8 Best Ways to Make Texturing for 3D Models

8 Best Ways to Make Texturing for 3D Models

June 12, 2023


October 09, 2023

Table of Contents

Contrary to popular belief, texture creation for 3D models is more straightforward. While attention to detail is essential, there’s more to achieving high-quality results. There are numerous techniques to produce 3D textures using 3D modeling software. Many 2D applications, such Photoshop and Gimp, can be useful even if you fall short. 

Moreover, real-world images and drawings are available to utilize in conjunction with 2D tools when your imagination is restricted. Let’s explore the many techniques for producing textures for your 3D model.

What is Texturing?

Texturing is the process of infusing detail, color, and texture into 3D models, transforming them into realistic and believable objects. It involves mapping 2D images onto the surface of a 3D object, giving it a textured and comprehensive look. 

To better grasp the concept of texturing, imagine it as a sculpture with an easy texture drawing, where pixels replace traditional paint and interconnected dots form the object. 

3D texturing enhances an object’s realism and lifelike aspect by utilizing colors, patterns, bumps, and other features. Let’s say it is a brick wall, a wooden table, or a shiny glass window. The goal is to accurately reproduce the color and surface properties of the referenced object to make it look natural.

Best 8 Ways How to Make Texturing for 3D Models

1. Create with Photoshop

A 3D model’s UV mapping is helpful. You can make 2D graphics with Photoshop, one of the most outstanding programs for creating textures for 3D models. It provides you with a vast selection of feathers for making textures. The tools and features are also simple to develop.

For instance, Take an example of OC of Khoa Viet, a phenomenal piece of art done through photoshop. The details are as follows:

  • Sculpt: Blockin and High Zbrush and 3D Max.
  • Topo UVs: 3D Max and RizomUV.
  • Texturing: Substance painter and photoshop.
  • Integration/render: Marmoset Toolbag.
  • Posing/anime: Maya.

2. Create Using Blender

Applying textures in Blender is another fantastic method for producing textures in 3D models. It would be much more doable as you may export the 3D models into Blender and use them to make textures. You may also use Blender nodes to generate texture.

Take a look at, Metal Sonic a 3D created using Blender. Following are the details for you:

  • Modeling: 3D Max.
  • Texturing: Blender and Substance Painter.
  • Composition: Blender, photoshop and after effects.

3. Procedural 3D Texturing

In essence, mathematical algorithms are used to generate procedural texturing. Since you do not need to keep the actual image, it is frequently the most lightweight option for texturing. With the node system already present in your program, you may make procedural texturing. To produce procedural texturing, you might also install an external extension.

Here’s an example, Pack Rat Piggy, a prop character dynamics. Here are the details:

  • Character Model & Props: ZBrush
  • Retopology and UVs: Maya
  • Clothes patterns: Houdini.
  • Animation: Mixamo and KineFX.
  • Procedural Texture: Substance Painter.

4. With Real-Life Photographs

You might use actual images to make gorgeous textures. For instance, you may take a photo of a wood surface and use it to make a 3D model texture that looks like wood. You can use real-life texture and make realistic surfaces using the modern 3D tools. But you must photograph the appropriate surface to produce accurate 3D model textures.

Examine the surface of your 3D object first. Here’s an example, Bottles of Lifes, an artwork created from the combination of Substance Painter and Digital Lightning. Here are the process details:

  • Gathering References.
  • Shapes & Blocks: Maya.
  • Lightning: V-Ray Rec Light.
  • Textures: Substance Painter.
  • Web spiders: Modelling with surface curves and textures with opacity map.
  • Final touches: 3D app.

5. Use Hand Drawings

You can also paint by hand on your 3D models. You must first produce a hand-drawn painting on paper. The paper must then be scanned into your computing device. After that, you must import it into your 3D program. The hand-drawn image might be positioned using UV mapping, much like the photos.

