Material Buttons

The settings in this ButtonsWindow visualise the Material DataBlock. The MaterialButtons are only displayed if the active Object has a Material. Hotkey: F5.

The DataButtons in the Header indicate what Material block is visualised.

Material Browse

Select another Material from the list provided, or create a new block.


Give the current Material a new and unique name.


If the Material block is used by more than one Object, this button indicates the total number of users. Press the button to make the Material "Single User". An exact copy is created.

Remove Link

Delete the link to the Material.

Auto Name

Blender assigns a name to the Material.

Copy to buffer

The complete contents of the Material and all the mapping is copied to a temporary buffer.

Copy from buffer

The temporary buffer is copied to the Material.

Preview settings.


The preview plane only shows the X-Y coordinates.


In the sphere-preview the Z axis is the vertical axis for the preview sphere; the X and Y axes revolve around this axis.


The cubic preview shows the material preview mapped on three sides of a cube, allowing to see the three possible mappings.


Use this button to select a light or a dark background.


Use this button to refresh the material-preview. This is mostly needed after changing frames while having a material-Ipo.

These buttons specify what the Material block is linked to, or must be linked to. By linking Materials directly to Objects, each Object is rendered in its own Material.


This Button indicates the block to which the Material is linked. This button can only be used to give the block another name. Possible blocks are:


Use this button to link the current Material to the Object. Any link to the ObData block remains in effect. Links can be removed with the Header button:

"Remove Link" ME or CU or MB

Use this button to link the current Material to the ObData of the Object. Any link to the Object block remains in effect. Links can be removed with the Header button: "Remove Link"

1 Mat 1

An Object or ObData block may have more than one Material. This button can be used to specify which of the Materials must be displayed, i.e. which Material is active. The first digit indicates how many Materials there are; the second digit indicates the number of the active Material. Each face in a Mesh has a corresponding number: the 'Material index'. The number of indices can be specified with the EditButtons. Curves and Surfaces also have Material indices.


Most colour sliders in Blender have two pre-set options: in this case, the colour is created by mixing Red, Green, Blue.


The colour sliders mix colour with the Hue, Saturation, Value system. 'Hue' determines the colour, 'Saturation' determines the amount of colour in relation to grey and 'Value' determines the light intensity of the colour.


Adjust parameters for the dynamics optons. The following buttons specify what type of color is visualised in the sliders:


The mirror colour of the Material. This affects a environment or reflection map.


Specularity, the colour of the sheen.


The basic colour of the Material.

R, G, B

These mix the colour specified.


Reflectivity. The degree to which the Material reflects the basic colour when light falls on it.


The degree of coverage, which can be used to make Materials transparent. Use the option "ZTransp" to specify that multiple transparent layers can exist. Without this option, only the Material itself is rendered, no matter what faces lie behind it. The transparent information is saved in an alphalayer, which can be saved as part of a picture (see DisplayButtons).


The Material 'emits light', without shedding light on other faces of course.


The degree to which the global Ambient colour is applied, a simple form of environmental light. The global Ambient can be specified in the World block, using the WorldButtons. Ambient is useful for giving the total rendering a softer, more coloured atmosphere.


This button allows you to give the face to be rendered an artificial forward offset in Blender's Zbuffer system. This only applies to Materials with the option "ZTransp". This option is used to place cartoon figures on a 3D floor as images with alpha. To prevent the figures from 'floating', the feet and the shadows drawn must be placed partially beneath the floor. The Zoffset option then ensures that the entire figure is displayed. This system offers numerous other applications for giving (flat) images of spatial objects the appropriate 3D placement.


The degree of sheen (specularity) the material has.


The hardness of the specularity. A large value gives a hard, concentrated sheen, like that of a billiard ball. A low value gives a metallic sheen.


This button makes areas of the Material with a sheen opaque. It can be used to give transparent Materials a 'glass' effect.


This option adds some kind of glow to transparent objects, but only works with the unified renderer.


A texture assigned with the UVEditor gives the color information for the faces.


The Material is insensitive to "Mist" (see WorldButtons).


This term stems from Blender's ray-trace past. It specifies whether or not shadow lamps can 'see' the current Material. Turn the "Traceble" option OFF to prevent undesired shadows.


This button determines whether the Material can receive a shadow, i.e. whether a shadow calculation is needed.


This button makes the Material insensitive to light or shadow.


Only the edges of faces are rendered (normal rendering!). This results in an exterior that resembles a wire frame. This option can only be used for Meshes.

VCol Light

If the Mesh vertex has colours (see EditButtons), they are added to the Material as extra light. The colours also remain visible without lamps. Use this option to render radiosity-like models.

