Artomatix announced that its software is now able to synthesize PBR materials direct on-mesh.
Is this the end of texturing as we know it? We’ve seen some demos of the Artomatix software, and while impressive, we wouldn’t say it was the end of the current pipeline. But, a couple of days ago, the tech people behind the ArtEngine toolkit released some new stuff. The whole project is described in the official blog post on Artomatix website (via DSOGaming).
This innovation is fundamentally different from the way texture artists apply materials onto their 3D models today. Current workflows are dominated by manual painting which is powerful but labor intensive, or there are a few planar projection techniques that can help speed things up, such as tri-planar, which are fast but can lead to repetitious features, seam artefacts, stretching and don’t really lend themselves to artistic controls. On-model synthesis offers a simple but powerful tool to sit alongside the others, where the artist can direct the high-level properties of the material, such as how it flows along the surface of the mesh as well as it’s size at any given position. By leveraging A.I. and an example of the desired material, on-model synthesis can generate a full PBR material over the surface of the mesh, taking UV space into account to create a new unique texture that looks organic while avoiding seams”.
Artomatix CTO Dr. Eric Risser
Why is on-model synthesis so interesting? Well, as Artomatix puts it, this method performs not only on simple textures and models but also works with very sophisticated materials and shapes. The features of this new feature are showcased in a new demo. There you can see a fire-breathing gecko is perched on a charred tree branch. The model was textured through the manual painting of a flow and size map directly on the model. Then multiple PBR materials were synthesized over the surface of the gecko model and blended together.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the footage of the demo.