GLTFTexture in Godot – Complete Guide

When it comes to 3D game development in Godot 4, understanding and utilizing resources such as textures is a fundamental skill. Textures breathe life into our 3D worlds, adding realism, detail, and atmosphere to our creations. Learning how to implement and manipulate textures can be the difference between a good game and a great one, so it’s crucial to delve into the mechanics of texturing within Godot 4’s environment.

What is GLTFTexture?

GLTFTexture is a class in Godot 4 that encapsulates the properties of a texture used in a GLTF model. GLTF, short for GL Transmission Format, is a versatile, royalty-free specification for the efficient transmission and loading of 3D scenes and models by engines and applications. Essentially, when you work with 3D models in Godot 4 that adhere to this standard, GLTFTexture helps in managing the textures associated with these models.

What is it for?

The GLTFTexture class in Godot 4 is used to reference textures within a GLTF file. These textures could include various maps, like diffuse, specular, or normal maps, that enhance the visual attributes of 3D models. The class offers properties such as ‘sampler’ and ‘src_image’ to define how the texture will be sampled and which image it should be associated with, respectively.

Why Should I Learn It?

By gaining an understanding of GLTFTexture, you sharpen your skills in 3D rendering within Godot. This knowledge not only equips you to craft visually stunning games but also opens up possibilities for optimizing performance by using textures more effectively. Handling textures proficiently is a key aspect of becoming a well-rounded game developer, and mastering GLTFTexture is a step toward that goal.

Whether you’re starting your journey in game development or you’re an experienced coder looking to expand your arsenal, acquiring the knowledge of Godot’s texturing system will serve you well. Stick around as we dive into practical examples that will illuminate the usage of GLTFTexture and enhance your skills in creating textured 3D models.

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Setting Up Your GLTFTexture in Godot 4

To begin working with GLTFTexture, you first need to import a GLTF model into your Godot 4 project. Once imported, you can access the textures through the model’s materials. Let’s start by accessing the base color texture of the material:

var material = preload("res://path_to_your_model.gltf").materials[0]
var base_color_texture = material.get_texture("base_color")

Remember that array indices like `[0]` refer to the first material attached to your model. Models can have more than one material, so adjust your index accordingly.

Modifying Texture Properties

Now that we have access to the texture, let’s change some properties. For instance, you can modify the texture’s repetition:

base_color_texture.wrap_mode_u = GLTFTexture.WRAP_REPEAT
base_color_texture.wrap_mode_v = GLTFTexture.WRAP_REPEAT

This will repeat the texture along the U and V axes, which can be particularly useful for tiling textures across surfaces without needing bigger texture images.

Another useful property is the filtering mode, which dictates how a texture is sampled when it’s magnified or minimized:

base_color_texture.filter_mag = GLTFTexture.FILTER_LINEAR
base_color_texture.filter_min = GLTFTexture.FILTER_NEAREST

The mag filter (`FILTER_LINEAR`) generally makes the texture look smoother when upscaling, while the min filter (`FILTER_NEAREST`) will give it a crisp, pixelated look when downscaled.

Loading and Changing Textures at Runtime

Sometimes, you might want to change a texture during gameplay. You can do this by first loading a new texture and then applying it to your material:

var new_texture = load("res://path_to_new_texture.png")
material.set_texture("base_color", new_texture)

This is useful for dynamic elements in your game, such as changing the appearance of an object based on player interactions or environmental factors.

Exporting Textures from a GLTF Model

If you need to export a texture from a GLTF model for editing or inspection, you can do so with the following code:

var texture = material.get_texture("base_color")

After doing this, the texture will be saved to the specified path in your project’s resources, allowing you to open and edit it in an external image editor if needed.

In the next part, we’ll continue exploring how to work with GLTFTextures in Godot 4 and delve into more advanced techniques. Stay tuned to elevate your game development skills even further!

Great, let’s dive deeper into working with GLTFTexture in Godot 4. There are a number of manipulations and adjustments you can perform on textures that can significantly impact the look and feel of your game.

Adjusting Texture Scale

Altering the scale of a texture can be useful for changing how detailed a surface appears. You can adjust the scale directly in your GLTF material:

material.set_shader_param("uv1_scale", Vector2(2.0, 2.0))

This code example doubles the scale of the texture on both the U and V axes, making the pattern repeat more frequently across the surface.

In contrast, if you want to tile your texture less frequently, thereby making individual details larger, you can decrease the scale:

material.set_shader_param("uv1_scale", Vector2(0.5, 0.5))

Manipulating Texture Rotation

Textures can also be rotated, which can help align them correctly with your 3D models. Here’s how you can set the rotation of a texture:

material.set_shader_param("uv1_rot", 0.785398) # 45 degrees in radians

This snippet rotates the texture by 45 degrees. Remember to provide the angle in radians when setting rotation in Godot.

Changing Multiple Textures Dynamically

If your model has multiple textures, such as normal maps or emission maps, you can change all of them on-the-fly. Let’s look at how to change the normal map:

var normal_map = load("res://path_to_normal_map.png")
material.set_texture("normal_map", normal_map)

And similarly, to update the emission map:

var emission_map = load("res://path_to_emission_map.png")
material.set_texture("emission_map", emission_map)

Adjusting these additional textures can completely alter the mood and dynamics of a scene.

Animating Textures

Textures themselves can be animated for various effects such as water flow, lava, or sci-fi holograms. By modifying the UV offset over time, we can achieve this flow effect:

func _process(delta):
    var uv_offset = material.get_shader_param("uv1_offset")
    uv_offset += Vector2(0.01, 0) * delta # Moves texture along X axis
    material.set_shader_param("uv1_offset", uv_offset)

Make sure you have ‘uv1_offset’ properly defined in your shader when using shader parameters like this.

