Models: The new addition to Poliigon

Big news: Models are now permanent addition to the Poliigon library.

Watch the announcement then read on…

Two Big Reasons to Use Poliigon Models

#1 The First Multi-Compatible Library

Typically when you buy a model it only works with one software and one renderer. This means wasting 10-20 minutes configuring shaders to work with your software and renderer. Nobody wants that.

So we’re pleased to say that our models work in all 15 of the major software and renderers.

Just select it from the dropdown to download a model in that native format.

cake2.png

#2 Consistent High Quality

Sometimes purchasing a model feels like playing Russian roulette. You load it into your software, praying that it looks good. But overly dense meshes, poor texture maps, and other shader hackery is rampant.

So we created the library using an industry standard asset pipeline:

  1. Mesh Detail: Not too little, not too much. Each mesh has just enough detail to create the proper silhouette, and everything else is baked.

  2. Baked Maps: All the finer mesh details are baked into the normal map. Gloss, Reflection and Albedo maps are also inclusive, ensuring you won’t have to touch your shader. It just works.

At the time of launch, there are three model collections available now…

1: Interior Scene Fillers

This is the stuff that you don’t want to model, but are necessary for an interior to feel lived in.

Stuff like a TV remote, newspaper, coffee, water bottle, soda can, headphones, notepad, glasses and much, much more.

 

Because you always need more models for a kitchen than anyone ever has time to model, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you.

Utensils, knives, pots & pans, dishes, bowls, appliances and more.

 

3: Food

Photoscanning is the only way to capture the detailed shape and texture of food, so that’s what we used.

Fruits, bread, cakes, cheese. Available individually, or as a platter ready for dropping onto a counter.

Demo Renders

We went all out in our testing, so please enjoy this image gallery made using the new models:

This is just the start….

We’re adding more models in the future. What would you like to see next? Let us know in this short survey.

New Stone & Marble

39 Stone Walls

New stone materials in a range of different hues, wear and rock species. Especially good for European and Middle-Eastern styled exteriors.

29 Marble & Granite

Perfect for your next kitchen and dining table renders.

CobaltBlueCountertop.jpg

12 Tile Laminate & Vinyl

Not every client can afford tiles, which is when these laminate and vinyl materials come in handy.

BathroomTiles.jpg

Split-stone is the perfect material for adding visual contrast to a bland space. Very popular for exterior entertainment areas walls.

Hope you like the new selection! As always, if you make something cool, post it to ArtStation with the words “Textures from Poliigon.com” somewhere in the description and if we like it we’ll feature it here :)

New HDRs

It was the 2009 short, The Third and the Seventh that made me sit up and pay attention to photorealism. While I'd always known it was a "thing", I never knew it could be used so artistically.

So in an attempt to learn Alex Roman's wizardry, I purchased his book From Bits to Lens, which had a tip that I've never forgotten: "90% of the work of photorealism is the materials and lighting." (paraphrasing).

This put it into terms I could understand. If you forget all the rest of the complexity of 3D, and just focus on the materials and lighting, you're almost there.

While materials are hard to get right, lighting is easy in comparison. You just need to use HDRs.

HDRs are a godsend for rendering as they're a full 360 degree capture of real lighting and reflections, instantly transported to your scene.

Very little setup and perfect results. What's not to love?

While Poliigon has had HDRs for a while, we've just expanded it to include 32 skies and 18 environments (50 new in total).

32 New Sky HDRs

Forget ever needing to download a cloud image for a backdrop, fiddle with sky settings or and sun lamps. Just drop one of these HDRs into your scene and you've got accurate lighting and reflections in an instant.

Not only that, but when you've got a library of HDRs they become a fast way to test out different lighting setups.

Here's an example of how 9 different HDRs affect the mood and lighting of your scene:

18 New Environment HDRs

Environment HDRs are a new sub-category for Poliigon.

While Sky HDRs are useful for scene rendering, Environment HDRs are great for standalone model renders. It gives you photorealistic lighting, backgrounds and reflections with almost zero effort.

Environment HDRs are also great for testing out materials. Because part of creating good materials is accurate lighting and reflections, which usually requires you to put it in a scene. But with an environment HDR, you just load it in and it's done.

No added rendertime, but perfect lighting and reflections:

Hope you use them to create some rad renders!

Merry Christmas from the team at Poliigon! Can't wait to show what's in store for the new year ;)

New Industrial Materials Collection

Whether you realize it or not, your architectural renders are telling a story. A story about the people who live in the building, what they use it for and the history of the space. 

Experienced architects know that an effective way to tell their story is through the choice of materials. As a concrete facade sends a totally different message than wood or steel.

This is why we've worked diligently to create a new set of 67 industrial material. Brick, metal panels, steel, quartz, concrete, rust and more.

We look forward to seeing what you make with them!

