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scottb613

PBR Lighting - affect on models and textures ?

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Hi Folks,

So with the news of P3Dv4 PBR lighting imminent - what has to be done to models and textures to take full advantage of this ? Are there new texture sheets that need to be made to capitalize off this - or will everything just look better by default ? I've seen advertisements for XP where they specifically advertise PBR materials - is this just advertising hype - or is work really required ?

Thanks...

Regards,
Scott


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If the textures don't include PBR they won't look better.


System: i9 9900k@4.9 - 32 GB RAM - Aorus 1080ti --- Sim/Addons: P3D v5 with tons of Addons and 3rd Party Airports
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5 minutes ago, JoeFackel said:

If the textures don't include PBR they won't look better.

Hi Joe,

Thanks - but what needs to be done - is this something an end user can do via textures - or are changes to the model needed as well - would model changes be available to the end user via something like Arno's MCX ??? LOL - I have lots of questions... I kind of know my way around both models and textures - just no clue on the PBR thing...

Regards,

Scott

Edited by scottb613

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Nothing will work better automatically, textures must be remade, and the object must be recompiled with the new SDK.

Recompiling is not a big deal (for the original developer with the source files), but textures requires more work, depending how they were made.

If a developer made all its textures by hand, using any traditional painting program (like Photoshop, Gimp, etc.), they are not easy to convert to PBR. There are some utilities that can help doing that, but they still require some manual work, if only to indicate which parts of the texture are supposed to be metallic. But they won't ever look as good as if the texture was designed to be PBR from the start, using PBR-aware painting tools like Substance, Quixel, 3DCoat, etc. which use pre-made libraries of PBR materials, which are calibrated to conform to Physically-Based Rendering (PBR), and require proper normal maps to obtain the full effect.

Some developers already use such tools, and they had to dumb down the exported textures to support the current P3D version or FSX. Those that saw were the market was going (including those that were already accustomed to PBR, because of X-Plane...), might have an easier time and some headstart.

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Hi Umberto,

Thanks so much for the details - seems like it may be a while before many of the developers are on board... While I've been using PSP,PS, and Gimp for decades - I've never heard of the others - I'll poke around even though it won't help if I don't have the source files... Appreciate you taking the time...

Regards,
Scott

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5 hours ago, virtuali said:

Nothing will work better automatically, textures must be remade, and the object must be recompiled with the new SDK.

Recompiling is not a big deal (for the original developer with the source files), but textures requires more work, depending how they were made.

If a developer made all its textures by hand, using any traditional painting program (like Photoshop, Gimp, etc.), they are not easy to convert to PBR. There are some utilities that can help doing that, but they still require some manual work, if only to indicate which parts of the texture are supposed to be metallic. But they won't ever look as good as if the texture was designed to be PBR from the start, using PBR-aware painting tools like Substance, Quixel, 3DCoat, etc. which use pre-made libraries of PBR materials, which are calibrated to conform to Physically-Based Rendering (PBR), and require proper normal maps to obtain the full effect.

Some developers already use such tools, and they had to dumb down the exported textures to support the current P3D version or FSX. Those that saw were the market was going (including those that were already accustomed to PBR, because of X-Plane...), might have an easier time and some headstart.

Are any of PBR-aware tools that are freeware by chance? I haven't actually started texturing many of my buildings for my own airport project, so if these tools are free or inexpensive, it'd probably be a good idea to start on the right footing, so to speak...


Benjamin van Soldt

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3 hours ago, Benjamin J said:

Are any of PBR-aware tools that are freeware by chance? I haven't actually started texturing many of my buildings for my own airport project, so if these tools are free or inexpensive, it'd probably be a good idea to start on the right footing, so to speak...

If you want to create new PBR materials from scratch, I think Blender has the ability to paint in 3D, and specify PBR properties for materials. Never used it, just saw a couple of tutorials on Youtube about it.

If you have existing textures you would like to convert to PBR, there's a free tool which has been just released, called Materialize, which seems nice:

 

Don't expect the same results of a material made with properly calibrated PBR material libraries, like those included with Substance or Quixel.

These are made by taking multiple pictures of the material from different angles, to record how it reacts to different light angles, and to extract the pure color with no shadows (the Albedo), which is one of the trickiest parts which usually cause most of the trouble when trying to convert an existing Diffuse texture (which doesn't contain *any* shadows), to an Albedo texture, which is the pure color with no lighting information in.

Edited by virtuali
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Thanks Umberto! A wonderful starting point for me to start messing with this. I do all my modeling in Blender so I'll have a look at what you mentioned, though from what I understand the 'paint in 3D' function is not very intuitive. iv'e never tried it myself though. Materialize looks cool - I'll have a close look at that!


Benjamin van Soldt

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i did not make textures setup for PBR. And have no plans to convert them. This will be good for a fresh project. Also PBR may take more FPS away and we need as much as we can with a panel like this.

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For photoshop users 😉


 

André
 

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Awesome! Can this be downloaded yet? It seems like it's still an alpha version?

It's great to see the wealth of resources becoming available though, will make everything so much easier! I reckon the Blender-P3D plugin will have to be updated to allow for the application of the relevant texture layers though.


Benjamin van Soldt

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6 minutes ago, Benjamin J said:

Awesome! Can this be downloaded yet? It seems like it's still an alpha version?

It's great to see the wealth of resources becoming available though, will make everything so much easier! I reckon the Blender-P3D plugin will have to be updated to allow for the application of the relevant texture layers though.

Visit youtube and below the video are the links 😉

Edited by awf

 

André
 

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On 11/27/2018 at 6:45 AM, scottb613 said:

seems like it may be a while before many of the developers are on board...

Not if the market starts demanding it. If the community stops buying add-ons just for the sake of having an airport to fly into and demand quality instead, things would change rather quickly. I am very picky who I spend my money with, even when there are holiday sales etc. Get with the times and deliver the goods worth my money. 🙂 

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Jacek G.

 

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Wonderful, thanks Andre! This will definitely help. I've had a look at the licensing options for things like Substance as well, and have to say I was surprised it was as 'cheap' as it is. Still too expensive for an amateur like me, but also not way out of my league. perhaps, if I have a more long-term goal with scenery design, I may consider acquiring a license. I'd just have to understand first which part of Substance will benefit me most, as it appears to be a program of modular design. Umberto, I'm assuming here you use all parts of it?

Watching the Youtube video it's quite clear to me that I don't have much of an understanding yet of how PBR textures are different from the 'normal' textures we have been using so far, so I'm going to look at some articles that describe the differences. After all, I've only just been wrapping my head around normal/bump maps... Talking about being green 😝 But, what's quite clear to me is that there's a big difference between using PBR-aware textured directly versus taking existing textures and applying PBR-style effects to using a mask - this to Umberto's earlier point. I think I'll have to work out the best workflow, but at least there's already at least two awesome tools available. I'll also have a look to see what options Blender may have, as I suspect they have started to support PBR a while ago already (as Umberto mentioned as well).


Benjamin van Soldt

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So, to all of you, a question... I've spent some time watching various Youtube videos about how make PBR materials work in Blender, and what strikes me , is that it's actually not that different from what we have been doing before. The difference I see is the existence of one or two new texture maps, and this sort of replaces things like specularity maps... is that correct? Diffuse, alpha and bump maps are not going anywhere and we use them like before. But now we additionally use a metallic and roughness map in addition to easily convey certain properties of the materials. Thus it has become very straightforward to deal with reflection in a way that takes into account basic material properties. In the end, PBR is mostly about interaction of the light with the material. Did I get that right?

I can now sort of see the challenge in making PBR materials if you haven't been doing it from the start... Because all Youtube videos I've been watching simply take a material and apply it as a whole to an object. But, of course, when we model a terminal building, the glass, the metallic frames etc etc all sit on the same diffuse map, which probably complicates the entire process. Instead, if you could just paint the materials onto the model, which is what Substance seems to allow to do, it makes everything a lot easier... Again, did I get that right?


Benjamin van Soldt

Windows 10 64bit - i5-8600k @ 4.8GHz - ASRock Fatality K6 Z370 - EVGA GTX1070 SC 8GB VRAM - 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX @ 3200MHz - Samsung 960 Evo SSD M.2 NVMe 500GB - 2x Samsung 860 Evo SSD 1TB (P3Dv4 drive) - Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM - Seasonic FocusPlus Gold 750W - Noctua DH-15S - Fractal Design Focus G (White) Case

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