Lucasfilm & ILM Release the Open Source MaterialX Library – Alembic for Materials
The alembic for materials.
ILM and Lucas have released the first version of MaterialX as Open Source. The goal is to address the lack of a current open standard in materials and to unify the transfer of materials and lookdev between many renderers and software.
MaterialX begin development at Lucasfilm in 2012 and was used with The Force Awakens and Rogue One, among others.
MaterialX provides a schema for describing material networks, shader parameters, texture and material assignments, and color-space associations in a precise, application-independent, and customizable way.
From the spec:
There are at least four distinct interrelated data relationships needed to specify the complete “look” of a
- Define the texture processing networks of image sources, image processing operators, connections and parameters used to combine and process one or more sources (e.g. textures) to produce the texture images that will eventually be connected to various shader inputs (e.g.”diffuse_albedo” or “bumpmap”).
- Define geometry-specific information such as associated texture filenames or IDs for various map types.
- Define the parameter values and connections to texture processing networks for the inputs of one or more rendering or post-render blending shaders, resulting in a number of materials.
- Define the associations between geometries in a model and materials to create number of looks for the model.
Right now there aren’t to my knowledge, any plugins available but logic says that will change in short order. Foundry and Autodesk are also involved with the project so you can be sure they will lead the way.
The MaterialX team will host a ‘Birds of a Feather’ meeting at the ACM SIGGRAPH Conference in Los Angeles, CA on Monday July 31 2017, 9:30-‐11:00am, in room 511BC of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Learn more at materialx.org