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Skip to 0 minutes and 19 secondsOk. So, in the previous video, I was showing how we can use textures to change the colour of every point of the surface of one of your objects in the scene. I have changed the texture to this kind of stone bricks texture so we can see the properties I wanna show you. So right now every single point of the surface of this 3D object, the one that looks like it's made of stone, has the same properties when regards to the light, so it doesn’t matter which point it is, it’s always as shiny as the rest, even if it has a different colour, when the light bounces on the surface, they all look the same.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 secondsSo something we can do is try to change the properties of the object so every point of the surface of this object could have different light properties. To do so, what I’m going to do is, I’m going to add a new texture, I’m going to have the colour texture as I had before, but I’m going to add a new one in a different channel. This channel is called the “specular”. The specular tells us how much the light bounces in every different point and how does it bounce. So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to use this texture I have here.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 secondsWhat is going to happen now is, I’m going to show you the texture so you can see better how it looks. This texture, it has different brightness for different points of the surface of the bricks. So what happens now, when I look at the surface of the object, is that not every single brick has the same shininess. So when I move the camera around you can see, for instance, that the areas between the bricks they don’t shine at all and some of the bricks shine more than the others, this shines more than this one over here. So this gives the surface of the object a more interesting look and less uniform, which tends to be more realistic.

Skip to 2 minutes and 8 secondsBut we can also use textures for different things. For instance, we can try to fake the way that the surface looks because right now this surface is very very flat, as you can see if we look from the side, it’s still one single plane even that it looks like it’s more complex, but still if you want the light to behave more like the object it has some kind of rugosity of tiny wrinkles inside, what we can do is, we can use another kind of texture which is called the “normal” texture. I am going to load one over here. This texture over here. And I am going to change this parameter here.

Skip to 2 minutes and 43 secondsSo by doing this, now we have a surface that looks like it’s not flat at all. But the truth is that it’s still flat, as you can see here, but the way that we compute the light is more complex now. So, if I change for instance, I can change the parameter of the normal map here, you can see that this is like the surface is totally flat, but just by changing the way that we paint the object we can make this surface look more interesting. There are many other channels that we can play with with and every one of them tries to mimic some of the properties of the surface in reality.

Skip to 3 minutes and 19 secondsAnd the more properties we add to a material, more realistic will it look. So in the next videos we will talk more about how we can enhance the properties of the materials.

Learn to use textures

Once you have chosen a material, you may want to play around with the texture. As before, you may want to consider properties like colour and specular. You may also consider characteristics like opacity and normal factor.

The appropriate texture will depend on the type of object you choose and your material.

The more properties you add, the more realistic your object will look.

Try it yourself. What texture works best with your object? Why?

You can download textures simply from Google images or from websites like

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This video is from the free online course:

3D Graphics for Web Developers

Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Getting to know WebGL studio
    Getting to know WebGL studio

    State-of-the-art tool for 3D graphics development, WebGLStudio. Watch Javi Agenjo explains basics of 3D graphics using WebGLStudio.

  • Learn 3D scene post-production
    Learn 3D scene post-production

    Apply more effects, algorithms to have more realistic scene and learn about post-production. Watch Javi Agenjo explains more.

  • Implementing a basic 3D scene
    Implementing a basic 3D scene

    Learn how Three.js API can be used to create 3D graphic scenes. Explore more about Three.js after watching Alun Evan's video lesson.

  • Creating complex 3D objects
    Creating complex 3D objects

    Learn how to create complex 3D objects instead of simple spheres and planes. It uses external resources also. Watch Alun Evans explains more.

  • Loading textures and casting shadows
    Loading textures and casting shadows

    Add complex textures and higher quality meshes in to a 3D scene using Three.js API. Watch how Alun Evans program these features.