Sunday, July 24th, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

Material Maker 1.0 is out

A collection of procedural materials created in Material Maker by user cmzw. The free node-based material authoring and 3D texture painting software has just reached its milestone 1.0 release.

Tools developer Rod Zilla has released Material Maker 1.0, a milestone update to the free node-based material authoring and 3D texture painting software.

New features in the application, often pitched as an open-source alternative to Substance 3D Designer and Substance 3D Painter, include support for 3D Signed Distance Fields and a notarised macOS edition.

A simple but capable free alternative to the Substance 3D tools
First released in 2018, Material Maker is a procedural texture generator based the Godot game engine.

Its workflow is reminiscent of a simplified version of Substance 3D Designer, Adobe’s games-industry-standard material authoring tool, enabling artists to create procedural textures via visual programming.

Users drag nodes – there are currently around 200 – from a library panel to the graph editor and wire their inputs and outputs together, with the resulting generated texture being previewed in real time on a 3D mesh.

Completed materials can be exported as PBR texture maps – there are a number of options available – with the software including export templates for Unity and Unreal Engine as well as Godot.

More recently, the software added a 3D texture painting system, along the lines of Substance 3D Painter, enabling users to paint directly onto the surface of 3D models.

Material Maker 1.0: support for 2D and 3D signed distance fields
Material Maker 1.0 also makes it possible to generate and edit 3D Signed Distance Fields, the volumetric representation of 3D geometry used in Adobe’s new 3D modelling software Substance 3D Modeler.

Support for 2D SDFs was added in the previous release.

The implementation is still a work in progress, and will be extended in future updates.

New nodes for generating mesh patterns and slope maps
The update also adds 10 new nodes, including a Mesh node for generating mesh patterns like chain link and metal sheeting, and a Slope node for generating slope maps from heightmaps.

There are also three new noise nodes, a new Morphology node for dilating or eroding images and masks, and updates to the existing Dilate, Blend, Mirror and Normal Map nodes.

In addition, the new macOS edition is now a signed app.

Also added in the past year: new expression editor, undo system and animated texture export
Other features new features in Material Maker since the last time we covered the software include an expression editor and GLSL shader parser, and an Undo/Redo system.

It is also now possible to export animated textures as image sequences or sprite sheets via a dedicated Export Animation dialog.

Availability and system requirements
Material Maker 1.0 is available free for Windows, Linux and macOS. The source code is available on GitHub under an open-source MIT licence.

Download compiled versions of Material Maker for free from Rod Zilla’s page
(Includes the option to make a voluntary donation)

Read more about Material Maker in the online documentation