Blender Basic Material, Textures and Patterns Node Setups

I have been using blender for almost 6 years and after sometime I took a interest in materials and their creation using the node setups. It fascinates me on how simple procedural textures and math nodes can be used to generate really complex and beautiful materials which are physically correct(thanks to PBR shaders).

Even after all these years I find ways to generate textures which are not provided built-in with blender and recreating those textures and materials can be a very tedious task(same as hooking up each texture map into its respective principled socket).

The very basic textures that can be made in seconds in any other software took much of the artist’s time even if he is experienced enough. And we have some texture node which I don’t even know what to use it for(looking at you magic texture node).

A very basic example of such a scenario occurred when I needed a procedural grid pattern. I know it is provided in terms of checked boxes but it didn’t suit my purpose. Also I could mix two brick texture nodes and get what I want but it defeated the purpose of having ready made textures to use as required with maximum amount of control.

The idea I am proposing is to make a collection of node setups which can be used readily and provide the basic textures and patterns(maybe even some different kind of noise textures) the blender doesn’t come built-in with.

I really hope this community could help make this whole idea into a thing since blender 2.8 came out not long ago so I thought why didn’t they change the texture nodes.

Also forgive me if I made mistake in this topic and maybe help this reach to others so they could contribute as much as they can.

Thanks to everyone for making this community and Blender so awesome.

Technically, there is already something like that in the Add-on library in the preferences. It is called Material Library. There are no where near as many materials in it as I would like to see but there are some ok ones that are good starting points for making your own materials. You can also save ones you made to the library so you can use it in other projects.

PBR is physically based, meaning you can’t go wrong (metallic workflow). They’re physically plausible, not physically correct. You can do this with the shader building blocks as well, but someone not experienced will likely set it up wrong - with PBR you don’t have to think about it, just plug in the textures.

I don’t use magic texture enough to really talk about it. It’s useful for regular bump distortions as it is repeatable over mod(pi) seam and the rate of change varies. For this reason it can also be used as a coordinate distorter, especially since it has a color output that works. Using reflected coordinates you can use it to fakely simulate iridescence color changes on a sharp glossy shader (soap bubble effect). I’m sure others have used it better than I have.

You describe the issue yourself; “it didn’t suit my purpose”. What is a procedural grid pattern? There is no problem making it as a 2D (UV) texture, although even then it can get ugly advanced to “suit my purpose”. Making it a 3D texture you’ll run into problems. Do you do it by intersecting array of cylinders in 3 directions in 3D space, or do you project a grid from cardinal directions? Both have their uses and limits and will not work in all circumstances. Same with i.e. wood which is a very directional texture. Sure you can make wood that looks like wood easily in a 2D manipulation, but it may not be suitable if you want a 3D object appear as cut out from a solid piece of wood. Does it have to be seamless? Seamless over UV is not trivial (4D required) and your working with a very non intuitive coordinate system.

I think there was supposed to be a call for content on node setups, but it just died. I’m a big fan of using image textures as detail lookup where all I’m doing is manipulating texture space, and wouldn’t mind sharing some of those techniques. Like, wooden floorboards but you select a good sized lookup texture. Or randomly textured wooden studs but you select texture. Or tiles or bricks with random variations in them, but detail is still texture driven based on random lookup. But note that these get stupid advanced really quickly and may not be suitable for Eevee - it all goes by to “suit my purpose”.

Blender generator nodes has been hugely improved lately thanks to Omar. I wouldn’t mind seeing musgrave color output, or other premixed noise styles like in Cinema4D. The new Max noise also looks quite awesome if you ask me. Omar? :smiley: You can probably set it up, but it would take days to do so, and probably be too advanced a setup to be useful for live rendering.

The call for content thing you mentioned is what I was aiming here for since I feel the existing texture nodes in blender and not enough. What I mentioned is the use and outputs of the existing nodes since they needed to be fed through a lot of manipulation nodes to use it.

Talking about the magic node I just took it as an example since it doesn’t have any(REAL) uses so why don’t they drop it and remove it from Blender altogether.

The thing I was asking for here is to provide a texture nodes similar to what they have in Substance Designer. The nodes I am talking here are:

  1. Generators
  2. Noises

The thing I am trying to say is that these nodes have really varied range of outputs and can be used in almost all of the desired cases. The results are so good so I am just curious why can’t they bring it in blender using pre-made math node.

Then there is procedural dirt and scratches nodes which produces very believable results which I know can be made using a lot of nodes in blender so why not provide it out of the box to use directly.

Another node I want to about is the scatter node which again can be replicated in blender but since the community is talking about how the UI got revamped to welcome new users and users from different software why not do the same thing in the node setups to change some nodes and make it more obvious on what the user is trying to do.

The grid pattern i was talking about was a node with simple inputs for controlling the results as done by Anton Neveselov with a simple node as I mentioned before. It was just as an example to show how simple things can be a long and tedious process.

Not a regular substance user but I like the way they simplified much of the stuff using already made nodes that are regularly in use while the same thing in blender took a lot of nodes.

Hope I conveyed my point. I, in no way, hate blender but since the whole thing has changed so I wanted to acknowledge this part of blender.

Thank you for such an amazing response.

I was actually talking about the textures not the materials.
Also the materials there are not really updated and doesn’t look as good.