Selecting Textures Based on Conditions

In a more complex scenario, you may want to change the texture based on certain conditions, such as the terrain type a character is walking on. Here’s an example code that switches textures based on an in-game variable:

var terrain_type = "grass" # This can be set dynamically in your game logic

if terrain_type == "grass":
    material.set_texture("base_color", load("res://grass_texture.png"))
elif terrain_type == "sand":
    material.set_texture("base_color", load("res://sand_texture.png"))
# Add more conditions for different terrain types

This approach allows you to have responsive environments that react to player interactions or other game events.

Armed with these examples, you’re now better equipped to handle GLTFTextures in Godot 4. Experimenting with textures will not only make your game worlds more immersive but also give you valuable insights into 3D material handling. We at Zenva encourage you to continue exploring and refining your skills to breathe life into your virtual creations!

Delving further into the manipulation of GLTFTextures in Godot 4, let’s cover some additional utilities and techniques. We’ll explore blending textures, adjusting transparency, and utilizing PBR (Physically-Based Rendering) aspects to create more dynamic and realistic-looking materials for your 3D models.

Blending Textures

Blending two textures together can create interesting effects or transitions. Here’s an example of how to blend a secondary texture onto your primary base color texture:

var base_texture = material.get_texture("base_color")
var secondary_texture = load("res://path_to_secondary_texture.png")
var blend_factor = 0.5 # Range is 0.0 to 1.0

material.set_shader_param("base_color", base_texture.blend(secondary_texture, blend_factor))

In the shader that receives ‘base_color’, you will need to lerp (linearly interpolate) between the base and secondary textures according to the blend_factor.

Adjusting Transparency

To modify the transparency of a texture, you’ll need to change the alpha component of its color. This can be useful for creating glass, water, or other semi-transparent objects:

material.set_shader_param("alpha", 0.5)

In this case, ‘alpha’ is a parameter in your shader that determines the opacity. A value of 0.5 represents 50% transparency.

Utilizing Physically-Based Rendering

PBR textures, like roughness and metallic maps, are key in creating realistic materials. If you want to adjust roughness or metallic values programmatically, here’s how you can do it:

// Adjusting roughness value
material.set_shader_param("roughness", 0.8)

// Adjusting metallic value
material.set_shader_param("metallic", 0.1)

Make sure your shader has parameters named ‘roughness’ and ‘metallic’ defined for this to work.

Working with Emission Textures

Emission textures allow portions of your model to glow as if emitting light. To use an emission texture:

var emission_texture = load("res://path_to_emission_texture.png")
material.set_texture("emission", emission_texture)
material.set_shader_param("emission_strength", 2.0)

The ’emission_strength’ parameter controls the intensity of the glow effect from the texture.

Detail and Occlusion Textures

Adding detail maps can increase visual complexity without heavy geometry. Here’s how you could add a detail map to a model:

var detail_map = load("res://detail_map_texture.png")
material.set_texture("detail_albedo", detail_map)

To apply ambient occlusion from a texture, you’ll do something similar:

var ao_map = load("res://ambient_occlusion_map.png")
material.set_texture("ao_map", ao_map)

Remember that your shader must be set up to handle a ‘detail_albedo’ or an ‘ao_map’ parameter for these to work.

Texture Atlases

Texture atlases are large textures containing multiple smaller images; they’re efficient for rendering multiple objects with a single draw call. To use a texture atlas:

var atlas_texture = load("res://atlas_texture.png")
var region = Rect2(0, 0, 64, 64) # Specify the region of the atlas to use

material.set_shader_param("albedo_texture", atlas_texture)
material.set_shader_param("uv_rect", region)

Here, ‘uv_rect’ would be a parameter in your shader that defines which region of the atlas to apply to the model.

Leveraging these advanced techniques will greatly enhance the visual fidelity and performance of your games. At Zenva, we understand the importance of thorough learning, and encourage you to integrate these new skills into your Godot projects. Play around with these examples, and see how they can improve the environments and characters in your next game creation endeavor!

Where to Go Next in Your Godot Learning Journey

Continuing your learning journey in Godot game development is an exciting path that will open up endless possibilities for creating engaging, immersive games. We at Zenva know that the thirst for knowledge is unending, and we’re here to quench that thirst with high-quality, structured learning content.

To further hone your skills, consider our comprehensive Godot Game Development Mini-Degree. This collection of courses is designed for learners looking to create cross-platform games from the ground up using the powerful and user-friendly Godot 4 engine. Covering both 2D and 3D game development and a wide array of topics from GDScript to specific game mechanics, it’s perfect for beginners or even those without any programming experience. The project-based nature of the courses ensures practical learning that fits your schedule.

For those who wish to explore a broader array of topics, our full catalogue of Godot courses is ready to suit your needs. With Zenva, you can confidently take your next steps towards becoming a proficient game developer, whether you’re just starting or looking to polish your skills. Let’s build something amazing together!


In the vibrant landscape of game development, mastering the art of texturing is a pivotal step on the path to creating visually captivating and immersive game experiences. With the power of Godot 4’s GLTFTexture capabilities, you’re now more equipped to weave these fundamental skills into your own projects. The journey doesn’t end here, though. Game creation is a continuous learning process, and there’s always more to explore and understand.

We at Zenva are committed to guiding you through this journey. Our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree is the perfect next step for budding game developers eager to expand their horizons and bring their creative visions to life. Continue building your game development prowess with us – your next groundbreaking game is just a course away. Let’s code, create, and celebrate your success together!

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