Materials, Texture-Clouds, Colors-Confusion about choices and functions

I’m using Blender 2.42a, Windows XP, and some of COG’s tutorials.
After making a seascape, I found I did not understand some reasons for the selections regarding colors for materials and cloud textures. I could not find answers, so I’m asking for help here.

On a plane (just 4 vertices), I can set a material for it and its color.
When I set a material (Shading F5 and Materials button selected), I see another panel with tabs titled “Texture Map Input Map To”. This panel has multiple functions. Particularly, the Map To tab allows me to set RGB values that I set at a black color. This Texture tab here does not allow me to change/adjust/set a color.

I set a texture to the material. I selected the materials and texture buttons (Shading F5 and Texture Button F6). I chose a clouds texture. In the same panel with the Texture tab is a Colors tab. I can adjust the color of the texture using the sliding scale when I select Colorband. I also have a Clouds panel with various selections whereas the Color button didn’t seem to do anything in the Clouds panel.

After all that, here is my lack of understanding - I have multiple places to select colors and can’t figure out which one to use when.

When I select materials, I have a panel with Texture, Map Input, and Map To tabs where the Map To tab allows me to change/adjust color. I had set it at a black color with my Materials color at blue. It didn’t change the Preview panel color from blue to black. If not, why select a black color under the Map To tab?
When l select the Shading F5 and Texture Button F6, I also see ways to change/adjust color using the Colors tab when I select Colorband.

This is confusing since I have multiple choices to adjust colors. Some selections work sometimes and other times they don’t seem to work. I don’t understand which to use when?
Is this a context-sensitive concept that I have not grasped?
Have I misunderstood textures, mapping, and materials?

I hope I have explained this well enough that someone can provide advice/help on what to use when.

A lot of it is trial and error. If you’re using procedural textures then most, but not all of them, are associated with intensity values (light and dark). The only way you’re going to begin to understand their functions is by playing with them and reading up on them.

Mapping a clouds texture to alpha will cause your plane to recieve a grayscale image (intensity) of the clouds to which the lighter part of the clouds will map to whatever color you have chosen with the color picker on the map to tab. Turning up the contrast on the colors tab in the textures buttons will intensify the seperation and intensity between the lighter and darker areas of the clouds. If you enable z-trans and turn the alpha slider down to zero then the black areas of the clouds will cause their respictive aras on the mesh to become transparent rather than black. Using the color band in the textures buttons will give the lighter areas of the clouds the colors that you choose within the color band. I could go on and on, but I won’t.

Even the best 3D artists have to experiment, just nowhere near as much as a newbie because they have already put in the time playing with all the buttons, sliders, blending modes, reading tutorials, asking for advice, blah, blah, blah. I’ve been toying with 3D for over two years now and only recently began to gain a decent grasp on how to put together good looking images. Just play with things till you get something that you like and check out the Wiki and the tutorials section of this site and other sites as well. Adding more than one or two map-to settings to any one texture will only add to your confusion, so stack them - that’s why there are 8 texture slots per material. It leaves you room to correct things without having to scrap the entire mud pie that you created from something that was once close to being a texture that you liked.

Many thanks for your reply. I’ll start stacking textures to reduce confusion and risk of horrible start-over mistakes.
I’m at about 10 months of Blender use and colors, textures, lighting, etc. are a tough mystery that I’m gradually unraveling.

I have noticed (as far as the tutorials I’ve reviewed) that there is not much data regarding “Stencil, Neg, No RGB” along with the RGB color sliders on the left side of the Map To panel. At least, I haven’t seen the instructions yet. I’ll keep looking and experimenting.

Hope the weather is good in GA. We’re expecting rain tomorrow in MS.

Thanks again.


have you tried reading the wiki_ the stencil is well documented there. see manual textures section
rambobaby’bienveneidos de Mexico.

Mexico? You lucky dog!

Had overlooked the data in the wiki in my haste in going through it.
I found Litster’s “Introduction to Materials and Procedural Textures” document in the Blender Summer of Documentation. Seems to have the data I need.