What you can do with textures
What the textures can do and what cannot do ...
The textures allow you to make your scenes more realistic. However, remember that it is an artificial technique that has some generic constraints. A texture is as realistic as a picture of a fireplace on the wallpapers on a wall in a room. When you stand in front of the picture, it looks rather realistic. When you change your position, you see that it is only a plane image. Nevertheless, textures allow to achieve very impressive results that is difficult to achieve by other means. Therefore, textures is a very useful addendum to the 3D modeling. They are especially effective in the representation of almost plane structures like materials (wood, marble, etc.), ornaments or bricks of a wall, or grass, snow, and sand, or even waves on a water surface, and rocks (when you observe them from a far position).
With our products, you can either load textures from files (we consider all of them as one type "File"), or generate them using several types of numerical algorithms (these are the parametric textures).
Where to find texture files ...
With our products, you can load textures from any picture files of formats BMP, GIF, JPEG, and ICO.
All our products have the same set of "standard" textures that you can find in the folder "Textures" inside the installation folder. The standard set contains almost two hundreds files. It is enough for the beginning.
You can find many websites with textures in Internet. Go to "Google" ( http://www.google.com/ ) and type in the key-word "texture", and you will get hundreds of addresses.
For example, visit the website "Absolute Background Texture Archive" at http://www.grsites.com/textures/ , where you can even generate new textures changing colors and brightness of the numerous sample textures.
If you need highly professional textures for the presentation of your solar project developed with Shadow Analyzer, or for your 3D illustrations created with 3D Draw Shadows, visit the website "Sub Dimension Studios" at http://www.subdimensionstudios.com/ , where you can find hundreds of seamless textures of the highest resolution and the best quality.
When to use the parametric textures ...
Working with objects, you need sometimes only to denote the nature of their surfaces by a rather simple images like bricks or gradient color bands, or to use something like the level lines and grids applied to a curved surface. Such images can be generated by numerical algorithms of the parametric textures very fast and without any files.
Numerical algorithms allow to change the texture contours continually (using the Spin controls), what is difficult or impossible to do with files. What a huge collection of files would be needed for these purposes?. Also, it is rather easy to change colors of the parametric textures.
Therefore, before to search for an appropriate texture file, verify whether the problem could be solved by a parametric texture.
Textures in action ...
Compare the following two screenshots of the scenes "e331_Mill.sa1" and "et331_Mill.sa1". The first one is implemented with appropriate color settings but without the textures. The second one is implemented with textures. Buy the way, the frames of the windows on the second screenshot are drawn by the parametric textures.
The texture parameters ...
In our products, you can use textures in a very simple way: merely, select an object, choose a texture and apply it to the object surface -- you can do it with a few mouse clicks. In many cases, it is all what you need to improve substantially the appearance of your scenes. At the beginning, no need to take care about the numerous texture parameters, because their default settings are adjusted to the most common situations.
Later, learning by experience, you might want to do something more interesting with textures.
All the texture types have the same set of general parameters that determine how the textures are applied to the object surfaces. In addition, each texture type has a set of specific parameters that determine how the texture is generated (or loaded).
To know what particular you can do with textures, read the chapter "Textures" of the full Documentation.
Textures for your 3D scenes
Free Background Textures Library for your 3D scenes ...
Seamless Photographic Textures and Materials for your 3D scenes ...