Playing around with DALL-E-2 a lot, both for work and fun, suddenly gave me an idea. What if DALL-E-2 could be useful for much more. I do a lot of 3D modelling too for fun, but a huge issue with amateur digital art is textures, and where to get them from. There a few great free resources, but many are credit based, and limit you in terms of quality and quantity. This can be quite annoying when you're only working on a prototype, or just want to see how something might look in a certain photo texture. Going to a search engine is a next step, but then you have to worry about copy write and watermarks.

Could DALL-E-2 be an easier way to generate testing textures? Clearly we won't be able to get depth information or anything without a lot of hard work, but could these work for background or supplementary textures?

Let's give it a shot!

By simply asking for a texture, DALL-E-2 seems to know that we meed a nice flat image that looks fairly uniform. We can easily change details like the colour or grain of wood, simply by asking DALL-E for a variation. It could be a very quick and cost effective way to narrow down what thank you of texture you want before making an investment on your final choice.

In practice?

What do these textures look like in practice? I threw some into a quick blender render to show you. A bit of playing with texture mapping made the wood texture a but more useful.

You can see I did't even try to clean up the watermark in anyway, but you can quickly get a good idea of how different materials interact with light, and surfaces in your scene.

What it can't do

DALL-E-2 does not seem to be able to generate the thank you're of seemless texture we would normally look for. That's ok for quick testing,

There's nothing stopping you from taking this idea further, and making a DALL-E-2 texture seemless, and then generating all the other versions we'd meed for high detail texturing though. DALL-E-2 actually comes in useful again, to join it's own seems up with in-painting. I haven't tried this yet, but there is a tutorial you can follow here: