Tutorial on how to make Tilable Textures

Some initial notes:
I describe a process I use, using the tools that I am accostomed to using. You may choose to use different tools, but for simplicity I will refer to the ones I use.

Some Basic Things:

  1. When making tilable textures, it is desirable to keep things fairly uniform, as far as tone.
    If it isn’t, you will find out when you test it
  2. Learn this in GIMP: Image>>Transform>>Offset
    –or in photoshop: Filters>>other>>offset
  3. Blender can be very useful in starting to make your tile, not only in making the background
    , but also for making any objects within the tile
  4. If you have a crappy texture, make it into a good texture

The tools I use and what I use them for:

  1. GIMP for setting the offset
  2. Photoshop rubber stamp tool, for patching the seam
  3. Various paint programs that have various cool tools, including Pixia, Photoshop, Gimp, Jasc Paintshop, and Corel Procreate painter, that came with my Wacom tablet, which I use all the time.
  4. Blender for making background textures to start with, and any objects that are in the tile frame.

Basically how I make a tile

  1. start with either a clean slate or an image for a base, depending, on what you are making, and what look you want to achieve.
  2. change the offset in Photoshop or GIMP
  3. go into photoshop, and use the rubber stamp tool to patch over the seam.
  4. Make changes to the values, texture, basically change it in any way you want. Whatever you can dream up
  5. Change the offset again in GIMP
  6. Patch it once again, and test it out by tiling it in Blender

Here are some examples I made. Feel free to use them.

Industrial wall/window
Rusty Metal
Rusty Chrome ( this is actually the rusty metal texture combined in a blend with a chrome texture by Lived )
Tree Bark
Just in: Distressed Terrain
Gritty wall, and complimentary plain concrete texture
Medievil Stone Wall

One question: Why don’t use the Stamp tool in the Gimp? Or the offset in Photoshop?

Painter is great (I don’t use it anymore, as i’m on Linux now). I have Painter 4 (also came with tablet). Did you know there is a feature to interactively do the offset thing? There is also a feature if you do a brush stroke over the image limits, the stroke appears on the opposite side again!


Because I use an old version of photoshop, and WinGIMP doesn’t support my Wacom tablet.

So why do you offset twice?

Because you want to start with a clean, regular base texture, then after you alter the surface qualities you have to do it again.

there is a tiling texture tutorial on the gimp website which pretty much shows how to use the shift command

the steps are pretty much like this:

  • paint
  • shift by x/2 y/2 (shift+control+o to get to that menu btw)
  • paint over seam
  • shift by x/2
  • paint over seam
  • repeat

what i would like to have is good painting techniques, as i suck

Cool, here’s something that may help you:

Don’t just look at the tip of your cursor when you’re painting,…sometimes you have to, but generally, try to take in the thing as a whole while you are moving your stylus around on the page. Trust your hand to do the job without your constant supervision. After all, when you see it in Blender, you are not looking at the individual pixels, but more the general shape and form of the texture. Hope that helps.

There are also several plugins for the gimp that in many cases I’ve found work very well.

homogenizer - smooths the brightness across the image
fixer - automates the basic tiling
resynthesizer - another automatic tiler, with more options and a different algorithm

All available for download at the gimp plugin registry.

For some textures you’ll have to touch them up, but for many I just get a patch of what I want for a texture, homogenize it (if necessary) and use the Fixer, Make Seamless Texture (standard plugin I think) or resynthesizer and I’m done.

Homogenizer sounds like it is probably the same thing as ‘high pass’ in photoshop.

Yep, I looked high and low for a high pass capability in the gimp and couldn’t find it. Finally stumbled on homogenizer and it generally works pretty well.

I’m not sure that the implementations have anything to do with each other though, but I only say that because I haven’t specifically seen homogenizer referred to as a high pass filter implementation. That very well may be all that it is.


just one thing for the german gimp users: The offset is located under: Bild -> Ebene -> Transformationen -> Offset but the shortkey <ctrl>-<shift>-o does work. (I searched for a while in “Bild”, so maybe you can avoid this)


Does anybody know where I can get compiled versions of these plug-ins for GIMP 2.0 for Windows? I tried compiling the source files but can’t get it to work right (and I am definitely not a programmer! :stuck_out_tongue: )

Specifically, I am needing the Homogenizer plugin since there is no High-Pass Filter in the GIMP.


You should also describe how to apply a high-pass filter in gimp, and its “Make seamless” tool…

But how do I actually tile the texture in Blender? All my textures stretch to cover the entire mesh.

if you’re just modeling to render stuff make sure repeat is on, checker is another good way to tile textures