UNIVERSAL MATERIAL

In previous versions of Octane, there were some restrictions on the type of material you selected when creating material. For example, you could not use the "emission" feature when using glossy or specular material, or not to use "specular" and "glossy" at the same time. We had to create them separately and use them with mix or blend material. Universal Material eliminates all of these restrictions and provides us with a highly flexible and creative solution for material creation. There's no material you can't do anymore with Universal Material. Moreover, you can create extremely complex materials here. We're not just talking about the materials we all see each day. Sometimes you come across such a material that you find yourself thinking about how to do it in Octane. These situations are no longer a problem due to Universal Material. As you work with this material and gain experience, you will feel almost like no other type of material is needed.


As a use, you might overwhelm at first, but when you take some time, you'll see that most options are not any different from other types of material. The beauty of the universal material is to combine all the other material options together efficiently and work accurately with the new options. That's why it's easy to create a material with Dielectric and Conductor properties. The use of "Metallic (conductor)" or "Specular (dielectric) in Universal material has a special subject, which will be described later in this topic.


We will try to explain most options for this material. However, we will not explain the "parameters" described in detail in previous material types. You can read the relevant explanations in the topic section of the material. We will explain in detail the new options that come with Universal material.




Albedo

Albedo is often synonymous with Diffuse. Here you can enter the base color or texture input for the material. You can use RGB/Greyscale and Float input. If you are going to use Albedo texture, or if you are going to create it, make sure that it is not in albedo texture, such as shadow, direction light or AO. Just work like a Diffuse texture.




SPECULAR

This option is not different from "Specular Material". Therefore, you can get more detailed information from the relevant section. When working with Universal Material, you should pay more attention to the distinction of Conductor and Dielectric. Because since Metallic material came to Octane, this distinction has become more visible. For the clarification of concepts and ease of use, we can make the following 2 classifications:

1- If you are going to use "Specular" when working in Universal Material, this means that you will create "Dielectric" material. In this case, you must set the "Float" value in Metallic to zero.

2- if you are going to use "Metallic" when working in Universal Material, this means you will create "Conductor" material. In this case, when you set Metallic Float 1, the specular (Dielectric) parameter is automatically overridden.

Well if you ask what is Conductor and Dielectric you can look at internet, you will find a lot of info about this subject. Or you can look at the short description in this manual.

Info: In real world, Dielectric and Conductor materials have very complex features. In Octane, the use of these concepts actually means that the core engine calculates the "Fresnel" values realistically and accurately.  


And finally, let's show a list of some Conductor and Dielectric materials:

Conductors: Aluminum, Copper, Gold, Iron, Lithium, Mercury, Silver, Sodium, Lithium, Titanium, etc.

Dielectrics: Water, All kind of Plastics, All kind of Glasses, Asphalt, Diamond, Emerald, Grass, Ruby, Milk, etc.



MetallIc

With this feature you can use your material to make completely realistic metal surfaces. In addition to the "specular" section above, the material you create will be classified as "conductor". By default, there is a "Float" value. If you make this Float value 1, the material will be Conductor. In this case, the "Specular" parameter will be disabled automatically. If you click the "tex" button next to the Float, you can add a metallic feature to the material with many other inputs. For example, you can use any RGB/Greyscale texture or Octane's procedural textures. When you start using Metallic, the most important parameter is the "IOR" parameter. With this parameter you can create realistic metallic surfaces using real IOR values. Metallic parameter is a very good addition to Universal material. In this section you can find detailed information about the "Metallic Material".

Info: Realistic IOR data of the real world surfaces or materials can be found at this site.  




roughness

This parameter works as in other material types. Especially after the implementation of the new BRDF feature, Roughness has gained more importance. It is almost essential to use it in many material types. A detailed description of this parameter can be found in the Glossy material section.


ANISOTROPY

This parameter is explained in detail in the "Glossy Material" section. You can use this quick link.


sheen layer

This parameter came in version 3.08, especially for making fabric material. You can achieve pretty good results. This parameter is also explained in detail in the "Glossy Material" section. You can use this quick link.


coatIng layer

This new feature, which comes with Universal Material, brings a very satisfactory solution to the Coating Layer, which is missing in the older versions. In previous versions of Octane, we were forced to use this "Coating" layer either by using mix material or blend material. Now we can easily use in universal material. This is a nice surprise especially for those who want to make a car paint materials. Now let's explain some of the options here:

FLOAT (OPTIONAL), COATING ROUGHNESS & COATING IOR

When you first select this parameter, you will see the Float option. This option is default and you can select any of the options that will appear when you press the "tex" button instead. For example, you can use any RGB/Greyscale texture or Octane's procedural texture. To get the effect you see in the picture below, go to the "tex" menu and select "RGB" from the available options. Now set any color. The color you set will assign a color layer to the top of the material depending on the use of specular, albedo or metallic parameters. The options Coating Roughness and Coating IOR works together. Coating Roughness actually determines the coat distribution level of the coat layer. Coating IOR is used to determine the strength of the same layer by increasing or decreasing the refractive index. Both options have nothing to do with Universal Material's roughness and IOR settings.  




THIN FILM LAYER

This parameter explained in detail in the "Glossy Material" section. You can use this quick link.


BUMP

This parameter explained in detail in the "Diffuse Material" section. You can use this quick link.


normal

This parameter explained in detail in the "Diffuse Material" section. You can use this quick link.


DISPLACEMENT

This parameter explained in detail in the "Texture Types" section. You can use this quick link.


OPACITY

This parameter explained in detail in the "Diffuse Material" section. You can use this quick link.


