Free textures: where to get 3D textures for your artwork

An example of free textures from Poly Haven
(Image credit: Poly Haven)

Free textures can be fantastic resources to help you save time and add detail to your 3D art and design. Textures can be tedious to design from scratch when you'd rather be working on the main focus of your work but fortunately, there are tons of free textures available online to download. In this guide, we'll round up some of the best places to go to find them, and we'll even get you started with our own free starter back of 40 free 3D textures on page 2.

Whatever you need your free textures for, you should be able to find a 3D texture that suits your project here, and then some more to help you build up your media library, from metallic surfaces to wood, fabric and grass. If you're looking for inspiration for your 3D work, see our roundup of the best 3D portraits, or if you need to upgrade your kit, see our selection of the best laptops for 3D modelling. Meanwhile, read on to discover the best free textures for 3D art.

Where to find the best free textures

0. Poly Haven

Sample images of free textures from AmbientCG

AmbientCG has one of the most comprehensive libraries of free textures (Image credit: AmbientCG)

German artist Lennart Demes's AmbientCG is not only one of the largest texture libraries online, it's also one of the best for quality with more than 1,300 seamless PBR materials in JPG or PNG format. Most of the textures here can be downloaded at 8K (even higher in some cases). They're all free via the CC0 Creative Commons licence, so they can be redistributed and used for any project, personal or commercial. Many materials come with SBSAR files allowing users to be able to tweak them in Adobe Substance 3D.

02. Poly Haven

Samples of free textures from Poly Haven

All the textures at Poly Haven are available at 8K resolution at the least (Image credit: Poly Haven)

Co-founded by designer Rob Tuytel, Poly Haven is another top-quality library made possible by Patreon supporters. Again, its textures are all available under CC0 for both personal and commercial use. It has a relatively small number of textures compared to the first site on our list, with just over 200, but they're all available to download at 8K and 16-bit resolution in PNG format. You can also download each texture's AO, Diffuse, Displacement, Normal and Roughness Maps for more control. The site offers libraries of HDRIs and models too.

03. Pixar One Twenty Eight

Sample images of free textures from Pixar

Pixar One Twenty Eight offers free textures from Pixar (Image credit: RenderMan.Pixar)

This texture library features 128 textures from the animation giant Pixar. It was created back in 1993, but it was updated in 2018 to keep it relevant for contemporary use. Containing everything from brick to animal skins, it offers some gems that you can use in your own projects.

04. 3DXO

Sample images of free textures from 3DXO

3DXO's free texture library makes it easy to find the texture you need

With a very respectable 623 free textures available for download, 3DXO's collection stands out for its ease of navigation. It's quick and easy to scan through the collection to find exactly what you're looking for, whether that be a simple wall or floor surface or something a little more exotic. The site also has a small library of 3D models and stock photos for you to rifle through, so stock up while you're there.

05. 3D Textures

Image of free textures from 3D textures

At 3D Textures, you get all-important maps too

João Paulo's collection of free 3D textures isn't as big as some other libraries, but the textures are of great quality, and they come with the added advantage of diffuse, normal, displacement, occlusion and specularity maps. You can download them one by one, but if you buy Paulo a coffee (opens in new tab), he'll give you a link to the folder containing all of his textures so you can grab them all together.

06. Texturer

Sample thumbnail images of free textures from Texturer

Visit Texturer for a comprehensive selection of high resolution free textures

Texturer is a creative resource for 3D artists, designers, web designers and animators, providing a comprehensive selection of high-resolution free textures. For ease of use, all textures are organised into categories and sub categories, featuring everything from brick, buildings and doors to animals, food and fabric.

07. 3DTotal

Images of free textures from 3D Total

3D Total has thousands of free textures available

3D Total is a brilliant resource for CG artists, with training, an inspiration gallery, 3D assets and a free textures library. It hasn't been updated of late, but how much do textures change, really? The site has a whopping 16,631 free high-res royalty-free images, which you can search through by category or using the search tool provided on the site. Note: images offered here are subject to the site's Licence Agreement (opens in new tab).

08. Environment-textures.com

An example image of one of the free textures from environment textures

This site has a range of free textures, plus plenty more to download for a low cost

There aren’t a ton of free textures to download here, but there is a fairly varied selection. If you're willing to pay out a little bit, there's more variety available at a very low cost, with plenty of discounts available. 

09. Textures.com

Example images of free textures from Textures.com

Textures.com features free textures ranging from animals to X-Rays

Featuring everything from animals to X-Rays, Textures.com has a wide array of textures that you can download once you've registered for an account. You can browse by texture type or view the latest additions to the site. There's even a small selection of tutorials for you to try.

10. Arroway Textures

Example images of free textures from Arroway Textures

You can download a lower-res version of almost any of these paid textures for free

Arroway Textures offers a range of fantastic surfaces. This site sells individual and bundled textures, but the neat system lets you download lower-resolution examples of just about any texture they sell for free. The only restriction is that they can only be used for non-commercial use.

11. 3D Texture

Examples of free textures from 3D Texture

3D Texture includes categories such as cloth and fabric and glass and metal

Like CG Textures above, the 3D Texture gallery is a showcase for texture libraries and backgrounds. Browsable categories include cloth and fabric textures, glass and metal textures, sky textures and vehicles/car textures. You can also view new and the most popular images, as rated by the site's members.

12. TurboSquid

Examples of free textures from TurboSquid

TurboSquid's good for free textures as well as models

Not only is TurboSquid an extensive library of pro-grade 3D models, but it also claims to offer "the world's largest collection of textures". It's certainly crammed with stuff and encourages its users to submit their own textures for sale. Simply search for what you need, then narrow down your choices by checking compatibility with 3D modelling programs like Maya.

Next page: 40 FREE textures to download now

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Kerrie Hughes is Editor at Creative Bloq. One of the original CB crew, Kerrie joined the team back in 2013 after moving from her role as staff writer on 3D World. Since then she's written regularly for other creative publications. Kerrie's work for Creative Bloq involves managing the team and the site's content, developing and maintaining commercial partnerships, and finding innovative ways to bring Creative Bloq's audience the content they're looking for.