Texturing vs. Modeling

((Wasn’t sure whether to put this in modeling forums or texturing forums so I guess I’ll post in both))

Ok, so, I’ve had blender for a little while and I’m getting pretty good on the modeling side of things but I’m still pretty iffy on the whole texturing/material surfaces side of things.

Anyway, I’m working on a scene and, in the scene, there is a brick wall that will be seen from an oblique angle. I was wondering, would it be better to model each brick as a separate object and apply just a single brick texture to it, or should I just make it a flat wall and put a whole brick wall texture on it? The same question applies to doing the wood floor. Floor texture or boards with a wood texture?

Any other suggestion would also be appreciated.

Thanks a lot!

There are some renders in the gallery which are little more than cubes with photographic textures on them. When done right, textures can make an image.

The only problem with texturing, bump mapping or normal mapping a simple mesh comes at the edges. If the edge should have lumps and bumps according to the texture, and it’s straight because of the underlying mesh, it won’t pull off the illusion of reality. On the other hand, sometimes it’s possible to put those lumps and bumps in only at the edge and leave the rest to texturing.

Floors are fairly easy to make recommendations about. All floors have cove bases where the floor meets the wall. You never see the actual edge of the floor, because it’s covered by the cove base. So go with textures.


Here is my take on making a brick wall:

Best of Luck!

Most of my modeling is for gaming, so I need to keep it low poly which means that a single plane with a good texture works for me.

The only reason I could think of to model individual bricks would be if you were going to use the physics engine to blow some of them out, like if you were animating a wrecking ball smashing down a building…

if i remember well i’v seen in the plugin texture something about bricks
why don’t you check it out and i think it’s programmable also
but you still have to put a texture on theses bricks!


There is also the “Masonary” wizard script floating around this forum, it will make brick walls for you. Do a search for Masonary in the python forum.

Another thing to think about is the “shot”. A lot of people get stuck in the mode of making things that are “overkill” for a faraway shot. Or assume they need to make something that works for all camera angles. This is rarely the case in production (game developement being an exception).

Think about how the shot is going to fit into the final then design your camera move and texture and model accordingly.

There is an old saying in 3D. “Model only what is needed”.

If you just need a brick wall in the distance, a plane with an image map just might do. But if it is an upclose shot of a character against the wall, then you are going to need the geometric detail along with the texturing to make a convincing render.

Thanks for all your replies guys. I’m still a little shaky on the whole thing but you’re definately helping me out.

The points raised by Atom are really the whole reason I posted this in the first place. The wall is going to be fairly close to the camera in the scene and I didn’t know if just a texture on a plane would be enough.

Maybe the problem is just that I don’t know enough about texturing yet. I don’t really get how to effectively simulate the effect of depth with the texture (like, the change in depth between the bricks and the mortar) so the wall looks like what it is, a picture of a wall on a flat plane. That’s why I was wondering if modeling + textures was the way to go.

For showing the depth between the mortar and the brick why not create 2 textures and throw them on together? One for color which would be just the pic of the wall. Then take that pic of the wall and throw it in gimp or ps and create a greyscale of it, change the contrast so you can easily spot the diff between mortar and brick (but not so much that all you have is black and white), once you have that greyscale throw that on as a texture that effects only nor and maybe spec. Alternatively you can just throw the one wall texture on and have it affect color, nor and maybe spec. You wont get the same results as if you used the greyscale, but its quicker. Either way you go just screw around with your nor value until you get the look you want.