Digital Material Library Architextures Introduces 3D PBR Textures

The platform now also caters to game designers and 3D artists. 

Architextures, a web-based texture editor and a digital material library mostly aimed at architects and designers, has added 3D PBR textures to the platform, making it even more useful for game designers and 3D artists as they can now create realistic materials that accurately simulate how light interacts with surfaces.

The Architextures web app provides a convenient and efficient platform for creating a wide variety of materials. Users can easily generate new patterns and adjust parameters using an extensive library of textures and materials. With the ability to customize dimensions, joints, tones, colors, and more, users can achieve their desired results. 
The generated images can be downloaded in various formats, including basic texture maps, bump maps, normal maps, roughness maps, and more. Additionally, CAD hatches are also available for download.
Previewing and editing the 3D material is available to all users. However, downloading the PBR maps requires a Pro user subscription. You may give it a try and see how it works below:

Architextures stands out for its intuitive user experience, eliminating the need for additional software or downloads. The app responds instantly to parameter changes, providing real-time visualization of texture modifications. This user-friendly approach has expanded its user base beyond architects and students to include 3D artists and game designers. It's an ongoing project, regularly adding new textures, materials, and patterns in response to user feedback. It adapts to evolving architectural and design practices while considering the physical properties of materials. Architextures aims to enhance users' workflow by introducing new elements and features, such as frogged brick and standing seam sheets. 

“Our goal is to continually enhance and improve our web app in order to provide a comprehensive collection of digital materials that meet specific project requirements and industry standards” said Ryan Canning, Director of Architextures

Architextures is also partnering with industry-leading platforms and manufacturers, which will provide users with more of options and combine the app's technology with the expertise of industry experts. Let's have a look at some texture maps presented at the Architextures site:

Roughness map

Roughness maps are grayscale images that indicate the level of roughness within a texture. Darker pixels represent smoother areas, while lighter pixels represent rougher areas. Rough surfaces scatter light, resulting in a diffuse appearance, whereas smoother surfaces reflect more light, creating a glossy appearance. 

In Architextures, joints are initially displayed as completely rough by default. However, users have the ability to control the roughness of the tile in the Roughness Settings menu. The 'Base roughness' slider adjusts the solid fill of the tile, ranging from black (completely smooth) to white (completely rough). Alternatively, users can choose the 'Image' option, allowing them to select a source image for the tile. The image is applied with the 'darken' blend mode, ensuring that the base roughness remains visible.

Metalness map

A grayscale metalness map is used to distinguish between metallic and non-metallic areas within a texture. Lighter pixels represent metallic regions, while darker pixels indicate less metallic areas. When rendering a 3D scene, the metalness map guides the renderer in determining the balance between mirror-like specular reflections and diffused reflections, characteristic of rough or matte surfaces. 

In Architextures, joints are initially portrayed as completely non-metallic by default. However, users have the ability to adjust the metalness settings of the tile in the 'Metalness Settings' menu. The 'Base metalness' slider allows control over the solid fill of the tile, ranging from black (non-metallic) to white (metallic). Alternatively, users can choose the 'Image' option, enabling them to select a source image for the tile. The image is applied using the 'darken' blend mode, ensuring that the base metalness remains discernible.

Displacement map

Displacement maps are an effective way to add depth and create physically accurate geometry to a surface. They utilize grayscale images where the brightness level corresponds to the depth of the surface. Darker areas of the image represent lower regions, while lighter areas represent higher sections. When applied to a 3D model, the displacement map physically alters the geometry of the surface, producing a more realistic appearance. 

In Architextures, the default representation of tiles in the displacement map is a light tone, while the joints appear darker, giving the impression that the joints are recessed below the tile surface. Configuration settings that affect the geometry of the tile, such as edges, profiles, and finishes, are automatically applied to the displacement map, creating intricate and complex geometry. To further customize the displacement map for a tile, users can apply a source image onto the displacement map by selecting one of the available image options. By clicking the displacement button, users can access additional options to control the appearance of the tile in the displacement map.

Bump map

Like displacement maps, bump maps also represent depth and are used to simulate the lighting and shadows across a surface. Bump maps don't alter the geometry of the 3D model and are normally used for small surface details that don't change the overall shape of the geometry, such as scratches and imperfections.

For bump maps on Architextures, tiles are white and joints are black by default. Options for bump and normal maps for tiles are controlled in a single menu accessed with the bump icon:

Normal map

Normal maps are utilized to create the illusion of depth within a surface by employing an RGB image. In this image, each pixel's value represents the angle of the surface normal. Similar to bump maps, normal maps are employed to simulate light and shadow, but they do not alter the physical geometry of the surface in a 3D model. Options pertaining to bump and normal maps for tiles are consolidated within a single menu, which can be accessed by clicking on the bump icon.

Architextures was created by Ryan Canning, an architect based in Glasgow, Scotland. Following exchange trips to Arkitektskolen Aarhus and UC in Santiago, Chile, he graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2016 and gained his final architectural qualifications in 2019. 

Since launching in 2020 Architextures has grown into a small team of architects, designers and web developers, dedicated to making great materials easily accessible to users around the world. 

The website has a procedural online editor offering settings for dimensions, patterns, colors, randomization, orientation, and more. You can download low-res textures for free for personal use.

There is also a Pro subscription that costs €6,99/month and unlocks additional parameters and high-resolution textures. 

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