Total Newbie. I need help with coloring.

Ok, so here I am at work, plodding along on the same Access Database I’ve been working on for a year when suddently, GAH! It’s finished! I, being the student contractor, find no joy in this, since it probably means I’m out of a job. So I trudge down the hall to my Boss’s office fulling expecting a pat on the head a good job and a contract termination… but no! they have more work for me! Clouds part and angels start to sing the Halelejah chorus.

Then he tells me what it is.

I have to design a 3d short video on the effects of a laser on a surface. By December. Oh and the proffesor I’m making it for? Wants to be able to manipulate it.

So I hit the research and I peruse my options. OpenGL, the only thing anyone in the department has any kind of experience with is out, since it’s not easily manipulatable by anyone without coding background (and because I suck at coding, hardcore.) and Anything less than three dimensional is out. 3d studio max and Maya are too expensive. So I happen upon Blender. Again with the Angels and the singing and the Halelujah chorus.

Being a total newbie to this, I start browsing through tutorials, I even order the blender guidebook. But I have a deadline so I’m trying to learn as I go. So I’m plugging along and I’ve got this lovely wire-frame model for the laser to interact with.

Yoink out the coloring tools, jeeves!

Oh wait… what are the coloring tools?

So back to the tutorials and book I go. Only to find… What’s this? Coloring is either consider so elementary or so complex that people don’t want to cover it.

So I try what I can grasp from what I’ve read. I try using the “Create Material” command, but it turns the entire surface of the model red instead of the one small tube that I want it to turn red. Then I switch tack to vector paint… I get the desired red but… It doesn’t show up in the render! GAH! I rip at my hair and fight the primal instinct to throw my monitor at my various posters and calanders hanging on the wall. I fume. I rave. I rant. I use vocabularly that I’m quite sure is not work-friendly, and STILL Blender will not comply or yeild to my wishes.

And so, I, the humble newb, bring my problem to the court of public attention. I cast myself at the feet of the masses, shudder and curl into the fetal position and beg you to take pity on my plight.

And maybe give me a new monitor for throwing purposes?


could you please sum up your problems. then its easyer to answer them.

Sure thing, sir!

I have a model built, it consists of a cone, 3 tubes and 4 altered cubes. two of the tubes and the cone should be white/creme, the cubes and the 3rd tube should be dark red. If possible I’d like to add some text to the side, after I get a little better with the program.

However, when I try to assign a material to anything the entire model changes color.

When I try to vector paint, it doesn’t show up in the render.

I’m very very confused. ~.^ And I’m not even going to try to be entertaining about it this time.

To add difficulty to the situation, as the animation progresses, I’m going to need colors to change to indicate heat within the surface, but I figure, I’ll jump that hurdle when I hit it, and I’m not there yet.

So… words of advice?

Different materials can be assigned to different parts of a mesh. There is documentation on how to do this. ( Yes, this is a lazy answer, but there are already nice tutorials and docs on how to do this. Besides, if you are going to use Blender, you need to have the docs. )

You could also keep the various cones, tubes and cubes as separate objects and parent them to an Empty.

Materials can have interpolation curves ( IPOs ) to change their colors. The trick here is to put the mouse cursor in the Material window when trying to insert the IPO key.

I’m realy really sorry, but even with the reading I’ve done most of that goes right over my head. In the book I have, the only thing that’s explained is how to color one sphere a uniform color. I’ve been looking for a tutortial (unsuccessfully) that show how to individually color something, and I’ve either gotten documents on texturing (again, way over my head) or the link’s been broken, or the basic tutorial already shows the mesh as colored from the begining!

Perhaps my problem is that I don’t know how to group the materials separately? What I’ve been doing is selecting the object I wish to assign a material to in edit mode, then I click the materials button and hit add new. It ALWAYS assigns the material to OB:Cone no matter what I select and when I try to change the color of the object the entire thing changes.

I’ll do a google on Interpolation Curves since that’s not something I’ve hit on yet.

