Understanding How Poly Works

Understand the different approaches Poly’s generative AI takes to produce 8K HD textures with 32-bit textures and how they work. Learn the difference between AI and traditional procedural texture generation. Compare and see how Poly is different to other generative AI tools.

How to use Poly?

There are two ways to generate textures with Poly, 1) a step-by-step iterative process through customized options and variations or 2) a one-shot workflow where AI combines all the individual steps to present you with one result.

Because AI generations and upscaling are separate processes, Poly recommends the step-by-step iterative workflow to customize and guide our AI to generate the best textures and PBR maps for your needs.

In general, we recommend the following process:

  1. Make Patches in low-res for quick iterations and review
  2. Make Seamless if you need tile-able textures
  3. Upscale Texture
  4. Select a material and Generate PBR Maps

On the other hand, Quick Generate is available to generate an 8K texture with 32-bit PBRs in one shot. However, the system will default to select the first patch generated and immediately making it seamless and upscaling it to 8K without any modifications. It’s likely that you will get a result but to improve the quality, please iterate through our step-by-step detailed workflow.

Besides the above mentioned 2 text-prompt-based approaches, Poly also allows you to Upload Image and use it as bases for the new textures. You can make these pictures seamless, upscale, and Generate PBR Maps after uploading.

Color Scheme

The interface of Poly’s texture editor is organized into 3 distinctive groups of functions that also reflect the different modes Poly’s AI operates in to generate HD tile-able texture with 32-bit PBR Maps.


Located in the top section of the left-side Toolbar. Represents a one-shot generation process to go directly from a text prompt to an 8K HD texture with 32-bit PBR maps.


Located in the middle section of the left-side Toolbar. This group of functions all center around color maps, from generation to seamless conversion to upscaling. In the Dock viewer, when a Render Map is selected, the border will also turn green.


Located at the bottom section of the left-side Toolbar. Represents PBR maps generation. In the Dock viewer, when any of the PBR maps is selected, the border will also turn Fucshia.

PBR Maps: What are they and how do they work?


Color (Albedo)

A flat light image file that has been adjusted to remove shading, lighting, shadows, etc. This file determines the color of your texture and can be exported into other 3D tools for color finetuning if needed.


A normal map will add texture depth and can help create high detail bumps and dents.

Height (Displacement)

Similar to a normal map, the height/displacement map provides depth information for your texture. However, it creates more dramatic surface depth renderings as it actually adds data to the 3D mesh.

Ambient Occlusion

An AO map adds shadows to occluded portions of the texture with crevices, adding more realistic details.


A roughness map determines how rough or smooth a texture is and how light is spread across your surface.


A metalness map determines how much a surface reflects its surroundings.

Please reference Generate PBR Maps documentation for more detail.

Poly’s AI Engine

AI vs procedural texture generation

Before Poly’s innovative AI-driven design process, most professional texture artists and 3D designers would use tools that leverage procedural (node-based) 3D design tools. These tools require designers to create a “rule-based” strategy for generating a texture. These systems can create extremely high quality work, but each texture takes hours, days, or longer to fully define. In addition, procedural tools are notoriously bad at organic and unstructured textures such as a forest floor, or wood grain.

Poly’s texture tool can provide artists with a different approach to texture generation that’s easy and can create incredibly high quality outputs. For some use cases, though, a procedural system is still preferable to Poly’s AI-driven process. Which to use and when is up to you, but we are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible with AI so we hope you give our process a try!

AI training and data

Poly’s generative AI was trained with a diverse database of proprietary images and textures so that our AI has learned what textures ‘are’, what an object ‘is’, what a certain style represents, amongst many other concepts.

📌 For each generation, our AI will produce 4 low-res (512 by 512) texture patches that addresses your prompt to its best understanding. This is why it’s important to write complex prompts in as specific and descriptive phrases as possible.

Differences between Poly and other AI tools

Unlike other generative AI tools (Dall-E, Midjourney, etc.), Poly has been designed specifically for textures. That’s why we have built an entire workflow to assist creators to generate textures that could be immediately applied to renderings without too much manual processing.

From the 512 by 512 low-res outputs directly generated by AI, we have trained various models to make them seamless, upscale them to HD (8K and beyond), and generate 32-bit PBR maps based on different types of materials.