Tag Archives: realistic textures in blender

Render of the week April 13

TIGER LILLYThis weeks render was a modeling exercise based on a tutorial Lesson 09 – 09A – Tiger Lily.  I did not use the procedure in the tutorial , I modeled my petals from planes. As always all work done in Blender this render in 2.70.  Enjoy see you for next weeks render.



ONEWAY_StreetThis weeks render was a modeling exercise where I created building facades on planes and added a few small assets to complete a street scene.  I also tried a color management to achieve a photo look. As always all work done in Blender this render in 2.70.  Enjoy see you for next weeks render.

Blender Cycles: Lighting and Rendering Cookbook

If you are new to blender or looking for an alternative learning tool, well here you are.


Packt Publishing has released a book by Bernardo Iraci. The book titled “Blender Cycles: lighting and rendering cookbook.” covers creating materials and lighting setups for your cycles render. Inside you will find node setups for water, glass, and  some procedural texture setups that will come in handy for your projects. It is a learning aide that I believe no new or intermediate user should be without. As you learn the tricks revealed in this book your renders will show a improved level of quality.  This book will be  nice to have, to reference back when ever needed.


A plus to purchasing this neat little learning aid is the support files provided by Packt publishing. The blend files let you follow along with the book to put into practice each technique as it is being described for the reader. This frees you up to practice at your own speed and pace without the worry of missing something as with traditional tutorials.

On the down side this book starts off a little wordy and there are a few spelling errors,But if you take your time you will get pass that and actual begin to learn to use cycles more efficiently. Which after all is the overall goal of the book.

The book will be very helpful to new and advanced user alike. It goes though each lesson step by step and has photos of each node setup.  There is also a good list of other references provided inside.  I recommend this easy self paced learning tool to any blender user wanting to learn how to create better lighting and materials for their projects.

Click the book cover for a sample chapter

About the Author
Bernardo Iraci

Bernardo Iraci was born in Livorno, Italy in 1985. He followed a standard education career until he graduated in Economics in 2009. He always had a great passion for computers, especially gaming. During the latter part of his studies, he also developed a passion for 3D graphics, and this soon became the main focus of his career. It was at this time that he came to understand that his passion was the most important thing to pursue, more important than even attending a university.

Even though Bernardo later participated in various online courses teaching the different aspects of computer graphics, he has been largely self-taught. In 2010, he moved to Warsaw, Poland, where he was finally able to start working full-time in computer graphics as a 3D generalist in the field of movies VFX and advertisment. He also started work as a freelancer.

Bernardo constantly works to improve his skills and knowledge about computer graphics and thinks that this is the only way to keep pace with this field. When he is not busy with graphics, he likes to travel, watch movies, and play the guitar.

Cliff tutorial Results

cliff tutorial results

Cliff Results

Using the textures provided in the tutorial from http://www.blenderguru.com/videos/how-to-make-cliffs/ I came up with this result. I got some practice with the sculpt tool for the first time it worked as i wanted. I guess I never knew exactly how to us it.  This method could be useful in creating landscapes, matte paintings, and other compositing. I really would like to get better at texturing water but anyway. This image was render in cycles 200 samples 7 minutes 45 seconds to render. The project took an hour and half.  I did some work in the compositor, the sky is a plane on a second render layer with a little color correction .

How To Create Textures Maps In Gimp

How To Create Texture Maps In Gimp

You just modeled the perfect scene and the only thing left is texturing and lighting. You get some great textures from cgtextures.com and apply it only to find your image still doesn’t quite have that pop. The reason for this is, that an image texture is merely a flat projection on your model. It is the same as putting a picture on a wall the photo is only a flat projection. The texture needs some depth and definition. To give the texture what it needs is simple a matter of adding a few things to give it more realism.

Your texture needs a normal map, a specular map, and some displacement to give it the detail it needs to mirror realism. If you have gimp you have the power to generate these maps within that one little program. Gimp can generate normal maps ,bump maps, displacement maps, and even specular maps. You can do it pretty fast with some short and simple steps.

I use a normal map and spec map with my textures. I use the spec map for displacement so I only need to generate the two maps.     

example 0

Creating the Normal map In Gimp:

  1. Open up your texture in GimpScreenshot from 2013-07-27 19:04:55

  2. Select color scroll down to desaturateScreenshot from 2013-07-27 19:27:05

  1. Select filters scroll to normal map in the normal map tab just click ok.

Screenshot from 2013-07-27 19:12:51Click file export, select your texture folder and click export and your normal map is ready to use.

Creating the Specular map In Gimp:

  1. Open up your texture in Gimp

  2. Select color scroll down to desaturate

  3. Select colors scroll to levelsScreenshot from 2013-07-27 19:39:59

  4. adjust the input levels towards the middleScreenshot from 2013-07-27 19:42:23

Click file export, select your texture folder and click export and your spec map is ready to use.



You may want to put your textures in a folder for example brick texture and place your textures in with names such as brick.jpg, brick_normal.jpg and Brick_spec.jpg. This way all your texture maps are in one place.

Bonus Time

Here we have a basic plane with a diffused textureexample 1

Screenshot from 2013-07-27 18:12:24

Now we add a mix shader and a glossy shader

Screenshot from 2013-07-27 18:14:48

Now we have this

example 2

Now if we add the spec map and a color mix node we will put the texture in the top , set the bottom to black and change the blend mode to multiply then  put that in the factor input of the mix shader.

Screenshot from 2013-07-27 18:15:59

Now we this

example 3

Now let select the specular texture and the color mix node duplicate it and place it in the displacement socket

Screenshot from 2013-07-27 18:18:04

you have this

example 4

Then we add our normal map as an image texture connect it to a normal map node the connect it to the normal input of the glossy and diffused shader

Screenshot from 2013-07-27 18:22:16

Which gives us  this result

example 5

example 1example 5

On the left just a plain image texture on the right our better texture. Which do you prefer?

Additional Resources

The Secrets of Realistic Texturing


Introduction to Texturing with Cycles in Blender