Everything related to Maxwell Render and General Stuff that doesn't fit in other categories
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By Forester
There are now two of these worth taking a look at. :D

The two artificial intelligent texture generators are Polycam (the simpler app) and WithPoly (the more complex app).

https://poly.cam/material-generator and https://withpoly.com/

Both work by you creating a text phrase, such as "stacked bricks, tan color" and clicking on a "Generate" button. When you press the "generate button," you'll typically get a result like this one shown for Polycam.


You'll also get four alternative images.


You can refine your result, either by selecting one of the four images and pressing the "generate button" again to get different results. OR, you can select one of the images and add more information to your text phrase. For example, if I add ", with a small amount of snow" to the Polycam text phrase, I get this result.


Tan bricks with a very small amount of snow. Polycam produces a set of texture map files that are 512x512 in resolution. The map set includes albedo, displacement, normals and roughness .jpgs.

With Polycam I was able to create a few sets of quite good stacked stone texture maps, that are the very devil to produce in Substance Designer and that are superior to any equivalent I was able to produce in the second of these apps, WithPoly.

Withpoly is a much more sophisticated app, but before explaining its features, here are the results of the same text phrases. First, there are these four alternative images.


Then, by selecting one of these, and adding the phrase "a small amount of snow," I get this result.


WithPoly produces maps that it describes as PBR textures. You can select resolutions ranging between 512x512 clear out to 9K. The maps are *.png, and they include a color map, a displacement map, a normal map and a roughness map.

You also can ask for the texture to be reflective or have a sheen.


The greatest strength of WithPoly, however, is its abilty to create an "atlas" type of texture set. For those of you not familiar with the concept of an atlas, it refers to an image of flower petals, leaves, individual gravel, pieces of twigs, various fruit, and the like, embedded in a transparent background. For example, here is a small pile of dried leaves generated by WithPoly.


This is absolutely the fastes known method for creating a set of atlas maps. It has particular use for landscape artists, and for interior design artists. (For the latter, here is an example of a quick flower vase transparency I created to fit in an interior kitchen counter scene.) Here, I'm just showing the color map, but please note that a normal map and a displacement map are included in this atlas set.


Anyhow, just something everyone should know about.

Happy New Year to All.
Having written a description of these and how they work, now I'd like to offer a little "product review."

First, of course, if you use one of these, you are also having to put this into the Maxwell Material Editor and refine your texture files into a decent Maxwell shader.

Second, these two AI texture generators are Crap at making metals. I spent at least an hour experimenting with stuff like brushed gold, and its all terrible. And, of course, they won't do a good job of making glasses, any translucent materials, and probably not great at plastics.

However, these are wonderful for making marble. Personally, I have a humongoeus library of marble texture files, starting with those actually photographed with a camera about 20 years ago. Finding just the right marble for the furniture of an interior design is always a time-consuming task, and so I have accumulated a vast set of marble textures over the year. But now, I probably could retire those files to a flash drive, and just use Withpoly to generate exactly what I need. It would be worth the $10/month fee for making marbles as needed and for making atlas plants.

Also, I am really, really pleased with the tree bark generation possibilities. I got quite a good redwood bark in about 10 minutes - something that has taken me two-three hours in Substance Designer.
Having spent a few hours today working on a real-world test of these apps - I have some thoughts..... :?

First, artificial intelligence texture generators are not going to put human material artists out of business anytime soon. But, they already provide a very useful tool for certain kinds of materials - useful enough that everyone should take the hour or so it requires to learn and master use of these things.

It only takes a few minute's reflection to understand why these tools (in their present state of development) are utter crap at creating metals. If you had a little high school chemistry, you know that a key property of the chemical makeup of metals is that their specular color and the strength of that color is different than their surface color. That is why, since the beginning development of rendering engines, we've had the ability to treat "specular color" as an independent variable - separate from "surface color" ( or "diffuse color" or "albedo color"). It is insufficient to apply a simple reflective sheen to a surface map, and label that as "metal" - which is what these apps appear to be doing.

Similarly, any material that absorbs light to even a micro degree, and reflects it back at a different angle (as do all transparent and translucent materials) are not going to be created by these apps, at least in the near future. It will take a decent material artist and a good material editor to create these kinds of materials.

Having acknowledged these points, however, these apps already seem to be a very good way to quickly generate materials whose 0 (zero-angle) and 90-angle (specular) colors are essentially identical, and which normally require human painting or a ton of work (days worth of work) with Substance Designer.

For example, I have a project that requires me to model a massive peeled log gate for a USA Western Ranch setting.

"Peeled Logs" look something like these.


Normally, the variation in the wood surface of something like a ponderosa pine peeled log requires a handpainted texture to begin with, a photo to begin with, or an extraordinary amount of work with Substance Designer. And if you need multiples of the texture that are all slightly different from each other, so that all your logs don't look the same, you are talking about a significant amount of work for something that is photorealistic.

