Assigning textures in your 3D Package

Table of Contents


  1. Importing an .obj with a proper .mtl
  2. Redirecting existing texture paths
  3. Assigning textures manually
  4. Enabling transparency in the viewport


  1. Enabling Textured Solid and Backface Culling
  2. Importing files with embedded texture paths
  3. Redirecting existing texture paths
  4. Assigning textures directly to the faces
  5. Enabling transparency in the viewport
  6. Enabling texture clamping in the viewport

When you import your model, usually you will not immediately see the textures assigned. Most often you will have to assign them manually to the model.

If your file is an .obj with a .mtl in the same location, your program should automatically assign the textures assuming the texture files are where the .mtl expects them to be. Several other formats also have the ability to embed texture paths, FBX being one of them.

3DS Max

Importing an .obj with a proper .mtl:

  1. Check Show maps in viewport while viewing OBJ Import Options before importing
  2. Textures should automatically be assigned and visible in the viewport

Redirecting existing texture paths in 3DS Max:

  1. After importing your model, save the scene
  2. Press Shift+T to open the Asset Tracking window, here you will see any texture paths set prior
  3. For each line, right click and select Set Path, this opens the Specify Asset Path window
  4. Use the navigation window to set the path to the new location of the texture its referencing
  5. The viewport should now show the textures on the model once the new path has been set

Assigning textures manually:

  1. Open the Slate Material Editor (M) and scroll down until you find Scene Materials
  2. The model's materials are located here, double click the one you want to assign a texture to
  3. The Material Node Editor will appear in the view window, locate the box for a material
  4. Attached to the Diffuse Color property for your material, there should be a node labeled Bitmap, if not, create it
  5. Double click the Bitmap node and the map window will appear, expand the Bitmap Parameters section
  6. Click the first option, a window will appear for you to browse to the location of the texture file to assign
  7. Right click the Bitmap node, checkmark Show Shaded Material in Viewport
  8. Repeat this process for each texture you need to assign

Enabling transparency in the viewport in 3DS Max:

  1. At the top left of your active viewport, click the third option, your shading settings
  2. In the window that appears, hover over Materials, then checkmark Enable Transparency


Enabling Textured Solid and Backface Culling:

Blender's viewport by default does not show textures in Solid shading mode, to enable it, while the viewport editor is open and active, press N to open a column with additional properties.

Look towards the bottom, find the Shading tab, and below it checkmark Textured Solid and Backface Culling. The column can now be closed if you choose.

The main advantage of this is that you will now be able to see textures under normal shading conditions instead of fullbright in Texture mode. Turning on Backface Culling is also important so you can identify any issues regarding duplicated or missing planes.

Importing files with embedded texture paths:

Blender is very good about reading texture paths correctly from various model formats that support it. Importing an .obj with a valid .mtl attached should automatically assign the textures to the materials, and immediately appear in the viewport.

Importing an FBX with texture paths will behave differently. The texture paths will be assigned to the materials, but the model's faces won't actually have the textures applied. If you switch to Material shading however, the textures will show but the model will turn black due to a lack of lighting. Create a Hemi light at the center of the grid to illuminate the scene and see the textures.

Redirecting existing texture paths in Blender:

If you import a model or load a scene that is supposed to have textures applied, but all you see is a purple error texture on the mesh, this means that Blender knows that textures are supposed to be there, but simply can't find them. If this happens, you can easily fix the problem by going to File > External Data > Find Missing Files and navigating to the directory where the texture files reside. The image names only need to match the names of the textures Blender wants to use.

Assigning textures directly to the faces:

While most Blender users will insist on assigning textures via materials and lighting a scene, it is actually completely unnecessary, the porting process has no need for Blender's material system. You can simply use the materials to highlight the corresponding faces and open an image file directly onto those faces, bypassing the material system altogether.

  1. With your model imported, and Textured Solid enabled, open a new editor window by dragging the triangle icon located at the top right of the viewport, outward to the left until you are satisfied with the size of the new window
  2. With the new editor window active, switch the editor type to the UV/Image Editor by clicking the icon in the bottom left of the viewport
  3. On the properties panel to the right, click the orange icon to show material properties panel to the right, click the orange icon to open material properties
  4. At the top of this section you will see every material name your model uses, switch to Edit Mode (Tab)
  5. While in Edit Mode, switch to face selection mode via the orange cube icon at the bottom middle of the viewport, to the right of the box that says "Global"
  6. Highlight a material name and click Select below, every face on your model that uses this material will be selected now
  7. With the faces selected, and while still in Edit Mode, in the UV/Image Editor click Open
  8. Navigate to the texture file that is meant to be assigned to the material you highlighted, open it
  9. The texture should be applied to your model now, repeat these steps for each material until your model is fully textured

You do not need to keep reopening the same image over and over for each material, simply highlight the faces and click the icon to the left of +New in the UV/Image Editor to select an image that has already been added to the scene. This can also be done with material names.

Enabling transparency in the viewport in Blender:

  1. Select the material which uses transparency, scroll down in the material properties until you find the Transparency tab
  2. Checkmark the box in front of Transparency, make sure Z Transparency is the mode being used

Enabling texture clamping in the viewport:

  1. With the texture open in the UV/Image Editor, press N to open a column with additional properties.
  2. Find Game Properties in the column, expand it and you will see check boxes for Clamp X and Clamp Y
  3. Your texture will be clamped according to how you set these, these settings apply to everything using that texture file, it is not a per-material setting

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