What exactly are PBR textures and how do they help 3D artists create photorealistic images in applications such as Blender, Cinema 4D, Maya, Unity and Unreal Engine?
PBR or Physically Based Rendering attempts to simulate how materials behave in the real world, particularly how they reflect and absorb light. For example, most metal materials will reflect a lot of light while a surface such as concrete will reflect very little light giving it a flat matt looking surface.
To achieve this photorealistic look PBR textures normally consist of several different texture maps which include information that describes the colour of the material, its reflectiveness and roughness, the depth and height and even how the material deals with ambient lighting.
The quality of the final 3D models and scenes that you would create in an application such as Blender will rely heavily on the quality of the textures you are using, to this end we have curated the top 7 websites where you can download quality PBR textures to make your rendered output as realistic as possible, totally for free, with a creative commons license (CC0).
Free textures have never looked this good
CCO Textures came into being in January 2018 and has quickly become the go-to website for quality PBR Textures, generating in excess of one and half million downloads per year.
Textures are available in sizes up to 8,000 pixels and come with displacement, normal and roughness maps and can be downloaded under the Creative Commons CCO License so can be used totally for free even for commercial projects.
The site allows for easy download of textures and doesn’t even require you to register or limit the number of textures you can download on a daily basis.
100% Free Textures, for Everyone
Texture Haven is a very professional looking website created by Dutch environment designer Rob Tuytel, offering free PBR Textures under the creative commons CCO License.
The textures offered on Texture Haven are some of the best available on the internet, not just photographs but high resolution scanned map sets for the ultimate PBR experience.
New textures are added on a regular basis and most come with a full set of maps including Albedo, AO, Diffuse, Displacement, Normal, Roughness and Rough AO available in resolutions up to 8K.
Make better 3D renders
Poliigon is brought to you by the Blender Guru himself Andrew Price and boasts over 3,000 textures and materials ready to use in your favourite 3D application with all maps included.
However, to download the majority of these textures requires you to pay a subscription but fortunately, Andrew has still provided plenty of quality PBR Textures that are available for free.
Not only does Poliigon provide quality photo textures but unique procedural texture generators for fabric, wood and brick that are well worth checking out.
download free PBR materials and texture files
As the name suggests Free PBR is a site dedicated to providing free PBR textures to 3D artists and those involved with the indie game development scene.
The site currently has over 175 PBR Texture sets available which include normal, albedo, roughness, metallic, ambient occlusion and occasionally height maps in the sets.
Most of the collections are 2,000 pixels in size and are suitable for use in Blender, Unity and Unreal Engine to name just a few.
Free pbr textures for Blender, Cinema 4D, Unreal Engine and more
CG Bookcase not only has a superb collection of free PBR Textures available to download but also has an extensive library of tutorials that will not only teach you how to get the best out of the textures but also how to create your own.
The site was created by Dorian Zgraggen and already boasts over 400 free PBR Textures with more being added on a regular basis. The textures are grouped into various categories including wood, metal, fabric, rock and more and are available in resolutions up to 4K.
Textures come complete with colour, height, normal and roughness maps with no need to register or give any form of credit for using the textures.
Seamless Free PBR Textures
Since 2005 textures.com have been providing game developers and digital artists with high-quality seamless PBR textures. Previously under the name of CGTextures, the website now boasts a whopping library of almost 140,000 images.
By signing up to a free account, you will have the ability to download up to fifteen free textures a day at a resolution of up to 1024 x 1024 pixels, which is more than enough for hobbyists but graphic professionals may need to consider buying a subscription plan for higher resolutions up to 32K.
With a huge library of free seamless PBR textures, you are sure to find exactly the resource you require.
Free Professional Materials
Welcome to the jungle, the 3D Jungle that is who currently have over 5,000 high-quality seamless textures available in various categories including, asphalt, concrete, water, wood, bark, soil, marble, stone, sand, fabric and grass, to name just a few.
They also have a nice selection of animal fur and reptile skins, which I could see being particularly useful to both 2D and 3D character concept artists.
Unfortunately, the textures do not come with any image maps such as displacement, normal or roughness but still a very useful collection nonetheless.
How To Setup PBR and Displacement in Blender
Still confused about PBR Textures and how to use them in Blender?
Then let Kev from Blender Binge walk you through the whole process and get you up to speed fast.
Not only will you learn how to use PBR textures but also all about displacement in both the Eevee and Cycles render engines.
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