VCol Paint

If the Mesh vertex has colours, this button replaces the basic colour of the Material with these colours. Now light must shine on the Material before you can see it. < point>Halo (TogBut) Instead of rendering the faces, each vertex is rendered as a halo. The lensflare effect is a part of the halo. This option change certain MaterialButtons (see the following section).


Transitional Zbuffers can only render opaque faces. Blender uses a modified method to Zbuffer transparent faces. This method requires more memory and calculation time than the normal Zbuffer, which is why the two systems are used alongside each other.


The Material is rendered with an inverse Zbuffer method; front and back are switched.


Environment option. The Material is not rendered and the Zbuffer and render buffers are 'erased' so that the pixel is delivered with Alpha = 0.0.


This option determines the alpha for transparent Materials based on the degree of shadow. Without a shadow the Material is not visible.

Texture name

A Material has eight channels to which Textures can be linked. Each channel has its own mapping, which is the effect the texture has on the material.

Copy to buffer

The complete mapping settings are copied to a temporary buffer.

Copy from buffer

The contents of the temporary buffer are copied to the mapping settings.


Separate Textures. This option forces only the current channel to be rendered with its corresponding Texture.

Mapping: coordinates as input.

Each Texture has a 3D coordinate (the texture coordinate) as input. The starting point is generally the global coordinate of the 3D point that can be seen in the pixel to be rendered. A Material has the following Mapping options:


The U-V coordinates of a face or Nurbs surface from an Object make up the texture coordinates. U-V is a commonly used term for specifying the mathematical space of a flat or curved surface.


Every Object in Blender can be used as a source for texture coordinates. For this, the Object's inverse transformation is applied to the global coordinate, which gives the local Object coordinate. This links the texture to the position, dimension and rotation of the Object. Generally, an Empty Object is used to specify the exact location of a Texture, e.g. to place a logo on the body of an airplane. Another commonly used approach is to have the 'Texture Object' move to achieve an animated texture.

Object Name

The name of the Object used for the texture coordinates. If the Object does not exist, the button remains empty.


The global coordinate is passed on to the texture.


The standard setting. This is the originalcoordinate of the Mesh or another ObData block.


Sticky texture. Blender allows you to assign a texture coordinate to Meshes, which is derived from the manner in which the Camera view sees the Mesh. The screen coordinate (only X,Y) for each vertex is calculated and saved in the Mesh. This makes it appear as if the texture is projected from the Camera; the texture becomes "sticky" (see also "Make Sticky" in the EditButtons). Use "Sticky" to precisely match a 3D object with an Image Texture. Special morphing effects can also be achieved.


The screen coordinate (X,Y) is used as a texture coordinate. Use this method to achieve 2D layering of different Images.


The normal vector of the rendered face is used as a texture coordinate. Use this method to achieve reflectionmapping, which is the suggestion of mirroring using a specially pre-calculated Image.


The reflection vector of the rendered face is used as a texture coordinate. This vector points in a direction that makes the face appear to be mirrored. Use this option to suggest a reflected surface with procedural textures such as "Marble" or "Clouds" and of course for the use with the EnvMap texture.

Mapping: transform coordinates.

Use these buttons to more finely adjust the texture coordinate.

dX, dY, dZ

The extra translation of the texture coordinate. sizeX, sizeY, sizeZ (NumBut) The extra scaling of the texture coordinate.

Mapping: 3D to 2D

For Image Textures only; this determines the manner is which the 3D coordinate is converted to 2D.


The X and Y coordinates are used directly.


Depending on the normal vector of the face, the X-Y or the X-Z or the Y-Z coordinates are selected. This option works well for stones, marbles and other regular textures,


This creates a tube-shaped mapping. The Z axis becomes the central axis, X and Y revolve around it.


This causes a sphere-shaped mapping. The Z axis becomes the central axis, X and Y revolve around it.

Mapping: switch coordinates.

The three rows of buttons indicate the new X, Y and Z coordinates. Normally, the X is mapped to X, the Y to Y and Z to Z. The first button switches a coordinate completely off.

Texture Block


The name of the Texture block. The name can be changed with this button. Texture Browse (MenuBut) Select an existing Texture from the list provided, or create a new Texture Block.


The link to the Texture is erased.


If the Texture Block has multiple users, this button displays the total number of users. Press the button to make the Texture "Single User". An exact copy is made.

Auto Name

Blender assigns a name to the Texture.

Mapping: Texture input settings.

These buttons pass extra information to the Texture.


Normally, textures are executed one after the other and laid over one another. A second Texture channel can completely replace the first. With this option, the mapping goes into stencil mode. No subsequent Texture can have an effect on the area the current Texture affects.


