Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

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Xavier
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Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

Post by Xavier » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:01 pm

When you first downloaded and opened Blender, it was often a fatal experience for you and therefore for this software, for the following reasons:
- Miserable ergonomics.
- Complexity of implementation of the system despite a great wealth of functionalities.
- Orientation of the software towards rendering and not towards the creation of 3 D objects for external applications.
- Books and initiation training with the same goal.

But, pushed by film producers, eager for special effects, and advertisement directors, Blender has made its aggiornamento since version 2.8 and it continues happily with version 2.9
- Ergonomics have finally joined international standards, for example: left click for selection.
- The workspaces are much clearer than before.

But what interests the creator of 3D objects for games, and so for Condor 2 is being able to have quality external materials close to the internal renderings of the software.

The world of PBR (Physically based Rendering) and vector structure textures with Blender 2.92, is now almost within the reach of object creators for Condor 2 although the latter does not yet accept textures other than colored images (diffuse). It is therefore still not possible to add a texture of Roughness, or Displacement, or Metalness, and even Normal, in a c3d object of Condor 2, to constitute a material of good quality!

A / The usual paths to obtain a material for external 3D objects with Blender:

1 / the pattern of the unfolded object, or the UV map is exportable

Your object once finished and saved in 3D View, Switch to Edit Mode, select the object
and switch to UV Editing. Unfolding is done now automatically. Otherwise, type U in the UV Editing window, the popup menu allows you to select Unwrapping or Smart UV Project or a more suitable projection system. However, with the UV menu options you have access to all the usual elements to correct the pattern.


Shading mode11.jpg

Finally, in the UV menu -> Export UV Layout (at the bottom), you can create a map of the pattern that can be textured in the 2D application of your choice such as Gimp or Photoshop.

2 / Paint the faces directly in the 3D view

This is a very powerful feature but rarely used. It allows you to paint colors or textures directly on the object provided you take some precautions and mainly isolate the islands from the UV map. It is even also possible to make the textures of roughness etc.

All you have to do is switch to Texture Paint mode and choose the type of material texture, here Base Color by pressing + then define a base color and press OK. Then just paint with the brush colors or textures on the UV map or directly on the 3D cube. Don't forget to save the image, right window on image * (* indicating that the image has not been saved since it was last modified).

Shading mode13.jpg

And after exporting to Wavefront and converting to c3d, this is what it looks like in Condor.

Shot129.jpg


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Xavier
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Re: Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

Post by Xavier » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:06 pm

3 / Apply one or more external textures to the object

This technique is very easy to implement, just load the texture as an image in UV mode and apply it to each face of the object, orient it and scale it.


Shading mode12.jpg


And after exporting to Wavefront and converting to c3d, this is what it looks like in Condor


Shot128.jpg

B / Creation of a material starting from vector textures:

Vector textures have the advantage of not being resolution dependent, until the texture is baked in a defined size for the image texture to be externalized.

1 / creation of a complex vector texture from a configurable vector brick wall.

• In 3D View mode
Delete the standard cube LC/CG -> Cube -> Delete
Replace the cube with a UV sphere.

Shift + A -> Mesh -> UV Sphere

RC -> Shade smooth

Duplicate the lamp twice
LC/CG -> lamp -> RC -> Duplicate object

And distribute the lights all around the UV Sphere.
(External textures should not have shadows. They are generated by the software in which the object with its texture is placed)

• Switch to Shading mode
A new Shader Editor window with a Browser and Image Editor window on the left is displayed and the 3D View is modified.

