Mari 4 Megascans
Mari texture sets
Mari 4 Megascans
Mari 4 now has the option to load texture sets, also known as material scans. Quixel Megascans is the first material library to be supported. I hope this is a sign of where The Foundry is heading. Material based texturing workflows is the way forward.
In the future I can see a lot of texturing tasks becoming standardized. We may have known materials already set up and tested in Lookdev.
This is not where we are at the moment but I hope we will get there in due time.
“To use the Mari 4 megascans texture sets tab you will need materials and Quixel is the first to be supported”
Quixel gracefully hooked me up with an account for this demonstration as Mari 4 does not ship with any materials scans. The texture sets tab is just a way to actually load and access the metadata to display the thumbnails and handle the filtering. Without knowing all the technical terms behind the scenes, you point Mari to a location on your machine or network drive where the Megascans library exists. It will then populate the Mari 4 Megascans tab with the material content.
Mari 4 Megascans material workflows
Once you have loaded your library
you can filter on surfaces and atlases as well as different material tags to narrow down your result. The texture sets tab does not load any textures into Mari, if you want a texture loaded you can either drag the icon to the image manager if you have it open. You can also right click and choose “add to image manager” in the texture sets interface, they both do the same thing.
To use the Mari 4 Megascans you can use the standard Mari tools such as Tri Planar Projection or tiled textures to create your material in a standard way. If you are a node graph user as I am you can drag a texture from the image manager into the node graph and it will load as a tiled image node. Another option is to use the shift drag from image manager and it will create a Tri Planar Projection node for you. Wohooo great news..!
It’s great that The Foundry has started to take material based texturing seriously in to consideration. However the tools out of the vanilla distribution feels a bit lacking in automation.
What is missing ?
“Good work Foundry, now let’s make material texturing available in Mari! ”
My 2 Cents
The textures sets tab is a great step forward if it was backed by special tools, nodes and automation to support material based texturing.
Material based texturing is not an easy task to achieve, especially when texturing across multiple UDIMS as Mari does.
I feel Mari 4 could have been introduced with the texture sets and Megascans tab as well as automation and nodes to the node graph section. Something I miss is special nodes similar to what the extension pack nodes have introduced. I’m talking about nodes with inputs to control attributes such as repeat angle etc. Basically if you want to mimic a material based texturing approach all textures have to sync or it does not make any sense. At the moment this kind of workflow is very hard to achieve in vanilla Mari. You have to rely on the copy and paste function between channels, layers and nodes.
Mari 3.3 Megascan Materials
Mari 4 Megascans is great but as I mentioned before there are some features lacking.
Let’s take a look at Mari 3.3 where I have access to the extension pack nodes for use in material based texturing where we can clearly see the benefits of more specialised nodes.
To be able to control scanned materials all parameters have to sync. The added control that we have in the extension pack nodes where we can map the repeat, angle or any other attribute we need to sync between all texture inputs makes life so much easier to the artist.
In the video below I take a look at how we can utilize the nodes and workflows in Mari 3.3.
The Mari 4 Series
hope you linked this look into Mari 4 megascans
Have you missed my other tutorials and videos? In this Mari 4 tutorial series I will look into the new workflows and features. My previous video was about the Mari 4 UI.
As always you can help out and request topics for future episodes and you can do that by leaving a comment in the videos