Textures for movies


I am working on a project for a movie where I am required to model objects which will be composited with live-footage, which means they have to look realistic. My question is: what are the best texture procedures to achieve the affect of realism (bump mapping, specular maps,etc.):confused:? I know this is a pretty general question, but I am not sure how to word it better. Any help on this topic will be appreciated.


The key to realism in texturing is a good colour map + a good bump map.

Realistic colour maps are easy to come by…if you have a camera, just take a picture of anything you see and use that as a texture! These images can then be ‘touched up’ in GIMP or Photoshop. Some ‘grunge maps’ can even be hand painted from scratch.

In Blender, bump maps can be achieved by mapping any colour texture to “Normals”. This sometimes gives the desired bump effect, but for even more control, you can ‘bake’ the normals of a hand sculpted high poly object onto a lower poly one.

Spec maps are not necessary, though in some cases they can be useful.

The best thing to do is just to study things you see in the real world and play around with different ideas in 3D :smiley:

Hope this sheds some light on the topic :smiley:


You’ll probably need high resolution (large) textures, especially if your model is going to be close to the “camera”.

Remember that bump / normal mapping won’t add detail at the edges of the model. If you need such detail, you’ll have to use a displacement map or model the geometry.

Go easy on specularity; you’ll find almost nothing in the real world reflects light like that. Reflection and gloss are usually more realistic-looking, though they take longer to render.

Are you doing the lighting of the model as well? For compositing 3d into a real scene, matching lighting is even more important than textures. You need to take into account colors of the lights in the background plate, get the shadows correct, add indirect lighting, etc. It’s even better if you can be at the live-action set and make lighting notes or better yet shoot footage of garden spheres or ping-pong balls on the set, so you can match the lighting on 3d spheres. All of this will interact with your textures, and round and round you go.

Finally, look up stuff by Leigh van der Byl; she’s one of the best CG texture artists around. Best of luck with your project!

Hello all,

Thanks you so much for all your advice and time. I will be sure to look up all these things.

(I am answering from my brother´s account, in case your wondering.):smiley: