Join Christian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video What you'll need to create PBR-based textures, part of Creating PBR Materials with Blender & Quixel.
- [Voiceover] Quixel is one of a few programs that will generate PBR-based texture maps for us. I think you'll find that Quixel is simple to learn and will give you the tools necessary to create outstanding, realistic maps that will conform to your mesh's geometry. This video will be a brief overview of the main modules and processes that you can expect to learn in this series. And as you can see I'm in Photoshop. The first thing that you'll want to notice is that Quixel needs Photoshop to run. And that's because Quixel is going to use the processes and tools in Photoshop to create the details and textures that we need.
The other thing that you want to notice is that Quixel floats on top of Photoshop. This floating interface that we're looking at here with the brightly colored buttons is the Quixel Suite and that's what we're going to take a look at here next. The first module that we're going to take a look at is DDO, and that's this big D on the orange button. DDO allows us to load our mesh and map information so that the Quixel Suite knows the contours of our model from the maps that we feed it.
Now by default we need to give it a material ID and we'll probably going to want to give it a normal map and an AO map. The more map information that we give it at the start, the better our details are going to be as we move along. So I'm going to load my mesh first. My material ID, my normal map, and my ambient occlusion map. Those three maps should give my mesh enough information so that DDO can generate the surfaces as we move along, and know exactly what my model is going to look like.
DDO will also handle multi mesh information that's exported from your obj model. So I have two models that are combined into one obj so DDO knows that there's two models there. So if I drop this down you'll see that there's a tools cylinder here and I'm going to end up with the same map types here. So I will load those. I think I have loaded the wrong one here in my ID map.
Yep, there we go. We'll load the tools. Normal map and my AO map for that second mesh. Now up here at the top in Photoshop, are all the different maps that I created. Those maps are the maps that the Quixel Suite is going to use to generate the details for my surfaces. Now, I can choose other maps that I would like DDO to bake for me. I'm going to click curvature in this case. And that will just allow the program to make a few extra maps to get that detail that we're after.
Down below here, I can set the resolution on my maps if I want to. So I can click Auto, change the resolution if I need to, but Quixel will set the resolution to whatever the map size were that I already imported. Down below here I have an Export Target. This is where I will choose what the final destination is going to be for these textures. Now for this series I'm going to be using the Specular PBR setting, here at the top.
But if you're using Unity or UE4, you can choose those, or any of these other settings, depending on what the outcome's going to be. Down at the very bottom of the interface, I can set where I would like to save these maps. By default it's going to save in the folder that I loaded my model from. So I'm just going to leave that alone and I'm going to hit Create. Now, while it's baking through these maps, you're going to see a lot of flashing and progress bars.
That's normal. Right now it's using Photoshop's tools and the Quixel tools to generate some new maps for us so that we can use those to input into the various surfaces that we're going to be making later. Okay, and once that process is done then DDO has made our new maps in addition to the maps that we already gave it. It'll also give us this friendly little message that we should get started. All the new maps are located up here across the top.
They will fill up that whole top bar so you can use these little arrows here as a drop down and you'll see all the maps that it's made right now. Now we can turn these maps on and off. Eventually we won't make all these maps, but for now, we'll just leave it. The next module we'll take a look at is the 3DO module. The 3DO module is our main viewing window for looking at the model that we imported. And you can see here this is the cannon model that we're going to be using in this series.
We'll get more into the 3DO module and the key commands necessary to move your model around, in a few videos down the road, but for now we'll be able to see our textures in real time here in the 3DO viewer. I'm going to be moving the 3DO viewer off to the side for most of our videos here, just so that we can see the rest of the Photoshop interface behind that. The last module we'll take a look at is the NDO module.
The NDO module is going to allow us to change and adapt our normal map information. We can combine normal maps in the NDO module, and we can take imagery and change it into normal maps using the tools that are available here in NDO. As you can see, there's a lot that PBR textures can bring to your workflow in your models. There's obviously a lot more to cover, but this video should've given you a basic overview of the Quixel Suite and its basic menus.
By the end of the course, you should be excited about and more comfortable with the Quixel Suite and the Blender import and export system. This workflow is suitable for game assets, models destined for animation, visual effects, and more.
- What is PBR?
- Exporting a mesh from Blender
- Loading maps in Quixel DDO
- Making textures with DDO
- Setting up lighting in 3DO
- Flattening materials
- Using NDO
- Sculpting and painting normal maps
- Finishing materials with dust, dirt, and patina
- Rendering the project in 3DO