Monday, February 15th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Mankua Software releases PixaFlux in free open beta

Mankua Software has released a free beta of PixaFlux, an interesting new node-based image editing application that it is positioning as a “powerful PBR texture composer” for games texturing work.

The application has been around for just over a year, initially as a more general-purpose image editor, but it came to our attention when we spotted a forum post mentioning its new PBR viewport.

A non-destructive node-based editor for normal maps
PixaFlux is node-based, so it should be familiar to anyone who has used tools like Substance Designer. It’s fully parametric, and workflow is non-destructive.

Users can import photographic source images, apply standard Levels and Curves adjustments, transform or warp them, and blend multiple source images, with support for masking.

The result can be converted to a normal map via the To Normal node, with the result previewed in a 3D viewport.

As well as the bitmap image-editing tools, PixaFlux contains a set of basic paint and Bezier shape-creation options for modifying a normal map manually, as shown in the video above.

In addition, PixaFlux enables users to import 3D models – at the minute, in OBJ format only – along with standard PBR texture maps (albedo, normal, roughness, metalness, occlusion), to display in the viewport.

To judge from the wiki, there aren’t any dedicated tools for editing the other map types yet, but it does enable normal maps to be edited in the context in which they will eventually be displayed.

At the minute, that’s about it, but Mankua has a background in developing commercial 3ds Max plugins – notably, texture-baking tool Kaldera – so it will be interesting to see how PixaFlux develops.

PixaFlux is available now as a free beta for Windows only. The documentation in the wiki is fairly bare-bones, but there are a set of videos on the PixaFlux YouTube channel that explain the basic workflow.

Read more about PixaFlux on the product website

Download the open beta of PixaFlux