Creating Textures in Inkscape
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Creating Textures in Inkscape

A guide to creating colorful and interesting textures in inkscape.
4.5 (4 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
50 students enrolled
Created by Paul Gieske
Last updated 4/2017
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  • 8.5 hours on-demand video
  • 37 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Create colourful and interesting textures in inkscape.
  • Create seamless tiles in inkscape.
  • Use the filter editor to modify existing filters.
  • Use the filter editor to create filters from scratch.
View Curriculum
  • No prior knowledge is required.
  • Download and install inkscape from (It's free)
  • A little bit of patience, perseverence and creativity.

Whether you are creating textures for 3D models or for 2D graphics Inkscape is a great choice. In this course you will learn how to use inkscape to create interesting and colorful textures with the greatest of ease.

The first section is aimed at the complete beginner, where the very basics of inkscape are learned. This section is great for getting started in inkscape.

The second section covers some more advanced inkscape functions. In this section we learn, for example, how to create seamless tiles, trace images, use the snap settings etc...

The third section is fully dedicated to learning the filters: learn how to apply filters, how to create custom filters and what each of the primitives does.

In the fourth and fifth sections we will put the knowledge and skills we have gained to good use by covering numerous texture examples.

The course covers a wide range of both theory lessons as well as practice and 'try-it-yourself' exercises.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for anyone who wants to draw textures in inkscape.
  • No prior knowledge of inkscape is required.
  • The course is also suitable for people who want to learn inkscape, or who want to improve their inkscape skills.
  • The course has a strong focus on using filters in inkscape, and can be useful for people who want to learn this.
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Curriculum For This Course
70 Lectures
1 Lecture 07:07

This lesson gives an overview of the teaching methodology as well as an overview of the content that will be covered in the course.

  • Three types of lessons: Theory, Follow-along excerises, Practice exercises
  • Section 2: The very basics: interface, basic shapes, gradients
  • Section 3: Some more advanced functions: grouping, tracing, cloning, clipping and masking
  • Section 4: Filters: preset filters, filter editors, the filter primitives
  • Section 5: Some texture examples: walkthroughs on creating a seamless grass tile
  • Section 6: Texturing a 3D scene: walk-throughs on texturing an example 3D scene
  • Appendix: Blender: Crash-course in blender
Preview 07:07
Inkscape: the basics
15 Lectures 01:17:49

In this lesson we will cover the installation of inksape and we will also give an overview of the user interface.

  • Installing inkscape
  • Tool bar
  • Options bar (options for currently activated tool)
  • Menu bar
  • Shortcut bar
  • Snap-setting tool bar
  • Canvas area
  • Information bar
Preview 04:28

In this lesson we will learn about creating two basic shapes (rectangles and ellipse) and how to modify them.

  • Draw a rectangle
  • Move the corners using square handles
  • Round the edges of the rectangle using the circular handles
  • Precisely specify the width, height and rounding of the shapes
  • Draw an ellipse
  • Use handles to control the width and height if the ellipse
  • Use circular handles to draw an arc instead of an ellipse
  • Precisely specify the start and end of the arc
  • Create a "pacman" style arc, of an unclosed arc
  • Select an object using the selection tool
  • Resize an object vertically and/or horizontally
  • Shear an object
  • Rotate an object
  • Move an object
  • Options related to the selection tool (Select all, rotate, flip, mirror)
  • Move object up or down
  • Precisely specify the width and height of the selection
Rectangles, Ellipses and the Selection Tool

In this follow along exercise we will be using the theory we have learned so far to start drawing a sunset. Follow the step-by-step instructions to create the sea, sky and sunset.

  • Change the layout of the page to landscape
  • Draw the sky background (rectangle)
  • Draw the ocean (rectangle)
  • Draw the sun (ellipse - use control button the make sure the ellipse is a circle)
  • Fill the shapes with the right color
  • Lower the sun (behind the ocean)
Preview 03:45

In this lesson we cover the Fill and Stroke Dialog

  • Set the color of the fill using the color bar
  • Open the Fill and Stroke Dialog
  • Red, Green, Blue values
  • Alpha is the level of the opacity
  • Hue, Saturation and Lightness
  • Changing the stroke style
  • Set the blur of the object
  • Set the opacity of the object
Fill and Stroke

Gradients are a simple way to add interesting effects to your drawing. In this lesson we learn all about adding and editing Gradients.

  • Add a gradient with the Fill and Stoke dialog
  • Change the orientation of the gradient using the handles
  • Change the colors of the gradients at the handles
  • Add a color to the gradient
  • Move the colors
  • Create a gradient using the gradient editor tool
  • Create a radial gradient
  • Move the radial gradient
  • Change the colors in the radial gradient
Preview 06:40

In this follow along excercise we will be improving the sunset drawing by adding a gradient and some blur.

