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Surface Knowledge



Juan José Torres is interested in procedural materials. He is describing the creation of several materials and offers them for download on his blog.

Juan José  writes:

Little more than a year ago I began to experiment with Cycles shaders trying to build different procedural materials that could be easily reused in different projects and that would require no external textures. I've been posting those procedural materials in a section in my site called 'Surface Knowledge'. Very recently, I've published the fourth material in the series, procedural stippled finish, along with major revisions and updates for already existing materials. Node setups and blend files for all materials in the series can be found here.


  1. Juan Jose Torres on

    Thank you, guys. I must confess I'm kind of excited to see what other people can do with these materials. :)

  2. I think that this is exactly the point that Blender can get stronger now. Paid softwares offer a lot of plug and play stuff like materials, skies, movement cycles, etc. We can make this too, it only depends of the contributions of us, users, in order to create a library.

    Thanks a lot, Juan José!!

  3. It is procedural materials like this that really MUST be added to a library built into Blender by default. That would give new users instant results without the pain of having to learn all the materials / textures / UV side of Blender. It could also make things much quicker for existing users!

    • Chrome Monkey on

      In addition to this, such a library can be a learning asset, as people pull the procedures apart and learn how to make their own.

    • Oh my gosh yes, that would a great asset. I wonder if they don't do it because it might add a large amount of data to the program. But then again, I'm not sure. But, it would be quite awesome.

  4. Besides Blender, I still use Vue. And Vue has separate files for materials (.mat), atmospheres (.atm), objects (.vob) and scenes (.vue).

    I think Blender could adopt this politic of separate files. This would allow to create a library to come within Blender. As Reaction said - August 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm - this is important to make our life a lot easier. And TO ATTRACT INEXPERIENCED USERS.

    At the beginning, Blender was a painful experience. Gradually, it became a more friendly software. It must be even more friendly in order to conquer the market.

  5. Juan Jose Torres on

    First of all, thanks to everyone who showed interest for these materials and for all the praise I have received. :)

    About the idea of an online Cycles materials library and it's integration within Blender, or the implementation of independent file format for Cycles materials, I think they are all great ideas that would make our lifes a lot easier and would make Blender much more attractive for beginners. However, I would like to remind everyone that Cycles is still in development and lacking some major features (volumetrics, anyone?). Working on such a material library now will make it bound to break every time Cycles gets updated, requiring even more time from developers to fix it. Just have a look at Materials Library addon by Peter Casetta, and how many times it's been broken by new developments in Cycles if you want to have an idea of how fragile such a system can be.

    Personally, I'd prefer Blender developers to concentrate on getting into Cycles all the major features in the official ToDo list. Once that's done, an online Cycles material repository could be their next major project to promote Blender usability. Just my two cents, anyway.

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