PBR Material Mixer

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Overview

Connecter's "PBR Material Mixer" tool (Window > PBR Material Mixer) can visualize with its powerful OpenGL renderer sets of textures as realistic PBR shaders based on the "Specular/Glossiness" and "Metallic/Roughness" standard workflows.

Using the PBR shader texture slots 

The PBR Material Mixer tool provides an interface with slots for the texture types supported by the two standard PBR workflows ("Specular/Glossiness" and "Metallic/Roughness"). Those slots are:

Specular/Glossiness workflow only:

  • Diffuse.
  • Specular.
  • Glossiness.

Metallic/Roughness workflow only:

  • BaseColor.
  • Metallic.
  • Roughness.

Common:

  • Normal.
  • Height.
  • A.Occlusion (Ambient occlusion).
  • Opacity.

Image files dropped into the texture slots get visualized as a PBR shader:

PBR

Switching between the two workflows is possible at any time, and it keeps any textures added to the common slots (Normal, Height, A.Occlusion, and Opacity):

Unchecking a texture slot makes it inactive; thus, any texture added to it doesn't get visualized on the shader. The "Inspect" button is useful when seeing how a particular texture applies to the shader ball with any lighting and shading features turned off.

   

To remove a texture, click the delete button on the respective thumbnail:

NOTE: The PBR Material Mixer tool interface resets when Connecter is closed. 

Using custom shader ball 

Any 3d asset that gets visualized in Connecter's Interactive Preview tool can also be used as a custom shader object for the PBR Material Mixer tool, provided it comes with texture coordinates. 

To replace the default shader ball with another 3d object, drag the respective 3d file from the Assets view and drop it into the PBR Material Mixer viewport.  

Using a custom HDRI environment map

Any HDRI or EXR image can replace the default environment map of the PBR Material Mixer renderer. 

To replace the default environment map with another one, drag the respective HDRI or EXR image from the Assets view and drop it into the PBR Material Mixer viewport.

Automatic visualization of PBR texture sets

Sets of PBR textures that follow a "Specular/Glossiness" or "Metallic/Roughness" naming convention can be automatically visualized without adding textures one by one in the respective material slots. This can be done using the following workflows:

  • Zip archives: drag and drop the archive into the PBR Material Mixer viewport or select the "PBR Material Preview" command from the contextual menu.

  • Folders: drag the folder from the Folders panel and drop it into the PBR Material Mixer viewport or select the "PBR Material Preview" command from the contextual menu.

  • Texture set: drag the selected textures from the assets view and drop them into the PBR Material Mixer viewport.

In each of the above workflows, Connecter will search for image files with keywords in their filenames to match them to PBR textures. This works well if your assets come from popular content providers who use typical PBR-related keywords in the file names or if you name them accordingly. 

The following are the naming patterns used to determine if a particular image file will be related to a specific PBR texture:

Specular/Glossiness Workflow

  • Diffuse - "diffuse", "albedo", "mask".
  • Glossiness - "glossiness", "gloss".
  • Specular - "specular", "spec", "s", "specularlevel".

Metal/Roughness Workflow

  • BaseColor - "basecolor", "albedo", "mask", "base_color".
  • Metallic - "metallic", "metalness".
  • Roughness - "roughness".

Common maps

  • Ambient Occlusion - "ambientocclusion", "ambient", "ao", "ambient_occlusion", "cavity".
  • Height - "height", "bump".
  • Displacement - "displacement".
  • Normal - "normal", "normals", "norm", "nrm", "nrml", "normals".
  • Opacity - "opacity", "transparency".

Working with Substance materials

Substance materials (.sbsar) assets can be directly loaded in the PBR Material Mixer tool:

Full-screen mode

The PBR Material preview can be enjoyed in a bigger viewport through the fullscreen mode. To enter the fullscreen mode, press the โ€œOpen Full Size Viewerโ€ button in the top right corner of the viewport. To close it, press the "X" button, click on an area outside the viewport, or use the Escape key:

 

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