General Material/Texturing Advice (Newb's First Project)

I’m a newb and I’ve hit a bit of a conceptual big step kind of mental block here and would appreciate your advice on next steps to take here.

I’m following (Blender Guru) tutorials as best I can to get up to speed. I’ve hit a hurdle here where I can’t wrap my head around the high level next steps I need to take and would appreciate some help piecing them together what I should do next so I can research and implement.

Overall Goal: Animate a complex cardboard box folding from it’s flat to box shape.


  • I’ve got a half decent looking scene and lighting setup.
  • I’ve got the shape of the flat cardboard box sheet detailed out, each foldable element is a separate object within the scene.
  • I’ve applied a procedural texture for the cardboard applied to the complex sheet design.


  • How do I line up the procedural cardboard texture across all the “complex” pieces of the cardboard box?
  • Is this a UV thing that I need to focus on to lineup and scale the texture?
  • Can I even do this with a procedural texture or do I need to use a texture map due to the complex shape?
  • Do I join all of the pieces of the box to make it easier to texture, or do I keep each foldable element separated so that I can animate them?
  • At what stage should I apply the solidify modifier to the cardboard (I’m going to want to texture each side differently as one side will have a color, and the edge of the cardboard needs to look corrugated)?
  • How do I add the solidify modifier to all of the elements at once?.. I can only seem to add it once object at a time!

Appreciate your guidance folks, I need to get my head past this next step mental block!

What I normally do when modelling cardboard boxes is this:

I model them flat as one single object, exactly like the real packaging would be made.

I can then UV unwrap them very easily, and the texture (for things like product packaging) will be the real file used to print the real box.

I tend to leave the Solidify modifier live. There are Material Index Offsets in the solidify modifier. Your object may have 3 materials. The first will be the box exterior. The second might be the inside of the box. The third could be the edge. You just add these materials and set the index offset to suit.

Once the box is textured. I use Shape Keys to fold the box. One for the box flat, a second for the basic folding and a third to introduce any subtle deformations required. That way I always know I can return to the original flat version easily.

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Thanks for the advice, this is how I’ve built my box so far (I’ve got the carboard sheet cut out laid out).

Thanks for pointing out the Material Index Offsets, appreciate that, this is key for me here… I didn’t know about this feature.

Also looks like I have work to do in the UV unwrapping step here, I thought with the box modelled flat this would have been straight forward but it does still need more work.