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Videotutorial: Multiple Materials On A Single Mesh


multimat.pngNode based materials are in full swing even before 2.42 is released and already there is some amzaing work being done. But after finding this old timer of a tutorial, we thought a beginner level material tutorial was due to go over a very basic material concept in Blender. Having multiple materials on the same mesh.

Yes, this has been around for a long time, but I'm sure someone will benefit from this since there are several new Blender users that have found their way to BlenderNation. Of course, I used the much debated XviD codec (I already have the list in my head of those that will chastise me for using it :).

You can find the video here: Material Indices-XviD.avi (11.2 MB 4:11 minutes @ 1024x768 res). Remember to Right Click and Save As!

About the Author


Just a guy really into 3D, especially where Blender is concerned.


  1. HUmmmm... :| :| i can't see anything :(((((
    I can ear but everything is black... im going blindddddddddddddddddd :( :(

    i've installed the xvid codec... but it's still black :(

  2. This is a very nice tutorial - it's not easy to understand at first how blender handles multiple materials on a mesh, and this certainly helps to explain it.

  3. @ Eugene : If I remember, I will encode it as H264 + MP3 once I get home, this way users can view it without trouble. If I don't post it here tonight, poke me for it ;) .

  4. It's very nice..

    Can you add in two things ,, 'WHY' can we only have 16 indices,, And HOw do you delete un-used or un wanted materials? Also single user and multi user mode mode be a nice addtion.. just get all of those weird extra feature bits no one knows of out in the open on video

  5. Well, to delete un-used materials, save the .blend and re-open it. It's the only way. If you want to delete un-wanted materials, make sure there are no objects using them and then do the above. You can only have 16 because that's how it's made.

  6. m mat n is to be understood as, m is the total number of materials and n is the index ranging 1, ..., m. Is this correct?. The notation is somewhat cryptic isn't it ?

  7. delete should just work like this.. Press X button, material deleted... Poof! ,, And if you want to just remove it from the mesh just use the indices to delete it just from the mesh..

    This can't be that hard to fix..

  8. Eugene (etr9j) on

    Good call on the why and how.

    Not exactly. The m Mat n, for example 3 Mat 2, means that you have 3 material indices (m) on the selected mesh, and you have the second material index (n) of the three total selected.  The number of actual materials are not involved in this, just the material indices.

  9. I think the answer to '‘WHY’ can we only have 16 indices' is simply because that's the way it is... This feature has been in Blender for a LONG time and it's my guess that back in the days of NeoGeo, when Blender was created, the guys simply didn't have a need for more than 16 textures on one object..

  10. so is it just a number we can just edit in source ? this is another problem with visuals and seeing what is on the mesh.. Also why nodes need to take charge and become the standard defacto in blender

  11. unsettlingsilence on

    Two things:

    Thanks to Marty for the help with the video player. I couldn't get the codec to work in xp either, but with vlc now I can see them.
    Second, great tutorial. We need more of these, and I hope that more are posted on the Blender website, or some other single repository so so that new users don't have to hunt them down. One suggestion I would present for consideration is to point out that you can also assign a new texture in a similar fashion. This would only make the tutorial a few seconds longer since it is the same process, but would more fully cover the entire process.

    Ok, that might be more than two things.
    To sum, thanks. It is guys like yourselves that make it easy to learn online.

  12. Eugene (etr9j) on

    I'm curious why it wasn't working in Windows. This will sound silly, but do you have the latest XviD codec installed (v1.1.0)? How were you trying to view it?

  13. thanks for another nice and easy video tut!
    and indeed :) me too is having problems again with the video playback. this time only works in Windows Media Player (which I hate ;)). Doesn't play in winamp or MPC.
    I forgot I have the VLC player too, indeed, it works there too :)

  14. Hi, I haven't made the encoding for H264 yet, or better, I did, but it turned out a 45MB file and I was going to reduce it when I experienced a massive disk data corruption.

    I'm the one to blame, I have been messing with some disk settings for it to be faster, and it was indeed much faster, but combining these settings with recursive hibernation and standby states and in the end letting the battery running out causing the PC to power off, ended up in a major disk data corruption. Meaning I had to reinstall Ubuntu again. Hopefully with a fschk I was able to restore some sense into the disk and backup about 98% of my private data. Most of the corrupted files were system files.

