materialiq Tutorial

Welcome to this material library. Here you can read a bit about how to use it.
The tutorial is split into 7 chapters. Each explaining one important topic.
It's good to read & understand all of them to utilize this material library better.
01
Previewing the Materials

01.D : Previewing Materials in the Viewport

02
Statistics & Classification

02.A : Numbers + Letters

02.B : Amount of Materials & Textures

02.C : Memory & Performance

03
Getting Started

03.C : Creating a Simple Scene

03.D : Assigning Materials to the Scene

04
Material Assignment

04.A : Assign / Link / Select By

04.B : Material Index and Modifiers

04.C : Material Linked to Data or Object

04.D : Replacing a Material Globally

05
Material Customization

05.A : Use Default Values

05.B : Base Color

05.C : Roughness

05.D : Normal Map

05.E : Variations

06
Material Mapping

06.A : UV Mapping

06.B : Object Mapping

06.C : Mapping NodeGroup

07
HDRs & Worlds (Environments)

07.A : Source: HDRI Haven

07.B : HDR Rotation & Transparency

07.C : HDR Previews

07.D : Exposure & Contrast

 
 
 
 
01
Previewing the Materials

01.D : Previewing Materials in the Viewport

01.D : Previewing Materials in the Viewport


To preview materials right inside of viewport, select a couple of materials (with B), press Shift+H to hide everything else and then Shift+Z to see a rendered preview of them and change them as you please in the Node Editor.
To go back you press Z or Shift+Z to stop the rendered preview and then Alt+H to unhide all.
This described probably the most useful sequence of shortcuts in Blender when it comes to working on larger scenes. One additional shortcut useful in this scenario is the "Render Border" Shift+B to select a small area to render so that the noise cleans faster which in turn allows you to make decisions faster and have the UI more responsive if using GPUs for rendering. You can clear (reset) the render border with Ctrl+Alt+B.
It is not a good idea to render the entire library as it takes 14 GB of memory!
 
02
Statistics & Classification

02.A : Numbers + Letters

02.B : Amount of Materials & Textures

02.C : Memory & Performance

02.A : Numbers + Letters


All materials have index number based on their type and a letter to keep them in order. There are a total of 11 categories each made up of 11 to 26 materials. You can see all of them under the "materials" in the menu at the top of this page. The amount of materials will increase as time goes by.
Over time this makes it much faster to find the right material. You just type "2" when you want a wood material and that gives you a list of all wooden materials. Alternatively if you remember the exact index, let's say 2A, you can just type that to get 2A_Wood_Oak material straight away.
The numbers also make it easier to identify materialiq materials in projects with your own materials so nothing gets mixed up.

02.B : Amount of Materials & Textures


In this first release there were 201 materials using 328 textures. Right now as of year 2021, there are 246 materials. Each material except Glass, Water and other special ones uses 2 textures (some are shared between multiple materials).
For now the maximum amount of materials per category is 26 - limited by the alphabet. That is good for now but will be extended.
These are the categories that have most materials:

0 Steel & Metal: 24 materials
1 Concrete: 32 materials
2 Wood: 35 materials
3 Stone & Marble & Rock: 26 materials
5 Walls & Roofs: 47 materials

02.C : Memory & Performance


Rendering the entire library with 4k textures takes up about 14 GB of memory. This of course would only happen if all of the materials are used at once in a scene which is very unlikely to happen.
It is a fact that large textures take up a lot of memory compared to geometry so to help with lowering the memory requirement you can easily swap texture resolutions of materialiq materials to use smaller textures. 2048x2048 takes 4x less and 1024x1024 takes even 16x less memory than 4096x4096.
To do so just go to the materials tab in the Properties window and under "materialiq" you can either change resolution of all materials or just the active material. Mostly it's good to change from 4096 to 2048 globally and then where there is a prominent material close to the camera, you can switch it back to 4096 locally while it's active.
In large scenes with many materials or for smaller resolution renders it's good to start at 1024.
Use 512 is only really useful when distance to objects permits or to preview heavy scenes. Since it is 64x times smaller than 4096x4096 it loads very, very quickly and uses a small fraction of the memory
03
Getting Started

