I am brand new to Blender and just want to confirm that I understand the difference between models, textures and materials (particularly the last two).
My understanding (please correct me if I'm wrong!) is:
- A model is the mesh of the 3D object (contains 3D coordinates of each vertex, and all the edge information between connected vertices). There are multiple file formats for models (PLY, OBJ, etc.) and Blender supports most of them.
- A texture is a file that contains 1+ 2D images representing the surface of the model. Textures get mapped to the outermost vertices of the model and provide (primarily) sub-polygon color details, giving the models (essentially) their outward look-and-feel. There are also multiple file formats that can store textures since they are essentially containers of 1+ images (but what file formats are there?)
- A material is a collection of light properties on each pixel or polygon (which one?) on the model. Materials determine what happens when light (and only light - nothing else) strikes the pixel/polygon at a specific angle, with a specific intensity, etc. Materials can either be baked (pre-rendered) into a texture, and subsequently exported/saved as a texture file. Or, materials can be exported/saved as a separate/third file type; I believe
MTLfiles are material files.
- Rendering is the process of baking materials into textures, and then applying/mapping the baked textures onto the surface of models, and producing a 2D image from a specific camera position/orientation.
How'd I do?