Hi :slight_smile:
A Marble texture is generated by a mathematical noise function. (A common method is named Perlin Noise and if you are interested you can read more info about Perlin Noise in here )

ZBrush has a similar Noise Generator available within the material modifiers sub menu. This noise generator can be used when creating 3D-based noise materials. Here are few examples of the Noise Material…

The above materials are all based on the “NoisePattern1” material. By modifying the Noise intensity, Noise radius and (most importantly) the ‘Noise Curve’ you are able to generate endless variations of Marble/Noise surfaces.

There are several advantages to using 3D Material as opposed to wrapped 2D textures… (Naturally, 2D textures do have their advantages as well)

Here are some key Material-vs.-Texture points…

:large_orange_diamond: I have applied a modified NoisePattern1 material to a Sphere3D and also have applied the same materials to the canvas (CTRL+F) and ‘grabbed’ (NRGBZGrabber tool ) the canvas in order to produce a marble texture. See below…

:large_orange_diamond: When texture is wrapped on a 3D object, it will be stretched to fit the topology of the object, which may result in a noticeable pattern distortion. Material on the other hand, will always have a proper density regardless of the topology of the 3D object, as seen below…

:large_orange_diamond: When scaling a 3D object, the wrapped texture will be scaled as well, which will produce an undesirable result when the pattern needs to be of a consistent size (such as bricks). Material on the other hand, will retain its scaling regardless of the object size, as seen below…

:large_orange_diamond: When the need arises to increase the density of the texture, a texture may produce a visible seam as well as a noticeable (and at times, undesirable) repetitive pattern. However, material will properly scale without producing a seam, nor will it produce a noticeable repeatable pattern, as seen below…

:large_orange_diamond: When placing two separate and partially overlapping textured objects, the intersection may produce a visible discontinuity. Material will produce a continued pattern in the intersection and across the objects, as seen below…

:large_orange_diamond: The level of details that is imbedded within a texture is in direct proportion to the size of the texture. If placed on a large enough (or zoomed) object, the texture will reach a point in which no more details are available and the object will look blurred or faceted. Material, on the other hand, is resolution independent and can offer (practically) unlimited amount of details, as seen below…

The obvious question is… If 3D Material has all these advantages, why use textures???

Well… textures do have their advantages…
:large_orange_diamond: Texture is much faster to render by a rendering engine as opposed to a 3D calculation-intensive material.
:large_orange_diamond: Texture can easily be transferred to other applications while Materials are mostly application-dependent and are not easily transferable or reproducible in other applications.
:large_orange_diamond: Texture can be modified on a pixel-level that offers tremendous amount of control over the exact look of the texture, while 3D materials are mostly generated by computational algorithms with small (and practical) number of user-controlled inputs.
:large_orange_diamond: At times, the apparent shortcoming of a texture (such as visible repeatable pattern) is actually desirable.

There you have it… Materials vs. Textures: In some cases 3D material would be the best choice, while in others, a texture would be the winner.

Regardless of whether or not you prefer to use textures over materials, you should remember that some 3D materials do use textures and most textures can be created by a 3D material and both can be created and utilized within ZBrush.

I hope you’ll find this helpful :slight_smile:

Hi Pixolator . . . :slight_smile:

Very interesting post!!! :smiley:

I really enjoyed reading the information you provided, & I’m sure there will be many other users that will benefit from this information also. If I could create the desired pattern for the specific usage needed at the time, I would always go for a mathematical generated texture over a bitmap. :wink:

Thanks & have a good one . . . :cool: Mark.

Thanks for all the great info, Pixolator! That Perlin Noise article is fascinating reading!

Awesome info, Pixolator! You really opened my eyes for what is possible with materials, and now I’ve spent the evening experimenting with their settings. I thought you might like to see the results.

This is 100% ZBrush with no post-render work at all. The whole project was meant as an experiment in using material modifiers to create textured effects. The acorns were modeled from a single sphere, using some creative masking techniques to get the shape and texture of the caps. I didn’t use a single texture in the entire project – it’s all done with alpha-brushed color and material modifiers.

