Architextures is a web based app created by Glasgow based architect Ryan Canning, that makes it easy for architects and designers to create seamless textures, bump maps, and CAD hatches. In this article and introduction, Ryan discusses its origins and explains just how useful this application can be for architectural rendering and visualization.
The idea for the site came from my experience working in practice. When working on live projects it was often difficult to find suitable textures to represent our designs. Although there are numerous texture websites, in many cases images found online require additional editing to correct the pattern or appearance of the material before importing into a BIM model.
Having manually edited textures repeatedly across a number of projects, I began to imagine a better way to handle this process and the idea for the Architextures web app was born. Following several months of development, I launched it earlier this year and have received an overwhelming response from designers around the world since.
The site was designed to be intuitive and quick to use. The texture is the central focus of the user interface and occupies the entire screen. The controls are positioned as a floating panel to the left of the screen and allow you to control all aspects of the texture’s appearance.
The controls are split into three sections, the first of which is the pattern section. You can define the total number of rows and columns in the texture. This is useful if you want a detailed texture for a small area or simply need a single row for an element like a brickwork soldier course.
Many popular patterns are available such as basketweave and herringbone. Some of these have additional parameters such as the Chevron pattern which allows you to adjust the angle of the pattern.
Next is the tile section which allows you to control the appearance of the individual bricks, tiles or boards. There are a wide range of materials available with more added every month. With a Pro account there’s also the option to upload your own source image which increases the potential options for textures massively.
The dimensions of each unit can be controlled in this section as well as level adjustments and the profile for the edges, allowing you to choose between more rustic edges or perfectly straight to suit your design.
The final section is the joints panel which allows to you set the material of the joints and the dimensions. There are a number of traditional mortar options available as well as some that are suited for landscaping design such as earth and grass. The color of the joints can also be adjusted using the tint feature.
A key feature of the website is the ability to select textures from the main library and edit them in the web app. This makes it quick and easy to get started once you find a texture that’s similar to what you need. Just click ‘Edit’ while on the page for any individual texture to launch the editor.
The site is free to access and can be used in personal and educational projects without charge. Pro accounts are available for a small fee for those who wish to use the site for commercial projects.
The Pro subscription offers access to additional features such as high resolution downloads, bump maps and CAD hatches. Head over to Architextures to try it out and follow @_architextures on instagram to stay up to date with new features.
As well as saving time, it is hoped that the site will improve the workflow of designers and in doing so have a positive effect on the way we approach materiality in our projects.
I’m Ryan Canning, an architect and web developer from Glasgow. I studied at the University of Stratchclyde, Aarkitektskolen Aarhus and UC in Santiago, Chile. Since graduating I worked in practice for a number of years and completed my Part 3 exam. Over the past few years I’ve been developing web apps in my spare time and recently launched Architextures, a web based seamless texture editor.