Be sure to tag #Poliigon when you post it to ArtStation so we can find it! :)

New Interior Pattern Collection

Ask anyone who makes interior renders and they'll tell you how vital patterns are. They can mean the difference between a bland, boring interior and something with visual interest.

I remember making my first interior architectural render, and wanting to create a striped pattern cushion.

But when I searched for patterns on my favourite texture sites I was surprised to find that there were none! I then realized that while many pattern libraries existed for website designers, there were none for 3D interiors.

So even before we Poliigon had a name, I knew that we had to offer patterns.

While Poliigon has had patterns since launch, we've recently released a collection of 44 new design patterns based on the most common designs available today:

Our team looks forward to seeing what you make with them!

Be sure to tag Poliigon when you post it to ArtStation so we can find it! :)

New Street Collection

A few years ago I was putting the finishing touches on a bridge scene. The only thing missing was the road texture. It was then that I realized how badly the 3D community needed a proper one. 

Most road textures are simply far too clean and perfect. Like this one:

Yet real roads look like this:

So it's no wonder your CG roads look fake! They're missing all those glorious cracks, asphalt patches, holes, leaves and rubbish - stuff that makes it look real!

So this month at Poliigon we made Streets our focus... with the aim to solve the problem of CG roads once and for all!

 

The better alternative to photos: Digital

Normally textures are photographed, but in the case of roads, not only were the surfaces too large to capture, but there's also a lot of detail that you miss when you restrict yourself to a camera (like roughness).

So instead we created each element digitally, using Substance Designer. Which while it took us a LOT longer, it also gave us a lot more control over the final result, and the amount of detail.

 

The Roads

All roads start out clean, but gather imperfections like cracks and patches the more they age.

So we created a perfectly clean road material, then a medium aged and heavily aged version, with 3 variations for each:

Then, to give you the freedom to use them across more scenes, we created a 4-lane, 2-lane and no-lane versions:

All available in super high-resolution, with all the necessary normal, displacement and roughness maps included!

 

Plus, separate road elements

If you're trying to build a city, carpark or back alley, you often need a custom road. So we've included each individual element, already alpha masked and ready to craft into something new:

Which means you can craft your perfect road texture by combining the elements in Photoshop...

Or even directly inside your 3D software...

 

Bonus: Sidewalks

Did you think we'd just hand you some road textures without thinking about sidewalks? Of course not!

Since no road is complete without a sidewalk, we also photoscanned 16 common sidewalks...

And digitally created 6 different tactile pavements:

We probably went overboard with this release, since all tallied up we realized we clocked over 450 man hours creating it :O. But either way, we hope the community finds it useful! :)

New Metal Materials

Most materials in the world are dielectric, which means they have both diffuse and gloss.

But metal is different, because it doesn't refract any light. Meaning there's no diffuse, metal is actually 100% gloss!

Yet when you look online for "metal textures" you'll find mostly diffuse textures!

So what gives!?

Well since there's no diffuse in metal, photographing it is almost impossible.

So instead of photographing them, we created them from scratch using Substance Designer. This allowed us to create interesting roughness & displacement maps that you see the effects of in real metal, but can't capture with a camera.

This has created a collection of some ultra realistic metal that truly looks the way it does in real life.

From raw metal like copper, brushed metal and steel:

To hybrid materials like rusted chipped paint:

The library is always growing, so join us to get this release and future releases like it!

New Imperfection Textures

Clean surfaces are the bane of 3D art.

Because while the real world is full of randomness in every material, 3D software creates clean straight surfaces by default. As a result, we're often left wondering why our render doesn't look like a photo. Hint: It's because it's too perfect!

Since all existing "grunge" textures we could find online weren't suitable for 3d rendering, we decided to create something that was made for 3D artists: a surface imperfection library.

We've had this library since launch, but for our April release we added 51 new textures to the surface imperfection section.

There's new textures like tabletop stains, weaponry scratches and dirt wipes

As well as new variations to existing maps, like making the fingerprints and footprints zoomed out in scale so you can use them on larger objects.

Oh and this is our 6th Month of texture releases! Woo! Time flies.

Can't wait to show you what we've got in store for the future :)

Join Poliigon to get more texture releases like this.

New Fabric Materials

Fabric is everywhere. We walk on it, we clothe ourselves in it, and dry ourselves off with it.

Yet making realistic fabric in 3d, has always been challenging. Even with dedicated cloth simulators like Marvelous Designer, getting the materials right is difficult.

At Poliigon, we were tired of the existing fabric textures online, and wanted to create something better.

So we started by inspecting fabric samples under a microscope, paying close attention to their weave patterns and thread counts.

Then instead of photographing them, we recreated them in Substance Designer.

Much like Tiles, Wood and Marble, Fabric benefits from being created digitally, as the detail is simply too tiny to photograph correctly!

This enabled us to tweak the fabric to perfection, right down to the thread count.