  • Change the color of the sun using the Fill and Stroke dialog
  • Add some blur to the sun
  • Remove the stroke from the ocean object
  • Add and edit a radial gradient to the sky
Preview 03:29

Boolean functions are used to combine two or more objects into one.

  • Union: combine two objects
  • Difference: remove the top object from the lower object
  • Intersection: remove all parts which don't overlap
  • Exclusion: remove all parts which do overlap
  • Division: cuts the bottom object into more parts using the stroke of the top object as the 'knife'
  • Cut path: like division, but results in more open objects

Nodes are points which define an object. A path is defined by a series of nodes with position and slope.

  • Draw a straight line with the freehand line tool
  • Draw a scribble with the freehand line tool
  • Move a node with the node editor
  • Convert a straight line to a curve with the node editor
  • Add a node
  • Remove a node
  • Join nodes
  • Split nodes
  • Add a line segment
  • Remove a line segment
  • Corner nodes
  • Smooth nodes
  • Symmetric nodes
  • Auto smooth nodes
  • Convert a segment to a straight line
  • Precisely specify location of nodes
Preview 08:08

In this excercise we will edit the shape of the sun using a boolean function and add a reflection to the surface of the sea.

  • Duplicate the circle with control+D
  • Duplicate the ocean with control+D
  • Cut the lower part out of the sun using boolean function "difference"
  • Move, mirror and stretch the duplicated sun object to form the reflection on the water
  • Change the shape of the reflection using the node editor
  • Convert the sun from a circle object to a path
  • Change the shape of the sun using the node editor
  • Make the reflection transparent and change the color just a little
Preview 03:51

Layers are useful in organizing your drawing.

  • Open the layers dialog
  • Rename a layer
  • Add a new layer
  • Remove a layer
  • Lower and raise a layer
  • Blend modes
  • Making a layer invisible
  • Locking a layer

The Bezier Tool is used to create paths.

  • Draw a series of straight lines with the Bezier curves tool
  • Draw a curved line by clicking and dragging while drawing Bezier curves
  • Edit the line segments using the node editor
  • Drawing a closed shape with the Bezier tool
  • Set the fill color of the shapes
Bezier Curves

Here we use the Bezier Tool and the Node Editor to add some simple clouds to out drawing.

  • Rename the layer to "Background"
  • Add a layer named "Clouds"
  • Use a Bezier curve to draw a cloud outline
  • Set the fill to white
  • Edit the shape using the node editor.
  • Remove the stroke
  • Add blur and transparency to the cloud
  • Copy the cloud, move it, and flip it
Preview 04:02

Excercise with ellipses and radial gradients.

Exercise: Egg

In this excercise the goals is to draw an owl! This excercise is good practice in a the theory we have learned so far.

Exercise: Owl

This excercise is particular good practice for Boolean functions and for drawing precisely.

Preview 05:33
Some more Inkscape theory
19 Lectures 02:18:30

Learn how to Group and Ungroup objects. Also learn how to modify an existing group.

  • Create a group from multiple objects
  • Break up a group
  • Modify a group by double clicking on it

In this lesson you learn to import raster images into your drawing.

  • Drag and drop an image onto the canvas to import the image
  • Import settings are discussed
  • Manually trace an image
  • Import clipart
Importing Images

In this lesson you learn to automatically convert raster images to vector. The basic settings are learned here.

  • Import an image
  • Path -> Trace Bitmap
  • Brightness cutoff: brightness determines which parts will be converted to a vector shape
  • Edge detection: the edges are converted to a vector shape
  • Color quantization: shapes are determined by color regions
  • Brightness step: as brightness cutoff but with multiple scans
  • Colors: a number of vector images are made depending on color regions
  • Grays: a number of vector images are made depending on color regions and converted to gray
Tracing Part 1

In part 2 of the tracing lesson we learn about the options Smooth, Stack scans, Remove background and SIOX foreground selection.

  • Smooth: Blurs the image before tracing
  • Stack scans: Bottom scans cover more area
  • Remove background: Deletes bottom scan
  • SIOX foreground selection: Use a filled shape to determine the relevant parts to be traced
Tracing Part2

In this exercise we manually trace the picture of an eagle.

  • Import image
  • Change layer name to "Photo" and lock the layer
  • Add a layer named "Vector"
  • Use bezier curves to draw the eagle beak
  • Smoothen the nodes using the node editor tool
  • Draw the eye of the eagle
  • Duplicate (Ctrl+D), Resize (Ctrl+Shift+drag)
  • Draw the body of the eagle
  • Add a layer named "Shading and Highlighting"
  • Draw some shading and highlighting
FA Exercise: Eagle

In this excercise we use the Trace function to convert a raster image of a tree to a vector image.

  • Import the tree image
  • Use Bezier curve to draw the outline of the tree
  • Select both the picture and the Bezier shape
  • Select "Colors" and choose 6 Scans
  • Select "Smooth", "Stack scans" and "Remove background"
  • Select "SIOX foreground selection"
  • Trace the image
  • Path -> Simplify
FA Exercise: Tree

This lesson covers the basics of Cloning.

