Skill Level Intermediate
- [Instructor] In this week's Blender's Tips, Tricks, and Technique's, I'm going to talk about texture mapping nodes or how cycles is so awesome at mapping your objects that you almost never have to unwrap them yourselves. Almost. Let me show you. First let's kill this lamp. X, delete. Let's switch to cycles. Let's go to File, User Preferences and click on Addons and type in node n-o-d-e, turn it on, and go to Save. Let's exit out here.
Let's click on our cube here. We're going to need to do a couple of things. First let's go ahead and click on this little texture icon and go to New and then New again and under here we'll call it Texture. Under Generated Type we'll say Color Grid and click OK. And then let's click on this material button. Let's just make a new material by clicking on this plus button, use nodes, and switch Diffuse to Emission up here.
And we'll call this Emission for now. All right so let's pull this back. Hit T and then let's drag this over here. Go to Node Editor, hit End. Gives you some more real estate and now let's click on Emission and hit Ctrl + T. With Node Wrangler turned on, it will create for you a texture coordinate node, a mapping node, and an image texture node.
Now let's click on this little icon right here. Not Open but on this little icon and pick Texture. There we are and let's zoom in here and let's go to Material and voila, we have nothing. Actually we don't have anything because we don't have any Uvs but that's okay. Let's explore some of the other Texture Coordinate types. I'm going to click and drag Generated and immediately I'll see a texture appear right on my cube.
That's pretty cool. Generated is going to try to take the bounding box of your object and re-project the texture back onto it. You can also use Normal but that's not going to do anything because we don't have any UVs set up right now. Same with UV. Object is going to do something similar but it's going to repeat that pattern and fit more of it in there. In fact, if I Ctrl + Shift + click on Texture Coordinate Node, you can see what Generated does. It's taking each corner and going from zero to one, in this case to blue, zero to one, in this case to red, and then of course mixing those two to pink.
And than that pink goes to white, white to yellow, yellow to red. It's basically going from zero from one color to one of another color and if I Ctrl + Click a couple of more times and go to object, you can see the difference between Object and Generated. In this case instead of going from zero to one, it almost looks like little squares. You can imagine Object mode being like a green light, a blue light, and a red light, being shined on your cube and creating this kind of look.
So they're similar but they are different. Let's zoom out here and Ctrl + Click Emission. There we go. Let's try Camera. Whoa, that's pretty cool. I move my camera, you can see how all of this starts to stretch and have this cool effect. Camera is taking the UVs, generating them in real time, and then projecting the texture on to them. It's pretty cool especially if you want to have projected backgrounds that you want the characters to walk past and you have, say, a live action photo, you can just take a plane or even model out a small city and then project your texture on to it.
But, a little piece of advice, go to Modifiers, and add a Subdivision Simple modifier. Blender has a known bug where sometimes the little edges of this texture will warp unless you have more subdivisions on your mesh. Let's go back to Material mode and let's try a Window. Now this is interesting. Window is as if it's cutting out a hole in your view port and just showing the texture. Of course, you can manipulate it with your Mapping node and do what you want with it.
And finally, Reflection which is the weirdest one of them all. Reflection is going to shoot a ray from the camera and if it's 90 degrees, this texture will look more or less straight but at angles, things get really, really weird. Frankly, I still don't understand it, but it does look pretty cool. Okay, let's go back up to Generated and let's say you wanted your texture to be on all of the sides of this cube. That's easy enough. You just need to change your projection from flat to box.
And, hey, look at that, you now have a fully mapped out cube and this system also works with monkeys. So let's make a monkey really quick. Shift + A monkey. Click this material and go to Emission and look at that, we now have a monkey. Except for one small little problem, as you start to move, you'll start to see certain faces start to flicker. And, unfortunately, that's just a limitation of texture mapping without UVs. At this point it would be more prudent to just unwrap the monkey by hand and cleanup some of the section.
But at the very least you can see how texture mapping nodes are really awesome for simple objects, background objects, et cetera. They'll never totally get rid pf UV unwrapping an object but at the very least it will help you breeze through a whole bunch of the ones in the background. Until next time, this is David for Blender's Tips, Tricks, and Techniques.
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.