Select the UV sphere with an LC/CG

Click on the New button (materials):

Shading mode 1.jpg

In Shader Editor (the texture transformation graph) appears the 2 main nodes Principled BSFD and Material Output
(Bidirectional Scattering Distribution Function)

In Shader Editor add a new node: Shift + A -> Textures -> Brick Texture

Then connect Color (Brick texture) -> Base Color (Principled BSFD) with the mouse

MLC/MCG on COLOR -> Base Calor RLC/RCG (M for maintained and R for release)

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Xavier
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Re: Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

Post by Xavier » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:12 pm

Add a new node:

Shift + A -> Textures -> Musgrave Textures (This is also a vector texture)

And link Height to Vector

Here is what becomes of the UV Sphere object and the Shader graph

Shadingmode 2.jpg

After, check that Node Wrangler is activated in the Add-ons.

Edit -> Preferences -> Add-ons -> check the Node: Node Wrangler box. This is a quality add-on that greatly simplifies the use of Shader Editor nodes.

CTRL + SHIFT + LC/CG on Brick texture allows you to make a shortcut by adding a Viewer connecting it directly to the Material outPut node, which allows you to appreciate the transformations made by each node each time this keyboard shortcut is done on a node.

Return to the initial display with a last CTRL + SHIFT + LC/CG on BSDF.

Add a ColorRamp node between the Brick Textures and BSDF

Shift + A -> Converter -> ColorRamp

By moving this node with MLC/MCG on the line connecting Color -> Base Color and then releasing it, the bindings automatically regenerate and the following situation is obtained:


Shading mode 3.jpg

Setting up ColorRamp:

LC/CG on the black strip shows a color wheel with a vertical intensity bar.
LC/CG on RGB turn up the intensity and choose a blue color.
LC/CG on + adds a new color on the ramp in the middle. This new color can be moved left or right. Choose a pink color.

In the same way, add a third color with a purple color.

Obviously this is only an example and can be modified, simplified, made more complex and configured according to the wishes of each individual. It’s a simple matter of imagination and creativity.

This is just one method and it is worth practicing modifying the parameters of each node of the build/modify material graph!


Shadingmode 3.jpg


Here is the final graph in Shading space and the resulting material obtained.

You can only use this system as defined for rendering and not for texture for an object to be inserted into a game or simulation like Condor.


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Xavier
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Re: Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

Post by Xavier » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:15 pm

2 / Outsourcing of the material, in the form of a png texture image

We must therefore convert the result into a texture image.

Go to the Image Editor window at the bottom left

Click on New

Fill in Name with: SphereBigaree (or any other name) in 1024 pixels and uncheck Alpha (there is no transparency).
Type OK: A black square is displayed (Zoom out if necessary so that the square is visible in this space)

To bake the rendering in the image of the new texture, you have to add a new node in the graph.

Shift + A -> Textures -> Image Texture

It must of course be linked to the SphereBigaree image which has just been created by selecting it in front of the image logo by clicking on the down arrow.

This new node must be inside the ShaderEditor. It does not need to be linked to the graph, but when baking it must be selected with an LC/CG (the node is then surrounded by a white border).

Then you have to configure the Texture image baking in the Properties window on the right of the screen.

Render Engine: Cycles
Device: CPU

Then access the Bake Panel (with Cycles)

Shading mode 5.jpg


As this is only an image you have to select in Bake Type: Diffuse
And keep only color checked in Influence

All you have to do is start the baking after selecting the sphere in 3D View, by pressing Bake in the properties window in a few tens of seconds the process is carried out (see the progress bar at the bottom) and you can see the result in the Image Editor window

Shading mode 6.jpg


Save this image:

In image Editor click on the 3 white lines (History lines) to display the contextual menu:

LC/CG on History Lines -> Images * -> Save As -> Name the file SphereBigaree -> OK

The quality of the texture can be tested by connecting directly in the graph the color output of the SphereBigaree image node to Base Color of BSDF. There is no detectable difference.


Here is an object in our favorite simulator with the material just created:

In Object Editor:

Shading mode 7.jpg

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Re: Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

Post by Xavier » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:21 pm

In scenery with also another cube created with Texture Paint:

Shot123.jpg

C / Creation of an external material quite PBR

We uploaded the material metal001 in png version 1022 pixels from CCO to their website
https://cc0textures.com/
All textures on this site are free.

