How to use PBR Textures in Blender
This setup works for both Cycles and Eevee in Blender.
A23D How to use PBR Materials in Blender
Create a new Principled BSDF material in Blender and open the shader editor window to set up the PBR Material.
The Texture Coordinate node is commonly used for the coordinates of textures, typically used as inputs for the Vector input of image texture nodes.
The Mapping Node is used to transform an image or procedural texture. For example, you can use it to move, rotate, or scale textures. If you have ever done UV editing in the past, then you will likely know that these can also be accomplished by modifying an object’s UVs in the UV/Image editor. However, it is sometimes useful to have easy access to these functions through nodes rather than having to modify the UVs.
Connect the UV output of the Texture Coordinate node to the Vector input node of Mapping Node. Now the Vector output of the Mapping Node will be connected to Vector input of all the Image Texture nodes that will be used to create this PBR Material.
UV Coordinates and Mapping nodes for PBR Material setup in Blender
The Albedo/Base Color map defines the colour of a surface. Load the Albedo Map through an Image Texture Node. This map should be plugged into the Base Color input of the Principled BSDF. If the Ambient Occlusion (AO) is available, then the Albedo map should be multiplied with the Ambient Occlusion map using a MixRGB node-set to Multiply. Make sure the image texture Color Space is set to sRGB.
Albedo/Base Color Map setup in Blender for PBR Texture
The Ambient Occlusion (AO) map can be used to fake soft shadowing in the bumps of a surface. It should be used to create more realistic materials in Blender. It darkens the tiny shadows on the surface and creates a more realistic result without increasing the render time. If you want to use this map, it should be multiplied from the Albedo/Base Color map using a MixRGB node set to Multiply, with the Ambient Occlusion map being the second colour input, so you can easily control the strength of it with the slider of the MixRGB node. Make sure the image texture Color Space is set to Non-Color data.
Ambient Occlusion Map setup in Blender for PBR Texture
The Metallic map defines which parts of the material are metallic, and which are not. It should be plugged into the Metallic input of the Principled BSDF. Make sure the image texture Color Space is set to Non-Color data.
Metallic/Metalness Map setup in Blender for PBR Texture
Specular determines what colour the highlight will be when light hits the surface. Specular Level is a black and white texture that determines how and where the surface will be shiny, with white as the brightest highlight and black as no highlight.
Both of these maps should be multiplied with each other using a MixRGB node-set to Multiply and then connected to the Specular input of the Principled BSDF shader. The Specular map will have the Color Space set to sRGB and the Specular Level will be Non-Color data.
Specular/ Specular Level Map setup in Blender for PBR Texture
The Roughness map defines how rough a surface is. It should be plugged into the Roughness input of the Principled BSDF. Make sure the image texture Color Space is set to Non-Color data. Optionally, you can add a Gamma Node to easily the roughness of the material. Lower gamma means the rougher surface and vice versa.
Roughness Map setup in Blender for PBR Texture
The Opacity map defines where the surface is opaque and where it is transparent. It should be plugged into the Alpha input of the Principled BSDF. Make sure the image texture Color Space is set to Non-Color data.
Opacity Map setup in Blender for PBR Texture
The Normal map defines in which direction a part of a surface is faced, which is used to create detailed shadows and highlights. To connect the Normal Map, we’ll need to create a Normal Map Node first. With this node, we’ll be able to control the intensity of the Normal, if needed. The Normal Map texture map should be plugged into the Color input of a Normal Map node, which then should be plugged into the Normal input of the Principled BSDF as shown in the screenshot. Make sure the image texture Color Space is set to sRGB.
Normal Map setup in Blender for PBR Texture
The Height/Displacement map can be used to create detailed shadows and highlights on material or to actually displace the geometry of an object. It should be plugged into the Height input of a Displacement node, which then should be plugged into the Displacement input of the Material Output node. Make sure the image texture Color Space is set to Linear data. Using the Scale slider of the Displacement node, you can control how much the geometry should be displaced.
Displacement/ Height Map setup in Blender for PBR Texture
Also, make sure that the Displacement method in the Material Settings is set to either Displacement Only or to Displacement and Bump to actually displace the surface.
Displacement/ Height Map settings setup in Blender for PBR Texture
You might need to add subdivisions to your surface to get a better result of displacement.
There are a few more texture maps provided by us for particular textures. These texture maps are-
- Translucency Roughness
- Index of Refraction
- Clear Coat
- Clear Coat Roughness
- Transmissive Color
- Transmissive Radius