Sketchfab Forum

Feature Suggestion: Fresnel and Auto-Assign textures

(Simon Kratz) #1

Hello there Sketchfab staff,

I really love the new PBR viewer that you implemented and I'd love to use it in even more ways smile
There's something I've always missed, and that's an option for fresnel.
Fresnel is excellent to mimic some more complex materials or effects like srylized glass, an X-Ray effect of some sort get some exotic reflections. So I wondered if that could be realised in any way. It could work like a masking option for the different channels
(e.g. turn emission up, turn emission's fresnel up -> it will only glow at the rim of the model.)
Maybe even give it some slider control to make it possible to adjust the hardness of the fresnel and the possibility to invert it to make something glow from the inside for example. It would offer great uses for masking transparency and reflections as well.

The second suggestion conerns the texture editor (which I love, too btw xD):
When I'm working with the traditional texture-based workflows I generate normal maps, roughness maps, albedo maps, maybe emission maps (a lot of maps).
It's always a bit of a pain to manually plug them into the individual slots. So I wondered if sketchfab could automate that process a bit smile
Most of these maps do have a pretty unique prefix and a pretty unique subfix. They generally look like this:
Wonder if it's possible for sketchfab to check the names of the textures to find normal maps and plug them into corresponding texture slots. The material names could for example match the texture map prefix, like:
material name: "head.mtl"
corresponding textures: "head_albedo", "head_specular" "head_normal"

Soooo, please think about that.
Hope it's possible to look into these suggestions. I'm sure it'd speed up the workflow a bit and fresnel might enhance the capabilities for creative material engineering quite a bit smile


Thanks for the detailed feedback!

Very cool request. We have to be careful about adding more and more things to the Editor UI - it could become (and probably already is) a bit overwhelming for users not familiar with material options.

We're working to improve the texture manager in general (rename, delete, replace, etc), and we're also working to better use texture file names to apply them in the material editor frontend.

As there's no great standard for PBR textures, this can get tricky with files from different software. I don't know if this is how we would do it, but do you think it's a reasonable if we defined naming conventions that you would have to use? *material1_roughness.png, *material2normal.png, or similar.

(Simon Kratz) #3

Hi James,
thanks for your reply, I see the difficulties that come with more and more new additions while maintaining some usability. I think some features (like fresnel) add a lot of possibilities for exotic materials but are not needed for most material definitions. Maybe some kind of "advanced" tab inside the material editor would give these more exotic options a proper place to exist? smile

Concerning texture management in my opinion the Quixel Suite made a pretty good job with it. It has kind of an auto-assign option.
It lets you manually plug in one texture and Quixel iterates all the other textures inside the same folder and tries to plug them into the respective slots. Similar to your suggestion naming conventions are predefined by Quixel and it works well. I think though that it looks for multiple possible naming conventions to give artists some more freedom when choosing names.
I just tried it and Quixel Suite managed to recognise all of these as normal maps:
head_normal.png (generated using xNormal, using naming convention of xNormal which is "_normal")
head_NRM.png (naming convention of CrazyBump: "_NRM")
normal_head.png (my own naming convention just for the purpose of testing if it works)

I think it works well if you just define a naming convention for us as you suggested.
Maybe sketchfab could just search for a string of letters, no matter if it's a prefix or a suffix to make "normal_head" possible as well as "head_normal".
If it's possible to recognise multiple possible strings (head_rough.png/head.roughness.png) it would probably be nice but I guess adding all possible definitions artists can think of is an endless fight.

I recently saw a survey here about PBR naming terms and definitions by someone from the Sketchfab team. If you think this feature is worth implementing in the future I guess a similar survey would make sense, like "How do you name your texture maps?" smiley

(Yannick Deharo) #4

I join my name to the fresnel request ! I really like this ! ^^

For the editor's complexity, maybe we can have a "light editor" and a "complete editor" ?