I'm trying to create a 2d texture like that shown below that I can use to similarly 'shrink wrap' objects in 3d software so they look like they've been captured by a spider.

I know I've seen some synthetic material like this, but can't think of what it is.

I've tried creating the texture from lightning and difference cloud procedurals but just can't get it 'spun' enough looking.

Any suggestions?

Edit: As requested, here's one of the attempts I had. I think by persisting in piecing together sections like this and tweaking transparencies and straightening out the major strands might give me a believable enough image. But always keen to learn of novel solutions.

  • is it related to 3d?
    – Jack
    Dec 29, 2011 at 4:54
  • 1
    "I'm trying to create a 2d texture"
    – jontyc
    Dec 29, 2011 at 5:35
  • with the help of?
    – Jack
    Dec 29, 2011 at 5:42
  • Whatever it takes--Photoshop, GIMP, a standalone texture generator or even just the name of a similar, practical real-life material I could scan or search a stock library on.
    – jontyc
    Dec 29, 2011 at 6:56
  • It should not be like this we have user's who know Photoshop, gimp and many more tools you should use a particular tool tag else this will remain ambiguous to everyone
    – Jack
    Dec 29, 2011 at 7:01

2 Answers 2


The first thing that came to mind for me was a fractured glass pattern. There are lots of images out there depicting it, but the trick would be to find a few good ones where there is no background imagery visible and where the pattern is fairly irregular. If you can find some like that, I think it might work well for this. You'd probably have to compose several of them together to get something that looks layered like your example, and only use the parts that look like webbing and leave out the smashed bits in the center if they are visible. But I do think it could work.

Here's a decent fracture image I found on iStockPhoto. If you put that on a layer and set the blend mode to Screen, that's how you can extract just the white bits.


  • Great idea--glass gets around the problem I had with the lightning approach branching out from a single source. istockphoto.com/… was another image that has potential (albeit trickier to isolate). I'll play.
    – jontyc
    Dec 29, 2011 at 9:56
  • Al alternative to "screen" blend mode with the resultant black and white image is to use it as a MASK rather than a layer. This way, you can adjust the color of the layer without changing the pattern, and you can also apply other blend modes.
    – horatio
    Dec 30, 2011 at 15:56

On a quick search, it appears that a great many people don't know the difference between a cobweb and a spider's web, but cobwebs are the thing you're looking for. Here's one that's free and looks to be right up your alley.

If "cobweb" doesn't get you what you need, "halloween" will, because that fabric you're thinking of (I have no idea what it's called, either!) is sold by the ton as a Halloween decoration. You could do a lot worse than buy some from an art supply or party supply place and photograph it.

You can see some of these also might be they'll be useful :

Hope this will help...

  • 1
    I think the halloween stuff is just cotton batting. Dec 31, 2011 at 4:48
  • The stuff I'm thinking of is a synthetic, and it's definitely sold as "spooky cobweb stuff" in Halloween pop-up stores and party supply places. Different from batting, which has an even texture and is a type of padding. It's cataloged at one supplier as "Spider Webs, Stretchable" and comes in bags. Dec 31, 2011 at 9:38
  • Alan: Perhaps, but if you Google "halloween spider webs" or something to that extent, you can find tutorials on how to create cob webs using batting with pretty convincing results. Perhaps the specialized halloween stuff is just spun a little differently to make it clumpier. Or maybe you're right and it's a different synthetic material... Dec 31, 2011 at 9:47
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    I've used this material in the past, which is why I thought of it. It has a different structure from batting, and is designed to give the look in the photograph. You're right, though; batting can certainly be made to work. It's just not the stuff I had in mind. Dec 31, 2011 at 10:46
  • I had a check in the party stores here but no luck (Halloween isn't a big thing locally.) Thanks for the suggestion. I think I can get away with a procedurally generated image.
    – jontyc
    Jan 1, 2012 at 5:26

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