Textures

So far, the hangar is a dull bare grey. Textures are what give scenery colour. A texture is an image or part of an image. Each face of an X-Plane scenery object can have it's own individual texture or can share a texture with other faces.

All the textures used in a scenery object must be stored in a single texture file. A texture file is just an ordinary image bitmap, but with some restrictions:

We'll use PNG bitmaps because they're considerably smaller than BMPs and because they support Alpha channels. (Don't worry if you don't know what an Alpha channel is; you'll find out in the next chapter).

Download: DownloadVAhangar_textures.zip
...\X-Plane\Custom Scenery\EGLL\textures

The UV/Image Editor window

To manage textures in Blender we need to open a new window:

New Window screenshot
Split Area menu

Up 'til now we've been using the 3D View and Buttons Window windows to make the hangar. To manage textures we also need to use a new type of window:

UV/Image Editor
Screenshot

We've been using Edit Mode to construct the hangar. To manage textures, we will use a new mode:

UV mode

Note that the panels in the Buttons Window change to show buttons appropriate for managing textures.

We've been using Wireframe and Solid shading modes. To see textures we need to use Textured shading mode:

Textured shading

Assigning a texture

Here's the daylight texture file that you downloaded, marked up to show where each part is supposed to go on the hangar:

Texture bitmap

We'll start by assigning the texture file to every face of the hangar, and then fix up each face one by one:

Screenshot
Image Open
Open Image screenshot

Blender assigns the whole texture to every face, with random orientations. What a mess.

Screenshot

We'll fix up the front face first.

Screenshot
UV Calc menu

Blender re-orientates the texture so that it's the right way up:

Screenshot

The part of the texture file that Blender has assigned to the face is shown in the UV/Image Editor window:

Texture

Looking at the plan, we can see that we need to move the texture co-ordinates like this:

Screenshot
Screenshot

Moving texture co-ordinates works just like moving vertices:

Screenshot

If you want to check that your texture is perfectly positioned, you can press n to display a properties dialog for the selected vertex:

Properties screenshot

The front face of the hangar in the 3D View window looks distorted and weird because we've (temporarily) assigned a non-rectangular texture to it. In general, rectangles with non-rectangular textures assigned to them always look bad.

Screenshot

The front of the hangar should now look like this in the 3D View window:

Screenshot

Now we'll work our way round the hangar fixing up the rest of the textures using the same technique:

Screenshot
Texture
Texture

If we zoom in on the join between the two faces in the 3D View window we can see that the textures don't quite match up:

Screenshot
Screenshot

Now for the rear of the hangar:

Screenshot

This part of the hangar just needs to be painted in grey stripes - no logos or other features. Looking at the plan, we've already used all of the parts of texture file for the front and right hand side of the hangar. That's OK, we'll re-use the texture from the front of the hangar. Blender and X-Plane stretch an assigned texture as necessary to fill the whole face.

Texture

Blender stretches the one-pixel strip to cover the whole face:

Screenshot

The rest of the hangar - the other side and roof - also just need to be painted in grey stripes:

Copy UV+tex button

Blender assigns the texture from the last face that you selected to all the selected faces. But if you look closely, you'll see the textures on the faces on the side of the hangar are not correctly orientated - the stripes are horizontal instead of vertical:

Screenshot
Split Area menu

That's it! We've finished texturing the hangar.

Screenshot

Now might be a good time to save your work:

Save Over screenshot

Remember that Blender does not automatically save your work when you quit. Always choose File → Save before you quit Blender!