octane pack

PRICE £44 ($59, €50) | Com­pany The Pixel Lab | WEB­SITE www.thep­ixellab.net

3D World - - CONTENTS -

We take a look to see how use­ful this ma­te­rial li­brary is

With­out doubt, OTOY’S Octane is a very pow­er­ful ren­derer, ca­pa­ble of im­pres­sively re­al­is­tic re­sults. Its com­plex ma­te­rial sys­tem takes some get­ting used to, so a col­lec­tion of pre­sets is in­valu­able for get­ting you up and run­ning and im­prov­ing your scenes.

The pack in­cludes 100 pre­sets, split across ten cat­e­gories: Emit­ters, Fabrics, Liq­uids & Glasses, Met­als, Min­er­als, Mo­tion Graph­ics, Or­ganic, Syn­thet­ics, Plas­tics and Wood. The three emit­ters are just ba­sic emis­sive ma­te­ri­als, but as it’s a multi-step setup in Octane, they’re use­ful to have on hand.

Fabrics in­clude things like denim, can­vas, vel­vet and wool, and use bit­maps and some dis­place­ment to cre­ate the sur­face tex­ture. These are all fine, al­though the blue and red vel­vets lack the plush, mot­tled sheen of the real ma­te­rial and look more like matte plas­tic.

Octane does trans­par­ent ma­te­ri­als bril­liantly, and so the Liq­uids & Glasses work re­ally well. They’re ideal for glasses of wine, milk and beer, and there’s a great ma­te­rial for an oily glass cov­ered in fin­ger­prints.

There are only 14 Me­tal pre­sets, in­clud­ing the likes of alu­minium, cop­per, steel and gold, but they’re all ex­cel­lent – finely de­tailed and ul­tra re­al­is­tic. They’re all ready to use as is, but pro­vide a great ba­sis for your own tex­tures, es­pe­cially when lay­ered with other ma­te­ri­als us­ing Octane’s Dirt shader to make chipped, painted met­als.

The Min­er­als folder con­tains bricks, ce­ram­ics, mar­ble, sand and so on, but is some­thing of a mixed bag. The brick tex­tures don’t have a dis­place­ment chan­nel, which is odd, and the con­crete and mar­ble ma­te­ri­als are nice, but noth­ing you couldn’t re­ally make your­self. For­tu­nately it has a lovely di­a­mond ma­te­rial and few stone ma­te­ri­als, which are worth hav­ing.

In Or­gan­ics there’s ev­ery­thing from hu­man skin to honey and wax, all de­liv­er­ing a va­ri­ety of neat ef­fects. The one dis­ap­point­ment is wax, whose ap­pear­ance is faked, rather than us­ing a sub-sur­face scat­ter­ing, and it doesn’t re­act prop­erly to light. Sim­i­larly, the ched­dar Mix ma­te­rial is weirdly trans­par­ent and very un-cheese like. How­ever, the milk, or­ange juice and honey all look com­pletely be­liev­able.

The Mo­tion Graph­ics, Plas­tic and Syn­thet­ics col­lec­tions are all fairly sim­i­lar, with a range of rel­a­tively sim­ple but good­look­ing sur­faces. Noth­ing spec­tac­u­lar, but all very use­ful (al­though the translu­cent plas­tics are very hand­some).

Fi­nally, the Wood col­lec­tion has a slightly ran­dom se­lec­tion, but they can all be used for the ba­sis of other wood sur­faces – ei­ther us­ing your own wood tex­tures or us­ing a Colour Cor­rec­tion node to al­ter the over­all hue and bright­ness. We would have liked a greater va­ri­ety of wood grains, like wal­nut or ma­hogany, or more com­plex sur­faces. Sadly, the one that looked most in­ter­est­ing – painted wood – was just an empty folder.

With a few ex­cep­tions this is a re­ally solid pack of pre­sets – not only for quickly adding ma­te­ri­als to a scene, but also pro­vid­ing a ba­sis for your own. It’s just a shame it doesn’t come with doc­u­men­ta­tion on how and why they were built, so you could more ef­fi­ciently mod­ify them to suit your own needs.

all of the ob­jects in this scene use the octane tex­ture Pack pre­sets, with only one or two need­ing a mi­nor tweak.

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