This issue with textures is always giving me a headache. Paid work clients expect

I can never seem to wrap my head around this issue or solve the problem… I look for paid rendering work but the clients have expectations for me to come up with an end product that has high quality textures. And they want to pay as little as possible and have it done fast… Im fine with modeling it to a high quality and rendering it to a high quality and creating basic materials like glass and walls that dont need textures. But when it comes to textures lets face it, ever single good texture out there has a non-commercial license attached to it. The only true CC0 textures out there are limited in variety and look substandard.

What am i missing here? Surely they dont expect me to create my own high quality textures… which is an involved process on its own…

The client want it ? The client have to pay for it !



Client: Can you make it cheaper?

Maker: So you wanna have to look it cheap ? ( That’s an extra.)


lol nice point.

Nice point, man!

No, they expect you to download them from Poliigon or some other commercial texture site and to then be charged for them as part of your overall quote.

If not, then you need better clients.

Of course you could not charge the each client for the full cost of the texture, under the theory that (depending on the exact licensing terms of the site you gt them from) you can reuse the same texture across multiple projects/clients.

At first you will likely be getting a new texture every time, but after a while you would build up your own library of already paid for textures that can just be used again.

Ahah… Thanks for pointing that out… Yes ive recently purchased a bunch of alphas and dirt map textures that have a specific license such as you are allowed upto 2000 sales. I guess this is the key in being able to sell stuff to clients or sell assets on marketplaces that contain high quality textures.

Kind of obvious now that you pointed it out…

Maybe you could reconsider …

If you are paying for high quality textures, maybe you could learn how to make high quality textures and make money doing that too !

Good Luck !

Pretty much the same as tailoring: the client needs to pay for the cloth.

In this analogy, the textures are the cloth, while the mesh is the sewing.


You could learn how to make your own high end textures using material authoring like substance designer, material maker (free) or Texture lab (also free).

I feel like you’re trying to put the blame on your clients when the blame should be on yourself. Sounds to me like you’re not bidding/estimating the correct amount and you’re not filtering your clientele properly.

This is business 101 stuff here, as a freelancer you’re running a business and you’re expected to understand how to do a proper time/cost analysis based on a client’s project description. If they’re not giving you enough information, then ask for more info before you give them a bid. If they are not willing to pay you what you feel is a reasonable price to compensate you for your time, knowledge, and hard costs – then turn the project down and move on to other clients.

I read posts like these and I’m left scratching my head, don’t you know how to run a basic business?!?

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Sadly, a lot of creative people are lousy business people.

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Sorry for beating that horse again… as the others already did.

Nope, they expect high quality end results, which is totally understandable as they are spending money.
Since they are layman, they don’t care about the methods and they are ignorant of the means to get there and you have to educate them or rather negotiate your terms to make it feasible.

You and your clients are missing the correct knowledge in how to quantify the amount of work (price) that is needed to satisfy the demands of a certain quality and your needs as worker in an economic environment.

To answer your first question: Yes you absolutely should be able to create your own high quality textures, that fact that you don’t consider this as necessity makes my head shake involuntarily.
You don’t always have to, if you can get away without than that’s great for efficiency, but the reality is that being dependent on other artists limits your ability and takes away all flexibility.
You should take your modelling mindset to texturing, after all you don’t create you work while being 100% dependent on models from other artists.

Get Substance Painter, download Mixer, you can learn both (together) in a couple days worth of learning and both come with a huge library of materials which already gives you an HUGE advantage over you current workflow.
Also when creating materials you can always use an mix and match approach. Take textures you have and change them and adapt them to your needs. Mixer is great for that while being easy and fast.
I can also recommend Quixels Megascans library for their high quality, although I am not sure about the financial investment and if it is worth it for you.

Also if you have feelings of hesitation and discouragement because of the learning factor or the amount of work involved - don’t.
It was never as easy as it is today, it can be really fast and to top it of its tons of fun.

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Mostly it was about the type of licencing applied to textures and me not realizing i can provide the high quality textures without having to pay royalties or acknowledge the original author as long as its specifically a commercial licence that allows me to do that. Tha’s what i was missing.

I was thinking ok i have high quality textures which i cant use because of copyright, and i have low quality free textures, and i dont want to make my own, so im stuck.

But thats not really the case now.

hmm, i tried Materialize, that helps make PRB textures based on providing it with just a diffuse base texture… Seemed to work ok. But i guess substace and mixer are much more powerful, its just all the extra time it would take to make my own textures…

The material library that comes with Painter and Mixer does not involve any license/copyright headache, you can use it in commercial products without hesitation. There is also Substance Share which provides a huge library of materials which you also can use commercially.
Many smart materials that you can easily customize which give a wide range of results.

Don’t think this way. You have to make it clear to your customers that this is absolutely necessary if they want the quality, you don’t have these qualms when thinking about modelling, right? This is not different, and like I said, you may be surprised how fast texturing can be.
Also like I said ‘mix and match’, you only have to texture the stuff from scratch that you can’t do otherwise.
Very often applying a smart material in Painter or Mixer gives you already 80% of a great result.

Yes, they are. Don’t hesitate, I think you make a mountain out of a molehill.
I promise you, if you download Mixer today and spent some time this weekend exploring the mixing materials workflow to start it off, you’ll have a moment of illumination that drives away you hesitation.
That alone will give you a huge boost.

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Wow that stuff sounds amazing… And yes I do make mountains out of molehills. A lot!

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And with substance, you don’t have to buy the monthly subscription, you can buy it on Steam for a one time fee that’s relatively inexpensive. They seem to plan to continue supporting the Steam version.

You won’t have access to Substance Source, but there’s a decent collection of built in materials, and of course you can use materials sourced from Substance Share (the current one, and the legacy substance share) and elsewhere. Although, your mileage will vary with the free materials.

Although the $30 a month might be worth it for a while if you want to use substance source to build up your library of material assets using Substance Source.