    Right now I don't have FFMPEG compiled, I'm going to do it tonight if I get the time, but this time I'm going to compile and pack it as a debian file, much easier to share with other Ubuntu Dapper users. I will also do the same thing with x264 and Blender CVS. Hopefully I will be able to share it to the world during this week.

    @Eugene: Next time you record something, record it with the maximum quality possible and in an uncompressed format and then send it to me, this way I can mess with the file make a nice H264 encoding. If I manage to, I will post a link here to a re-convert from the "xvid" file into mov, I think it is easier to use. And by the way, your file isn't recognized as xvid in FFMPEG, but as generic mpeg4. Also, if you want me to encode to H264, send me an uncompressed file as you won't see the benefit of H264 used on compressed files, even more it will be a larger file.

  15. @Rui
    Sorry to hear about your data corruption. Thanks for putting so much thought into this, and thanks for telling me that the xvid is being recognized as a mpeg4. I think I'll will switch to a different encoding method from now on since some people can't use their favorite player. I *want* to use Jahshaka to encode the uncompressed video using ffmpeg, but there is a packaging issue in the windows 2.0 RC3 build that causes it to crash!

  16. @Eugene: Why not use Blender instead ? If you can compile it with FFMPEG support you could use Compositing and the Sequencer, it's what I use, hehehe. Else, I think someone has put some Blender Windows binaries with FFMPEG support at the Testing Builds forum. I used Jahshaka once and couldn't figure it out. And since Blender now does most of what I need, I don't use anything else.

  17. I believe on windows , the easiest way to reencode a movie (ie from uncompressed to xvid), is to use virtualdub :) just open the file, and save as, specifying your favorite codec in the lower box

    note: at home it _does_ play in winamp! (ok, just realised I'm using different versions :))

    note2: checking out jahshaka right now, not crashing so far..

    note3: looking forward to next tut =)

  18. @Eugene: Good tutorial. Definitely going to help out some up and coming blenderheads. I'm curious, what software did you use to record the tutorial? and what are your PC specs? Thanks.

  19. @mattie
    The weird thing is that Jahshaka worked for me to encode at first, then one day it just kept failing.

    I saw the follow-up in my e-mail but I don't see the comment here, but I'll answer it anyway. You asked about the enabling of the user preference' "view name" button and why you don't have it. Even though my version says I was using 2.41 it was a cvs build from, so it was really a pre-2.42 release. A recent cvs build or 2.42 will have this button.

    I use CamStudio (I think it's for Windows only, and free). After I install the XviD codec, Camstudio sees this codec as an encode option which I can configure in it's "video options" section. I used the default settings (which I can't remember just now). The quaility setting was set to 4 (1 being best - the box tutorial I did was set to 10). And my PC specs:

    Pentium D 930, dual core, 3.0 GHz, 800MHz FSB, 2×2M L2, liquid cooled with a KINGWIN Aquastar AS-3000, ATI x700 (256 MB GDDR3), 2 Gigs DDR2 @ 533 MHz Dual Channel, Windows x64

  20. @ALL : my incursion on debian packages updates for Ubuntu Dapper has started, for now: x264-bin and libx264-dev

    SVN of 2006-07-13, use GDebi for installation

    Used in compilation of x264:
    ./configure --enable-pthread --enable-pic --enable-shared

    Link to the files, just add the http to the begin of the following links:

    Tomorrow I will do ffmpeg and the next day, blender :D .

    Have fun,

    -- Rui --

  21. Guilherme Brites on


    As a new user of Blender I loved it, I wanted to do that, but i never figured out, thanks so much, and continue with great tutorials for us please.


  22. How did you create the screen recording? I'm a math teacher using a tabletpc/gobinder2006/projector to lecture to my classes and would love to record my lectures (40 minutes) for my students. I did some hunting and found camstudio. I use xvid (default encoding settings) and mp3 for compression. The video/audio quality is great for such a small file size (1mb/min @ 730x474). One problem though: the audio seems to run faster than the video. In other words, over time, the audio is getting ahead of the video. I played w/ the timeshift to try to sync the video/audio but it won't stay in sync. Any suggestions?

  23. loved it, i would love to see a lot more tutorials on the new blender 2.43 such as sculpting, if you know of a video one or a good written one i would love it if you could email the link to me

    [email protected]


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