How to assign materials and textures

Hi all - I’m new here and trying to get accustomed to blender. I think I’m missing something basic here but I can’t figure out how to assign materials and textures. All the tutorials mention how misunderstood it is but then don’t solve the problems I’m having.
I can’t figure out whether a material or texture has been assigned properly - which view do I use to see it at design time or can you only see it in the final rendered image. I can’t get transparencies to work at all even after following the tutorials I’ve found. Is there some kind program setting I need to use?
I’ve tried it in edit mode/object mode/textured view/solid view etc - sometimes it’ll work and others it won’t
Help please


Welcome…some simple explanations follow.

Generally speaking, an object has one or more materials, and a material has from 0 to 16 (You can have more with nodes, but lets take a few baby steps first).

Starting with a simple cube (the on that is there by default), in edit mode (cube has a pink outline), press F5 (first image). Next, click on “Add New”, the button window will change to look like the second image. You have just created a new material and applied it to your cube. Note that the default name of your new material is Material. Feel free to change the material name (in the box by the mouse pointer).

At the right side of the button window is a panel called Texture. Each of the empty slots at the left of this panel can hold a single texture. Click on Add New. You have just created a new texture “Tex”, and assigned it to the material. Note also, that 2 extra tabs are now shown in the Texture panel…Map Input and Map To. Click on Map Input. The options here control how the texture is mapped to the object. For now, leave them at the default settings.

Now click on the Map To tab. By default, a new texture is assigned to effect the color, and the color is some kind of shocking pink. For now, also leave the settings at the default.

Now, press F6. This is where you choose a texture type. (3rd pic). Click where it says none, and select Clouds. Leave all settings at the default. Press F5 again and you should now see that the preview has changed to show the object covered with pink clouds.

From this point, it is up to you to experiment by changing material and texture color as well as any and all settings. Keep reading the tutorials, they will start making sense shortly. And above all, keep in mind that you are not flying a jet or performing brain surgery, so you can’t do anything wrong.

Best of Luck!


Hey, this might seem like a really stupid question but is their any way to change materials for particular polygons on an object? or doesn’t blender do that? (I’m new to blender).

actually i think i spoke a bit too soon…its got something to do with the links and materials tab i guess…but i’m pretty confused as to whats the difference between a mesh, object and vertex group…and how they all related to each other in that tab.

I’m gonna try find a tut for it now.

Hi - thanks for the reply, but the problem still remains. I’ve repeated the above procedure many times and it’s still random as to whether or not it works. Here’s an example - I followed this tutorial to the letter to make a height map for a landscape -
and no luck - the mesh plane just gave random noise - and yet at some time in the past I did get it to work - which is why I’m left thinking it’s some button somewhere perhaps in the program settings(?) that I must have changed. Any ideas?


I am not having any trouble with the tutorial. I am using 2.43 on Win XP Pro sp2.

Can you post your blend file so I can download and have a look at it?

The Material assigning in blender is still a problem when it comes to assigning material on a mesh.For an object it is easy.But for a mesh it is a problem for me because even if i do it rigth,a mistake can mess all the work and it can not be solved with CTRL+Z or U.If u want to assign a material on a mesh u should have a material initally.then u should press F9,and add a new material on the Link and materials panel.Then press F5 add a new material(mat 2),again pressF9 assign the new material (u should see something like 2 Mat 2).I don’t know how much it is helpful but I hope this gives a clue…

Keep Blending!

I’m currently having problems with this as well. I’m used to other programs where I would have a window or gallery of my materials and I could simply assign them to the individual faces or the object (mesh) itself.

Maya has a Hypershade and Multilister
Max has a material editor.

Is there something like this for Blender?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m really enjoying learning this program. It’s already impressed me very much. I’m just in the early stages and trying to get the basics.

go to this site

and download the 3 inro book on blnder

and read theses - this will give you a really good intro
to the capacity of blender and how to use the differents aspects of modelling in 3D


The reason Blender is confusing (to begin with) in terms of assigning materials is more than anything else because there is a difference between making a procedural material, and actually assigning said material to a selected area of the surface.

Maya and Max (cheers Webtron44) tend to do this a bit more transparently than Blender, although they do internally work along the same lines.

I made a tutorial about this ages ago when I figured it out:
I’m pretty sure that tutorial should get some of you along the right road.

However… much later on, I now use a much quicker method of doing the same thing.
Follow the above tutorial (it’s good because you get to fully understand what is really happening with the different materials) then if you want a faster method, here it is…
Once an object has at least one material, you can select faces in EDIT mode, then in the EDITING (F9) area, under the material tab there, you can simply hit “new” (new material) and then “assign” to make a new material for the selected faces. There is a coloured square showing the same material as the previously chosen one. It’s not the same really, but a copy. Click the square to give that area a different colour. Better yet, skip into the SHADING (F5) => Materials section to show other attributes and name the new material appropriately.

I don’t recommend using this faster new method until you fully understand the process of my initial tutorial. The newer way makes new materials automatically… if you don’t realise this, your palette risks getting messy.

Just updated the original tutorial because the hosting for a PDF version was broken. :frowning: Will fix up when I get some time.

Thanks, I’ll check out the Noob to Pro WikiBook right now.

Also thanks for the tutorial, My monkey now has blue and red faces.

Thanks for the help guys.