This experimental guide shows how to use Poly to create tileable grunge maps for VFX and game production.
📌 Textures used: Poly Grunge Texture Collection
Grunge maps are essential tools in creating high-quality materials and environments in the film, gaming, and print industries. These maps are created using high-quality photos or are procedurally generated to create a range of effects, from adding realism to character textures to creating detailed environments. However, the process of creating the perfect grunge map can be time-consuming, which is where AI-powered tools like Poly come in handy.
Image 1: A grunge map created from a high-quality photograph.
Image 2: A procedurally created grunge map in Substance 3D Designer.
Poly is an AI-powered PBR material generator that allows artists to use text prompts to generate grunge maps quickly and easily. The tool's text-to-image feature enables users to create custom textures in a matter of seconds, saving them valuable time and resources. By using prompts like "water splashes," "cracked concrete," or "smudge stains," artists can generate specific grunge textures that will add depth and complexity to their work.
Here’s a list of common prompts to generate the basic look of a grunge map.
Using a prompt like “white pattern or texture of your choosing on black background” or vice versa might help as well. Grunge maps are usually used as a sort of mask, so it’s important to have a high contrast or a good range of values in the map you generate.
We will try an example prompt with Poly:
"High contrast, black and white grayscale grunge texture of random white splats and specks. High density"
First we enter the prompt via the Make Patches tool, to get some choices to choose from. Feel free to regenerate as many times as necessary until you see something you like.
Image 3: The prompt we used and the patches that were generated by Poly.
The results here are quite good; any one of these patches would make a great grunge map with minimal editing after we run it use Poly’s Make Seamless tool.
Image 4: The final texture.
All we have to do is upscale it to our desired size, and there we have it: a good seamless, grayscale grunge map we can use in our projects. Of course, we can make further adjustments in Photoshop or Substance Designer.
Since we need only a single grayscale map, select any Material Type option and then select Use Render Map As Color. This will output your map as an albedo map for you to download. You might want to generate a normal map as well from the grunge pattern.
Image 5: Select any Material Type option.
Grunge maps have a variety of applications in the film, gaming, and print industries. They can be used to add age and wear to materials, break up repetition in tiled textures, and add interest and realism to environments and characters.
The grunge map is essentially used as a mask, overlaying details on any of the PBR channels. In the example below, a grunge overlay has been added on the albedo, height, and normal maps to create the aged, mossy look. Another grunge map is used in the roughness channel to add a layer of detail to the surface roughness. Using multiple grunge maps will give more depth and detail to the material.
Image 6: Grunge map used to add some grime and moss to the surface.
With Poly's AI-powered PBR material generator, generating custom grunge maps has never been easier. Poly saves artists time and helps them add depth and realism to their environments and characters.