What exactly are PBR textures and how do they help 3D artists create photorealistic images in applications such as Blender, Cinema 4D, Maya, Unity and Unreal Engine? PBR or Physically Based Rendering attempts to simulate how materials behave in the real world, particularly how they reflect and absorb light.
For example, most metal materials will reflect a lot of light while a surface such as concrete will reflect very little light giving it a flat matt looking surface.
To achieve this photorealistic look PBR textures normally consist of several different texture maps which include information that describes the colour of the material, its reflectiveness and roughness, the depth and height and even how the material deals with ambient lighting. The quality of the final 3D models and scenes that you would create in an application such as Blender will rely heavily on the quality of the textures you are using, to this end we have curated the top 7 websites where you can download quality PBR textures to make your rendered output as realistic as possible, totally for free, with a creative commons license (CC0).
CCO Textures came into being in January 2018 and has quickly become the go-to website for quality PBR Textures, generating in excess of one and half million downloads per year. Textures are available in sizes up to 8,000 pixels and come with displacement, normal and roughness maps and can be downloaded under the Creative Commons CCO License so can be used totally for free even for commercial projects.
The site allows for easy download of textures and doesn’t even require you to register or limit the number of textures you can download on a daily basis.
Texture Haven is a very professional looking website created by Dutch environment designer Rob Tuytel, offering free PBR Textures under the creative commons CCO License. The textures offered on Texture Haven are some of the best available on the internet, not just photographs but high resolution scanned map sets for the ultimate PBR experience.
Free pbr textures for Blender, Cinema 4D, Unreal Engine and more
New textures are added on a regular basis and most come with a full set of maps including Albedo, AO, Diffuse, Displacement, Normal, Roughness and Rough AO available in resolutions up to 8K.
Poliigon is brought to you by the Blender Guru himself Andrew Price and boasts over 3,000 textures and materials ready to use in your favourite 3D application with all maps included.
However, to download the majority of these textures requires you to pay a subscription but fortunately, Andrew has still provided plenty of quality PBR Textures that are available for free.