When texturing objects in Blender, I've noticed to different ways to apply multiple textures to an object: Texture Painting and Assign Texture. The former is slightly more complicated to use, but allows a finer degree of control over where you apply the secondary texture. The latter, in which you simply select the faces on the model and the texture to be applied, then click the "Assign" button of the Materials tab in Edit mode, is significantly easier if not more intuitive to use, even if it limits you to changing entire faces at a time.

Are there any other reasons to choose one of these methods over the other? I've seen various Blender tutorials use different methods even when in context it seems like it would add an unnecessary degree of complexity. Is there some behind-the-scenes reason to use Texture Paint over assignment or vice-versa?

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    $\begingroup$ Hello, I'd say it depends on the finality of your object. There are pros and cons to both but one can't judge either of them in a vacuum. Could you add a little more insight into your desired end product ? $\endgroup$
    – Gorgious
    Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 15:20
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think you're comparing apples to apples here. Material assignment will assign a material, and given a material with an image texture-- so, given an image-- it will use that. Texture painting is a way of creating a whole new image. Possibly, out of other images, but possibly not. If you are not interested in creating new images, but only in using images somebody else made, texture painting can be useful, but yes, there are alternative techniques (uv edits, vertex color masks, whatever) to do most of what it can do, and you should use what works for you. $\endgroup$
    – Nathan
    Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Gorgious Currently making a cartoon skull with a black "hole" texture for the eyes and nose. The tutorial I was using went with texture painting while I just used material assignment on the eye sockets and nostril hole. So far I'm still under the impression the difference is level of detail it permits. $\endgroup$
    – Cobalt
    Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


You have come close to answering your own question with your comment 'the difference is the level of detail it permits.' The difference is in the way it is done, especially if the materials are created procedurally, rather than simply by using image textures.

Each approach has strengths and weaknesses compared to the other. Geometric patterns are often much easier to do with procedural materials than by painting, for example. But despite hundreds of techniques available to do so procedurally, it's often easier to simulate the effect of weathering and aging by painting.

Another factor is the individual skill and comfort levels of the person creating the texture. I can't paint, but as a retired programmer, I'm very comfortable using procedural materials to accomplish the effects.

Finally, there's the matter of availability. Often an image texture isn't available to use in a situation where a small amount of painting will create just the right result.


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