The delusional world of PBR

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  11 November 2017
Originally Posted by kgs7165: My suggestion? Spend more time to train your eyes to have an ability to tell what looks real and what doesn't rather than having false belief some fancy software will do it for you.

Tell me what your thoughts on this. 

Original post :

  LOL, the same thought that came to my mind when I first heard that buzzword, good rant, where was it a few years ago when everyone was jumping on the pbr hype train , all in the meanwhile, been look deving for years haha.  Makes me wonder what the next hype train buzz is going to be, gonna laugh in a few years when something else new comes out and everyone will be saying you cant get realistic results with pbr...maybe its like fashion, the spec workflow will be back 

There are no "magic" programs that make you a better artist
  11 November 2017
Here is an interesting breakdown on some common questions regarding PBR from Marmoset:

Quote: Physically based rendering (PBR) refers to the concept of using realistic shading/lighting models along with measured surface values to accurately represent real-world materials.
PBR is more of a concept than a strict set of rules, and as such, the exact implementations of PBR systems tend to vary. However, as every PBR system is based on the same principal idea (render stuff as accurately as possible) many concepts will transfer easily from project to project or engine to engine. Toolbag 2 supports most of the common inputs that you would expect to find in a PBR system.
Beyond rendering quality, consistency is the biggest reason to use measured values. Having consistent base materials takes the guess work out of material creation for individual artists. It also makes it easier from an art direction perspective to ensure that content created by a team of artists will look great in every lighting condition.

PBR FAQS Before we get started, it’s important to cover common questions that usually pop up when people talk about PBR.

1) I Don’t Know How To Use A PBR System, Will I Need To Re-Learn How To Create Art Content?In most cases, no. If you have experience with previous generation shaders which use dynamic per-pixel lighting you already possess much of the knowledge necessary to create content for a PBR system. Terminology tends to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks for artists, so I have written a section on various terms and translations below. Most of the concepts here are simple and easy to pick up.
If your experience lies mostly with hand painted/mobile work, learning the new techniques and workflows outlined here may be more of a challenge. However, likely not more difficult than picking up a traditional normal map based workflow.

2) Will Artists Need To Capture Photographic Reference With A Polarized Camera System For Every Material They Wish To Create?No, generally you will be provided with reference for common materials by your studio. Alternatively, you can find known values from various 3rd party sources, like Quixel’s Megascans service. Creating your own scan data is a very technical and time consuming process, and in most cases not necessary.

3) If I Use A PBR Shader Does That Mean My Artwork Is Physically Accurate?Not necessarily; simply using a PBR shader does not make your artwork physically accurate. A PBR system is a combination of physically accurate lighting, shading, and properly calibrated art content.

4) Do I Need To Use A Metalness Map For It To Be PBR?No, a metalness map is just one method of determining reflectivity and is generally not more or less physically accurate than using a specular color/intensity map.

5) Do I Need To Use Index Of Refraction (IOR) For It To Be PBR?No, similar to the metalness map input, IOR is simply an alternate method to define reflectivity.

6) Is Specular No Longer A Thing?Not quite. Specular reflection intensity, or reflectivity is still a very important parameter in PBR systems. You may not have a map to directly set reflectivity (e.g. with a metalness workflow) but it is still required in a PBR system.

7) Do Gloss Maps Replace Specular Maps?No, gloss or roughness maps define the microsurface of the material (how rough or smooth it is), and do not replace a specular intensity map. However, if you’re not used to working with gloss maps, it may be somewhat of an adjustment to put certain detail in the gloss map that you would otherwise add to the specular map.

8) Can A PBR System Be Used To Create Stylized Art?Yes, absolutely. If your goal is to create a fantastical, stylized world, having accurate material definition is still very important. Even if you’re creating a unicorn that farts rainbows, you still generally want that unicorn to obey the physics of light and matter.
A great example of this is Pixar’s work, which is very stylized, yet often on the cutting edge of material accuracy. Here is a great article about PBR in Monsters Universityfxguide feature on Monsters University

Some good techniques regarding capturing your own textures using calibrated techniques with a macbeth chart (polarizing optional but recommended if you want to tackle the specular issue ) as well as removing additional shadow information by capturing a HDR of the environment you shot the textures in - by Dubcat (he also includes links and videos for further information):;all

Some additional links for reading if you are interested: - Great video on texture & calibration

Happy reading
James Vella
3D Visualization

Last edited by NorthernDoubt : 11 November 2017 at 09:49 AM.
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