Texture Resources

This is a list of Resources and References that I originally created for the forums at Map-Center.com. I'm duplicating it here because I no longer directly maintain the list on that site, but still like keeping it current.

This list focuses on tools, techniques and resources for texture making, mainly (but not entirely) as they deal with world textures for games (like Quake 3 Arena). There are ever so many sites these days that deal with skinning and modeling, but few that give direct service to the map texture creator.

If you have a link to a resource site, a new tool, set of filters or brushes for Paintshop Pro or Adobe Photoshop, send me an email with the link and perhaps a brief statement of why you think it should be inlcuded. I'll review them and add them to the list where appropriate. Also, if you discover a dead link, let me know so I can remove it or retarget it.

Paul Jaquays. March 14, 2003

LAST UPDATED: June 21, 2005

Texture Making Tools

  • The Gimp: Photoshop-like software, there's a Windows Version.
  • Pakmover: A Pak file managing utility.
  • Q3ASE: The Q3A shader Editor. For making SFX happen on your skins.
  • Texsynth: From Bert Peers, the guy who gave you Q3ASE, a utility that manipulates any texture into a tiling texture. Results will vary from texture to texture.
  • Code Genie: A free-ware text editor (for writing shaders)
  • Camoflage Creator Plug-in: Has Authentic WW2 patterns.
  • Wilbur: Wilbur is a tool for manipulating or painting terrain-style height maps. It imports and exports a variety of graphics formats.
  • Project Dogwaffle: Freeware painting tool. Unusual. Best used as an "additional" tool for painting, not your only tool.

Shader Making Tutorials

Texture Painting Tutorials

General Painting Tutorials

  • Harlequin's qbranch: Harlequin shows how to set up a skin layout, create several texture effects, has one of the best shader tutorials, and has an avi of his work in action on painting a head model.
  • Phong: A handful of slickly presented Photoshop lessons. Many applicable to texture making. Strong focus on "procedural" use of tools to get effects.
  • Jezebel's Painting Tutorials: Walkthroughs on how she created some of the effects in her digital paintings. Some good pointers for painting parts of faces and some organic materials like fur and feathers.
  • Gurus Network: Photoshop tutorials. Some of the more complicated stuff looks good ...
  • Adobe Photoshop- digital hair: Nuts and bolts tutorial on creating hair on photographs, including creating custom brushes.
  • sijun.com: Artist Dhabih Eng's website.
  • 3dcafe: "Clearinghouse" listing of tutorials on other sites. Select "Tutorials" on this page, then "Photoshop" on the next.
  • Pinoy: Paint Shop Pro Tutorials ... many "procedural" type material creation tutes.
  • Power of the High Pass Filter: A Gamasutra article about using the high pass filter to even out light values in tiling textures sampled from photographs.

Normal and Bump Map Painting Tutorials


Useful Links & Resources, & Reference

Source Images

    These are reference sources for use in creating textures and surfaces, not textures to be used in maps or redistributed unless otherwise noted by the site.

  • Photo Vault: This is a stock photo service. The images aren't for reuse, but they are a good source of ideas for models and textures.
  • Texture Bin 342: Reference source textures. Impressive work. Check out the guy's work.
  • Slack Studios/Animax: Some great FREE source photos with a variety of ways of getting them (dl'ing from there site, ordering a CD, straight to buying a hard-drive with the high-res images pre-loaded). Large images. Slow downloading. Loads of fantastic architectural surface references.
  • Corbis: A commercial stock photo reference site.
  • Photo-essentials: Reference photos ... watermarked, so not really useful as sampling sources. Site currently not active.
  • Graphic Resources at Foto Search: Watermarked reference photos. Good for image reference, but expensive to own.
  • Jeremy Engleman's public textures: Some more resources free for the useage. Click on "PHOTOGRAPHY". Scroll down until you see listing for Public Textures.
  • Stormvision textures: a variety of textures, including fabric, stones, tile and others.

Quake 2 Resources

  • Quake 2 Painting Tutorials: Several pages by Carl "Melkior" Kidwell that demonstrate painting techniques for a paletized game like Quake 2.