How to apply and scale image textures to a mesh

This tutorial is for beginners, for intermediate learners click here: how to use the Node Editor

Cycles Render :

1. Split the view panel so that you can see both the 3d view and the UV map.

2. Assuming you have already marked the seem of your object, upload your texture image by clicking MATERIAL


3.  In the surface section, go to Color and click on the little circle on the far right (in the dark gray area).


4. Select Image Texture, at this point a new item with an image icon will appear. Click on open and upload your image file.

5. In the UV map view pane, you have the same image icon, click on it and select your image that by now should be listed there.


Your image should be shown as follow:


6. Make sure your mouse is over the 3d view pane. Select the object or the part of the object you want to apply the texture to, then make sure you are in Edit mode.

7. With the mouse still on the 3d view, press U to unwrap your object (transform your mesh from 3d to 2d) ; and select unwrap. You have different possibilities, the most common are:

  • UNWRAP – if you have marked the seam this is your best choice
  • SMART UNWRAP – the computer will automatically  unwrap the image for you. It’s not necessary to mark the seam. Best choice for simple objects.
  • PROJECT FROM VIEW – It will keep the shape of your object as seen in the 3d view. Very convenient when your texture should be placed in an exact matter (e.g.: a horse) or when you intend to texture paint afterwards.


8. Now, you can see your UV map appearing on the top of the image texture. To see immediately how the texture would look like in render mode, Go to the 3d view and change the method to display from EDIT to TEXTURE.


As you can see, the image is too big for the object so it is necessary to scale it.

9. Click on the Texture button located on the right of the Material button. Your image texture should already be there in the Node section.


10. Go down to the Mapping area, Point should be selected by default. Look at Location, Rotation and Scale. In our case, we are only interested in Scaling, however it is often necessary to rotate the image as well so in that case use Rotation.

11. Scale the image by playing with the X and Y axes. You can see the result of your manipulation immediately in 3d view. In my case, I set the image to X-7 and Y-7.


When you are satisfied with the quality of your image, remember to go back to Material, and click Assign while in Edit mode. Save your work and have fun!

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