  • Create a clone
  • Check the status bar to see whether you have a clone selected
  • When you edit the original, the clone changes likewise
  • Unlink a clone
  • Clone a clone
  • Select original
  • Relink a clone
  • Clone a group
Preview 05:54

In this lesson we learn about cloning in arrays.

Cloning Part2

In this follow along excercise we will create a seamless tile.

  • Create a square
  • Group the square
  • Create a 3 by 3 array of tiled clones
  • Select the original square and move it out of the way
  • Double click on the original square to edit the group to which it belongs
  • Add some polygons to the group
  • Adjust the polygons until you get an even spacing in the clones
FA Exercise: Rock Tile Part1

Clipping and masking are used to selectively hide part of an object.

  • Draw a shape on top of the picture you want to clip
  • Select all relevant shapes
  • Click on Object -> Clip -> Set
  • Non-overlapping parts are now hidden
  • To "Unclip" click on Object -> Clip -> Release
  • Masking is like clipping but the lightness creates a variable opacity
  • The lighter areas the are result in a more opaque area
Clipping and Masking

In this lesson we learn how to export an svg drawing to png fromat.

  • Click on File -> Export PNG image to open the export dialog
  • Set the corners of the to be exported area with x0, y0, x1 and y1
  • You can also specify the width and height
  • Page: sets the corners to coincide with the page
  • Drawing: sets the corners to bound the whole drawing
  • Selection: sets the corners to bound the current selection
  • Image size: you can specify the resolution of the to be exported image
  • Hide all except selected: only exports the selected object

Here we will improve our rock tile by adding some shading and highlighting using the Clip function. We also export the tile to PNG and also as a vector.

To highlight and shade the tiles:

  • Double click on the group to edit the various objects
  • Change the coloring of the rock face
  • Draw some highlighting on the edge of the rock (lighter in color and blurred)
  • Draw some shading on the edge of the rock (darker in color and blurred)
  • Duplicate the underlying rock to form the clipping mask
  • Select the duplicate, the highlight, and the shade
  • Click on Object -> Clip -> Set
  • The highlighting and shading which was "sticking out" is now hidden
  • Repeat the process for the other rocks

To export the tile to PNG:

  • Edit -> Clone -> Unlink clones
  • Remove non-necessary clones
  • Ungroup the tiles and remove the non-necessary individual objects
  • Duplicate the square and cut and paste-in-place it to a new layer "export mask"
  • Use the duplicated square as an export mask

To create a tile which is a vector object:

  • Select the objects in Layer 1 and group them
  • Use the export mask to clip the group in Layer 1
FA Exercise: Rock Tile Part2

Guides, Grids and Snaps can be useful when it comes the drawing precisely quickly.

  • To add a guide click and drag from the ruler to the canvas (Vertical, Diagonal or Horizontal)
  • Modify the guides by clicking and dragging, or double click to open a dialog
  • Click on View -> Page Grid
  • Click on File -> Document properties -> Grids to set the grid properties
  • Enable/Disable snap settings on top right button
  • Choose which elements snap to which other elements
Guides, Grids and Snaps

In this follow along excercise we use grids and snaps to draw a seamless layer of grass on top of our tiles.

  • Open the tile from the last exercise
  • Enable the grid
  • Set snap settings: bounding box corners and grid snap are enabled
  • Align the tile to the grid
  • Double click on the group to modify it
  • Decrease the height of the background square
  • Draw the sky
  • Enable snap nodes
  • Use bezier to draw a layer of grass
  • Ensure that the lines on the left side of the tile match to the nodes on the right side of the tile
  • Make the nodes smooth
  • Ensure that the tangents on the left and right sides of the tile also match
FA Exercise: Grassy Tile

Copy the pictures from the previous exercises and combine them into one file.

  • Copy the pictures
  • Enable the grid
  • Enable the snaps corner and grid
  • Move the tiles in place
  • Draw the sky background
  • Move the tree into place
  • To put the tree in front of the sky but behind grass we must first ungroup one of the tiles
  • Move the eagle into place
FA Exercise: Putting it together

An exercise in creating a very basic seamless tile.

Exercise: Basic Bricks

A tracing excercise.

Exercise: Tracing

An excercise where we use clipping to shade and highlight an existing image.

Exercise: Shading and Highlighting

Another excercise in which we create a seamless tile.

Preview 09:06
18 Lectures 02:31:45

A quick overview of preset filters:

  • Select you objects and click on Filters -> Bevels -> Buttons
  • Filters with ... require a user interface
  • E.g. the filter (Protrusions) Snow crest asks for drift size
  • Using "Live preview" you can experiment with the effect of the inputs
  • Edit filters by clicking on Filters -> Filter Editors
  • Remove applied filters by clicking on Filters -> Remove Filters
  • Deactivate the rendering of the applied filters by clicking on View -> Filters -> No filters
  • Finding the right filter is like finding a needle in a haystack
  • To get a good feeling of the filters make your own summary sheet
Preview 05:57

Inkscape comes with a lot of predefined filters. Finding the effect you need can be like finding a needle in a haystack though. This exercise should help with that.

