A pattern than can be repeated over a garment either in a 3D application or in graphics like Adobe Illustrator or photoshop is known as a tileable or tiling pattern. In 3D applications it is known as a tiled texture. While plaids can seem like the more difficult of patterns to tile, they are actually one of the easiest, once you know how to do it. In this video I show three different pieces of software that can be used to make a tiled texture- Photoshop, Style3D and PixPlant. Adobe Substance 3D has a fantastic solution for most fabrics in their Substance Sampler (formerly Substance Alchemist) but their output is limited to square or 1×2 aspect ratios so doesn’t currently work for plaids.
Professionals with unlimited budgets will want to use an application like Vizoo’s xTex software, but at around $5000 USD for a license and maintenance package, it’s out of the range for many people. Photoshop is an excellent, though clunky tool for plaids but plain materials can be a real challenge. Style3D has a fabric solution in their intriguing suite of products for professionals and is my favorite for plaids, but it struggles a bit with organic melange-type fabrics- I have been prodding their development team and if they can up their game with those fabric types they will be a real thorn in Vizoo’s side. Lastly, an extremely promising discovery is PixPlant , developed out of Portugal. The system is designed to automatically recognize patterns and help with the texturing process by generating tiled textures in a manner very similar to Vizoo’s Synthesis and Pattern Recognition algorithms. The indie license is $37 and a full pro license is $100 which makes it a no-brainer for anyone working in the 3D space.