Materials Studio

Discussion and updates on Curvy 3D Beta development.

Materials Studio

Postby Simon » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:07 pm

In a break from sculpting I'm revisiting Curvy's materials. Now the 3.0 Lightmaps are fine for a preview, they are less useful if you want to experiment with lighting and materials for a finished piece of work.

The new system separates the lighting environment from the individual materials - so if you want to move from a sunset beach to a castle dungeon you just switch the enviromnent and the shading on each material updates automatically.

So for example, below I used a single HDR Environment and generated Lightmaps for different materials from it automatically. This will effectively give you a wide range of metals, mattes and shiny materials to use with lighting from any direction you like - for each Environment you use. And while you can use pre-existing hdr files for Environments you can also paint your own - which will work well in a more stylised workflow.

Ultimately I would like to get materials fully controlled by textures - so on a single mesh you could simply paint full materials eg: "chalk", "chrome", "brass", "gloss paint" next to each other, which may help for detailing.

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Re: Materials Studio

Postby Simon » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:42 pm

Some more examples of HDR materials in Curvy 4.0.

Note that the Chrome and Yellow objects use identical lightmaps, and that the lighting works at different angles.

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Chrome reflections are much better now. A flat surface in 3.0 was always a single flat colour... whereas in 4.0 there is plenty of detail within the mirrored flat surfaces.

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Re: Materials Studio

Postby Simon » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:41 am

Got bumpmaps working with the HDR materials. Also improved the way cast shadows interact with the light sources.

Curvy 3.0's Lightmaps had a really nice look when applied to very low poly objects, they looked really smooth and you couldn't see the triangles. I've worked out a way to get the same super-smooth look on the HDR materials. This is perfect for things like small bevels, where a long thin quad on an edge will render like a smooth slice of a cylinder. Again - this is something you are used to from 3.0, but I didn't want to lose it in the upgrade.

Also added exposure and contrast sliders (per material) which can help tweak the results quickly to your needs.

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Re: Materials Studio

Postby Simon » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:50 pm

Having fun with some free CC0 HDR Lightmaps and Material textures.

You can now do blurry reflections of real environments, and light diffuse objects with the same subtlety. In principle all of these material differences could be driven by the texture maps, but I am still working out the best way to handle that. One thought is to use a simpler 'blend map' that selects between full materials. Otherwise you could use several map channels to control things like roughness and reflectivity for every pixel.

And as with most things in Curvy this is a real-time effect so you can sculpt with these shaders active.

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Switching lighting setups will change the look of every surface, matte and shiny, metal and mirror all share the same lightmap which helps things look consistant.

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Re: Materials Studio

Postby Simon » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:52 pm

For a long time I've loved the look of high-tech robots, a large part of which comes down to a good mix of chrome and metallic automotive paint. As part of the new materials in Curvy 4.0 you can now achieve an effect like that, with a mixture of a very soft metallic coloured reflection topped by a clearcoat that gives tiny white highlights.

The big surprise (for me) was that this look is very different in feel to simply slapping on a diffuse colour and a strong specular highlight...

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