You can link a material directly to an object, instead of the mesh itself. But of course no multimaterials, and I haven’t used that option for a while now so I don’t know whether there are more restrictions to that.
Select the object.
Activate the Material context TAB.
See the word “Data”? (If not locate that word, it is actually a drop down selector).
Click “Data” and choose “Object”.
Your object will change to another color, but still be sharing the same mesh data.
Been there, done that.
In fact if you were to open my attachment, all four cubes are assigned a material under the “object” drop-down. So the Outliner shows something like this:
What is strange, is that when it is rendered it messes up, and for some objects renders two materials on top of each other. Could someone test this to make sure I am not seeing a platform-specific bug?
I have fixed some of my issues. The 3D view still does not reflect the materials linked to the object. However the rendering works correctly. You can see the updated test *.blend file object_material_test.blend (523 KB) The trick to get rendering working was to UV unwrap and unlink any textures in the UV image editor window.
Would anyone know how to have the textures show in 3D view? It seems like the UV editor modifies the texture properties of all linked meshes, however I want to assign a different material to individual objects.
Currently in 3D view I am seeing a 1 to 1 correlation between a mesh and a material. When rendering however I am seeing a 1 to many correlation, which is correct.