Introducing Poliigon - our new texture site!

One day while making an architecture scene, I realized that I took me an hour to a wooden floor material. This tedious 60 minute process included...

  1. Finding a texture online
  2. Checking that it looked okay in the scene (if not finding another)
  3. Opening the texture in CrazyBump or Knald
  4. Moving sliders around for at least 20 minutes until it looked okay in the preview
  5. Generating and exporting those maps
  6. Importing them into Blender
  7. Repeating Steps 4-6 until it looked right
pooldeck.png

And because my scene had over 20 materials, that meant I would spend over 10 hours generating texture maps alone!

Ridiculous.

I wanted a better solution. But since none existed, we built one.

2 years later and it's finally ready: Poliigon!

What is Poliigon?

Poliigon is a texture library, built by CG artists, for CG artists.

It's got unique textures you can't find anywhere else, patterns, designs, and most importantly PBR materials.

Let's look at each one in detail...

1,000+ PBR materials

PBR stands for Physically Based Rendering, and if you're unfamiliar with it, it basically means creating an accurate shader, and using maps to control aspects of the material:

Maps aren't particularly new.

Third-party software that generates maps (like CrazyBump) has existed for years. But generating these maps correctly takes forever!

As I mentioned above, it usually takes me about 20-60 minutes per material to generate maps properly.

But with Poliigon, you can say goodbye to third-party software, because we provide all the necessary maps with each texture.

So instead of spending an hour generating it yourself, you can download it in one click:

 

Then just connect them in Blender (or any 3d software) to enjoy photorealistic materials:

For a full demonstration, watch this tutorial.

With a typical scene containing 10 materials, expect to save at least 3 hours by not having to generate them yourself. Not to mention the cost of buying the necessary third-party software :P

Ultra-Sharp

This might sound like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many textures online are blurry.

Blurry textures are basically worthless, because it makes the material look slightly out of focus, ruining any realism.

So we made a committed effort to produce the sharpest, highest quality textures available.

We did this through various methods, including:

  • Shooting with a tripod
  • Setting the focus manually
  • Using a handheld trigger and mirror lock

This obviously takes longer, but it's worth it for materials that look crystal sharp :)

Ultra-high Resolution

When you want a closeup of a model, texture resolution matters. And in my experience, the textures on most sites aren't large enough.

So we made an effort to ensure most of our textures were captured at 6K, and some even as high as 24K!

Zooming into Poliigon texture

Seamless

There's nothing worse than finding the right texture, but then not being able to use it because it's not seamless.

So that's why we've made almost every texture seamless:

Seamless textures

In terms of production, making a textures seamless adds significant overhead (which is why most sites don't offer it for everything), but we think it's worth it.

Next-gen realism: Overlays

As well as PBR materials, we've also introduced a new type of map called Overlays.

Overlays fix a common problem seen in most renders: everything looking too clean and too perfect.

The real world is filthy! Scratches, dust, smudges, residue and dirt, pervade even the most "clean" materials of the real world.

Overlays in Real Life

But it's surprisingly difficult to find these sort of textures online. The few that do exist are low res, non-seamless, or not available in a format that's useful for cg art.

So we've built a library of these essential textures:

These can be easily combined with any clean material to make it look immediately more realistic:

Overlays from Poliigon.com

Repeating Patterns

If you've ever dabbled in architectural rendering, you'll know this plight all too well. Needing a pattern, but not being able to find one.

Most patterns online aren't licensed for 3d reuse, so you you're stuck!

Which is why we've created a library of patterns that can be used in any cg scene:

Perfect for architectural and scifi scenes!

There's currently a 192, and we're planning more.

Designs

Often when you're building a large scale environment, you need graphic designs like graffiti, fake adverts or road signs to make it look real.

But finding images online that are licensed for reuse is tricky. They're either super expensive graphic elements, or photos taken with a camera - which aren't ideal due to reflections and unwanted texture.

So we worked with a graphic designer to build a library of design elements from scratch, full of everything a cg artist needs:

How to Get Started

Poliigon was created to help you create better results, in less time.

There are currently over 1,000 materials and we're hoping to increase that as time goes on.

You can signup for a free 30-day trial of Poliigon here.

There's no credit card required, and no commitment. Just try it out for yourself to see how you like it.

From there on, you can purchase a subscription for $17 p/month or $170 for the year.

Plus: Win a Year's Subscription, every month

To encourage artistic efforts, we're going to be awarding a year's subscription to one artist every month.

How to enter:

  • Create an amazing image using any Poliigon assets (textures, designs and/or patterns), with any software
  • Post it on ArtStation before the last day of the month
  • Mention "Textures from Poliigon.com" in the description

In the first week of the following month, all entries will be judged, and the best image will be awarded a full year's subscription :) And if you already have a subscription, the days will be credited to your account.

The winner will be announced on Poliigon's Facebook and Twitter.

After 2 years in the making we're thrilled to finally release Poliigon and see what you make with it!

Sign up for your free 30-day trial and start using Poliigon now :)

Andrew Price