There are 25 new fabric materials:

Which are perfect for clothing:

...furniture:

...and even packaging materials :)

As per usual, they work in any 3D software. Just download the maps and use like you normally would.

New Tile Materials

In the past, creating realistic CG tiles was a pain, because all other texture sites only offered photographs

Which is a problem when you try to convert them into material maps, as the software usually struggles to understand the material correctly.

We've been there, and we wanted some better tiles.

So instead of starting with photographs, we created them digitally with Substance Designer.

It's incredibly time consuming, but it's the only way to get realistic material maps, as we had full control over every aspect of the material.

So we created beveling, height and tilt variation, wear and tear, glossy variation and a bunch of other subtle tweaks to make the tiles look gorgeous.

There are 33 new tile materials now available on Poliigon:

Members get them at no extra cost. Download them now!

Not yet a member? Sign up here.

PS. What do you think the next texture pack should be? Vote here.

New Feature: Sky HDRs

Lighting is a big deal.

It can mean the difference between an image that feels unnatural, and one that feels alive and welcoming:

But unfortunately, most outdoor lighting setups look pretty terrible.

 

Why most outdoor lighting looks bad

The most common approach to outdoor lighting is to use a sun lamp and a blue environment light. Which is a step in the right direction, but it's too simple. Because - as with many things in CG - the real world is much more chaotic.

A sky isn't just blue. Thanks to clouds, and the physics of light, it's a million different shades of blue, white and yellow. All with differing amounts of saturation and value.

Run an eyedropper over a photo of a sky and you'll see what I mean:

That's a huge amount of variance for something most of us perceive as "blue"!

When your sky lacks this detail, it impacts not only the lighting but also the reflections.

And since all objects are reflective, a solid blue color looks pretty laughable in a reflection:

Simply put, without a real sky, you're missing out on glorious detail in the reflections and the lighting.

So how can we get all this extra complexity in our renders?

 

The Solution: HDRs

HDRs are a completely different approach to lighting. Instead of using lamps, it uses a single image to light the scene that looks like this:

And while it looks like a standard photo, it actually contains valuable light information (captured in multiple exposure ranges) that your rendering engine can use to create light:

(Remember: this is without any lamps whatsover! It's controlled entirely by a single HDR image.)

They show up in reflections too:

HDRs are the most photorealistic lighting solution, because there's no fakery. It's taking an exact lighting profile captured in the real world, and bringing it into your 3d software.

That's the reason they're used by hollywood and most architectural renderers.

But unfortunately HDR Skies aren't cheap. They typically range from $10-30 each online, which means a modest collection of just 10 Skies would cost $100-300.

Until now!

As of today, Poliigon now has HDR Skies available to all existing and future members. There are 40 HDRs so far with plans to add more in the future. 

And all are available at a whopping 15,000 x 7,500 and 12 EVS :)

Enjoy!

New Wood Flooring Collection

Wood is a popular choice for architects, as it's both visually interesting and an easy way to breathe life into the decor.

But when it comes to texturing, wood flooring suffers from the same problem as marble: it's very difficult to capture, and as a result most texture sites have a very limited range.

Unlike concrete or bricks (that are readily available in public spaces) wooden flooring can only be found inside finished interiors. And unless you want to break into dozens of homes, it's unlikely you'll find suitable flooring to photograph.

As a result, most texture sites have a very limited range of interior wooden flooring available.

So instead of giving up, we proactively created them from scratch. We took dozens of photo references then recreated them using Substance Designer. 

And after 50 man hours, we're pleased to present this pack of wood that's identical to photo textures.

Here are all 28 of the new wood flooring textures:

For each texture type we created 3 types of wood: light, medium and dark:

And since we had full control of the arrangement, we went an extra step and created unique wood patterns like diagonal parquets and diamonds, that are very difficult to find online:

These are perfect for architectural use, as well as scene building.

Here's how our in-house artist (Guilherme Henrique) used the new texture collection:

These wood textures are now available, to all Poliigon members. Enjoy!

New Marble Materials

Good marble textures are surprisingly hard to find online.

They're either tiny in real world size (20x20cm slab anyone?) or riddled with highlights.

But there's a reason for this: marble is actually very challenging to capture. 

Marble is heavy and therefore expensive to transport, which means even in the real world most are cut into small pieces. It's also highly reflective, which means photographing it without highlights is nearly impossible.

So rather than photographing them, we tried something different: we collected dozens of photo references and then made them by hand using Substance Designer.

It was a challenge that took 86 man hours to complete, but we're pleased to present this new collection of the best marble textures available online!

Initially we were skeptical that procedural textures could match the quality of photographed ones. But after weeks of fine tuning by our team, we were amazed that they looked identical to photo equivalents. Even zoomed in at 100%.

You can download these new marble materials now!

Look forward to seeing your gorgeous marble scenes!