You may paint textures on 3D things using excellent tools in 3d texture software like Blender. Use these features to paint your 3D objects’ designs precisely. Remember that your hand-drawn artwork should be higher quality for your products to appear more realistic. Take a look at, House of Fairy.


6. Substance Designer

Substance 3D Designer is software for making 2D textures, materials, filters, and 3D models using a visual interface that connects elements like nodes. It emphasizes generating textures in a procedural and adjustable way, ensuring that changes can be made without damaging the original work.

For example, Procedural Village Maker, a 3D model of a farm made from Substance Designer. By applying a texture of grass, adding a forest texture, and using appropriate lighting to enhance the river and ocean, you can create a more realistic and detailed representation of the farm.


7. Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is a technique that uses multiple photographs of an object taken from different angles and combines them to create a 3D model. With the help of specialized software, these photos are analyzed and transformed into a digital 3D model using advanced computer algorithms.

Let’s say you want to create a 3D model, Just a gecko. You would take several photos of the figure from different angles, ensuring some overlap between the pictures. Here are some additional details of Just a Gecko:

  • Sculpted: ZBrush 
  • Textured: Substance 3D Painter.

8. Substance Painter

Substance Painter 3D is a software designed explicitly for texture painting 3D and adding textures to 3D models. This process encompasses various steps such as creating textures from photographs or starting from scratch, applying these textures onto the 3D objects, setting up proper lighting to enhance the scene, and adding final touches for detailing.

Here’s an example, La Catrina 2020, textured by Substance Painter to make it look more realistic and visually appealing. Here are the details of La Catrina 2020:

  • Texturing: Substance painter.
  • Rendered: VRay.
  • Sculpting and modeling: zBrush and Maya.

Types of 3D Texturing

Solid Texturing

Solid texturing is the process of creating textures for the surfaces of 3D objects in a three-dimensional space. Instead of layering 2D textures, it involves adjusting color variations at each point of the model, allowing for color and gloss changes based on the texture map’s position.

Geometric Texturing

Geometric texturing involves overlaying authentic images onto the surface of a 3D object. It also allows for adjusting the texture by modifying the shape of the object’s surface. This technique lets 3D character designers use photos to enhance the model’s appearance and change the object’s shape as needed.

Static Texturing

Static texturing involves creating a 2D texture to paint on a pre-existing 3D object. These textures only carry information about the texture image itself. Unlike other techniques, static textures do not provide any variations or changes on the surface of the 3D model. They apply a fixed texture to the object without altering its appearance.

Surface Texturing

Surface texturing allows you to add details to the surface of a 3D model. However, it requires time and resources. Since it involves more polygons, a powerful computer is needed. Many popular 3D modeling software provides excellent surface texturing features. 3D texturing involves creating textures, applying them to objects, adding lighting, and finalizing details.

The Best Software for Creating Amazing Textures

Blender stands out as a powerful software for creating unique textures for 3D models. It makes texturing models easy with its in-built toolbar and various features. It offers UV unwrapping, which helps in mapping the model’s surface. In addition, Blender animate texture, adds details, rendering for realistic visualization, and 3D texture mapping for precise placement of textures.

To utilize Blender and Photoshop effectively, Adobe also provides specific documentation on 3D texture painting in Photoshop. Once you’ve created your desired texture map 3D, you can download it and seamlessly apply it to your model in Blender. Click here to learn more about Blender and 2D Animation Softwares.

Tips for Texturing Different 3D Model Types

a. Character Texturing

Creating realistic 3D characters is an exciting part of the digital world. They require special attention to their textures to make these characters look lifelike.