03.C : Creating a Simple Scene

03.D : Assigning Materials to the Scene

03.C : Creating a Simple Scene


Here we'll create a very simple scene and then assign materials. There is definitely more to modelling and object management in Blender and as there are many great resources across the internet I won't go into depths here.
Create a new File and add a new object with Shift + A, choose Mesh > Cube. Afterwards press TAB to switch to Edit Mode where you can edit the vertices, edges and faces of this object and also assign different materials to it's various parts.
Absolutely of utmost importance are 2 shortcuts. A to select all or select none depending on what's already selected and Z that toggles between the Wireframe and Solid shading modes (Blender 2.79) that lets you see through objects whenever necessary.
The simple scene will be a room and as the default Cube is only 2x2 meters large we need to scale it up. So go ahead and select everything with A and press S to enable scaling.
You are quite free to move your mouse now and confirm the scale with LMB / Enter or cancel with RMB / Esc but more importanly - you can choose the axis and also type in the exact number to scale with. So to choose an axis, just press X, Y or Z - or alternatively, you can press Shift+X, Shift+Y or Shift+Z to NOT use that axis for the scale operation.
Here we want a room that's 6m wide 4m deep and 3m high. So with the scale operation already enabled - this is the shortcut sequence to create such a room: X 3 LMB, S Y 2 LMB, S 1.5 Z LMB. As you see with the Z axis here, it doesn't really matter if you first choose the axis or type in the number to scale with..
Now this next step is not absolutely necessary but good to keep in mind. Our Cube was positioned at the center of the 3D world which is 0, 0, 0 and since we were scaling around that center and our Room is 3m tall, it means that the floor is now 1.5m below this absolute center. It is not a problem but generally it's a good idea to keep any main horizontal surfaces at Z = 0.
So press G (Grab) in order to move our selection. As Blender is very consistent all the rules learnt from Scaling apply here aswell. So the shortcut sequence is: Z 1.5 LMB.
To create Windows, we need to create holes in the mesh. There are multiple ways to do so (as with anything) but possibly the cleanest way is to create Edge Loops and then delete entire faces that were defined by them.
We'll be using Loop Cut and Slide in Blender. It's shortcut is Ctrl+R and it let's you choose with your mouse hovering over the Cube the possible Loop Cuts (and use mouse roller to set the number of cuts). Once you choose one with LMB, you can move the mouse again to slide the loop cut into the position that you want. Create a couple of loop cuts to define the boundaries of the windows.
Now to select the faces to separate into a new object, let's switch to Face Select Mode with Ctrl+TAB, choose Faces, select the window faces with RMB (hold Shift to Add), then press P (Separate) and choose Selection.
As the last step we'll be adding a Solidify modifier to add thickness to the walls. Switch back to Object Mode with TAB and click on the blue wrench (modifiers) in the Properties window. Now choose "Solidify" from the drop down menu that appears after clicking on Add Modifier. Now to avoid thinning in the corners, check Even Thickness.

03.D : Assigning Materials to the Scene


Now switch to Materials tab in the Properties window - the red sphere. Let's have Polished Concrete for the floor, Stonewall for one wall and Plaster for the rest. Let's assign Plaster first. 2021: Click on the Summon Material, category 5 and choose 5D_Plaster_Smooth.
Now to add the other two materials, click on the + twice. Then select each empty slot and summon the two other materials: 1J_Concrete_Floor_Polished and any of the Stonewalls you'd like.
Now you have all the materials slots you need but the problem is, everything was assigned to the first one that was created - Plaster. So we need to assign the floor and one of the walls faces to them.
The manual way is selecting all the faces one by one with Shift+RMB or it might be faster to use the Select Similar (Shift+G) which selects similar by trait based on selection (it also works in Object Mode). To select the floor it's enough to select one face, Shift+G and choosing Co-planar. You can do the same for the stonewall.
Once you're done selecting it's just enough to choose the material you want the selected faces to have and pressing Assign.
 
