Author Topic: How can I improve my texture ? It's flat/dull? What do you think?  (Read 1804 times)

Hey all,
I'm working on a project to create a fictional shipwreck for a level in a game. I'm basing it on the Titanic and it includes a lot of rust and rusticles. The textures I've made so far look kind of dull/flat in comparison to what I'm basing it off. Please give me your impressions and tell me where I can improve. Any input would be greatly appreciated :)

Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 09:43:36 pm

I don't think you are going to get where you want to be with just normals.  You are going to have to at least change your model geometry or do some displacement.  Especially to get the that rather large difference between the top and the bottom of the walls where the rusticles have caused them to slump down.

I definately agree and most of my models have altered topography to reflect this, but in terms on just texture quality, how can I improve there?
I'm concerned that displacement might be a bit costly on performance, but I'll definitely consider it.
Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 10:24:11 pm

The textures look really low-res. You could easily use a 1k or 2k tileable material here, especially considering you can probably reuse the material a lot. Perhaps give smaller details like the window frames a different material with less depth though, since this can look a bit blotchy.

You really need the resolution to show finer surface details to create recognizable shapes to show depth. Right now the surface looks a bit like jello.

Thanks Eggfruit, the texture currently is 2k. I'll definitely give tileables a try and the window frames being a different texture is another great point.

Honestly, please tell me if it absolutely sucks or is semi-passable
Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 04:34:15 am

I don't really know all the details of your project so it's hard to judge whether it's passable or not. From a distance it looks good. It is a good looking rust texture. But if you get closer to the wreckage than in your top left screenshot it starts to look bad. A single texture for something the size of building is not enough if you intend to see it up close. A tiling texture could go a long way for this model I think.

In order to add non-tiling detail I would suggest some clever usage of your uv's. Use a couple of materials: one or more tiling materials that covers most of the large surfaces, and a non-tiling material that only covers detail areas. These don't have the large surfaces in their uv-layout, so these small detail areas cover a much larger area of the texture, making them look a lot more high-res.

Also take a look at this, if you want to get further into it:


Hi Harry,

Looks like your off to a great start, some nice details in there keep it up! There are a couple of things I would keep in mind when critiquing your own textures. First off, it looks like you are applying the rust to the whole object, and while this might seem like a good idea to get a sense of how it is looking, it means your eye is looking at problems that might not be present in its final form. For example when a texture covers a whole surface (when you know in real life it rarely does this) your eye will tell you it looks wrong.

Try blending it with other materials, such as the beat up metal to get a better sense of how it is actually looking.

Next, environment is everything in my personal opinion, it looks like you have a very broad specular highlight that is making your texture look a little flat. This can be tackled with lighting as well as environment maps which will help show off the detail. It does look like the lighting is showing up the fact that there appears to be very little roughness variation in the material, you might want to look at breaking up its roughness map, again this could just be down to the lighting/reflections.

Try layering up 4 detailed sets of defuse colours (the gradient node's colour picker is brilliant for showing you just how varied the colours are in a map) again its difficult to tell in the images but it looks like a little more breakup and variation in the diffuse could help.

Finally I noticed that the images you are looking at are from the titanic VR, I would strongly recommend not using 2nd hand reference. What you are looking at is somebody's interpretation of a material, then if you add your own interpretation of that interpretation, well I'm sure you can see how you start to move further away from the actual material you want to create. I'd use 2nd hand reference (so shots of games and/or renders) as inspiration, but for actually texturing try and use real world reference (whether your own or someone else's) and then after you have done that, come back to the images that you like and try and tweak yours to look similar.

Again these are just my personal opinions, but hope that helps :)

Joel B.