This is a classic case of where one of these AI texture generators can provide the needed texture maps within a few minutes. In this case, I probably spent about two hours learning enough about WithPoly to be able to create 15 different versions of a peeled and weathered ponderosa pine texture. Once I had figured out the correct key words, I was able to generate a pretty good texture set for each of the 15 versions I'll need in about 8 minutes. Here is an example of the result.


Its really not too bad, and I'll be able to make the textures for all thirty of the logs I'll need for this massive gate.

As you can see, in the above render, I also used a metal made generated by WithPoly, and it provides a poor result. Here is a version of the metal made with Substance Designer cast iron.


Much better.

It is probable that I could get the same weathered, peeled log texture by using a photo as a base. But, I need 15 slightly unique versions of the texture, which even with Photoshop is difficult to do well within a reasonable amount of time. The AI tool, WithPoly required only about 7 minutes to make 15 versions of this texture - some of which are very interesting and that will look good in a close-up.

So, these AI tools require much less than an hour to learn and master, and they do an excellent job for certain kinds of materials - natural woods, barks, papers, plasters and other wall finishes, marbles, etc. They are kind of fun to play with, and useful besides. :wink:
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Hi Forester, happy new year to you.

This is a very interesting find, many thanks for sharing and providing some great examples! Always good to have extra resources. I do a lot of interior architectural projects where a detailed specification has already been created by my clients and sometimes matching that can be quite time-consuming. I already use Poliigon, Substance and Filter Forge. Poliigon has some great substance generators for marble and wood, but it is crazy how often I am looking for something that is not quite covered by those tools without having to resort to and even longer Substance Designer process.

I have checked out withpoly.com and I am quite impressed with the results I have been able to achieve. With regard to metals, I think it created a couple of very nice brushed metal textures and the galvanised metal texture with "large flakes" came out much better than expected.


Roof Tiles were the worst to try and get right in my limited time experimenting. No gaps between tiles being the main problem. Brickwork didn't seem to understand certain phrases like blend when defining colours, or running bond etc- Perhaps I wasn't being descriptive enough! However, being an up and coming tech, it will only get better and as you say for certain things it is great.

I must admit, for your specific use case of the flaked timber posts, personally I would have tried finding a substance from Adobe Cloud in the first instance, as it is usually quite easy to get different variations from random seeds. Failing that, my usual go to app would have been substance sampler using a reference image in an attempt to create something. However, this AI generator would certainly be a faster way of achieving this, especially if you don't have any of the substance tools.
Excellent work on the metal! Nice to see such a good example - especially with the Maxwell Editor finish. Very cool!

Yes, I think WithPoly is going to be one more good tool. Over the last two days, I sent some comments to the author/developer, and I must commend Abhay Agarwal for being extremely responsive and helpful to my inquiries. Mr. Agarwal responded immediately to my questions, and even made an immediate change to the WithPoly website to make it easier to use. It is clear that the developers are trying hard to further develop their product. So, "100 points" to their credit for fine technical support!

Yes, you are certainly correct that I had some alternative ways of getting that peeled log texture.

Personally, I've become a solid/permanent fan of Substance Designer, and I note that there is an outstanding tutorial on the WithPoly website about combining SD and WithPoly operations. https://withpoly.com/made_with_poly/cre ... ai/article

At first, I didn't quite take this "tutorial" very seriously. In fact, I was a little "put off" by Mr. Tsai's abbreviated description of Designer. However, the longer I think about this, the more I realizes that the approach to Designer Mr. Tsai recommends - beginning with a WithPoly generated texture - can create a vast time-savings in creation of complex materials, and it provides a potential way of overcoming the problems with fine controls over metallicity, roughness and transparency/translucuency. At the moment, I am experimenting with those 15 peeled wood WithPoly textures inside Designer. Am in the process of creating a single Substance that allows a user to switch between any of the 15 base textures, control the depth of the normal and height maps, and the amount of reflectivity (to simulate a protective oil coating on the logs). Not to mention controls over hue, etc. Its kind of an interesting experiment. So, if you also are a Substance Designer person, I recommend a peek at Mr. Tsai's tutorial.
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Thanks for the link to the tutorial, very interesting stuff actually. I'm not a die hard SD person, I used to use it more before Poliigon released their brick, marble and wood generators. It is the sort of program I want to use, but often struggle with getting the results I want!

Getting some individual textures to create tiling patterns is certainly a good way round any potential AI issues as I described. It is also good to know that the developers are very pro-active with development and providing info/updates like that is amazing.... erm, if only all software developers could be so happy to enlighten their customers in such a way.... :D

Good luck with the Substance building, sounds like no small feat! Looking forward to seeing the results as and when.

Next day the texture is quite different. Using the 50% and 2K option export, assumed scale 2 x 2 metres, early sunset HDRI lit, in FIRE SL 13 quality 7, not photoshopped, it looks ok-ish; not enough detail and the normalmap is not too good. But probably this will get better so this AI stuff could be used.


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