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i am trying to model a tube coated with grains similar to pebbles or rough sand? i wonder if rendering or a surface image is more appropriate for the job
You are not clear on the nature of the surface. Are you needing to create the actual geometry of the irregular surface or just an appearance for rendering?
Texture maps could create the appearance for rendering but would not add geometry to the part. Adding the geometry to the part would be quite tedious to model manually.
If you need the actual geometry in the model I would look at scanning the geometry and then importing it into the model.
the fastest way to tackle this problem is to create a texture image (jpeg, png). Is there a tutorial on how to create image? most videos show how to apply the already created texture