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We are always looking to unearth useful resources for detailing the surrounding context of architectural visualizations, including high-res cut-out people, trees and HDRi skies. But what about the buildings themselves? To create truly compelling renderings, it is essential to use believable textures, complete with the blemishes of weathering and aging that naturally occur in the real world.
Enter texture.com, a huge database of high-resolution textures that spans an incredible range of building materials. These images are suitable for use in SketchUp, 3d Studio Max, Maya, Blender and many other rendering and graphic design packages. You can download up to 15 images for free every day, but if you need more or bigger images, you can purchase a credit pack or a subscription.
We’ve highlighted some of the most useful material categories below — simply click on the links to jump straight to the associated download pages. Do you have a preferred texture library or download site for your renderings? Let us know in the comments!
Rendering via CGarchitect
Texture.com’s brick textures range in color from deep reds and warm yellows to mud and earthen tones. Some can be tiled for use across large expanses of an architectural model, while others have unique qualities — peeling paint, graffiti, moss and ivy bring a touch of age and atmosphere to proceedings. Click here to download brick textures now.
Rendering via Mereces Arch-Viz
If you thought the number of textures for a homogenous material like concrete might be limited, then think again. The library includes more than 2,000 different textures for concrete and cement, each with their own unique color and surface finish. Options include fine and coarse aggregate cements, cracked and crumbling concrete, board-formed concrete and surfaces streaked with rust or paint. Click here to browse concrete textures now.
Rendering via Ronen Bekerman
Wood textures include 10 subcategories ranging from architectural siding and floorboards to unusual textures such as bark and driftwood. Spanning both natural and manufactured timber, the library covers all major timber species, such as oak, pine and walnut, with a variety of hues, grains and imperfections. There are also some great regional textures such as bamboo and charred cedar. Click here to browse wood textures now.
Rendering via MIR
Metal textures break down into 18 subcategories including galvanized, corrugated bronze and copper textures. There are also metals with a wide range of patinas, including scratches, rust and peeling paint. Patterned textures include roll up doors, surfaces including seams and welds, and embossed textures for manholes and industrial flooring. Click here to browse metal textures now.
NB: Sample textures shown here are indicative and do not represent the actual image maps used in the renderings shown. For more on adding textures to your architectural visualizations, check out this handy tutorial by Alex Hogrefe.
If you have some spectacular renderings that deserve a spotlight, consider submitting them in the One Rendering Challenge — it could win you $2,500 and earn you global recognition!