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Creating a Custom Wall in Photoshop with Baked Texture Method

Custom Wall Creation

You’re probably used to applying generic textures, whether tiled or not, to all your assets in your scene. It’s time you took the next step to achieving convincing photorealism in your renders. You see, the devil is in the details, and by tweaking your textures to what your scene needs, you can appease any critique.

Tiling a texture has always been problematic. You always need to look out for the dreaded tiled patterns that can instantly shatter the realism in your scene. No matter how amazing everything else might look, even a single tiled pattern will break the illusion.

Sure you can use ultra high resolution maps that hardly need tiling, but they’re hard to come by. In this tutorial I’ll show how you can take a simple tiled wall texture in Max and convert it to a scene-specific detailed texture. This new texture will be an exact fit for our wall without any tiling effect. Moreover, we’ll learn how to design the look of the wall with custom Photoshop brushes.

We’ll be using the Render to Texture functionality in Max to render out a version of our wall texture, then process it in Photoshop. Read below or follow the video for the exact steps.

Baking a Texture

  1. To start out, we’ll be using a single plaster texture on our main wall in the scene. This will act as our base texture over which we’ll make all our adjustments.
  2. Detach the wall as a separate object. Apply the wall material to it. Since the features on this texture are a bit large, we’ll need to scale them down. Use a UVW modifier for mapping and scaling the texture for a nice fit. Move the texture around with the Gizmo to avoid any obvious tiling.
  3. Now we’ll select our wall and open the Render to Texture dialog nested in the Rendering menu. We’ll add the VRayGlobalIllumination pass with a 2048 resolution for our baking process. Press the render button in the same dialog box, and then save it as a TIFF file.
  4. Our baked wall texture is now ready for manipulation in Photoshop.

Processing & Painting in Photoshop

  1. Import the wall texture into Photoshop and flip it if the sides are inverted.
  2. Browse around for free plaster wall textures. We’ll use these for adding variation and randomizing our texture through blending modes.
  3. Multiple textures can be layered on top of our base textures and blended with various modes and varying opacities for a unique look. Scroll through all the blending modes for choosing the one you like the best. If a layered texture is small and tileable, then you can select it as a pattern via Edit > Define Pattern. Create a new layer, open its Layer Styles > Pattern Overlay and select this pattern. Flatten the layers when you’re happy with the result.
  4. Next we’ll add flaking, cracks and other imperfections to this final layer with Blur’s PRO brushes (Download Link). To install, simply place the .abr file into your root Photoshop folder’s Presets > Brushes folder and reload this PSD file.
  5. Select the brush tool, choose this preset, load and apply the brushes of your choice. You can even use the Eraser tool with these brushes for creating completely random and unique imperfections. Brush in some flaking onto the wall edges as well.
  6. Add any adjustment layers for tweaking the overall tone of our wall texture. Desaturate the texture for creating a bump version as well.


Now just reinsert and align this version of the texture into the scene. The result is amazing, since you’ve doubled the lighting effect and now rendering it with enhanced GI. It’s like tuning your car, only in ArchViz and Photoshop.

Hope you guys like this tutorial, post your comments and let me know what you think.

Share it with your friends 🙂

Talk soon,

P.S.: We are about to launch the VRay Basic Lighting 2.0 workshop. I’ve opened up some early-bird registrations for all of those who were following the videos. Four weeks of live training upcoming in October – If you interested sign in here:

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