DISPERSION

This parameter explained in detail in the "Specular Material" section. You can use this quick link.


IOR

We have explained this parameter in "Metallic Material" section but there are some changes in the use of Universal Material. Let's explain them now. First of all, at the beginning of this chapter, we would like to remind you of the topics of "Conductor" and "Dielectric" and follow the subject.  

DIelecTRIC IOR

This parameter only works when you activate the specular (dielectric) parameter. It is used to enter a simple IOR value. There is no difference between the index parameter in Glossy material. You can enter a value that pleases your eye.


DIelecTRIC 1 IOR/map

This parameter allows you to control the IOR value with an RGB / Greyscale or Procedural texture. When you define any texture to the Texture slot, the "Dielectric IOR" parameter is disabled and only controlled by the texture parameter. For example, if you define Octane Noise in the texture field here and play with its settings, you can get different results.


MetallIc refleCTION MODE & MetallIC IOR

These two parameters are the same as the IOR options described in the Metallic Material section. We already explained in detail there. To read, you can use this quick link.


TRANSMISSION

This parameter explained in detail in the "Specular Material" section. You can use this quick link.


EMISSION

This parameter explained in detail in the "Blackbody Emission" section. You can use this quick link.


MEDIUM

This parameter explained in detail in the "Mediums" section. You can use this and this quick links.


fake shadows

This parameter explained in detail in the "Specular Material" section. You can use this quick link.


COMMON

This parameter explained in detail in the "Diffuse Material" section. You can use this quick link.



SUBSTance paInter / UNIVERSAL MATERIAL workflow

If you are using Substance Painter, you can now work more comfortable with Universal material. Previously, when importing texture from Substance Painter, you had to use specific material types for some channels (such as Diffuse + Specular). Then you had to mix these material types. Now you don't have to worry about it anymore, thanks to the Universal Material. Let's talk about Substance Universal workflow.


Info: The following mini tutorial does not describe how Substance Painter is used or how the texture is produced. This is beyond our scope. Both free and professional tutorials are available on the Internet about Substance Painter.


Info: The following Mini Tutorial does not include complex Substance texture setups. It is aimed to explain the universal material connection with a setup as simple as possible.  


1- Scene preparatIon (C4d)

First of all, your model must be ready on the Cinema 4D side. Especially UV maps must be made properly or you can not work efficiently in Substabce. If you are having difficulty in the UV map part of Cinema 4D, there are suitable alternatives in the market. As a model we will use the Mini Dragon, which we use in various parts of this manual. The following UV setup are automatically made in C4D. It works for our Tutorial.



2- Export Your Mesh for Subtance

If you have properly managed your UV Map of your Model, it is now ready for Subtance. From the File menu, select the Export/FBX format and save with the default options.  



3- IMPORT Your Mesh to Subtance PAINTER

Now switch to Substance painter. From the File menu, choose "New Project" and load your object. Also, make Document Resolution 2048. You can do it in "1024" to work more comfortably. When exporting the final output in Substance, you can save it at higher resolution. Due to its procedural nature, there is no loss of quality in processes such as texture enlargement or reduction in Substance Painter.



4- A FEW SMALL STEPS...

There are a few more steps before you go into the production of textures. First go to the "Texture Set Settings" window and click "Bake Mesh Maps" right next to "Mesh Maps". So we will have a texture set for every process on our Mesh. This is like "bake texture" in C4D. Those who unfamiliar with the subject can look at both the Substance and the Cinema 4D help file.

 



5- TexTure creatIon

You can now start texture/paint production. Substance Painter has a complex Layout/UI/UX design for beginners. Therefore, it is recommended that you spend some time in the software. As we said at the beginning, there are both free and professional tutorials on the Net.

Anyway, let's get back to our Mini Dragon. For this tutorial we have created a simple material as you can see in the picture below. Our aim is to connect the maps with universal material directly to the relevant nodes. In the picture below, you can see the material we created on the lef side. This material consist of four maps: Albedo, Metallic, Roughness and Anisotropy Angle. In Substance, you can see the Anisotropy Angle not in conjunction with the material but in a separate way. We will use it in Octane universal material.



6- EXPORT YOUR TexTureS

You can now export the texture after it has finished. To do this, select "Export Textures (CTRL+SHIFT+E)" from the File menu. After making the appropriate settings in the export window, press the "Export" button. So your job at Substance is over now.



6- USE TEXTURES IN OCTANE UNIVERSAL MATERIAL  

Now connect your exported texture to the Octane universal Material. First, create a Universal material. Make the GGX Brdf. Then open the material in Node editor and make a Node setup as in the picture below. If you do not know how to work in Node editor, we have explained in detail here. You can also look at  this section for the image texture operations.

Info: In order for the anisotropy angle map to work, first change the Anisotropy to "1" from the main material parameters. In addition, Anisotropy is strictly dependent on roughness. So in Substance, you should map the anisotropy channel to roughness. In Octane, you can easily control both the metallic appearance and the anisotropy level with the Power and gamma settings.

Info: There is no direct "Anisotropy Rotation" name in the main material node. İt's only named "Rotation". Strange design decision. Octane is full of strange design decisions.  



7- FINALIZING YOUR RENDER

After connecting the textures to Universal material, run the Live Viewer. Do the camera and light setups on your scene. Since the material you see in Substance's viewport is for reference purposes only, the light setups in your scene determine the main appearance of your texture.

After making Node setup above Universal material, our final picture done. As you can see, we made a very simple "diffuse + anisotropy + metallic" material with the textures we produce in Substance painter.