  • Select each group and apply each filter 1 by 1.
FA Exercise: Summary Sheet

The filter editor can be used to modify an existing filter, or to create a filter from scratch.

  • Draw a shape and apply the apparition filter
  • Open the filter editor dialog by clicking on Filters -> Filter Editor
  • We see a list of filters on the left of the dialog
  • We see a list of effects on the right of the dialog
  • Possible inputs to effects include Source Graphic and Alpha, Background Image and Alpha, and the output from a previous effect
  • To add an effect select the effect and click on Add Effect button
  • To remove an effect right click on it and click on Remove
  • Below in the dialog it's possible to modify the effect parameters
  • These effects and their parameters will be discussed in future lessons
  • Change the size of the bounding box using the tab Filter General Settings
Filter Editor

This lesson covers 3 filter primitives: Flood, Image and Turbulence


  • Click on new to add a new filter and name it Flood
  • Add the flood effect
  • Change the flood color to green
  • Select the object and check the checkbox next to the filter


  • Add a new filter and name it Image
  • Add the image effect
  • Click on the button Image file
  • Select an image


  • Add a new filter and name it Turbulence
  • Add the Turbulence effect
  • Fractal noise and Turbulence are two types of noise
  • Modify the frequency of the noise using Base frequency
  • Unlink the base frequency to decouple the x and y frequencies
  • Octaves increase the amount of detail to the noise
  • Change the seed to change the realization of the noise
Flood, Image and Turbulence

Three filter primitives work by combining multiple inputs. These are Merge, Blend and Composite.

How to allow using Background Image as an effect input:

  • Close the svg file
  • Open the svg file with a text editor like notepad
  • Look for the line sodipodi:docname="Filename.svg"
  • Ahead of that line add the line: enable-background="new"


  • Merge combines two objects into one
  • Add the merge effect
  • Drag from the input triangle to "Source Graphic". A second input triangle appears
  • Drag from the second input triangle to "Background Image". A third triangle appears
  • Activate the filter by clicking on the checkbox


  • Deactivate the Merge filter and activate the Blend filter
  • Add the Blend effect
  • Choose "Background Image" as the first input
  • Choose "Source Graphic" as the second input
  • There are five Blend modes: Normal, Multiply (like Darken), Screen (like Lighten), Darken and Lighten
  • For more information on the Blend modes see the link:


  • Composite combines objects
  • Composite does not work with Background Image so we use an image effect instead
  • Add the composite effect
  • Select the output from the image effect as the first input to composite
  • Select the source graphic as the second input to composite
  • Over: The first input is placed over the second input
  • In: The first input determines which part of the second input is visible
  • Out: The second input determines which part of the first input is visible
  • ATop: Like In, but the first object remains
  • XOR: Non-overlapping parts are visible
  • Arithmetic: Custom (k1*i1*i2+k2*i1+k3*i2+k4)

Merge, Blend and Composite

In this exercise we will start creating a filter for the sun.

  • Select the sun and open the filter editor
  • Remove the blur and create a new filter named sun
  • Add a turbulence effect
  • Set frequency to about 0,006 in the x direction and 0,07 in the y direction
  • Add a blend effect
  • The second input is the source graphic. In this way we combine the turbulence with the original shape
  • Add a composite effect to keep the original sun shape. (Use the In operator)
Preview 05:35

The convolve primitive modifies the pixels of an object using a convolution matrix.


  • Add a new filter, and add a Gaussian Blur effect
  • The effect has two inputs: the amount of blur in the x-direction and the amount of blur in the y-direction

Convolution primitives:

  • The kernel is a matrix
  • (A matrix is just a set of numbers arranged in rows and columns)
  • You can change the size of the matrix
  • The matrix is used to recalculate the color values for each of the pixels.
  • For more information on convolution matrices see the websites and
  • There are a number of useful convolution matrices. Some of these are Block Blur, Sharpen, Edge Detect, Emboss
  • Target denotes which element in the matrix corresponds to the pixel currently being recalculated. All the other elements correspond to neighboring points
  • When Target is set to (0,0) the central element is chosen
  • Edge mode determines how the pixels on the edge of the picture are calculated
Blur and Convolve

The color matrix primitive is used to recalculate red, green and blue values.

