Unity is releasing a free library of common measured materials to make it easier to develop great looking models, with a focus on automotive and transportation.
We are pleased to announce the introduction of a new measured materials library, providing customers with access to a free set of materials including several kinds of leather and fabric, opaque and transparent plastic, car paint, chrome, glass, bare metal surfaces with different characteristics and more. This library provides a convenient way to quickly prepare models for visualization and is especially well suited for automotive and transportation applications.
A common problem in preparing models for visualization is assigning materials to objects so that they look realistic. While many common materials can be approximated with Unity’s built-in materials, sometimes you need more realism. Our new measured materials library includes samples of common material types so that you can fully prepare many consumer products for visualization, including most automotive and transportation products. The material library includes the following material types:
- Fabrics with various weaves including herringbone, twill, brushed and plain weave
- Leather including different grain patterns and multiple perforation styles
- Multiple wood species
- Multiple chrome finishes
- Multiple metal finishes
- Opaque plastic with multiple grain patterns
- Transparent plastic
- Car paint
The Stack Lit car paint shader more accurately represents layered materials such as car paint with a clear coat, providing a sense of depth and much more realistic appearance. All materials in the library are available for the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) and we will provide a Lightweight Render Pipeline (LWRP) version soon to support mobile use cases.
Shader Graph integration
Even out of the box, this new materials library provides a range of options for perfecting your model for use in high-quality visualization projects. But perhaps you want more ability to customize your materials. We’ve designed the library to work with the new Shader Graph system, which is new to Unity 2018.3 and offers previously unavailable levels of control and flexibility. Shader Graph uses visual graphing so that you can modify and combine material properties in new ways. You can adjust hue, albedo, normal maps, roughness, pattern size and more, to get exactly the look you want in a very controllable and predictable way.
Do you want to create your own customized materials library? It’s easy by using the library as a starting point – just copy existing materials and tailor them using the Shader Graph, then use those copies as starting points for more adjustments for vast customization potential.
Just the start
Of course, the measured material library is just the start. Perhaps you need to use specific materials such as fabrics with complex weaves or specialized carbon fiber finishes. In that case, our partnerships with companies such as Allegorithmic provide you with access to a vast range of materials for nearly any purpose, whether you are targeting automotive, architectural, or other applications. Allegorithmic has recently introduced an expanded range of Substance Source materials, including a range of materials specifically addressing the automotive market. Substance materials can be directly converted for use in both LWRP and HDRP and the Substance plugin is available for free on the Asset Store (access to Substance materials requires a subscription from Allegorithmic).
Do you want to measure your own materials? A preview of built-in shader support for AxF materials is now available with 2018.3 and an importer for AxF will soon be available. Once imported, projects using AxF materials can be shared with anyone using Unity 2018.3 or higher. We will also soon support xTex materials from Vizoo, to import xTex materials and map them directly to Unity’s built-in Lit shader.
If you have the PiXYZ Plugin 2018.3, you can use the new Rule Engine to automatically assign materials within your project – whether the materials come from the new library, from the Substance library, or from a measured source. Using the Rule Engine can eliminate the tedious work of manually assigning materials.
How do I get it?
The new library is literally a click away at the Unity Asset Store and can be downloaded at no cost today. Other new material features, including the AxF importer and xTex importer, will soon be available. Documentation for the library is available in the package after downloading from the Asset Store.
Are you missing something in the library, or do you need support for other import formats? Share your ideas and needs below, we’re always interested in listening to customers.