Map and Texture

Hi All,

Could you please explain what is diff between a Map and Texture? In which case the best way to use first one in which case second one?
All I know an UV uses the Map. The rest shapes use a Texture… is it correct?

The definitions of maps and textures are slightly varying from a 3d package to another, as far as i know, and I’m not a specialist as I know only of blender and povray*.

In Blender, you have a map for many purposes: a color map, a normal map, a specular map, a transparency map, etc… each one affecting a different way the rendered material. In fact, one map exists for each material setting or so. But you need to “feed” the map with something. It can be a procedural (like a gradient or the marble procedural) or a picture. Both are textures.

Many blendergods lurking around will take pleasure in explaining more accurately these differences, give official definitions and/or their very own interpretation, so everybody feel free to correct me.

Just hoping my explanations are not misleading.

*(and in povray, a material is made of a texture and an interior, while the texture is made of a pigment (which could be a pattern (e.g a procedural), a plain color (solid color) or a picture) plus a normal plus a finish if needed. As far as I understand them, the concepts are slightly different for achieving same results)

Textures, as you use the term in your question, are wrapped around the object (like shrinkwrap) using the X,Y and Z coordinates of the object (Orco), the world (Glob), the window (Win) or any of the other projections in the MapInput tab. Those projections are the way the texture is mapped to the object.

With UV textures the vertices of the object (which are ignored in the method above) are overlaid with U,V, and W coordinates that correspond to the verts. Mapping the UV’s to the texture fixes each UV point (intersection) to the 2D X/Y position of the texture it overlays. Thus, with a UV texture, moving a vert will drag the part of the texture it is mapped to along with it. Moving a vert with the first method won’t: it’ll just slide under the shrinkwrap.


Thank you All,

By summarise, I see: for any Round_Shapes we have to use the Maps texturing. That’s right?

A texture provides the information eg colours etc - this could be loaded from an image or generated by a procedural.
What this information affects of the material is determined by the Map to panel, eg it could control the colour or the specularity, etc.
Where this affect is applied to the object is determined by the Map from panel, which determines what parts of the model get which parts of the texture.

The terms eg “colour map” and “bump map” are simply shorthand for “A texture mapped to colour” and “A texture mapped to the normal direction”, etc, or often refer to the images loaded for the textures.

HTH - terminology can be confusing at times.