Using Empties to position textures

Could someone shed some light on the relationship between an empy and an object in terms of positioning a texture? I tried the search function here on elysiun and the docs only elude to this very briefly.

or would it be better to use a lamp? again, info on these subjects appears hard to come by.

okay, i’ve figured out how to use spotlights to project textures, empties just didn’t seem to work at all. i’d be able to see the texture but not be able to control its scale or position (it would just appear incredible distorted).

i’m trying to apply a black and white image on top of a material and set it to multiply so that the white areas disappear, leaving on the black part. it seems to be working with lamps.

in map input instead of uv or orco etc. use object and enter the name of the empty. the positiono and scale of the empty effetcs the decail.

but you can also use UV mapping!

thanks for replying. i usually use uv mapping but this is a special case. i’m doing an illustration with some scrabble tiles exploding off of the game board. i want to keep the wood as a procedural so that i can quickly choose a light or empty and project a letter from a series of alphabet .pngs that i’ve created.

at any rate, the (area) lamps work while the empties do not, so i will use the lamps instead.


try putting the empty inside the tile. it should work.

Also, don’t forget that the texture will map to the Z axis of the empty. (At least I think it’s Z, I’m really tired right now, and no access to blender).

There are tutorials on this technique at

However, there is a “gotcha” they don’t warn you about. Thankfully I found the answer on this board.

Both tutorials tell you to set the texture of the decal to “Clip”. This is incorrect. You should set it to “ClipCube”.

The problem is that if you set it to clip, and apply the decal to one side of an object, it will also appear on the far side of the object as a mirror image. The solution is to set the texture to ClipCube and to scale the empty’s Z size to a small number.

perfect! thanks for all your help. some of this info should be incorporated into the official docs, as they are incomplete as it stands. i wonder how easy it is to get a position working on the docs?