  • Saturate removes color from the original
  • Hue rotate shifts the hue value by a certain value
  • Luminance to alpha converts the Luminance or Lightness to Alpha
  • The darker the color, the more transparent it becomes
  • With Matrix you can manually set the way the colors are recalculated
  • Change the elements of the matrix to change the way the colors are recalculated

Color Matrix

Some more filter primitives are discussed here: Morphology, Displacement and Offset


  • Offset moves the object horizontally and/or vertically
  • Offset is particularly useful in combination with composite or blend


  • Erode makes objects thinner
  • Dilate makes objects fatter
  • Set the radius in the x and/or y direction to set the amount

Displacement map:

  • Displacement map distorts the image according to a map
  • The first input is the object to be distorted
  • The second input is the map
  • Set the degree of distortion with scale
  • The distortion can be defined as the amount of red, green, blue or alpha in the map.
  • The distortion in the x and y directions can be defined separately. (E.g. use red to define the x-distortion and blue to define the y-distortion)

Morphology, Displacement and Offset

In this exercise we complete the sun filter and add a filter for the clouds.


  • Use a Color Matrix to make the sun turbulence more orange
  • To do this we convert the red, green and blue values to a combination of red and green
  • Use a displacement map to distort the edges of the sun
  • Add a Gaussian blur


  • Create a new filter for the clouds
  • Add a Turbulence with a frequency of about 0,04
  • Add a Displacement map with a Scale of 70
  • Adjust the Filter General Settings
  • Set Octaves to 4
  • Apply Bevel -> Smart jelly in addition
Preview 06:42

Diffuse and Specular lighting can be used to add lighting and the impression of depth to your illustrations,

Background information:

  • Diffuse objects reflect light in all directions, resulting in matte effect
  • Specular reflection is much more a direct reflection, resulting in a shiny effect
  • Most objects reflect both diffusely and specularly
  • Distant lights result in light rays which are parallel, and the intensity of the light remains constant, no matter how far or close you are to the light source
  • Point lights shine in all directions and the intensity of the light strongly depends on how close or how far you are from the light
  • Spotlights form a cone of light

Drawing a cone as seen from above using diffuse lighting:

  • Draw a circle
  • Add a filter named Lighting and add the effect Diffuse Lighting
  • The Alpha channel defines the depth/height of the 2D object. This is called a height map.
  • Add a circular gradient to the circle
  • Make the center of the circle opaque (peak of the cone)
  • Make the edges of the circle transparent (bottom of the cone)
  • Apply the filter
  • Diffuse color is the color of the light
  • Surface scale scales the height map
  • Constant defines the intensity of the light
  • Choose between distant light, point light and Spot light
  • Add a blur to the filter to remove rendering artifacts
  • Azimuth: defines the direction from which the light shines. 0 = East, 90 = South, 180 = West, 270 = North etc...
  • Elevation: define the direction from which the light shines. 0 = from the horizon, 90 = from straight above, 180 = from the horizon on the other side, 270 = from below
  • Point light coordinates are relative to the top left of the A4 page
  • Spotlight requires the coordinates of the light as well as the coordinates of a point the light spotlight is pointing to
  • The cone angle of the spotlight can also be set

Add specular lighting:

  • Add the effect
  • Add the source graphic as the input for the specular lighting
  • The exponent describes to the extent to which the light is reflected in a specular way
  • A low exponent means the light is reflected in a more diffuse way. A high exponent means the light is reflected in a more specular way, making the object more shiny
  • Combine the specular lighting and the diffuse lighting using blend
Diffuse and Specular Lighting

Component transfer amplifies or suppresses the red, green, blue and alpha components according to user defined functions

  • Linear functions transform the component by a straight line
  • The inputs defining the line are the intercept and the slope
  • Gamma functions transform the component by an exponential line
  • The inputs needed to define the line are the amplitude, the exponent and the intercept
  • Discrete functions transform the components by a series of plateaus
  • The inputs needed to define the plateaus are a number of heights
  • Table functions transform the components by a series of lines
  • The inputs needed to define the lines are a series of height values

The lesson is ended by a couple of demonstrative exercises

Component Transfer

Learn to import custom filters into your illustration.

  • Find the file filters.svg
  • On windows it's probably in the path "C:\Program Files (x86)\Inkscape\share\filters"
  • Go to Edit -> Preferences -> System and look through the folders listed in the box System data
  • (Make a backup of the file first, just in case)
  • Open the file
  • Copy an object with the filter applied and paste it into the filters.svg
  • Save and close the files
  • The filter should appear in the Filters -> Bundled menu when you reopen inkscape next
Saving and Loading Custom Filters

Here we are going to use diffuse and specular filter primitives to draw waves on the surface of the ocean water.


