Texturing Tools & Tips

There have been a few discussions in different places on this topic, so I thought it was time for a dedicated thread. What do you use for texturing, how do you go about it, what tricks save you time?

I’ll start us off with the normalmap plugin for GIMP. GIMP is free and so is the plugin, so good if you are on a budget. Here is the diffuse of a basic panel, drawn by hand in GIMP:


You can apply the normal map filter directly to the diffuse map, but the results are not quite what you want:


To get a decent map, its best to understand how the filter works. It takes the contrast in the image and uses it to work out what heights things should be at. The more contrast, the thicker the normal map lines. So it is better to give it something without shadows and shading:



It will even create normal maps of complex shapes, if you can work out what to feed it:


(this post could have been a lot shorter if I had thought of that split-image thing at the beginning…)


I was actually a while back working on nailing down a process for doing texturing entirely in Blender, using high poly to low poly baking and procedural textures, then I was going to do a video tutorial for it.

This was about as far as I got with the ship I was making:

At some point I’m going to revisit the process and maybe finish it up.

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Yes, please do finish it!

Link to uni’s quixel tutorial:

Ambient occlusion. I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I had a go at this today, using this tutorial:

3DSmax sort of works out the areas of the model that will be in shade and makes a “bake” that looks like this:

Here is the in game result, with no actual details on the texture:

I’m pretty impressed, considering it took virtually no effort to do this.


Yeah. AO is one of those beautiful things, which dramatically brings more detail to certain areas :smiley: And it’s easy to do.

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