I am struggling to understand perhaps a very simple concept in Blender. There are materials which might have some diffuse coloring and a texture image, and there are also UV maps with their own images. Both can be applied to meshes or faces, but it seems that if a face has UV map then the material's texture is ignored and an image for UV map is picked.

If so, what is the use for a texture in a material if it is replaced by UV map's image?

EDIT: I've added some images to clarify the issue I have.

Case 1: a basic plane with material which has a texture, and no UV map. Diffuse color is applied, but material's texture is not.

Case 2: like above, but with reduced intensity of texture.

Case 3: Added UVmap and added image to the UVmap. Now I have texture, but not the diffuse color, and if UVmap was a different image, it would be picked regardless of texture set in the material.

So if I have UVmap image, what is the material texture for?


2 Answers 2


The material and its texture are what's used when you render the image. Anything else, like being able to see an image you have loaded into the Image-Editor in the 3D view are for when you want to preview your texture, maybe to see if the UVs are ok.

It makes sense to be able to have a material set up with textures, but then also be able to view a single texture loaded from the Image-Editor to view the texture on its own. Otherwise, if you had a complex material with multiple textures, there would be no easy way to view a single texture on the model for inspection without removing some textures from the material.

What you show in your screenshots are 'Texture' shading mode:

enter image description here

Texture mode is for viewing textures, it loads in whatever image is in the Image-Editor.

If you change to 'Material' mode (shown in the list of viewport modes in that screenshot) you will see the material and any texture it may have (make sure you have a lamp to illuminate the object, otherwise it will appear black).

To summarise:

  • Texture mode is for seeing how an individual texture looks on your model, so you know if you have to make adjustments, if it doesn't look right.
  • The material and its textures will be used when you render your image (F12)
  • Materials are for the final look, 'Texture' viewport mode is for viewing a single texture.

As you can see from that screenshot, there are different viewport shading modes for different tasks. More information on these different modes and what they are suited to is in the Blender Manual, here.

  • $\begingroup$ Right. That's it! Thanks! I've seen the material mode, but since there was no light source everything was black and I didn't really think much about that. Other than "meh, whatever it does it is not what I want" anyway. I'd never guess if left on my own so big thanks here! So, the UV image seen when selecting Texture is just for a preview? Or, better, I'll just export the model into threejs with both material and UV image-texture and see which one gets rendered (or both?) $\endgroup$
    – Scharnvirk
    Apr 15, 2016 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, just for preview. The image in the Image-editor is unrelated to rendering. I don't know threejs, so I don't know how it handles materials and textures. $\endgroup$ Apr 15, 2016 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ I've checked it and indeed what is shown in Blender's render mode is what threejs shows. Which is great because it is exactly what I need. Thanks again, you've solved me quite a headscratcher ^^ $\endgroup$
    – Scharnvirk
    Apr 15, 2016 at 22:26

UV textures help you get more detail on your mesh. They allow you to add a texture image to your object. If you want to control how much the UV texture is influencing your objects material you can go to this tab and reduce the Color influence enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. While this is a cool feature, this was not what I needed... but I guess I wasn't clear enough. It is hard to ask a proper question without knowing the subject well :) Anyway - I've added few images to original post to clarify the issue I have. $\endgroup$
    – Scharnvirk
    Apr 14, 2016 at 23:08

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