PBR maps, or physically based rendering maps, provide critical information that describes the visual properties of a surface in a physically plausible way. With Poly, you can create the following high-quality PBR maps (Color, Normal, Height, Ambient Occlusion, Roughness, and Metalness) in 32-bit EXR file for your textures that can be directly exported into your various 3D tools.
PBR maps, or physically based rendering maps, provide critical information that describes the visual properties of a surface in a physically plausible way. Their goal is to inform 3D software of the various properties of a texture so that realistic looking results can be achieved under all lighting conditions.
Most 3D software, game engines, and content creation tools support PBR maps and materials because they're considered the best approximation of real world scenarios for real-time rendering.
With Poly, you can create the following high-quality PBR maps in 32-bit EXR file for your textures that can be directly exported into your various 3D tools.
The Render Map is not a "PBR" map, but is specific to Poly. Our AI approximates the final rendered look of your texture and this is the image you see in the render map panel. Note that simply using the render map for actual 3D modeling is discouraged, as the texture will not look realistic across different lighting conditions.
A flat light image file that has been adjusted to remove any lighting information. It differes from the render map since 3D renderers typically use the base color information in order to create realistic shadows and other features. The color map can easily be exported into other 3D tools for color fine-tuning if needed.
A normal map will add texture depth and can help create high detail bumps and dents without adding much processing power in the renderer. For some materials such as cloths, a displacement map is often not needed, saving your graphics engine cycles.
📌 Currently we only support OpenGL format (used by Blender, etc.) for exporting. However, you may conveniently covert it into DirectX format with other 3rd party tools.
Similar to a normal map, the height/displacement map provides depth information for your texture. However, it creates more dramatic surface depth renderings as it actually adds data to the 3D mesh. This can give your texture additional shading, internal occlusions, etc. Note that for this reason in a true, raytraced renderer, your textures will actually look better than they do in the Poly web interface.
An AO map adds shadows to occluded portions of the texture with crevices, adding more realistic details. With ambient occlusion, your textures will look less synthetic.
A roughness map determines how rough or smooth a texture is and how light is spread across your surface. A fully black roughness map corresponds to mirror-like smoothness, while an all-white roughness map corresponds to a fully "matte" material which scatters light in all directions.
A metalness map determines which pixels of your texture map are considered metal versus non-metal. Different renderers handle this map slightly differently, but the general principle is that the color map determines the color of the metal while the metalness map determines the metallic property of the surface. Some renderers can use grayscale metalness maps to simulate partially metallic (e.g. rusty) surfaces, while other renderers rely on the roughness map for that information.
📌 Our system currently only supports all-black or all-white metalness maps. We do not currently support materials or textures that are “partially metal” such as marble flooring inlaid with gold seams. For these more complex metalness maps we recommend either editing the roughness map and increasing the contrast or designing one yourself. In the future we hope to support custom metalness maps from scratch!