Smart Materials and the future of texturing with Quixel Mixer

By Team Quixel |
August 5, 2020
With the release of Quixel Mixer 2020, the development team has focused on ways to let users make the Quixel Megascans library their own by enhancing its 3D and surface texturing capabilities. The goal is for artists to be able to make any asset and any surface bespoke to their art style. To that end, the latest update comes packed with 50 powerful new Smart Materials, bringing the total to nearly 150, along with improvements to Mixer’s ease of use.

What is Mixer?

Quixel Mixer is a free tool that seamlessly fuses scan data, physically-based rendering (PBR) painting, and procedural authoring. With a vastly streamlined texturing experience, you can design Smart Materials, 3D paint meshes, and create tileable surfaces, all within a single application. 

Mixer is available to anyone, for free, forever. What’s more, Unreal Engine users also have access to the entire Megascans library for free within Mixer. Get your hands on Mixer today.

What is a Smart Material?

Smart Materials are multi-layered materials that you can import into your Mix with just a single click. These materials utilize Mixer’s robust Mask Stack, allowing them to dynamically adjust with whatever model or surface you have in your scene. 

Every Smart Material is carefully crafted and vetted by some of the best artists in the industry, ensuring that not only is the look and feel of the texture top-notch, but that it’s also efficient and functional to use.

In addition to color layers and procedural masking, Mixer’s Smart Materials also leverage scan data from the Megascans library, offering the perfect balance of real-world surface values and dynamic, procedural masking to generate stunning results.

Best of all, these finely-crafted materials are 100% customizable. So whether you want to change the color of a surface, adjust the amount of dirt and grime, or even change a plastic surface to a metal one, Mixer’s Smart Materials are designed to make your texturing experience more efficient than ever without sacrificing any of the control.

Meet the latest additions

The newest Smart Materials added to Mixer include metals such as aluminum, oxidized iron, and gold, fabrics such as denim, linen, and camo gear, and a plethora of plastics, rocks, woods, and leathers. Every Smart Material is ready to go right out of the box and completely free to use. 
Mixer’s Smart Materials are premium, scan-based assets, and this selection caters to a wide array of popular game textures. 

Master your Smart Materials

Follow along with the latest tutorial by Quixel’s Josh Powers:
Here are some more tutorials that cover Mixer 2020 in detail, including a fundamentals series covering basics of the Mixer 2020, and a series explaining lesser-known tips and tricks. Make sure you also subscribe to Quixel’s official YouTube channel.

Have a Smart Material in mind?

Quixel’s art team crafts Smart Materials based on user requests, so write in letting the team know what kind of materials you’re most interested in at or on the Quixel forum.

On the horizon

Multiple new Smart Material packs are in the works from all kinds of biomes, styles, and levels of degradation. These will be released, for free, at regular intervals. Development on Multiple Texture Set support is also underway, and a preview will be available in the very near future.

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