Video Tutorial: Basic Decaling in Blender

Well, here’s another Blender tutorial! This time we take a look at how to apply decals to a 3D mesh object. It’s really very simple but, there are a couple of snags you might run into and I demonstrate how to resolve those issues.

Check it out and be sure to let me know what you think.

Hi kernond, that was wonderfull and I would have never guessed that using an empty can make life - well at least texturing :slight_smile: SOOO much easier!

Thanks a lot for this great tutorial

P.S.: Your tutorial might also fit very well into the next BlenderArt issue No.12 on Texturing :slight_smile:

Thanks for the feedback!

I don’t think the BlenderArt magazine will accept video tutorials. It would be cool if they expanded the magazine concept to be a multimedia site that updates with the same cycle as the current magazine. I think it would offer a lot more freedom as to the types of content offered.

In the future, I’m going to experiment with using the tutorial’s script combined with snapshots (and/or clips) from the video to offer a text-based version of the tutorials. This might have some appeal to those who don’t speak English.

First off thank you. I loved this tutorial, very informative. So much so I would like it if you added this to You would probably want to type it into a text and screen shot tutorial. This is the site I mainly am using to learn concepts for blender. (If you don’t want to do I have your permission to do this myself, either putting a link for your tutorial into that site and/or make it into a text and screen shot tutorial for that site?)

Another great tutorial. Thanks

Your site is great.

Any reason why you didn’t use the Shift-P preview instead?

That would be far faster I would think for making multiple adjustments…



Any reason why you didn’t use the Shift-P preview instead?

I just didn’t think about it, frankly :p, until right after I had finished the recording. I didn’t want to have to redo the entire video for that but, I believe I mentioned it as an option in the Quick Review. Plus, I don’t recall seeing too many videos demonstrating the usage of the Image Editor for the render results. So, I guess it all works out.

The Preview is definitely a great feature…in fact, I’ll do a quicktip post about it! Thanks!

BTW, I noticed that sometimes the render results were darker and sometimes lighter. There was one time where the only change made was a minor scaling of the decal and it resulted in a much brighter render. Maybe, it’s a minor “bug” that’s been already addressed (I need to go ahead and install the latest version). Any clues?

Hmm nope, i guess file a bug report, haven’t seen a fix for anything like that either - sure it wasn’t a viewing angle difference instead of render difference?


No changes to the camera or lighting at all, just minor changes to the Empty object. You can see it happen in the tutorial at 6:36. When I scale the Empty down, the scene gets brighter. It looks like it might be tied to the Ambient Occlusion. The difference between the darker and brighter renders is what I would expect in a render with (AO, no additl. lighting) and (AO, addtl. lighting). My camera and lighting are on layer 6. Layer 6 was enabled.

Really really slick. The intro was fantastic, and the quick review was more than just icing on the cake. Most importantly, the material was informative, with a lot of detail packed in (like the render preview in the image editor.) This is a fine example of professional tutorial production that goes above and beyond. Thanks!!!

Deep from the Underground comes Apollos to make his first BlenderArtists post! Welcome!

and thanks!

I tried to have a little extra fun with it. I think I’m going to do more of that on the longer tutorials as a way to sort of decompress from the project. As you know, they can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. I’ve got tons of mad, mad, mad ideas so, we’ll see…

My biggest critiques would be that the audio still isn’t great and I think it may have been a bit wordy in places. I need to spend time studying a few audio technique tutorials (I guess they exist) and finally getting a pop filter.

LOL!!! Yeah it was a long clime up here. =D Thanks, it’s good to be here! Although technically my first post is in moderation. I added links to my tuts in the tutorials topic. If you’re not at BlenderArtists, you’re not anywhere.

I don’t think it was wordy at all, and you were perfectly easy to understand. The pop filter is a must though, my mic came with one and I know it makes a difference, although I try to record with the mic away from my face, so that helps too; although I get more background noise that way.

Keep setting the bar high, Kernon. It’s fantastic.


I have a question regarding the decaling tutorial as well: you might want to point out that the scaling and positioning of the texture can also be achieved by using the “Offset” and “Size” sliders in the Map Input panel. Btw, are there any differences as to how Blender handles offset & scaling when using these different methods? For example, will the decaled texture appear differently in a baked texture depending on what scaling method was used? (cross-posted from the bn blog)

You might want to point out that the decal will also show up backwards on the other side of the model with this method.


Use ClipCube instead of Clip and the decal on the back should go away.

Yeah, sometimes meshes are too thin for that to work though, and it should be mentioned. And like I said, it’s ‘with this method’, just following what he said in the tut.

Is there a way to decal without that happening? If so, the Blender Wiki needs to be updated as well ( “This method” is based on the Blender Wiki.

I have found that ClipCube is not quite enough. You have to scale the Z leg of the Empty object so it is shorter than the distance between the center of the empty and the rear face.

In essence, with Clip Cube, the length of the Z leg on the Empty controls how far the decal can penetrate into the object you want to paint. This can be important if the object has a curved surface.

Thanks for the info Nyrath! I’ve added your comments to the tutorial’s download page.