  • Head Texturing: When discussing texturing a hair texture 3D, we want to ensure that every part looks right. For example, imagine hair on a 3D anime models head. We need to make it smooth and natural, just like real hair, so it feels believable in the virtual world.
  • Face Texturing: The face is where emotions and expressions come to life. We use a UV map to make our 3D model’s face look symmetrical and realistic. This clever tool helps us divide the face into lines and parts. In anime character concept art, it makes it easier to create both sides of the mouth, nose, and eyes to be the same size, depth, and shape.
  • Skin Texturing: Our 3D character’s skin needs special attention. To make it appear genuine, we add texture and details to it. Think of the process as giving the skin some roughness, subtle shades, and the right colors. Look for 3D skin model project ideas, like birthmarks, and scars, making it more interesting and realistic.

b. Animal Texturing

When it comes to bringing animals to life in 3D modeling, texturing plays a crucial role. Here are some handy tips for creating captivating textures for different types of animals, considering their unique characteristics.

  • Gather References: Each animal has distinct features and materials, so having references helps you accurately capture its essence. For instance, reptiles have a scaly skin, mammals have thick fur or short hair texture, and some have bare skin.
  • Create Specific Layers: To achieve the desired texture, it is essential to create different layers for each type of animal. For example, an elephant’s texture should be rough without shiny highlights. On the other hand, a snake or alligator’s texture should be smooth and able to reflect light. By tailoring the layers to match the animal’s characteristics, you can make your 3D model look more realistic.
  • Play with Details: Add details that capture their essence to make your textured animal model stand out. For instance, consider the patterns on a zebra’s fur or the spots on a leopard’s. These details contribute to the authenticity and attraction of your 3D creature.

c. Asset Texturing

In the world of digital creation, we come across various ready-made assets like objects, characters, and animals. These detailed assets can significantly enhance a digital environment. Take a look at the considerations for texturing objects and props:

  • Function and Decoration: Objects and props serve different purposes. Some have mechanical functions, while others are purely decorative. It is crucial to understand the role of each asset and its significance within the scene. For example, if an object is meant to remain in the background, it might not require detailing that can only be seen with maximum zoom.
  • Distance and Perspective: When texturing objects and props, it is essential to consider their distance from the camera. Assets closer to the viewer will receive more attention, requiring greater detail and realism. On the other hand, assets in the background can be less detailed, as they won’t be in focus.
  • Lighting Harmony: When texturing objects and props, it is vital to consider the overall lighting of the scene. By matching the lighting conditions and style, we can ensure that the asset blends seamlessly into any environment texturing.

Frequently Asked Questions About 3D Texturing

You can make textures for 3D models using the following measures:

  • Create with Photoshop
  • Create Using Blender
  • Procedural Texturing
  • With Real Life Photographs     
  • Use Hand Drawings

Blender is the best software for 3D texturing. It is free and open-source and is used to make animated movies, visual effects, artwork, 3D-printed models, motion graphics, interactive 3D apps, virtual reality, and, in the past, video games.

You can use “Textures.com” as a free texture library for your 3D projects.

3D texturing brings characters, settings, and objects to life. The process of infusing detail, color, and texture into 3D models is what gives them a realistic and credible appearance.

In this beginners guide to texturing 3D models video, you can learn texturing 3D by following the steps below:

  • What’s the difference between Materials and Texturing?
  • Types of Materials.
  • Basic Materials.
  • PBR Texture.
  • Metallic.
  • Base Color & Roughness.
  • Model Setting.

Texture packs typically cost roughly USD 2.99 if you run one of the legacy console editions. However, as with Minecraft Java Edition, texture packs are free if you download them.

Image mapping can be used for 3D prints in various ways, such as adding features, colors, textures, logos, or decals.


Learning to create textures for 3D models is important as it gives them a realistic appearance. Without textures, models are plain and white. To achieve a perfect 3D render, focus on creating high-quality textures and use higher-resolution images to avoid blurriness on larger surfaces. Plan each step carefully before starting the texturing process.

Texturing 3D models is a time-consuming task that requires expertise and skills. If you require professional assistance, consider outsourcing your texturing needs to Ideas Animation, where we can deliver optimal results for your project.

At IdeasAnimation, we have vast experience with 3D projects, and our team of professionals can provide you with excellent texturing and modeling services. We understand the importance of accurate UV mapping and texture resolution and choose the right tools and software for your project.

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