I'm an industrial designer and I'm trying to make 3D recreations of my work in Blender, I mainly use a technique that consists in coiling threads over wood surfaces as you can see here:


For a closer look at the threads see here:


The thing is that I already got the 3D model basically done with very accurate dimensions, as you can see here:


However, I'm having a really hard time getting the threaded textures to look right, I already made a texture taken directly from a photo of my work


But the results I'm getting aren't the best.


What am I doing wrong? What's the best approach to simulate those materials in Blender? Should I stick to making (better) textures or there's a good way to make realistic procedural threads like the ones used in my work?

I'll share a photo of my Texture Nodes


and here are the rest of the nodes used for the material


(The nodes called Patterns and Fabric are from a tutorial that teaches how to make fabric-like materials).

I won't be using AutoCAD or any other industrial design software since I'm looking to do some cinematic animations/effects with the models that are more easily achievable with Blender (2.82 btw).

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Blender.SE. Could you exactly point out what doesn't satisfy you with your current setup? Did you tried to use a noise texture to simulate the fibers threads? $\endgroup$
    – Carlo
    Jul 5, 2020 at 21:39
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    $\begingroup$ I'm trying to achieve a more photorealistic look, but the texture I made seems a little too repetitive, I haven't tried the noise texture yet, I have only made my own textures directly from my real life work, do you think that using a noise texture could work better than the scanned texture I made? Or can I use both in tandem? $\endgroup$
    – Drakfix
    Jul 5, 2020 at 22:00
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    $\begingroup$ Drakfix - this can absolutely be done procedurally. I have an example ready, and am hoping the question will re-open so I can post it. I will if possible. $\endgroup$ Jul 5, 2020 at 22:46
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    $\begingroup$ Ok, at the risk of this question staying closed, I'm just gonna post a .blend file, so at least you get it. You'll have to do without a description for the time being, I'm afraid. I made 2 materials - a simple one (the plane), and another more complex one on a model which includes a displacement map which you may or may not want. Hope this helps you figure some stuff out at least. File is here - blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com/b/Z6KG86El $\endgroup$ Jul 6, 2020 at 1:01
  • $\begingroup$ Christopher, thanks a lot! The materials you made are AMAZING, almost better than the real stuff, I'll get around tweaking it and I'm sure I'll get a good result. You are a life saver $\endgroup$
    – Drakfix
    Jul 6, 2020 at 2:07

1 Answer 1


For those interested, I was able to accomplish this material with something like this.


Although it looks congested, the concept is rather simple - I used wave textures to mainly just compose a bunch of different small line maps of different widths and rotations and adding them together. I probably could have done this more efficiently, but I was just prototyping. I also made some small color lines as well, because it looks like the background is disturbed by some other colors in addition to the black. After that, it was just a matter of mixing them together.


To get a realistic thread look, I combined 2 more wave textures, one sharper and at an angle to the other to make a rope like shape.


I then mixed this pattern with the original horizontal lines to get that wrapped-thread look. Afterwards, I mixed this combo with another wave texture with a smaller scale, which I used to form the large stripes.


For the background, I simply used a gradient texture with aqua colors, but I also used a slightly distorted noise texture to add some yellow as well. I mixed these together using a diagonal gradient as a factor, because in the image you have it looks like the yellowish tinge is mostly in the top left corner areas.


Lastly I made some normal and height information from a black and white version of the small stripe mix. I kept the values very low to give a subtle effect. The final result looks like this:


I made 2 versions of the material - one of them is a simple version using an emission texture to make the colors pop (done entirely from object coordinates), whereas the other one I aimed for a complex, but realistic thread like art look which is more costly because of the displacement, but looks more realistic (done mostly with generated coordinates).

I'll also upload the .blend file. It is here -

Happy Shading!

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks again for such a detailed answer! $\endgroup$
    – susu
    Jul 6, 2020 at 20:19
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    $\begingroup$ Hang on. Let me do a little research and I'll let you know. I think you can use it as an image texture, but I don't know if that would mean you have to unwrap the UV's and use them as a texture coordinates. $\endgroup$ Jul 6, 2020 at 22:43
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    $\begingroup$ Ok, yes, it is absolutely possible, and with minimal work. I don't have time right now for a full breakdown so I'll post another .blend file. All I did was add an image texture (your gradient) and connect it to UV texture coordinates. I used this in place of the gradient setup I had made, and replaced it in the graph. I had to UV unwrap my model, and make sure that the front face(s) were all one piece in the UV map, and scaled to take up the whole image. I removed the color lines too. You should be able to tell from the file. It is here - blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com/b/lD3bqoeO $\endgroup$ Jul 6, 2020 at 23:20
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    $\begingroup$ I might have forgot to pack the texture again. All I did to get it was save the image file from the link you gave in the comment (the gradient), and used that as an image texture. I think that's all you have to do. Just click the folder icon on the image texture node I added, and pick the image (wherever you have it on your computer). If that's not working i'll post again. EDIT - I just downloaded and tested myself - it should be working. What does the name say in the material slot? $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2020 at 0:25
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    $\begingroup$ Well, the first thing I see is get rid of the .001. Image files have to end in their extension, I believe. Other than that, I'm not sure. It looks like it packed the external files, but failed to pack the INTERNAL ones. However, the file, when downloaded, works fine on my PC. Maybe you just have to open the one that's working (or make a copy of it), and make the changes manually. I wish I could help, but I don't think there's much more than I can do from here. Maybe someone else can confirm if the (second) file I posted is working or not. $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2020 at 1:13

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