to the color and now when we do a render, we see not just the front of it but also now the picture of her over here. If we roll ahead and move this object, like slide it over to the other side of the cube, that Decal follows that Empty and it's mapped and then shown on the surface wherever that empty happens to be.
If we raise it up, that stretches it off the center and tries to map the image as a Decal onto the surface of that cube and that's how you do a Decal. You can scale the empty and/or scale the image using the size controls here in the Material Settings. Go ahead and change that to a square. If we change the size, it changes the size of the image or we can also in this case, scale the empty down and that scales the image down as well.
We can also rotate the Empty. By rotating it, we are rotating the image and how it's mapped onto the surface. Now, if you get to moving this object around, the Empty is not going to follow. So we want to use parenting here. In this case, we want to click the Empty and then Shift-click the cube and then press Ctrl key to parent the Empty to the object, so that no matter where we move this object around, the Decal stays in the same relative place.
That's how you map an image as a Decal to a surface of another object.
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