Realistic Textures

Hey guys!

I’m not an artist. I have never had the patience for it. However, my game is in need of art. Therefore, I must learn.

My question is… how does one achieve realistic textures? I am not asking how to do normal, specular, etc maps - I am wondering specifically about the diffuse texture.

My game is inside and outside of the Titanic. How would I get images of all the textures I need? Any ideas?


Either use a camera, or photos over the internet, or websites that offer textures, or software that create textures. That’s for the diffuse.

Edit: In case the diffuse is not tiled, you need to tile it as well. But I’m not gonna enter that as I assume you already know since you have been around.

The best way to create good textures and more importantly: (royalty) free textures, is to make them yourself.
Of course you could buy some textures from commercial sites, but they may come with a stiff price. If you want to maintain a high quality throughout the game, that quickly accumulates to a little fortune.
But since time is money and vice versa, you just have top invest some time.

Here are a few pointers how to get a decent diffuse texture:

Step 1: Look for a matching texture in the real world. If you need a wood texture, look around for a nice piece of wood, a wooden door,etc.

Step 2: Setup of the location: Since lighting and shading in our game is handled by theengine, we dont want any shades, highlights, etc in our raw texture. Unfortunately we cant simply toggle the real world to “unlit mode” to take our picture, so we have to deal with, already present, real world illumination of our object. The best dayto shoot textures is a bright but overcast day. To further improve the result, or on sunny days, you might want to build a little box, or tent in a bigger version, with thin white tarps (old bedsheets will do) to further diffuse the ambient lighting.
If you have a camera that allows the attachment of filter elements, you should also add a polarization filter to further reduce highlights.
Then mount your camera in front of the surface at a 90° angle. Try to maintain the same distance in all textures to have an even base scaling.

Step 3: Refine the image further in photoshop as it pleases. Crop and tile it (may involve some clever painting). And you are done :slight_smile:

Creating high quality textures is a very time consuming and complex job. Hence their price…


That is the worst idea ever!
For the following reasons:

  • Just because you can download a nimage via google image search, it does not mean you have the permission to use the image.
  • I would also strongly advise against so called “free” texture sites. For the same reasons. Many people upload images of which they do not own the copyright, but still offering it “for free”. You can never verify that the person spreading the photos is eligble to declare them “free”.
  • If you buy a texture, you may have not the right to use them in any case. Imagine you buy a texture and are allowed to use it electronically in your game. You use this texture for your character. If your usage is limited to electronic media, you cant make shirts or other apparel…
    Jay and Canon had a wonderfull talk about that stuff and also touched that subject. (Yeah you can use font in the game, but not on handheld consoles in China :slight_smile: ) See:

Alright, any tips on taking the images? Idk where ima find fancy rugs and wood xD

Edit: Oh, didn’t see KVoglers post. Many thanks for the indepth stuff on location!!

Depends where ou live. Old houses often have staircases made of wood.
For not so “classy” wood, go to a construction site.
I did that when I needed textures of cinderblocks. I went to a construction site down the street and asked the foreman if I could take a few pictures up close of the blocks and the fresh mortar. Of course I mentioned that the pictures would make me so happy I could forget the create of beer there that I always carry around :cool:
For stuff like rugs, you could go to a fancy restaurant with fancy rugs. Again, ask them: “Wow. Your restaurant is so awesome, already told all my friends. And the rug, the rug! Can I make a really good photo. I like to have it on my tablet as a background :o”
You would be surprised how many people actually say “Weird, but ok. Knowck yourself out kiddo :)”
Its a bit harder in a museum, naturally :rolleyes:

Can’t seem to find anything about this online, but let’s say I obtain a few assets that are under a royalty free license, is there any possibility that the licenses could change while I am using them, therefore restricting my usage?

Not really. But the more fundamental question is: Is the license really royalty free and did you get it from the rightfull owner.
Thats the danger. If I upload a picture from Getty Images toa website for “free textures” with a comment “Its free. Have fun”.
When you use the image, Getty will sue you. They dont care that I claimed to have the rights. In this case you just belived a liar. Lough luck.
So how would you check if “UserLittleTimmy98” really has therights to that cool brick texture he uploaded?

Go to those are all royalty free, and they have some great textures you can modify for what your looking for. You may also want to look at a cheap program like crazy bump which can help build normal maps etc… thats the quick dirty way and you can acheive realistic just messing with roughness and metalic and lighting. Lighting is the biggest way to acheive what your looking for, you can only do so much to the textures.

When i need to create my version of texture types I use a base image and Blender 2.65a and CrazyBump Software. There are many lessons and videos how to use it so I bet you can do it. Good luck :slight_smile:

Check out substance designer.