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Lautaro Torres
Lautaro Torres

How to Download 3D Textures for Free and Use Them in Any Project

How to Make Textures for 3D Models: Basics and Tips

Texturing is a very important part of the 3D modeling process. All of the finer characteristics of characters in 3D modeling, such as wrinkles and individual carpet threads, are the product of texture applied by a 3D artist. Usually, the 3D models created are in a programs default flat grey color. 2D photos must be set out on 3D models to add colors, designs, and textures. Adding colors or surface and material properties to a 3D model requires another step forward in the 3D modeling pipeline i.e. 3D texturing.

This approach frequently results in the whole color and surface properties of a 3D model. In this article, youll learn what texturing is, master the basics of 3D model texturing, and get the scoop on where to get 3D texturing services for your project. Ready to learn how to change your project for the better? Lets get on with it.

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Types of 3D textures and materials

Before you start texturing, its better to decide what type of material and 3D texture to use. Here are some common types of materials and textures that you can use for your 3D models:

Basic material

This is a smooth material made using just color and convex. Its a good basis for texturing to achieve the realistic look of an object. It can also be used in game design if an item doesnt require any interactions with characters and fits into a game environment.

PBR material

Physically-based rendering (PBR) material is textured enough to look natural. To achieve this result, artists use color, albedo (light reflection effect), roughness, and bump map textures. All of these features complement the material to match its desired appearance.

Solid texturing

In three-dimensional space, color variations are adjusted at each point of the model instead of overlaying two-dimensional textures one on one. As a result, color and gloss change depending on their position on the map.

Geometric texturing

In this case, real images can be superimposed on the surface of the 3D object. In addition, the texture is adjusted by changing the geometry of the objects surface.

Stages of 3D texturing

Textures are 2D in format, but texturing only begins with the creation of a 3D model. The model is analyzed, and followed by several steps of texture design. Lets take a look at the main stages of standard texturing.

UV unwrapping

The texturing process should start with the unwrapping of a complete 3D model. Such a flat display of the model is called a UV map, where U and V are the coordinate axes of two-dimensional space, in contrast to the 3D model, which is displayed as X, Y, and Z.

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What is UV unwrapping?

UV unwrapping is the process of projecting a 2D image onto a 3D model's surface. The UV map defines how each polygon of the model corresponds to a pixel or texel of the image. UV unwrapping can be done manually or automatically by using software tools.

Why is UV unwrapping important?

UV unwrapping is important because it allows you to apply textures to your 3D models in a precise and consistent way. Without UV unwrapping, your textures would look distorted, stretched, or misaligned on your model. UV unwrapping also allows you to optimize the use of texture space and reduce the file size and memory usage of your textures.


After unwrapping the model, you need to bake the textures. Baking is the process of transferring the details of a high-poly model to a low-poly model using a texture map. This way, you can create realistic-looking models without using too many polygons, which can improve the performance and rendering speed of your 3D scene.

What is a high-poly model?

A high-poly model is a 3D model that has a large number of polygons, which are the basic units of 3D geometry. High-poly models can have more details and smoother surfaces, but they also require more computing power and memory to render.

What is a low-poly model?

A low-poly model is a 3D model that has a small number of polygons, which are the basic units of 3D geometry. Low-poly models can have less details and more angular surfaces, but they also require less computing power and memory to render.

What is a texture map?

A texture map is an image that is applied to the surface of a 3D model to add color, detail, or other effects. There are different types of texture maps, such as diffuse, normal, specular, ambient occlusion, etc. Each type of texture map affects a different aspect of the appearance of the model.


The next stage is painting the textures on the UV map. Painting is the process of adding colors, patterns, or images to the texture map using software tools. Painting can be done manually or automatically by using brushes, stamps, filters, or generators. Painting can also be done in 3D mode by applying the textures directly on the model.

What are some software tools for painting textures?

There are many software tools for painting textures, such as Substance Painter, Photoshop, Blender, GIMP, etc. Each tool has its own features and advantages, depending on your needs and preferences. Some tools are more specialized for 3D texturing, while others are more general-purpose for 2D editing.

What are some tips for painting textures?

Some tips for painting textures are:

  • Use reference images or photos to get inspiration and guidance for your textures.

  • Use layers and masks to organize and edit your textures without affecting other parts.

  • Use different blending modes and opacity levels to create different effects and transitions.

  • Use custom brushes or stamps to create unique shapes and patterns.

  • Use filters or generators to add noise, grunge, or other effects to your textures.


The final stage is shading the textures on the model. Shading is the process of adding lighting and material effects to the textures using software tools. Shading can make your textures look more realistic and dynamic by simulating how they react to different light sources and environments.

What are some software tools for shading textures?

There are many software tools for shading textures, such as Substance Designer, Blender, Maya, Unreal Engine, etc. Each tool has its own features and advantages, depending on your needs and preferences. Some tools are more specialized for creating procedural materials, while others are more general-purpose for rendering 3D scenes.

What are some tips for shading textures?

Some tips for shading textures are:

  • Use PBR materials to create realistic and consistent textures that work in any lighting condition.

  • Use normal maps to add depth and detail to your textures without increasing the polygon count.

  • Use specular maps to control how shiny or reflective your textures are.

  • Use ambient occlusion maps to add shadows and contrast to your textures.

  • Use emissive maps to make your textures glow or emit light.

Tools and software for 3D texturing

As you can see, there are many steps and techniques involved in 3D texturing. To make your work easier and faster, you need to use the right tools and software for each stage. Here are some of the most popular and powerful tools and software for 3D texturing that you can use:




Substance 3D is a suite of tools for creating and editing 3D textures and materials. It includes Substance Painter, Substance Designer, Substance Alchemist, and Substance Source.

  • Create and paint PBR textures in 3D mode.

Create procedural mat


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