How To Layer Textures On Blender [Layer Stacking]

Layer stacking with Blender

In this post we take a look at layering textures on Blender to provide not only colour but also depth in order to produce realistic looking renders with minimal effort. For this tutorial we will be applying an egg shell texture to our model!

Difficulty: Easy!


speech bubble comparison guide between FDM vs SLA

Applying A Texture & Bump Map To Our Egg For Depth & Colour

Can’t be bothered to read? Then skip the fluff and watch the video!

Shaping Your Model First Before Considering Materials

The shape of your model is as important as its materials for achieving realism

As I want to demonstrate how to apply the texture / material of an egg, it only makes sense that we start to model the shape of an egg!

In this tutorial I will not be spending too much time making my egg perfect in shape, but please note, the more accurate your model is in shape and size, the more it will assist with the final render looking realistic.

So let’s do it, let’s model our egg following the below steps:

Modelling An Egg Using Blender

  • Load Blender and delete the default cube.
  • Go to Create Tab (left of screen) > UV Sphere
  • Go to Tools Tab > Smooth (this will make your textures look more smooth and accurate once applied to your model)
  • Press “S” (scale) followed “Z” (z-axis) on the keyboard and move your mouse until you get something resembling an egg shaped model… When happy with the shape hit “Enter
  • That is it, your simple egg has now been modelled!
Modelling basic shape of an egg on Blender

Sourcing Texture Material & Bump Map For Your Model

The first thing we want to do is source both a texture material & bump map so that we can introduce it to our model we just created. You can source your own on the Internet, but to simplify matters, I will be including the same ones I used on the above video… feel free to use them by right hand clicking and downloading them to your computer.

Note: Unfortunately I cannot remember where I have sourced these images so I am unable to give credit where credit is due (contact me of you feel these these images belong to you)

Texture Material

The texture material is simply an image (either a photograph or illustration) of the egg shell. It essentially contains the colour of the egg along with the texture (such as the small cracks) that egg shells contain.

Texture map of egg shell

Bump Map

The bump map is essentially taking the texture material (mentioned above) and:

  1. Desaturating it (removing colour so it is essentially grey scale)
  2. Adding a bump map so you can see more depth to the texture (This is what gives your model’s texture true depth)
Bump map to help with bringing depth to textures

Applying Your Texture Material & Bump Map For Maximum Photo Realism

There are quite a few steps to cover here and feel that the best solution is to refer you directly to the above video and starting at time line (03:00) to learn how to introduce the two layers mentioned above into your model.

Essentially what we are doing is getting the two layers and:

  1. Placing the texture material (coloured one) above the bump map (grey scale one)
  2. Making bump map somewhat transparent to allow the colour of the texture material to pass through the bump map
  3. Assigning “normals” to the bump map to create depth in the texture as shown on the below image.

And you are done!

You have effectively merged two layers together to acquire one final rendered image.

Assigning normals to texture maps for depth

Conclusion

There is a lot more you can do for adding even more realism to your models, however, the idea of this tutorial is to provide the fastest and simplest way that I know while producing half decent results.

Should you wish to step up the game, then I would highly recommend taking a look at Andrew Price’s BlednderGuru tutorials on making photorealistic wood