There’s no way that I could have done this yesterday! Thank you!

Hi Aurick,
this picture is marvelous! It made me look
at all your other pictures. I’m really happy
to find lots and lots of pictures which “touch my heart”. Sorry perhaps stupid english… But I really love your pictures!
I know now that if there is a post from
Aurick I have to look at it! Ciao JOLA :stuck_out_tongue: :slight_smile:



I look forward to seeing more of your images using this technique. :slight_smile:

-ZuZu :slight_smile:

Very interesting information Pixolator. I’d never really given much thought to material/texture differences. :roll_eyes:

Beautiful image Aurick! Not only the material/coloring but the modeling. :+1: :slight_smile:

Hey Aurick, nice image.

I`m a big fan of ZB materials and it’s so much fun just messing with them graphs and a couple of the basic materials…

Thanks for the compliments. If anyone is interested, I’ve updated the image a bit to add a ripple in the water. You can see the full image here:

Southern: I’ve always loved your use of materials in your work. It’s cool seeing a whole passle of them together like that, though!

nice thread…
notice this in the thread…–Texture can easily be transferred to other applications while Materials are mostly application-dependent and are not easily transferable or reproducible in other applications.

materials are not easily transferable…means can be done but not easy???
wonder how can it be done…I am using maya…it will be cool if z brush shaders can be use in maya as well…^ ^…

Wow. Has it really been 6 1/2 years already? :eek:

Check out the FAQ>Texturing area here at ZBC. I’ve provided some info to help you out.

do you mean this???


will try it up later after work…^^…thanks audrik…

haha…I didnt realise the date until you mention it…p…:lol:

[font=Comic Sans MS][font=Comic Sans MS][font=Comic Sans MS]Hi Pixolator –

Awesome explanations and comparisons… :+1:

I’m new to ZBrush and am awestruck by the accomplishments that people such as you have posted… :warning:

I have a question about this comment you made, ”…that some 3D materials do use textures and most textures can be created by a 3D material and both can be created and utilized within ZBrush.” How is this accomplished? Where can I go to find out how to create a 3D material from a 2D texture and visa-versa?

I have a need to mask a uniform, repeating, seamless diamond net/mesh pattern over a 3D surface and then recess it to a specific depth. Is there a way to accomplish this by converting a 2D texture to a material, then applying the material (uniformly/seamlessly) to a surface/object, then somehow convert that 3D material pattern to some kind of mask that a could be used to create the recessed mesh/net over the entire surface/object?

I’m not sure if I’ve posed my questions in the right way and/or if they even make any sense, but I would really appreciate hearing back from you (and any others) about how this could be accomplished.

Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions or need me to better explain myself.

Thanks again Aurick! :+1: :+1:

– Dennis

[color=cyan]A thread started in 2001-wow!

What an awestruck moment! :slight_smile:
I´ve found this thread because I thought it could be useful to start reading the threads from the past. 451 pages.:grimacing: Woohaaa!!! That´ll take while. :slight_smile:

It worths the effort!
Didn´t know that you can get such cool effects with materials only!!
And I really didn´t know the pros and contras from materials and textures and all the (unlimited?) possibilities.

I´ll have to read it again (and maybe again :wink: ) to keep eveything in mind.
But this thread definitely opened my eyes. :slight_smile: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1:

LOl…just saw I could have found this thread in the Tutorials Forum:laughing:

…450 pages :wink:
Because I have myself beginning more than 450 threads! :lol:

No… 455 PAGES and 80 threads per page. :wink:
I saw a lot of your work Frenchy Pilou, but not more than 50 – so far. :slight_smile:
Really cool to see all from the beginning!

But honestly–I don´t think I´ll get it managed to read them all.
That would take a while…and I need time for Zbrush too. :wink:

Edit: By the way… please tell me what´s the meaning of “121 appreciated”?
I read that a hundred times. :slight_smile:


What is the technique for applying more than one texture to the same model?