Physically-Based Materials in Twinmotion. | Twinmotion Documentation

Physically-Based Materials

Information about creating physically-based materials for Twinmotion.

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The Materials in the Twinmotion Assets Library follow physically-based rendering (PBR) principles. Physically-based materials react to lighting and shading in the Twinmotion ecosystem, and aim to reproduce accurate and natural-looking results in all lighting environments.

When creating physically-based materials for Twinmotion, texture maps are added to the materials to recreate the appearance of color and other surface details. The following types of texture maps must be added to materials to achieve these properties: Color, Normal, Roughness, and Metallic.

Texture maps can be created by scanning real-world objects, or by creating them in design software such as Quixel Mixer, Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Substance. For more information about physically-based materials and the workflows to create them, refer to The PBR Guide on the Adobe website.

Texture Maps for Physically-Based Materials

This section provides a brief description of the Color, Normal, Roughness, and Metallic texture maps used in physically-based materials.

Color

The Color map is the most basic texture map. It defines the base color and pattern of the material. It includes an alpha channel that can store transparency information to create an opacity mask. This can be useful to create transparency in certain parts of a material, such as for decals.

To add a Color map to a material, use the Material Picker to select the material, then go to Color > More > Texture.

Color texture map

Example of a Color texture map

Normal

The Normal map provides surface details and creates the illusion of depth by simulating bumps, scratches, and imperfections.

To add a Normal map to a material, use the Material Picker to select the material, then go to Settings > Bump > Normal map.

You can enhance the properties the Normal map provides by enabling the Parallax feature and adding a Height map.

To enable parallax mapping and add a Height map to a material, go to Settings > Bump > Parallax.

Normal texture map

Example of a Normal texture map

Roughness

The Roughness map is used to determine the smoothness or roughness of a material. It is a grayscale image, where white represents roughness, and black represents reflectivity and smoothness.

To add a Roughness map to a material, use the Material Picker to select the material, then go to Reflection > More > Texture.

Roughness texture map

Example of a Roughness texture map

Metallic

The Metallic texture map should be used only for materials that have metallic properties, such as aluminum, gold, silver, or alloys such as brass. The Metallic map is a grayscale image that defines whether a material shows metallic properties. The white parts of the texture map represent full metal (100%), and the black parts represent non-metal.

To add a Metallic map to a material, use the Material Picker to select the material, then go to Settings > Metalness > Texture.

Metallic texture map

Example of a Metallic texture map

Best Practices for Creating Texture Maps

If you want to create your own texture maps, here are a few guidelines to achieve the best results.

  • Save your texture maps using the .png file format. PNG is the most optimized file format for texture maps in Twinmotion, and for real-time rendering in general.

  • The dimensions of your texture maps should be in powers of two (2), such as 512 x 512, 1024 x 1024, or 2048 x 2048 pixels.

  • Avoid saving texture maps in dimensions higher than 2048 x 2048, as this can quickly increase memory consumption in Twinmotion. Most Twinmotion native materials are in 2K resolution (2048 x 2048).

  • Use seamless (or tileable) texture maps to create a smooth continuous pattern. Otherwise you may see breaks or seams when a pattern is repeated.

  • Twinmotion does not support Ambient Occlusion (AO) maps. If you want to use an AO map in Twinmotion, you can do so by combining it with the Normal map and blending the two maps together using a design software application such as Photoshop.

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