Version: 2018.4
Texture Types

Importing Textures

This page offers details and tips on importing TexturesAn image used when rendering a GameObject, Sprite, or UI element. Textures are often applied to the surface of a mesh to give it visual detail. More info
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using the Unity Editor Texture Importer. Scroll down or select an area you wish to learn about.

Supported file formats

Unity can read the following file formats:

  • BMP
  • EXR
  • GIF
  • HDR
  • IFF
  • JPG
  • PICT
  • PNG
  • PSD
  • TGA
  • TIFF

Note that Unity can import multi-layer PSD and TIFF files; they are flattened automatically on import, but the layers are maintained in the AssetsAny media or data that can be used in your game or Project. An asset may come from a file created outside of Unity, such as a 3D model, an audio file or an image. You can also create some asset types in Unity, such as an Animator Controller, an Audio Mixer or a Render Texture. More info
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themselves. This means that you don’t lose any of your work when using these file types natively. This is important, because it allows you to have just one copy of your Textures which you can use in different applications; Photoshop, your 3D modelling app, and in Unity.

HDR Textures

When importing from an EXR or HDRhigh dynamic range
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file containing HDR information, the Texture Importer automatically chooses the right HDR format for the output Texture. This format changes automatically depending on which platform you are building for.

Texture dimension sizes

Ideally, Texture dimension sizes should be powers of two on each side (that is, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048 pixels (px), and so on). The Textures do not have to be square; that is the width can be different from height. Note that specific platforms may impose maximum Texture dimension sizes. For DirectX, the maximum Texture sizes for different feature levels are as follows:

Graphics APIs / Feature levels Maximum 2D and CubemapA collection of six square textures that can represent the reflections in an environment or the skybox drawn behind your geometry. The six squares form the faces of an imaginary cube that surrounds an object; each face represents the view along the directions of the world axes (up, down, left, right, forward and back). More info
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texture dimension size (px)
DX9 ShaderA small script that contains the mathematical calculations and algorithms for calculating the Color of each pixel rendered, based on the lighting input and the Material configuration. More info
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Model 2 (PC GPUs before 2004) / OpenGL ES 2.0
DX9 Shader Model 3 (PC GPUs before 2006) / Windows Phone DX11 9.3 level / OpenGL ES 3.0 4096
DX10 Shader Model 4 / GL3 (PC GPUs before 2007) / OpenGL ES 3.1 8192
DX11 Shader Model 5 / GL4 (PC GPUs since 2008) 16384


  • The Texture Importer only allows you to choose dimension sizes up to 8K (that is 8192 x 8192 px).
  • Mali-Txxx GPUs (See Wikipedia) and OpenGL ES 3.1 ( only support up to 4096px Texture dimension size for cubemaps.

It is possible to use NPOT (non-power of two) Texture sizes with Unity; however, NPOT Texture sizes generally take slightly more memory and might be slower for the GPU to sample, so it’s better for performance to use power of two sizes whenever you can. If the platform or GPU does not support NPOT Texture sizes, Unity scales and pads the Texture up to the next power of two size. This process uses more memory and makes loading slower (especially on older mobile devices). In general, you should only use NPOT sizes for GUI purposes.

You can scale up NPOT Texture Assets at import time using the Non Power of 2 option in the Advanced section of the Texture Importer.

UV mapping

When mapping a 2D Texture onto a 3D model, your 3D modelling application does a type of wrapping called UV mapping. Inside Unity, you can scale and move the Texture using MaterialsAn asset that defines how a surface should be rendered, by including references to the Textures it uses, tiling information, Color tints and more. The available options for a Material depend on which Shader the Material is using. More info
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. Scaling normal and detail maps is especially useful.

Mip maps

Mip maps are lists of progressively smaller versions of an image, used to optimise performance on real-time 3D engines. Objects that are far away from the CameraA component which creates an image of a particular viewpoint in your scene. The output is either drawn to the screen or captured as a texture. More info
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use smaller Texture versions. Using mip maps uses 33% more memory, but not using them can result in a huge performance loss. You should always use mip maps for in-game Textures; the only exceptions are Textures that are made smaller (for example, GUI textures, SkyboxA special type of Material used to represent skies. Usually six-sided. More info
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, Cursors and Cookies). Mip maps are also essential for avoiding many forms of Texture aliasing and shimmering.

Normal maps

Normal maps are used by normal map Shaders to make low-polygon models look as if they contain more detail. Unity uses normal maps encoded as RGB images. You also have the option to generate a normal map from a grayscale height map image.

Alpha maps

An alpha map is a texture that contains only alpha information. You can use an alpha map to apply varying levels of transparency to a material.

You can create an alpha map by creating a texture with information in the alpha channel, or by creating a grayscale texture and converting the grayscale values to alpha in Unity.

See the Alpha Source property in the Texture Importer for more information.

Detail maps

If you want to make a TerrainThe landscape in your scene. A Terrain GameObject adds a large flat plane to your scene and you can use the Terrain’s Inspector window to create a detailed landscape. More info
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, you normally use your main Texture to show areas of terrain such as grass, rocks and sand. If your terrain is large, it may end up very blurry. Detail Textures hide this fact by fading in small details as your main Texture gets closer.

When drawing Detail Textures, a neutral gray is invisible, white makes the main Texture twice as bright, and black makes the main Texture completely black.

See documentation on Secondary Maps (Detail Maps) for more information.

Reflections (cubemaps)

To use a Texture for reflection maps (for example, in Reflection ProbesA rendering component that captures a spherical view of its surroundings in all directions, rather like a camera. The captured image is then stored as a Cubemap that can be used by objects with reflective materials. More info
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or a cubemapped Skybox, set the Texture Shape to Cube. See documentation on Cubemap Textures for more information.

Anisotropic filtering

Anisotropic filtering increases Texture quality when viewed from a grazing angle. This renderingThe process of drawing graphics to the screen (or to a render texture). By default, the main camera in Unity renders its view to the screen. More info
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is resource-intensive on the graphics card. Increasing the level of Anisotropy is usually a good idea for ground and floor Textures. Use Quality settings to force anisotropic filtering for all Textures or disable it completely.

Anisotropy used on the ground Texture {No anisotropy (left) | Maximum anisotropy (right)}
Anisotropy used on the ground Texture {No anisotropy (left) | Maximum anisotropy (right)}
Texture Types
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