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Free textures: Where to get 3D textures for your artwork

Free textures
(Image credit: Poly Haven)

High-quality free textures can transform your 3D art. There are hundreds of free textures available online to download, saving you valuable time that you can dedicate to other parts of your work. Here, we provide an overview of the best places to look to find free textures online. This first page of this article offers a rundown of the 12 best online libraries. Jump straight to page 2 to download Creative Bloq's own awesome starter pack of 40 free textures.

Whatever your specific needs, you're sure to find the 3D texture you want on one of the sites listed here – and a lot more besides to help you grow your media library. If you're looking for inspiration for your artwork, see our roundup of the best 3D portraits, or if you want to upgrade your kit, see our pick of the best laptops for 3D modelling. Meanwhile, read on for our guide to finding the best free textures for 3D art.

The best sites for free textures

01. AmbientCG

free textures: AmbientCG

AmbientCG is one of the most comprehensive libraries of free textures (Image credit: AmbientCG)

German artist Lennart Demes's AmbientCG is not only one of the largest texture libraries online, it's also one of the best for quality with more than 1,300 seamless PBR materials in JPG or PNG format. Most of the textures here can be downloaded at 8K (even higher in some cases). They're all free via the CC0 Creative Commons licence, so they can be redistributed and used for any project, personal or commercial. Many materials come with SBSAR files allowing users to be able to tweak them in Adobe Substance 3D.

02. Poly Haven

Free textures: Poly Haven

All the textures at Poly Haven are available at 8K resolution at the least (Image credit: Poly Haven)

Co-founded by designer Rob Tuytel, Poly Haven is another top-quality library made possible by Patreon supporters. Again, its textures are all available under CC0 for both personal and commercial use. It has a relatively small number of textures compared to the first site on our list, with just over 200, but they're all available to download at 8K and 16-bit resolution in PNG format. You can also download each texture's AO, Diffuse, Displacement, Normal and Roughness Maps for more control. The site offers libraries of HDRIs and models too.

03. Pixar One Twenty Eight

Free textures: Pixar

Created in 1993 but fully updated for use now (Image credit: RenderMan.Pixar)

This texture library features 128 textures from the animation giant Pixar. It was created back in 1993, but it's been updated for modern times. Containing everything from brick to animal skins, it offers some gems that you can use in your own projects.

04. 3DXO

Free textures: 3DXO's library

3DXO's library makes it easy to find the texture you need

With a more than respectable 620 free textures currently available for download, 3DXO's collection stands out for its ease of navigation. It's quick and easy to scan through the collection to find exactly what you're looking for, whether that be a simple wall or floor surface or something a little more exotic. The site also has a small library of 3D models and stock photos for you to rifle through, so stock up while you're there.

05. 3D Textures

Free textures: 3D textures

At 3D Textures you get those all-important maps, too

João Paulo's collection of free 3D textures isn't as big as some other libraries, but the textures are great quality, and they come with the added advantage of diffuse, normal, displacement, occlusion and specularity maps. You can download them one by one, but if you buy Paulo a coffee, he'll give you a link to the folder containing all of his textures so you can grab them all together.

06. Texturer

Free textures: Texturer

Visit Texturer for a comprehensive selection of high resolution textures

Texturer is a creative resource for 3D artists, designers, web designers and animators, providing a comprehensive selection of high resolution textures. For ease of use, all textures are organised into categories and sub categories, featuring everything from brick, buildings and doors to animals, food and fabric.

07. 3DTotal

Free textures: 3D Total

3D Total has thousands of free textures available

3D Total is a brilliant resource for CG artists, with training, an inspiration gallery, 3D assets and a free textures library. It hasn't been updated of late, but how much do textures change, really? The site has a whopping 16,631 free high-res royalty-free images, which you can search through by category or using the search tool provided on the site. Note: images offered here are subject to this Licence Agreement.

08. Environment-textures.com

Free textures: environment textures

A range of free textures, plus plenty more to download for a low cost

There aren’t a ton of free textures to download here, but there is a varied selection of free options. If you're willing to pay out a little bit, there's more variety available at a very low cost, with plenty of discounts available. 

09. Textures.com

Free textures: Textures.com

Textures.com features everything from animals to X-Rays

Featuring everything from animals to X-Rays, Textures.com has a wide array of textures that you can download once you've registered for an account. You can browse by texture type or view the latest additions to the site. There's even a small selection of tutorials for you to try.

10. Arroway Textures

Free textures: arroway textures

Download a lower-res version of almost any of these paid textures for free

Arroway Textures offers a range of fantastic surfaces. This site sells individual and bundled textures, but the neat system lets you download lower resolution examples of just about any texture they sell for free. The only restriction is that they can only be used for non-commercial use.

11. 3D Texture

Free textures: 3D Texture

3D Texture includes categories such as cloth and fabric and glass and metal

Like CG Textures above, the 3D Texture gallery is a showcase for texture libraries and backgrounds. Browsable categories include cloth and fabric textures, glass and metal textures, sky textures and vehicles/car textures. You can also view new and the most popular images, as rated by the site's members.

12. TurboSquid

Free textures: TurboSquid

TurboSquid's good for textures as well as models

Not only is TurboSquid an extensive library of pro-grade 3D models, but it also claims to offer "the world's largest collection of textures". It's certainly crammed with stuff and encourages its users to submit their own textures for sale. Simply search for what you need, then narrow down your choices by checking compatibility with 3D modelling programs like Maya.

Next page: 40 FREE textures to download now

Kerrie Hughes is editor of Creative Bloq. Kerrie was staff writer for 3D World magazine before joining the original Creative Bloq team in 2012. Since then she's written regularly for other publications, including ImagineFX, 3D World and Computer Arts magazines.