Using textures can add important detail to your 3D art as well as help you save time -designing 3D textures can be laborious if you're doing it from scratch, especially if you'd rather be working on other later stages. Luckily, there are plenty of free resources available to download online, and we'll be detailing some of the best places to find them below.
Whatever you need your free textures for, you should be able to find onechere, and then some more to help you build up your media library, from metallic surfaces to wood, fabric and grass. If you're looking for inspiration for your 3D work, see our roundup of the best 3D portraits, or if you need to upgrade your kit, see our selection of the best laptops for 3D modelling.
The best free textures for 3D modelling
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
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
This texture library features 128 textures from the animation giant Pixar. It was created back in 1993, but it was updated in 2018 to keep it relevant for contemporary use. Containing everything from brick to animal skins, it offers some gems that you can use in your own projects.
With a very respectable 623 free textures 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
João Paulo's collection of free 3D textures isn't as big as some other libraries, but the textures are of 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.
Texturer is a creative resource for 3D artists, designers, web designers and animators, providing a comprehensive selection of high-resolution free 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.
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 the site's Licence Agreement.
There aren’t a ton of free textures to download here, but there is a fairly varied selection. 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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