Thursday, November 29th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

Quixel releases beta of dDo Photoshop ‘super-plugin’

Quixel, developer of powerful normal mapping tool nDO2, has released a beta of its latest project: dDo.

Described as a ‘Photoshop artistic framework’, dDo is a kind of super-plugin designed to automate common texturing tasks, particularly for games work, making it easy to generate realistically distressed materials.

The software imports a range of standard map types and automatically assembles them; then enables the user to apply effects all over or to individual parts of the texture.

The resulting project file can be used to generate a set of variant textures for an asset.

Thousands of instant effects
Those effects include a number of different scratch and surface wear patterns; all-over ‘acid’ damage; and grunge effects ranging from ‘coffee stains’ to ‘general goop’.

Placement of the effects relative to cavities or exposed parts of the model can be controlled via the ambient occlusion map, and the direction of scratches can be controlled by the object space normal.

Each effect comes with a set of control sliders; and a node-based workflow enables users to create custom effects.

Full 3D preview
The results can be previewed in 3D without leaving Photoshop via dDo’s built-in IBL-based real-time preview renderer, with the option to assign preset reflectance values simulating a range of common materials.

All in all, it looks really rather brilliant. The dDo website already boasts enthusiastic user quotes from artists at BioWare and Blizzard Entertainment.

Test it today
dDo is available for beta testing. You can register on the website for a personal beta key until 28 January 2013.

The application is compatible with Photoshop CS3 and above and works with both the Standard and Extended editions – you don’t need the Extended edition to use the 3D functionality – although it is Windows-only.

You can also preorder. The list price is $99 for a non-commercial licence, $299 $249 for a freelancer licence, or $499 for a commercial volume licence; but you get a 15% discount if you order before 28 December 28 January.

Updated 3 December: Quixel has been in touch to say that the closing date for the discount is 28 January 2013. All of the relevant order pages on the website have now been updated.

Visit the dDo website

Read a full list of features in dDo

Download the dDo beta

Visit the dDo forum