In This Chapter
Understanding how Blender handles materials
Taking advantage of Vertex painting
As you work on your models in Blender, you're eventually going to get tired of that plastic gray material that all Blender objects have by default. Nothing against neutral colors – or plastic, for that matter – but we live in a vibrantly colorful world and you may occasionally want to use these colors in your 3D scenes. To do this, you use materials and textures. Blender's way of adding materials and textures to an object is in some ways one of the most confusing parts of the program, and it can be a pretty big challenge to wrap your brain around the full functionality of it.
This chapter is intended to give you the skills to know enough to be dangerous with Blender's materials. Hopefully, with a little practice, you can become lethal. Well, lethal might be the wrong word: I don't think I've ever heard of anyone killed by excessively sharp specular highlights. (Don't worry if you don't get the joke right now. After you finish this chapter, you'll realize how horrible a pun this is.)
The easiest way to change the look of an object is to adjust its material. The controls for this are in the Shading buttons (F5). The Shading buttons actually have five subcontexts, accessible by the buttons in its header, as shown by Figure 7-1. For now, I'm most interested in the Material button, which is accessed with the second subcontext ...