  • Add a new filter named waves
  • Add a turbulence effect
  • Set the base frequency in the x direction to 0,015
  • Set the base frequency in the y direction to 0,06
  • Set the octaves to 10
  • Add the diffuse lighting effect
  • Set the color of the light to the same orange as the sun (use eyedropper tool)
  • Set the light source to distant light
  • Set Azimuth to 270 degrees
  • Modify the Filter General Settings
  • Use blend to combine the diffuse lighting with the source graphic

Sun's reflection:

  • Add the tag enable-background="new" to the file
  • Add a new filter named SpecularRelfection
  • We want to convert all non-blue parts in the background to transparent so add a color matrix and set the input to Background Image
  • Set the first two rows to all zero's
  • Leave the third row as if
  • The fourth row should be set to -0.5, -0.5, 0, 1, 0
  • Add a specular lighting effect
  • Use the eyedropper to select an orange color
  • Set Surface scale to maximum
  • Set the Constant to 2
  • Set Exponent to 10
  • Set the Azimuth angle to 270 degrees
  • Use a composite effect to cut out the proper shape
  • Apply a small blur
Preview 10:55

In this excercise the goal is to improve the rockface tile which we drew in the previous section.

Exercise: Rock Face Tile

In this exercise the goal is to create a drop shadow filter.

Excercise: Shadow

This excercise contains 3 displacement map excercises.

Exercise: Displacement Map

This lesson contains 4 practice excercises using the Color Matrix.

Exercise: Color Matrix
8 Lectures 01:11:58

Step by step instructions on how to create a simple tarmac / asphalt texture.

  • Use the Bezier tool to draw the shape of the track
  • Duplicate the track and set to back
  • Path -> Stroke to Path
  • Use the outset function to increase the width (Path -> Outset)
  • Select the original path, set it to white, increase the stroke width and set the line type to dashed
  • Add a new filter named "Tarmac"
  • Add Turbulence with fractal noise and with a frequency of 0,8
  • Add a Diffuse lighting with a distant grey light, a Surface scale of 3.5, the Constant to 1,5, the Azimuth to 40 and the elevation to 20
  • Add a blend to combine the original graphic with the diffuse lighting using multiply
  • Add a composite function to cut out the original shape
  • Set the color of the road to a dark grey
Preview 05:10

Yes I know, water isn't technically a texture. But here are some step by step instructions on how to create 3 examples of water 'textures'.

A simple preset filter:

  • Draw a blue rectangle
  • Apply the filter Shaken liquird (Filters -> Overlays -> Shaken liquid)

A modified 3D wood filter:

  • Apply the filter 3D wood (Filters -> Materials -> 3D wood)
  • Open the filter editor
  • Simply the filter by moving the first 2 Gaussian blurs, the specular lighting, the last two composites and the blend effects
  • Set the frequency of the turbulence and amplify the displacment
  • Change the flood color to white
  • Increase the values of the convolution matrix corners to 5 and -5

A water filter from scratch:

  • Add a new filter named water
  • Add the turbulence effect
  • Set the frequency to 0,06
  • Amplify the opaque parts using a color matrix
  • Add a composite effect to combine blue of the original with the transparent parts of the turbulence
  • Add a light blue color
  • Combine the light blue color with the blue turbulence using an arithmetic function
  • Set k1 to 0,48, k2 to 0,66, k3 to 0,53 and k4 to -0,39
  • Add a displacement effect with a scale of 24, and using the turbulence as the displacement map
  • Use an offset to move the texture back to the middle
  • Use a composite effect, or change the general settings, to cut off the edges of the texture

Step by step instructions on how to create 3 types of fabric and 1 leather texture.

Bitmap cloth:

  • Draw a rectangle and set the fill to pattern
  • Choose Cloth (bitmap)
  • Add a new filter named coloured cloth
  • Add the Flood effect and set the color
  • Add the Blend effect and select multiple


  • Draw a blue rectangle
  • Add the filter film grain (Filters -> Image Effects -> Film Grain)
  • Duplicate the object and remove the filter from the duplicated object
  • Replace the fill with a pattern: Stripes
  • Use the node editor to decrease the size and set a diagonal angle


  • Draw a brown rectangle without stroke
  • Add the Embossed Leather filter (Filters -> Bumps -> Embossed Leather)
  • Open the filter editor and set the frequency to 0,5


  • Draw a rectangle and set the color
  • Duplicate it and set the color lighter
  • Add the filter Tartan (Filters -> Overlays -> Tartan)
  • Open the filter editor and set the frequency to 0,8 in each of the turbulence effects
  • Copy the filtered rectangle and paste it in place (Ctrl + Alt + V)
  • Change the color of the new filtered rectangle, and change the seed of the turbulence effect
  • Copy the filtered rectangle and paste it in place one more time (Ctrl + Alt + V)
  • Change the color of the new filtered rectangle, and change the seed of the turbulence effect

Step by step instructions on how to create 2 examples of wood grain textures.

