What are Decals?

Decals are like stickers. They can be placed or projected on any surface. In computer graphics, a decal texture is a texture or picture that is layered on top of other textures. Decals are an excellent technique to add isolated details to a model without requiring them to be part of the primary model or texture maps. Decals allow you to apply many textures to a single object or a section of an object over a base texture. The decal can come from an image file that was imported or a texture resource that was included in the file.

It’s intricate to create gorgeous, game-ready environments. Decals are used to give 3D models more realism by making them look like real-life scenes. Decals provide your scene with more natural transitions and precise detail control, e.g., simulate cracks on a plastered wall, bullet impacts, bloodstains on the floor, potholes on a concrete road, torn fabric etc.

Decals can be both 2D and 3D. A 3D decal converts a low poly mesh surface into a 3D visualization with actual normals, displacements, specular, ambient occlusion and roughness maps. These decals can be used to substitute heavy 3D models in your projects. The polycount of the project remains low and you still get high-quality 3D assets in the model, using decals. These decals can be applied to low poly meshes while creating a perfect 3D effect. These decals have actual displacements to match closely to 3D models, which in turn reduces the polycount of the project. A23D has a vast library of decals, that allows you to populate your projects with trivial objects scattered around, with imperfections on your textures, to simulate a much real looking environment.

Difference between Texture and Decal

  • Textures are applied to a surface, whereas Decals are usually applied above a texture.
  • Textures are tileable, whereas Decals are not.
  • Textures should be used when the image needs to repeat, whereas decals donot repeat themselves.
  • Textures give a similar look to the whole surface they are applied to, whereas decals are used to give a special effect/look to a specific part of the texture.