Materials vs Textures

Hey guys, if I’m making a plane, and it has exposed metal, paint, and roundels, what are the ways I can apply those? The metal could be done with materials, but with roundels and paint I have no idea, given that the designs aren’t just vertical and horizontal. What are the differences between materials and textures, and when would I use one or the other?

In Blender you have

  • objects, many of which consists of a
    • mesh or multiple mesh parts, which get a
      • material or materials, and their properties can be controlled with a
        • texture. Also known as material assigned texture.

When you have an image that is made for controlling a specific material property, it’s called a texture map, usually with the property name. For example, diffuse map, specular map, metalness map, normal map, depending on the material system.

As materials get assigned to a mesh, the material limits are bound to the structure, where as a texture can cross structure boundaries. Textures use some form of texture coordinates to map on the model. It allows you to mix materials when the render engine uses a material system that can do that (Blender Render), or mix material properties in an engine that can’t (Cycles).