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How should I create realistic stitching on my 3D model's leather grip via texturing? I have tried doing so by making threads with meshes and duplicating them as a curve, which is suggested by many online tutorials but that raises my project's polycount too much. Is there a way to add stitching texture on top of my leather material of my model? Any help is appreciated.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Texture painting allows you to "paint" the stitching onto your model. $\endgroup$ – sambler Aug 22 '16 at 13:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Mr.Benson You use Cycles or Internal Render? $\endgroup$ – Paul Gonet Aug 22 '16 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Paul Gonet Cycles Render $\endgroup$ – Mr.Benson Aug 22 '16 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ @sambler I'll try out texturing painting though I'm new at it. I'll let you know if it worked out. Thanks for the suggestion. $\endgroup$ – Mr.Benson Aug 22 '16 at 16:55
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    $\begingroup$ You can also try to bake the stitching (modeled) to the cloth surface. $\endgroup$ – lemon Aug 22 '16 at 17:41
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You may do it using a bumpmap. All you need is to create two textures. enter image description here

Create a stitch image in photoshop or gimp and transform it into a brush (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGSK3Q0Iy3c). It's color should be from over 50% grey to almost white color. enter image description here

Export your unwrapped UV Layout. enter image description here

In photoshop layer it over a 50% grey color layer to see where to put stitches. Use your newly created brush to paint them on the grey color layer. enter image description here

Use a method as shown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbDA3XinISs enter image description here

Now you have a bumpmap (let's call it BUMP). enter image description here

You need also to create a black and white texture as pictured below (let's call it MASK). It'll act like a mask for mixing two different materials. enter image description here

Set up the nodes as pictured below. We'll use a BUMP texture to create a depth to the stitches. Plug it to the Displacement input of the Material Output node. Add a Math-->Multiple node between them to control the bump size. Use a MASK texture to set a border between two materials (in this case jeans material and stitches material). Plug it to the Fac input of the Mix Shader. Now you have a full control over jeans (or leather in your case) and stitches shading within one cycles material using only textures. enter image description here

Here's how the stitches present in final render. With the proper mix of Diffuse and Glossy shaders they may look quite convincing. enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ I may post an answer showing how to use @lemon 's concept also (baking normals), but I guess it is more time consuming as you 'll need to model all the stitches by hand. $\endgroup$ – Paul Gonet Aug 22 '16 at 20:07
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much for your detailed answer, but for me, my colour texture is actually a leather material created by nodes instead of a image, how should I connect the whole group of nodes of my leather material into the whole map??? $\endgroup$ – Mr.Benson Aug 24 '16 at 4:58
  • $\begingroup$ In the same way as I shown above. Imagine that there're no jeans texture nodes there. Just replace it with your leather shader (plug your leather shader output into the Shader input of the Mix Shader). $\endgroup$ – Paul Gonet Aug 24 '16 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ I have made the texture I preferred at last, thank you for your answers so much! $\endgroup$ – Mr.Benson Aug 24 '16 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ Glad to hear that mate :). Thanks for upvoting. $\endgroup$ – Paul Gonet Aug 24 '16 at 21:17

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