What is a true PBR Material and what is not?

Hi there,

Sorry for this rather dumb seeming question but nowhere I have found a clear answer to this…

I have watched many different tutorials on Materials for UE4 and read a few things so far and still there is this issue.

For example it was said that for assets meant for the Marketplace one should use PBR Materials and even in one of my posts recently link a user pointed out that my assets do not have PBR Materials…

At this moment I am totally confused because I never get an answer to what PBR actually means, what do I have to do to make a PBR Material. I thought that UE4 is based on this very rendering system, I thought that when you plug in Base Color, Roughness, Metallic and Specular, there you have a very generic simple PBR Material. It was also described in the docs link2 just that way…

My Materials may not be very good as they are just a draft at the moment but in essence have done all what I thought makes a material PBR and still apparently my Materials are not … why??

If someone could enlighten me I would be very appreciative.
Thanks a lot!

heh, you could have expected me to reply to this.

Again I am going to link you to the same content as in the previous post:
Also read up on PBR Imgur: The magic of the Internet DONTNOD Physically based rendering chart for Unreal Engine 4 | Sébastien Lagarde Tutorials & Resources | Marmoset etc.

PBR has a few differences.

  1. There is no diffuse, only albedo.
    they are almost identical, but in an albedo there can never be ANY shadow information.
    So if you have a brick texture, and you see some shadows underneath those bricks… its not albedo.
    Dontnod has some additional reading stuff: Game environments – Part A: rendering Remember Me – fxguide

Metallic is only a 0 or 1 value (or a black/white mask texture) to tell ue4 what surfaces are metal, and which are not.
Roughness tell ue4 how smooth or rough the surface is, and how light reflects off of it.
specular is not needed in most cases, roughness does most stuff for you.
For diamonds and other reflective stuff it can be used, but you wont miss out on much detail.
Base color needs Albedo textures, not diffuse.

thats basically all you need to know, but unless you dig into all that documentation and keep practicing, you wont get used to PBR, which is fairly simple to achieve once it clicks in your brain.

Hello there! I didn’t know there’s a difference between Diffuse and Albedo… but to be honest aside from the fact that my textures are probably not very good I have done the PBR workflow exactly. There was probably just a confusion because I was showing a draft, meaning not very good and final looking… Anyway thanks for the albedo part and the links are very helpfull to. Thanks a lot!

No problem!

I also suggest you to join discord, we have a very big ue4 group there, and everyone is really helpful :slight_smile: