How should I start building a photo-texture base?

If I use flash, everything is too shiny, but if I don’t, everything is grainy.
I may get a better camera.

Any tips? Do I always take photos head on?

The issue isn’t the flash making everything shiny but rather there being uneven lighting,
even if the image is over bright, you can deal with that in an image editor, or even blender’s compositor.

The solution as such is to perhaps not necessarily use flash but extra lights/reflectors,
so as to have evenly lightened the subject.

yes, it would be preferable to get an view angle looking directly at the face of the surface you wish to use as texture, otherwise the editing of the raw image for texture will be as such more painful for you, that is to say, more work.

Hope this helps. :slight_smile:

To be able to use photos as textures you have to ensure that the directional lighting information in the photo is at a minimum. i.e. try to avoid any directional lighting which creates sharp shadows like direct sun or flashes from the side.

I prefer shooting during overcast days, which gives a good omnidirect lighting. This leaves only a sort of AO shadows in the texture. And that can help in creating normal maps out of these textures. Pure indirect lighting like a shadowy area only lit by the blue sky works well too. In fact when shooting textures you have to seek lighting conditions which you never would choose for normal photos, where light contrast is what you want.

Using a light rig as Felix suggests is an option too, but you typically do not carry those around in the wilderness.

For me an absolute must is a tripod. This also helps solve the problem you have with dark environments.

Furthermore you should try to avoid any lens distortions. So instead of using a short lens and go very near yo should use a long lens with at a greater distance.

And last, I shoot all my textures in RAW format to preserve as much color information as possible.

I have to disagree here. If you have too bright images, clipping will already have lost you the color information of the bright areas and no software can bring that back.

Strobist is a great site for information about photographic lighting.

Yes, that is true, but admittedly, I expected this to be a discussion specific to textures,
not a general discussion of photography and it’s issues in general, my bad.

Certainly important to know too, though, yeah. :o

Try using a Polarized Filter on the lens -it will cut out only directional light that creates glare.
Here’s an example:


the cgtexture link is vert good for the basic understanding

if you camera has too much grain which is even visible in renderings
there is no otherway then getting a better camera with a good low light
situation if you want to make your own textures.

at the end your camera and the light are the most important parts of it.
what you mess up at that step you cannot fix later in PSD.

you do not need SLRs perse - Nikon has a very good compact camera with
great exposure and light sensitivity.

Olynpus also has good entry level SLRs.

Thanks for the information.
Anything else I should know?

Also take a look at this GIMP plugin, after all getting lighting perfectly even is much harder than getting it mostly even.

There are also several plugins that can help you tiling your texture, if needed:

Step back and zoom in to avoid parralax distortion (imagine standing right in fron tof a door and trying to photograph it - the edges would be very curved). Use a tripod when possible. If you have a dslr, you can “drag” the shutter, meaning you can shhot on a lower iso (100) for low grain, but a fairly long exposure time (1/2 second in some cases). When you do this, you have to use the timer so you don’t touch the camera. Don’t use flash. You’ll probably need a better camera to do this.

I took this picture in the woods (standing in a river actually.) All natural light. Not a texture, but one of my favorite photos.

I didn’t know of this. Thanks a lot for this link.

Now your nickname makes a lot more sense :). Thats a very beautiful dress btw.

Now your nickname makes a lot more sense . Thats a very beautiful dress btw.

My friend is a period clothing maker. She tried on me once, but she’s terrible at men’s clothing. The girl in the picture is a public defender. Funny, I think. I occasionally help her with fashion photography.

Here’s the lawyer as a belly dancer. Same day.