04
Material Assignment

04.A : Assign / Link / Select By

04.B : Material Index and Modifiers

04.C : Material Linked to Data or Object

04.D : Replacing a Material Globally

04.A : Assign / Link / Select By


Assigning Materials
There are 2 different approaches depending if you are about to assign a material or copy material from one object to another. The first way we touched in the 03.D : Assigning Materials to the Scene.
So to recap quickly, to assign material to the object, it's necessary to select it, click on the red sphere and find the material in the list. You can type to search and also use mouse roller to scroll through. To assign more materials to the same object, simply click on the + and choose materials for each slot, then go into Edit Mode and assign selected faces to the slots with the "Assign" button with the right material active. With a face selected you can also press Shift+G and choose Material to select all faces assigned to the same material slot.
Linking Materials
Now let's say you've got one object that has a material you'd like to assign to other objects. One way is to drag and drop the red sphere onto objects to assign the active material. This works well but always fills 1st material slot and can be tiresome to do with many objects. Usually the better way is to link from the active object with Make Links. Simply select one object that already has the material to make it active, then press Ctrl+L and choose Materials.
Selecting Linked
Again, by using Shift+G you can select objects of similar trait. Here the "Materials" is obviously the best choice. It always takes whichever material is active on your active object and then selects all objects that have it.
Also useful to note is that in Edit Mode, you can seperate the object based on it's materials with P. So if you have more than 1 material assigned, Blender will create separate objects for each material slot.

04.B : Material Index and Modifiers


The material index is basically a number it has in the material slot stack. The first material's index number is 0, second one is 1, third one is 2, ...
This is especially important when it comes to certain modifiers where you can define material offset like Solidify, Bevel or Wireframe.
Solidify
With solidify you have two options when it comes to material indices. Either offset index of the entire new side or only offset index of the rim. Personally I seldom need to offset the entire new side and I usually offset the rim instead.
Bevel
Bevel is usually used to create rounded edges of objects and not really to define much more than that. But when segments is set to 2 and profile to 1.00, it can be used to change material of the "borders" and not actually change the geometry itself. Also with Bevel you don't actually set material index offset but you set what the material index is instead.
Wireframe
Wireframe can have it's uses as a modifier not only to show wireframe. It depends on the case but usually it's good to check "boundary" and uncheck "replace original". You can add an unclamped Bevel after Wireframe to in a way rotate the wires 45° around their axis.

04.C : Material Linked to Data or Object


When working with a scene it's always a good idea to have models or even lights as instances. So if you have 10 columns sharing the same Object Data between themselves and you edit any single one of them, then upon leaving Edit Mode all of them suddenly change. This makes it much easier to work on scenes with objects or lights that should be the same.
This in and of itself is quite common knowledge. Many objects can share the same Object Data and you can always link Object Data from the active object to all objects that are selected with Ctrl+L or alternatively you might want to select all objects using the same Object Data as the active object with Shift+L and lastly if you wish to make an object really unique just press U and choose "Object & Data" which unlinks Object Data and creates a new copy of it.
What is not such common knowledge is the fact that materials are Datablocks too and can be linked either to Object or Data. What this means is that you can have 2 Objects that have the same Object Data but all of them use a different material! How to do this is shown in the gif.
Also overlooked is the fact that even though Modifiers are not technically Datablocks and can't be linked, only copied from active, you can again have 3 Objects with the same Object Data but all of them using a different modifier stack. This enables for limited procedural modelling often helping with faster iteration without the need to remodel with each change.
If you combine the instancing, different materials and different modifiers you can get to some interesting results as seen in the showcase scenes when it comes for example to windows.

04.D : Replacing a Material Globally


To replace a material for another material go to the Properties window and Materials tab, then in materialiq click on "Replace Material". Now simply choose the "Original" material to replace and then the "Replacement" material to replace it with and press OK. All done. And if you had "Update Selection" checked all affected objects will be selected.
This can be either used to replace the material on all objects in the scene or only replace it on selected objects.
This is most useful for having to crawl through huge models with already assigned materials that you need to replace for different materials.
Just watch out so you don't replace a material on all objects which might put a 0 next to it and turn it into "unused" state meaning it gets deleted after saving and closing the .blend file. To prevent this you might either always use "Only selected" or enable "Fake User" through the addon.
05
Material Customization

05.A : Use Default Values

05.B : Base Color

05.C : Roughness

05.D : Normal Map

05.E : Variations

06
Material Mapping

06.A : UV Mapping

06.B : Object Mapping

06.C : Mapping NodeGroup

07
HDRs & Worlds (Environments)

07.A : Source: HDRI Haven

07.B : HDR Rotation & Transparency

07.C : HDR Previews

07.D : Exposure & Contrast