Material Maker is an open source project that recently released version 0.95. We have been monitoring the development of Material Maker for a few years now and it’s amazing how far this program has come in a very short period of time. Material Maker enables you to create materials using a procedural graph based workflow, similar to the commercial Substance Designer by Allegorthmic, which was acquired by Adobe in 2019. In recent updates, Material Maker also received a nascent 3D painting mode similar to Substance Painter, although much more simplistic for now. For a single developer project, Material Maker is amazing in it’s accomplishments.
Features of Material Maker 0.95+ include:
- A simple texture generation engine that defines a very small set of node types (shaders, buffers, node groups, image, text, switch…) that can be connected to describe procedural textures. The engine does not generate an image for each node, but combines shaders until it reaches a buffer node or the target Material node (textures described as combined shaders are resolution independant).
- A painting engine that can paint albedo, roughness, metallic, emission and depth components of a 3D object’s material at the same time, use generated shaders as brushes and can map patterns on brush, screen or texture space. The painting tool supports multiple Paint, Procedural and Mask layers.
- A website dedicated to sharing procedural materials and brushes.
- A base library of ~150 nodes that define shapes, patterns, filters and transforms on textures, as well as 2D and 3D shapes described as signed distance functions. Those nodes can be accessed from the Library panel or the nodes context menu of the graph view.
- New group nodes and shader nodes can easily be created using the user interface (creating shader nodes require some GLSL knowledge).
- A graph view where material graphs are edited.
- A hierarchy view that shows the hierarchy of group nodes in the current material.
- A 2D preview panel that shows the texture generated by the selected node and can export the result.
- A 3D preview panel that shows the current PBR material on a model. Basic shapes (Cube, Sphere…) are available and custom models can be loaded in .OBJ format.
- An Histogram panel that shows the current node’s output tonal distribution.
- A Reference panel where images files can be dropped and that can be used to pick colors and gradients.
Material Maker is a free download for Windows and Linux available on GitHub. The project is open source and is built using the Godot game engine with the source code available on GitHub under the MIT license. There is now a Material Maker homepage that has dozens of materials and some brushes available for download. If you want to learn more about Material Maker or have any questions you can join their Discord Server here.
You can learn more about Material Maker 0.95 in the video below.