I have a bookshelf with 66 books in it. I want to texture most of the books differently so that it is more photorealistic. I cannot seem to find book sleeve textures very easily and texture painting seems impossible. What can I do?enter image description here

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Is it supposed to be really close to the camera or more in the background of your scene ? $\endgroup$
    – Gorgious
    Jul 7, 2020 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ if you eed just solid color, you can check this: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/15076/… (applying the same logic you can have 3-4 textures, you rotate or "hue" based on the random parameter as shown in the previous link) $\endgroup$
    – Sanbaldo
    Jul 7, 2020 at 10:01
  • $\begingroup$ Are the books separate objects from the bookcase? Are they separate from each other, or all one object? Are there modifiers involved (ex: array)? $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2020 at 10:51
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    $\begingroup$ as Gorgious says it really depends on what you want to do, also what is your style, if the bookshelf is small in your picture you could simply project a picture on a flat face... $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Jul 7, 2020 at 12:51
  • $\begingroup$ The bookshelf and the books are going to be the main object. I did have an array modifier but I applied it and even separated by loose parts. Some of the books could be a solid color but I want most of them to have a realistic cover. I was about to try to UV edit it(already done) and then find a book sleeve/cover online and then project it, but I can't seem to find any covers or sleeves the way I want them to be. $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2020 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


Here, you can try something like this:


The main ingredient in getting different color books is the RANDOM output of an OBJECT INFO node. For this to work, the books must all be separate objects, so do what you already did - array the books, apply the array and separate by loose parts. Once this is done, you can apply the same material to all books (I used 2 - one for the cover and another for the pages), and the random output will generate a random color for each book. I didn't like the default colors it gave me so I mixed it with a bunch of others. That's what most of the nodes in the color section are. Play with them yourself to get different looks.


Another option is to run the black and white output of the random through a ColorRamp node. You can use a mix shader to change the degree of variation, and a "constant" ColorRamp setting to choose your own color scheme. However, I liked the selection given by the color mix to be more varied, especially when mixed with additional colors. (You can see at the end of the chain, one of the last steps to is to multiply by red. If you turn the mix factor up to 1, the red dominates all of the books and reminds me of the "books of knowledge" Britannica series of encyclopedias - my personal favorite) Use your own preference, however.


For the bands around the books, I used 2 different Wave Textures and lightened the mix to get 2 nice bands at the top and bottom. (You can achieve this with only one wave texture if needed, I just used 2 because I was playing with different combinations). I sharpened their cut-offs with 2 ColorRamps - one for the color (yellowish for gold), and the other to be used as the basis for a mask, as well as the roughness factors, and (inverted) for the metallic (bands).


I used a noise texture, scaled up, to make the "bumps" on the covers. The mix node where I combine the noise with a light grey color has the effect of dampening the values of the noise so it loos more realistic. I mixed this combination with the (B&W) bands I already made to create a height-map of sorts, showing the bumps and making the bands appear to "stick out" from the books.


Finally, I used some ambient occlusion information combined with another noise texture to add "depth and wear" to the books. I turned on screen space reflections and ambient occlusion in the render properties panel, and lastly, added an HDRI for some better "reflections". The final result looks like this:


If you have UV unwrapped your books, you can also use a base "cover image" texture and randomize the colors by mixing them the same way as well, if you want. I'll post the .blend file, so anyone who wants can play around.

File is here -

Hope this helps


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