When you add an object (cube, cone etc) it matters what mode you’re in. In Object Mode a new object (with its own mesh data [materials, textures etc]) will be added. In Edit Mode, whatever you add will be added to the selected (and active) object and will thus share its mesh data.

Each mesh can then be divided into vertex groups, each having its own material; see the Link and Materials tab in Edit buttons and refer to the docs to understand how it works.

Textures (the text or logo you mentioned) go “on top” of the material.

This tut still uses the old interface and it’s very close to what your assignment wants to achieve. My advice is to use Bloender version 2.23 to do the tut and when you’re familiar with the way Blender puts things together, then open the file in the latest version and familiarize yourself with the new interface (or do both simultaneously and confuse yourself for as long as you want to keep the job or enjoy the hallelujas whatever the case may be).


Ok. So basically, the reason everything is changing is because I added everything in edit mode? Gotcha! I’ll take a look at that. Also, thanks for the link XD that wil be really helpful when I get to designing the laser.

w00t w00t! Thanks so much! Got it fixed ^.^ Now working on texturing. XD yaaaaay I’ll make the deadline yet!

Mini-Tut time…

Applying different materials to different parts of a mesh
1)With your object selected, enter Edit Mode (TABKEY)

2)Select the vertices (which compose the faces) that you want to assign a certain material.

You can do this in two ways:
2a)SHIFT-Rightclick each individual vertex -OR-

2b)Press LKEY with your mouse hovering over a point to select all linked verts

–Note that pressing CTRL-NUMPADMINUS and CTRL-NUMPADPLUS will shrink and grow your selection.

3)Now that you have your verts selected, go to the Edit Buttons window (F9)

4)On the left side of the window you should see a group of buttons (New/Delete/Select/Deselect/Assign). Press New, and then Assign!

5)Repeat steps 2-4 until you’ve applied materials to all the parts of your mesh.

6)Now in the Material Buttons window (F5) you’ll see a toggle/slider that says something like “3 Mat 3”. This would indicate that you have 3 materials applied to your object, and you’re currently editing the 3rd material.

7)Important! Click the small numbered button at the top of the window, next to the material’s name to make it be a ‘single user’. See, what you’ve done is made 3 materials be applied to the object, but the 3 materials all share the same attributes. They’re instances of each other basically. Clicking the numbered button makes the currently selected instance independant of the others.

8 )You may now rename your material, and give it a color.

9)Clicking on either side of the “# Mat #” button will switch the active material.

Having Vertex-Paint show during a final render
First, are you actually going to render this out or are you going to utilize the game engine for interactivity? The game engine will appear the same way as it does in the design view. Anyway, here’s a tut in case you do choose to render:

1)Select your object and enter vertex-paint mode (VKEY)

2)Press F9 to enter the Edit Buttons

3)You should see a Paint tab where you can set the brush parameters

4)Press VKEY again to exit vertex-paint mode

5)In the material buttons (F5) assign a new material.

6)Click the light purble “VCol Paint” toggle button!

That’s all you need to do! Notice that things such as specularity, hardness, reflection and the other properties will still affect the object.

Another solution to this is to build your final object in separate mesh objects with different materials applied to them. You can then combine all the objects into one and retain the unique coloring of the parts by selecting them all and pressing CTRL-J.

saw that your deadline is in december. if you learn the interface you have finished by the end of october :wink: . i think that your main problem is that you have troubles with the weird but great interface. take a tutorial for that and you loose the too many buttons syndrome. also you should post your renders in the wip section. there you can get commentary and hints on what you have made.

btw. dont call me sir. im too young for that :smiley: .

XD It’s still really really basic right now. ^.^ But perhaps I shall, goodness knows I could use the help. XD Your right I think. once I figure out where everything is it will get much simpler. Right now it’s mostly just knowing where to consult the books/tutorials I have. ^.^ thanks for all the help!

To use the vertex painting feature, you have to click VCol Paint in the Materials (F5) buttons window.

Good luck!