Blender 2.62: How to paint individual vertices / faces?

I need to paint (assign different colors to) selected vertices and faces.
So I tried:

  1. I loaded a cube, entered edit mode, selected the 4 top vertices, created a new material.

  2. I saw that the “Assign” button reads: “Assign the material in the selected material slot to the selected vertices” so I pressed the Assign button.

  3. Next I changed the material color and …it changed all the vertices color instead of the selected, assigned vertices!
    Also, I saw that the “Select” button reads: “Select vertices assigned to the selected material slot”. By pressing that button, ALL vertices were selected instead! Is there a trend to assign the opposite functions than the ones written and expected?

So I give up. No way to figure out how to do this without help!
Is there a simple secret or a tutorial for v2.62?

Are you trying to assign a material, they assigned to faces not vertices so you need to select a whole face. The first material slot is automatically assigned to the whole object, subsequent materials then then be assigned to selected faces.
Tutorial for mulitple materials on an object
Or do you want to vertex paint individual vertices ? (Change from object or edit mode to vertex paint mode on the 3d view header)

The first material slot is automatically assigned to the whole object, subsequent materials then then be assigned to selected faces.

So this is the secret! Based on this, I managed to do it finally, thanks!
Blender developers should make this information unnecessary though, by making the material panel more intuitive.

Assigning different materials to selected faces will do for now, since it seems the wavefront format I’m using does not support individual vertex colors…

A couple of minor points -
when selecting a face in Edit Mode, you activate its material slot (like clicking on it in the materials panel). Any new faces created will be assigned the active material slot. If you want to modify the material assignments of your model, it’s very handy to first select the the faces you want to change, then a face with the “target” material, then simply click “assign” in the materials panel.

I think further developments of the “standard” materials system is kinda discouraged by the direction towards node-based materials, expecially in Cycles. If you like the current system, you probably just need to learn all the nooks and crannies to use it efficiently.

The “first material is the main material”-thing is especially important when using Wire materials. In that case - you assign the wire matieral to the first slot, and it’s applied to the whole mesh. That’s the only way to use it. Then you can assign individual materials to show “underneath” the wire material in the other slots.

You can assign material colors to faces only. Vertices and edges have infinitely small dimensions.

I’m using node-based materials now, thanks.

Actually, I needed this to embed some special custom parameters encoded to selected vertices for dynamic post processing, but fortunately using faces instead, is not much of a compromise.