The effect of the Texture is reversed.


With this option, an RGB texture (affects colour) is used as an Intensity texture (affects a value).

R, G, B

The colour with which an Intensity texture blends with the current colour.


The value with which the Intensity texture blends with the current value.

Mapping: output to.


The texture affects the basic colour of the material.


The texture affects the rendered normal. Only important for Image textures. The "Stucci" texture does this itself.


The texture affects the specularity colour of the material.


The texture affects the mirror colour of the material, filtered with Mir-RGB sliders.


The texture affects the value of the material's reflectivity. There are three settings; the third setting reverses the effect


The texture affects the value of specularity of the material. There are three settings.


The texture affects the hardness value of the material. There are three settings.


The texture affects the alpha value of the material. There are three settings.


The texture affects the "Emit" value of the material. There are settings.

Mapping: output settings.

These buttons change the output of the Texture.


The Texture blends the values or colour.


The Texture multiplies values or colour.


The Texture adds the values or colour.


The Texture subtracts values or colour.


The extent to which the texture affects colour.


The extent to which the texture affects the normal (not important here).


The extent to which the texture affects a value (a variable).

The MaterialButtons, Halos

If a Material has the option "Halo" ON, a number of buttons change to specific halo settings. Lensflares can also be created here. Halos are rendered on the 3D location of the vertices. These are small, transparent round spots or pictures over which circles and lines can be drawn. They take Blender's Zbuffer into account; like any 3D element, they can simply disappear behind a face in the forefront.

Halos are placed over the currently rendered background as a separate layer, or they give information to the alphalayer, allowing halos to be processed as a post-process.

Only Meshes and Particle Effects can have halos. A Mesh with a halo is displayed differently in the 3DWindow; with small dots at the position of the vertices. Halos cannot be combined with 'ordinary' faces within one Mesh. Only one Material can be used per 'halo' Mesh.


Each halo is now also rendered as a lensflare. This effect suggests the reflections that occur in a camera lens if a strong light source shines on it. A Flare consists of three layers:

  • the ordinary halo, which has a 3D location, and can thus disappear behind a face.

  • the basic Flare, which is the same halo, but possibly with other dimensions. This is placed over the entire rendering as a post-process.

  • the sub Flares, multi-coloured dots and circles, that are also placed over the entire rendering as a post-process.

The "HaloSize" value not only determines the dimensions, but is also used to determine the visibility - and thus the strength - of the Flare rendered in the post-process. This way, a Flare that disappears slowly behind a face will decrease in size at a corresponding speed and gradually go out.


Determines whether rings are rendered over the basic halo.


Determines whether star-shaped lines are rendered over the basic halo.


Instead of being rendered as a circle, the basic halo is rendered in the shape of a star. The NumBut "Star" determines the number of points the star has.


Turn this option OFF to return to a normal Material.


Halos can be given textures in two ways:

  • "HaloTex" OFF: the basic colour of each halo is determined by the texture coordinate of the halo-vertex.

  • "HaloTex" ON: each halo gets a complete texture area, in which, for example, an Image texture is displayed completely in each basic halo rendered.


The vertex normal ("Puno" in Blender's turbo language) is used to help specify the dimension of the halo. Normals that point directly at the Camera are the largest; halos with a normal that point to the rear are not rendered. If there are no vertex normals in the Mesh (the Mesh only consists of vertices) the normalised local coordinate of the vertex is used as the normal.


Extreme Alpha. Halos can 'emit light'; they can add colour. This cannot be expressed with a normal alpha. Use this option to force a stronger progression in the alpha.


With this option ON, the colour of the rings can be mixed with the RGB sliders.


With this option ON, the colour of the lines can be mixed with the RGB sliders.


With this option ON, the colour of the basic halo can be mixed with the RGB sliders.

R, G, B

Use these sliders to mix the indicated colour.


The dimension of the halo.


The degree of coverage of the halo.


The hardness of the halo, a large value gives a strong, concentrated progression.


Normally, the colour of halos is calculated during rendering, giving a light emitting effect. Set the "Add" value to 0.0 to switch this off and make black or 'solid' halos possible as well.


The number of rings rendered over the basic halo.


The number of star-shaped lines rendered over the basic halo.


The number of points on the star-shaped basic halo.


'Random' values are selected for the dimension of the rings and the location of the lines based on a fixed table. "Seed" determines an offset in the table.


The factor by which the post-process basic Flare is larger than the halo.


The dimension of post-process sub Flares, multicolured dots and circles.


This gives the Flare extra strength.


The dimension and shape of the sub Flares is determined by a fixed table with 'random' values. "Fl.seed" specifes an offset in the table.


The number of sub Flares.