Using Bezier and clones:

  • Enable the grid and draw a brown rectangle without a stroke
  • Enable snap settings: bounding box corners and grids
  • Draw a grain line. Set the fill to a darker brown and remove the stroke
  • Draw the eye in the grain
  • Repeatedly duplicate the eye and shrink it
  • Copy, paste and mirror the grain line
  • Group the objects so far
  • Create tiled clones
  • Ensure seamlessness at the tile edges
  • Draw some seamless grain lines in the group

Using filters:

  • Create a new filter named wood
  • Add the effect Turbulence
  • Set the frequency to 0,04 and 0,2 in the x- and y-directions respectively
  • Add a color matrix to convert the red, green and blue colors to various shades of brown
  • Also use the color matrix to make the picture fully opaque
  • Add a small blur
Wood Grain

Step by step instructions on how to create a seamless grassy tile.

Make a grassy texture:

  • Draw a single blade of grass with a green-black gradient
  • Set Rotation to 100, Scale to 20 and scatter to 40
  • Modify the original to effect all the clones

To make the texture tileable:

  • Draw a square of 200 by 200
  • Convert the square to a group and then clone it
  • Move the original square out of the way
  • Copy the blade of grass into the group
  • Spray the blade of grass onto the tile, but avoid the right and bottom edges
  • Make sure to spray far enough out from the left side of the tile and the top of the tile

Step by step instructions on how to create a shiny metal surface example.

Texture background:

  • Draw a gray square
  • Add a film grain filter (Filters -> Image Effects -> Film Grain)
  • Edit the filter and rename it to BrushedMetal
  • Set the frequency in the x-direction to 0,004 and in the y-direction to 1
  • Edit the composite effect constant: set K1 to 0,33, set K2 to 0,7 and set K3 to 0,1
  • Remove the stroke

Add some shine:

  • Duplicate the square and remove the filter
  • Add a gradient
  • Make the gradient diagonal and add 4 stops
  • The stops vary in lightness quite abruptly
Metals Part 1

Step by step instructions on how to create adding rust and protrusions to the metal surface.

Adding rust:

  • Pick the right colors
  • Draw a transparent blob and remove the stroke
  • Add a felt filter (Filters -> Texture -> Felt)
  • Change the name of the filter to Rust_HighFreq
  • Change the frequency of the turbulence effect to about 0,2
  • Duplicate the blob
  • Duplicate the filter and rename it to Rust_LowFreq
  • Set the frequency of the turbulence effect to about 0,07
  • Set the color to another of the rusty colors
  • Duplicate the blob once more and set a third color

Drawing rivets:

  • Add the line enable-background="new" to the svg file
  • Draw a circle to represent a rivet
  • Remove the stroke and add a blur
  • Move it behind the texture
  • Add a diffuse lighting to the metal texture using the background image as input
  • Set Azimuth to about 210
  • Set the Elevation to about 20
  • Blend the result of the diffuse lighting with the original texture
  • Add some specular lighting

Drawing ridges:

  • Draw the a set of ridges. Make sure to add a blur
  • Convert the objects to a pattern. (Object -> Pattern -> Objects to pattern)
  • Set the angle and size of the pattern (Use ctrl to ensure the scale doesn't effect the aspect ratio and to snap the angle to 45 degrees)
  • Set the width and height to 200
  • Move the pattern behind the filter
  • Draw a plate
  • Duplicate the plate and use it to cut a hole in the pattern (Path -> Difference)
  • Set the original plate alpha to about 200
  • Add the rivets too
  • Move the pattern behind the texture
Metals Part 2

Step by step instructions on how to create a seamless brick wall texture.

Setup the seamless tile:

  • Enable the grid
  • Draw to bricks (95 by 30 and 45 by 30)
  • Enable snap noes and snap grids
  • Give the bricks rounded corners and remove the stroke
  • Arrange the bricks in pattern and draw a gray background
  • The background must be exactly the right size
  • Make the background a ground and set the x-coordinate to 0
  • Create tiled clones (Edit -> Clone -> Create Tiled Clones)
  • Move the background group to the left
  • Cut and paste the bricks into the group

Add filters to give the bricks a texture:

  • Add a film grain filter to the background (Filters -> Image Effects -> Film Grain)
  • Create a new texture named Large Bricks
  • Add an image effect and load the bricktexture.jpg
  • Note: the width and height of the jpg have the same proportions as the width and height of the brick
  • Set the Filter General Settings
  • Add a color matrix to convert the red value in the image to transparent
  • Add diffuse lighting (the transparency of the previous effect will act as the height map for the lighting)
  • Add a composite effect to combine the diffuse lighting with the original graphic

Add filters to make the brick look more 3D:

  • Add a Gaussian blur to make the edges more transparent
  • Adjust the Filter General Settings
  • Add a diffuse lighting effect
  • Add another composite effect
  • Apply the same filter to the rest of the big bricks

Modify the filter for the smaller bricks:

  • Duplicate the filter
  • Update the image effect to include the image of the smaller brick
Preview 12:52
Texturing a 3D scene
6 Lectures 43:06

A brief explanation of what we will be doing in this section. You can download the blender file here (


In this exercise we create textures for the island and the water.

