I just want to (shrink) wrap a plane with an image over (around) the entire object, not just one face / plane.

[EDIT, after two answers] Many have said that original question is unclear. So now that I understand what I was asking %-/, here's the translation:

How do I cover an object with a picture without using UV Mapping -> unwrap?

[EDIT] Skip down to the accepted answer from Duane Dibbley.

Perhaps superfluous details, an example of an only partially successful attempt:

  1. Start Blender with factory defaults (will use default cube).
  2. Create Plane.
  3. Drag drop some arbitrary image onto plane.
  4. Set parent of plane to cube (via drag drop plane to cube in Outliner).
  5. Click plane.
  6. Add Modifier: Shrinkwrap.
  7. Set target to cube.

At this point, it's just on the top face of the cube. How can I get it to cover the entire cube (all faces), e.g. "folding" it around the whole thing? If this turns out to be more complicated, e.g. requiring some UV / mesh mapping things, can you please point out a link or two that might assist? (I've looked a bunch of tutorials, blender wiki, and blender docs (which I wish had examples, not just parameters :)), but I seem to be denser than that cube! Thank you! - H

[EDIT:] Requested Screenshot --- the "brain" should cover the entire cube, but not multiple same images on each face, i.e., the cube should look like a brain in the shape of a cube.

BlockHead :))

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    $\begingroup$ Please show your work with an image to improve the clarity of the question. $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2016 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ Here is a tutorial link youtube.com/watch?v=Tovu1A0LxeQ $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2016 at 17:30
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    $\begingroup$ I am not clear what you want. Perhaps others are. Do you want a cube with six different pictures on six different faces? Do you want to model a 3D Brain? Something else? Blender is not designed to be simple. Blender is designed to be expressive. Why not show your actual work or state that cannot it cannot be disclosed? You could present an equally complex substitute. Can you show a image from the internet similar to your goal? People use seams to unwrap complex images. Images can be projected on meshes. This requires searching at BSE or other sites. $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2016 at 19:24
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    $\begingroup$ So you want the image of the brain on all sides of the cube? (Is there any reason you have to use the shrink wrap modifier?) $\endgroup$
    – David
    Aug 14, 2016 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ Interesting that a closed question has a bit more explanation. Its true that people downvote and do not state why. Bad situation. They talk about this in meta recently. Its very difficult for someone to state why, perhaps because it makes them seem aggressive. Clicking anonymously is quite easy to do. I would like to see specific downvotes only such as ... No Research ... No Effort ... Please make clearer ... Too many topics ... et cetera. I would not take it too seriously. Sometimes a downvote is really about the down voter. Maybe the did not a Pokemon today. $\endgroup$ Aug 14, 2016 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


It is completely unclear to me what you are trying to accomplish, or why you want to use the tools proposed in the question. So I'll post an answer as blindly as trying to break a piñata:

enter image description here

(photo: AlejandroLinaresGarcia, Wikipedia)

If you want a cube with a texture, use the texture directly on the cube using UV coordinates:

If you need the cube to have different front and back, the images mapped have to correspond with those views:

To have some geometry converted to the shape of another, then you'd use the shrinkwrap modifier. Have the brain object be larger than the cube, the you can shrinkrwrap it around the cube using nearest surface point:

enter image description here

Brain model by mahesh downloaded from http://www.blendswap.com (login required)

  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm not sure if I can make it clearer. If I could I'd not need to ask the question at all. However,your answer does answer my question - the last image you show is what I wanted to do, although the one just before is close too. I wanted to know if there was a non-mesh or non-uv way to do this, but your answer indicates that it is not so simple. (I will attempt to edit the OP) Thank you for your detailed answer! $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2016 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ Thx too for tip to the model by mahesh ... found it. There's also "brain low poly" by electric5auce. Very interesting that there's no tool to just plaster an image on a surface, instead of mapping a mesh on a mesh. (If that's the correct way to say it.) $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2016 at 22:38
  • $\begingroup$ PS closing comment - thanks for making the attempt to understand and for giving variations on the possible answers. I did not realize there were several different ways to think about this, and tried my best to articulate it the way I saw it. IMO, the others could be similarly a bit more helpful to noobs, instead of simply downvoting, or blowing it off. You even took the time to wrap it in a humorous blindfold. LOL. I'll get that piñata yet ... $\endgroup$ Aug 16, 2016 at 0:17

If wrapping an object around a cube is you goal, cegaton's answer is likely your best bet. However, if your goal is, as I interpret it, just to wrap an image around a cube, it can be done, without UV unwrapping or shrinkwrapping a second object, though the image will be somewhat distorted.

Since your screenshot indicates that you're using Blender Render, I'll show you that one first. In the Texture tab, open the image you want to wrap around the cube, then under Mapping select Generated coordiantes and (this may come as a surprise, and it is the reason why the image will be distorted) Sphere projection. This will basically map the image onto the cube as though it were projected from the surface of a sphere surrounding the cube.
enter image description here

enter image description here

And here's a node setup to achieve it in Cycles.
enter image description here

enter image description here

These are not actual renders, but screenshots of rendered view, but as you can see the results looks differet between the render engines, so I included them both. The image is wrapped in the same way, which should be clear from the screenshots, they just calculate the shading differently.

If the distorsion is within your tolerance or something you can compensate for by preprocessing the texture, this is the simplest way I can think of to wrap an image around a cube. And as a side note, you could also try the tube projection. It's similar to sphere, but still very visibly different. I don't think either cube (Blender render)/box (Cycles) or flat will come close to what you want.

The image I used is this one from MyFree Textures

  • $\begingroup$ Thx Duane - this is exactly what I was asking for. (But as you can see from all the discussions I was unclear about [I didn't know what terms to use]). I felt intuitively there had to be a way to do this simple procedure without having to resort to UV unwrapping. (I figured if knife projections worked, why couldn't this?) . I've already accepted cegaton's answer primarily because it covers all the combinations, but would have chosen yours if it had come in earlier - because you understood when few others did! +100, if I could :)) $\endgroup$ Aug 24, 2016 at 17:12
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    $\begingroup$ @HowardPautz Two further notes that I forgot. 1. The texture needs to be seamless in the X direction, or you'll get an ugly vertical seam between the centres of the horizontal faces through the horizontal centre of one of the vertical faces. 2. You can get pretty interesting effects by using other than Generated coordinates, e.g. Object or Normal. But that's a topic for another question, possibly an extended answer to this one. $\endgroup$
    – user27640
    Aug 24, 2016 at 17:46
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    $\begingroup$ @HowardPautz You didn't have to, but thanks. And so you know, without getting into too much detail. I've been on sick leave for so long, I've started to feel useless. A burden even. Your "thank you" in your first comment boosted my self esteem quite a lot. It meant more than any rep points. $\endgroup$
    – user27640
    Sep 10, 2016 at 22:52
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    $\begingroup$ Hey man, hang in there! May this little token of appreciation cheer you up a bit more. Take the time off as a blessing in disguise! Consider that you have more time to assist other folks like me get their Blender chops down. (And your help is definitely appreciated by more than just me.) $\endgroup$ Sep 12, 2016 at 0:58
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    $\begingroup$ @HowardPautz Thank you. :) And btw, I just looked at your profile, and I'd like to wish you good luck in finding the true nature of cats. If you do succeed, will you invite me to the Nobel Prize dinner in Stockholm? $\endgroup$
    – user27640
    Sep 12, 2016 at 16:08

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