Difference between Materials and Textures

Materials and Textures are used to paint the 3D model surface, but the details are more complicated. Both are a different thing, although they are used interchangeably to refer to the model skin. But in 3D art, they mean different things. A 3D model has various materials but only one texture.

Both materials and textures are made by hand or created procedurally. Some artists may even combine both these techniques to achieve a specific effect. Let’s have a look into each type of asset to see how they work in a 3D workflow.

How they work in a 3D Workflow – Materials and Textures

1. Textures

Textures are an image used to skin 3D objects.

Any run of the mill PNG or JPEG could serve as a texture. However, most artists will create their textures or use a high-quality image.

For Instance, a photo of a brick surface wall could be used to give a 3D model a realistic red brick appearance.

Texture can be created procedurally or made by an artist in a program like Photoshop or GIMP.

An Artist could take photography of rocks and use those to paint the surface of 3D objects or they could paint a surface texture by hand to get a more stylistic look.

Some objects will use the multiple textures too.

Combining textures is a great way to create more engaging effects, but it takes practice to get just right.

2. Materials

A material controls how a 3D object appears on the screen.

It means the most materials take a texture as a parameter. Materials control the color of the objects and how dull or reflective the surface appears.

Many materials take textures too.

For instances, a material could use a diffuse texture, a normal and a specular map.

All of these are different types of textures, but they work together to control the overall appearance of the object.

Each 3D art program has its own material settings which change the object look.

By combining various textures and material settings, it’s possible to create photorealistic images.

Arena-Sayajigunj offers an excellent opportunity for students who are interested to learn more on Difference between Materials and Textures on a more professional level, please sign up today for our Animation Courses.

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