A photo taken to create a texture map for 3d models

The original photo

How to create seamless brick textures with Bricks'n'Tiles and PhotoShop or PaintShop Pro

Any hand-crafted texture is a piece of art but it's a lot of work to to create a seamless texture from a photo. It has to be carefully painted, otherwise it will have ugly gaps or repeating artefacts when applied to a 3d model.

Bricks'n'Tiles helps you to create realistic wall, floor or roof textures. It combines brick and mortar textures from different sources into a nice, natural-looking arrangement of stones, bricks, floor tiles, wood boards and many other architectural surface textures. Together with a matching bump map it's the best starting point to enhance the texture in PhotoShop and add the real artistic touch.


Single brick textures selected in the source photo

Select some stones

1. Select some complete bricks

As in this case, there are often shadows, windows and doors, rain gutters or other undesired objects that make extracting a texture area a very annoying task. Bricks'n'Tiles is made to generate seamless brick textures on a single-brick basis. Only a few bricks must be extracted from the original photo, and will then be re-assembled using advanced texture synthesis algorithms.

To create a clean tiling texture, first select some perfect bricks in your source image. Save these selections to files and import them into Bricks'n'Tiles. You can also select a suitable mortar texture file for the gaps between the bricks.


Different brick pattern generators to create regular and random brick textures

Example of a tile pattern

2. Choosing the brick pattern generator

Bricks'n'Tiles has implemented some different algorithms to distribute the bricks inside the texture. There are some regular and random brick pattern, and also special texture types for texturing arches or columns.

That way many different architectural textures can be generated, like stone and brick walls, roof tiles, floor tiles or even wood planks or parquet floor textures. The main feature of the brick pattern generator is creating natural looking brick arrangements that tile in horizontal and vertical direction of the texture.


A seamless brick texture generated from a photo

The resulting wall texture

3. The seamless brick texture

The single bricks are re-assembled in Bricks'n'Tiles by slightly altering their color and their appearance to create as many different bricks as possible. This efficiently reduces the tiling effect when repeating textures over large surfaces.

It has never been easier to make a tileable texture from a picture of a bumpy old wall. Instead rearranging brick alignments in PhotoShop with the clone tool, Bricks'n'Tiles will do the "dirty work" for you. However, the result is not an artistic kind of a texture, but the time you save making textures tileable you can now use to finish the texture in PhotoShop and make it a real piece of art.


A bump map of the brick texture

The bump map for the wall texture

4. The Bump Map

The same way, Bricks'n'Tiles creates color map textures, it's also able to generate Bump Maps, which are are very useful for a realistic appearance of the 3d models. Bump Maps represent surface structures with smaller details than the geometry of the 3d model itself. In this case we use a white texture for the bricks and a black texture as mortar and add some noise. Bricks'nTiles will apply a nice transition between brick faces and grooves.

To fit into your game development workflow Bricks'n'Tiles now supports Normal Maps which are supported by all 3d game engines. Although Normal and Bump Maps contain pretty much the same information, they originate from different approches. Normal Maps are commonly used in game development and real-time rendering while Bump Maps are supported by nearly every 3d application and offline renderer, such as Autodesk 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema4D or Blender.


A brick material with color and bump channel created from one image

The wall texture combined with the bump map

The final brick material with color and bump map channel applied

By combining the color and bump maps, the material perfectly reproduces the look and feel of the original photo. Now it can be used to texture 3d models at a very large scale and with small details at the same time, without having troubles with the resolution or tiling artefacts.

You can now give the texture your personal finish in PhotoShop and use it in any game engine or 3d application as Maya, Cinema 4D, 3ds Max or Blender...you can see some of the results in the gallery!


Click here to download some sample textures!

If you have any questions about Bricks'n'Tiles please post your comments in the Support Forum!


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