  • Create a UV map and export it
  • Open the UV map in inkscape
  • Save the UV map as an svg file
  • Add a layer named UVMap and cut the UV map and paste it in place into the layer
  • Lock the layer
  • Add a layer named Texture
  • Draw two rectangles covering the textures maps
  • Color the rectangles blue and brown
  • Set layer opacity to get a better view of what's going on
  • Apply the filter Rough Paper to the island texture (Filters -> Textures -> Rough Paper)
  • Apply the filter Shaken Liquid to the island texture (Filters -> Overlays -> Shaken Liquid)
  • Export the result to png and apply it to the model
Beach and Surf

Texturing the palm tree. The palm tree consists of three objects: the trunk, the nuts and the leaves.

The trunk:

  • There is a tricky seam line we should take into account
  • Export the UV map, open it in inkscape and add it to a locked layer
  • Add a layer named texture
  • Add a rectangle with a yellow - green gradient
  • Export the texture, load it to the model and check the seam line
  • Keep adjusting the texture until you are pleased with the result


  • Export the UV map, open it in inkscape and add it to a locked layer
  • Add a layer named texture
  • Draw a brown rectangle covering the uv map and apply the Bark filter (Filters -> Textures -> Bark)
  • Export the uv map to png

The leaves:

  • Export the UV map, open it in inkscape and add it to a locked layer
  • Add a layer named texture
  • Add two green rectangles
  • Make the layer transparent
  • Add a yellow - green circular gradient to the rectangles
  • Draw the vein of the leaf and add a gradient
  • Add the filter Rough and Glossy to the top of the leaf (Filters -> Textures -> Rough and Glossy)
  • Add the filter Rough Paper to the top of the leaf (Filters -> Textures -> Rough Paper)

Palm Tree

Texturing the radar alien vessel.

  • Export the UV map, open it in inkscape and add it to a locked layer
  • Add a layer named texture
  • We add a yellow - white -yellow gradient to add a metallic effect
  • We color the sensor black and add a red radial gradient to the tip
  • The 'bridge' is a metallic grey
  • The radar dish is colored purple. A radial gradient is added to give a shiny effect
  • The top and bottom parts of the balloon are colored blue with a light radial gradient
  • The middle of the balloon is colored light blueis-grey
  • Apply the filter Canvas Bumps matte (Filters -> Bumps -> Canvas Bumps matte)
  • Trace the uv map of the middle part of the balloon and past it on top of the texture
  • Apply the texture Metallized Ridge (Filters -> Ridges -> Metallized Ridge)
  • Watch out: we've added some reflection to the texture itself. This might look weird if the light source is not constant
Radar Alien

Texturing the pentapuss alien.

  • Export the UV map, open it in inkscape and add it to a locked layer
  • Add a layer named Texture
  • Make a light beige background
  • Draw a green shape on the legs and the head
  • Add the filter Swirl and then Bubbly Bumps (in Distort and Bumps respectively)
  • Lock the layer and make it invisible
  • Add a new layer named Details
  • Draw an oval and add some shine
  • Save and export to png
  • Load the png as a texture
  • Adjust the location of the texture points to make the seam less obvious

Texturing the treasure chest.

  • Export the UV map, open it in inkscape and add it to a locked layer
  • Add a layer named Texture
  • Copy and paste the wood texture from the previous section
  • Adjust the frequency to taste
  • Resize the texture and copy and paste it so that it covers the whole chest
  • Have the grain run vertically where appropriate by switching the x and y frequencies
  • Add a layer named Planks
  • Trace the uv map and paste it into the Planks layer
  • Remove the irrelevant handles
  • Copy and paste the plank borders to the other parts of the chest
  • Add a layer named Details
  • Draw some metal straps covering the chet. Use the Pressed steel filter (Bevels)
  • Draw a lock. Use the Button filter (Button)
  • Watch out: We've added the pressed steel filter and the Button filter to give a 3D effect to the metal straps and the lock. If we view the chest from the side it becomes obvious that this 3D effect is drawn on, breaking the illusion
Treasure Chest
Appendix: Crash Course in Blender
3 Lectures 16:50
  • Navigating
  • Selecting
  • Object mode versus edit mode
  • Basic manipulations like scale, translate and rotate.
Lesson 1

  • Using multiple views
  • Creating seams
  • Unwrapping
  • UV maps
  • Texture mode
Lesson 2

  • Render mode
  • Adding a material
  • Adding a texture to the material
Lesson 3
About the Instructor
Paul Gieske
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Teacher and Engineer

Hi, my name is Paul and I am an IT teacher and an engineer. As a teacher / engineer I can combine my strong technical background with experience in passing on skills and knowledge to my students.

As a teacher I believe that it students learn better when they are learning actively. That's why I include a lot of practice excercises in my courses.

In addition to teaching and engineering, as a hobby I am enthousiatic about illustrating and 3D modelling.