Shading mode10.jpg
Blender is open in Shading mode

Shading mode14.jpg

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Re: Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

Post by Xavier » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:25 pm

Since the Node Wrangler add-on is enabled, we use the magic shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + T,
and select the 5 textures:


Shading mode9.jpg

And in a fraction of a second everything is set up automatically!

All that remains is to bake the image texture as described above

Shading mode91.jpg

After saving the image, exporting to Wavefront and converting to c3d, this is what it looks like in Condor

Shot126.jpg


A material with a mirror polish still seems very difficult to construct for Condor 2.

Hope that this short Tutorial will help you to make better material in Blender.
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wickid
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Re: Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

Post by wickid » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:57 pm

Thanks for this tutorial. One addition: only 1 material (ie. Texture) allowed per object! Blender allows for multiple materials and textures per model. But Condor can only handle one. Mirror finish is possible with Env and Spec in the object editor (try values above 1). See the JS3 screws for example.
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Re: Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

Post by Xavier » Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:06 pm

Hi Wiek,

I have made a few attempts, following your suggestions, to obtain metallic materials in Condor 2.
If by setting "Env" and "Spec" to 1 and up to 2 in increments of .0.2, we obtain in Object Editor a mirror polished metallic appearance for a cube object in c3d, this is not the case when inserting the object and its texture in Condor 2, unless I forgot something.


MetalOE1.png


CubeMetalic1 object with Spec and Env at1


MetalOE2.png


Object Cube Metalic 3 with Spec and Env at 2


Shot131.jpg


The result in Condor 2: CubeMetalic3 on the right in the screenshot

Is there a solution ?
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Re: Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

Post by wickid » Mon Apr 12, 2021 5:35 pm

It is not really reflective. Condor doesn't calculate realtime reflections. It just appears reflective. I will check what settings I use to get metallic looks in object editor when I'm home.
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Re: Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

Post by wickid » Tue Apr 13, 2021 11:47 am

The reflective parts on the JS3 are: Spec: 1.00 Shiny 0,67 Env 1.00. That gives them a shiny metal look
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Re: Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

Post by Xavier » Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:01 pm

Thanks Wieck for your quick response.

So I carried out additional tests on my cubeMetallic3 with the color: gray 0.85 with the following data:
Spec = 1.00, Shiny = 0.67, Env = 1.00
The result in Object Editor and the following:

CubeMetallic3.jpg


In Condor 2 this is better than with Shiny> 1 data, but not great.
So I tested the Shiny between 0 and 1 in 0.1 increments and here is the consolidated result in Condor 2:


Consolidation.jpg

Finally, there is no big difference in the cubes regardless of the Shiny between 0 and 1.
The metallic appearance is given in Object Editor mainly as soon as Env = 0.9
Even with Spec = 0 and Shiny = 0:


CMet3-9.jpg

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Re: Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

Post by Xavier » Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:04 pm

Then I performed a test with an object that has an Alu-type metallic coating: a DC3 from my collection of objects.
Here is what it looks like in Object Editor without changing the settings:

DC3 Normal.jpg


And in Condor 2 without modification:

Shot148.jpg


I then created a new instance of the DC3 with the following parameters: Spec = 1, Shiny = 0.67 and Env = 0.
And the DC3 is totally metallic in Object Editor


DC3 Metal.jpg


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Re: Creating materials for external objects in Blender 2.92

Post by Xavier » Tue Apr 13, 2021 4:07 pm

Here's what it looks like in Condor 2:

Shot149.jpg


A small improvement in rendering in Condor 2
Here is the portion of the scene where the test was performed (Munster)

Shot150.jpg


To conclude, the environment settings in Object Editor, with Spec = 1, Shiny = 0.67 and Env = 1 slightly improve the metallic appearance of a material in Condor 2.
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