Finding the perfect photo texture, to get the look of your material juuuuuust the way you like it, can sometimes be a pain. But with the right resources at your disposal, perhaps it might not be quite as difficult, or time consuming, as you once thought. Below is a list of 21 awesome (and free) photo texture sources, that you can use to make your CG artwork that much better!
If there's any texture site at all that you've heard of, it's this one. Being the world's largest texture site, CGTextures.com almost has it all (though they seem to lack images of weapons, cars, and animals). They even came out with tilable textures this year, so what more can you ask for really. If you don't have this link already, you can check it out here: www.cgtextures.com.
This is an awesome site, with high quality textures, in stunning resolution. As long as you don't sell, redistribute, or host any of the stock photos, you can download the images, and use them in your projects (commerical or non-commerical), as much as you like. On top of all that, the website is stylish and easy to navigate. The only thing that is really missing, is a good name search tool. You can pay them a visit at: www.textureking.com.
Ok, so this is site that you go to when you need what CGTextures.com is lacking: weapon, food, animal, and veichle textures and images. This site is a variable texture jackpot, although they are lacking in human textures (at the moment they have four head textures...and that's it). It may not be as elegant as some of the other texture sites in this thread, but if what I mentioned above is what you are looking for, then this is where you need to be. Check it out here: www.2textured.com.
Although LuGherTexutre.com is one of the smaller texture sites around, it does have some great high-quality textures from metal to wood, and everything in between. Take a look at what they got here: www.lughertexture.com.
This site is a little old and hard to navigate, but it has a lot of textures, and once you figure out how to find your way around, it can prove to be quite a useful resource. Also, with categories like "Reflection Maps" and "HDRI" in its repertoire, it has a lot of stuff that some of the newer (and more popular) texture sites don't. Check out the link for more: www.textures.pedramk.com.
This site really caught my eye. It has some truly inspiring web design, and of course some really great textures, complete with alpha maps, normal maps, bump maps, and even sometimes multiple versions of textures too. Granted it doesn't have very many textures yet (it is still only in Beta after all), but the ones that it does have are high quality and professional. I will certainly be keeping my eye on this one, and you can too, by visiting them at: www.stocktextures.com.
This site is bound to be your number one source for the most grungy and dirty textures on the web! With over 1,300 (and growing) quality textures available for download, this site should definitely be the first on your list, if grungy, dirty, weathered, cracked, rusty, or all of the above, is what you are looking for. If you don't believe me, then why don't you look for yourself at: www.grungetextures.com.
Created and managed by the same guy who runs GrungeTextures.com, this site focuses on abstact, liquid, organic, light patterns, and glass images. There is quite a lot great stuff on here (if...that's what you're into:P). You can check out all the abstract goodness here: www.imageabstraction.com.
Bricks n' Tiles
This site has a few textures...ok, so they have 3 textures...but that's not the point. The point of this site is to give you a free program that makes seamlessly tileable brick textures. I have yet to try it out, but it looks pretty freakin awesome. Of course, the free version is for non-commerical use only, but...the commerical version is less then $50, so if you are gonna be making money off it anyways...then who cares right? You can take a look for yourself here: www.bricksntiles.com.
This is a site for game artists, and more specifically, game developers. They have free, along with paid, model and texture sets, and I'm not sure what language it is in, but there is certainly a lot of stuff worth checking out. Give 'er a gander at: www.terminal26.de.
This is a great site, and...it's made by a guy I know too! It's got tons and tons of textures that are totally high-rez, and commercial quality to boot. So if good textures is what you want (and I'm assuming it is), then you need to do yourself a favor, and check out this link:www.dougturner.net.
The Well Equipped Thief - Textures
Tons of wicked textures for that dark and evil RPG game you always wanted to make. Nuff said? Yeah, I thought so. Go get em at: www.thief.washboardabs.net.
This is a site with resources for Indie Game Developers. In addition to lots of great textures, it also has models, audio clips, sprites, and even software. And yes...they do have free stuff thrown in there too (you cheapos). Just check them out ok: www.gamebeep.com.
CG-India: Free Textures
Hmmm...CG-India: Free Textures...the name kinda says it all huh? Basically this is just another free texture site (but from India). They do, however, have some good texture packs (metal, house, sky, etc), and a lot of it I haven't seen on any of the other sites (this is probably where the "from India" part comes into play). Either way I think it's worth a look: www.cg-india.com/free_textures.html.
Texturama.com has a ton of high resolution, professional quality, tileable textures, all arranged in categorized thematic bundles for easy browsing. Sound too good to be true? That's because it is. Most of Texturama's texture CD's cost over $100 each. Don't cry yet though, because they do have a small free texture page, with some great textures that you can download too. You can get the free stuff here: www.texturama.com/txt_free.php.
3DX0 has the world's finest resources for 3D deveolpers, or so they claim. They carry free textures, models, training programs, software, plugins, and books. Basically, its just a lot of great stuff packed into an awesome layout. Oh, did I tell you they have textures? Well, they do. Check them out: www.3dxo.com.
Landscape Textures has some great free (and paid) texture packs. I bet you can guess what categories they carry. Mexican, city, townscape, winter, nature, and ground textures. In other words...textures of landscapes...who knew? A great site to bookmark (freakishly appropriate name or not): www.landscapetextures.com.
This site has both raw photo source, and tiled texture galleries. It is not quite as large as CGtextures.com, but they sure do have a lot to pick from! Either way...you can never have too many textures right! Take a look: www.freetexturemaps.com.
To finish off this little thread, Spiral Graphics has some nice and free terrain textures, that you can use to texture your...well... terrain. They are all pretty great quality too, if I do say so myself (and I did...so there). Now go get your textures, and make awesome!: www.spiralgraphics.biz.
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