Why should I choose Poliigon? What sets your assets apart?
Poliigon authors assets using industry standard techniques to ensure we have the highest quality and technically sound content available on the market today. The most notable standards being utilized for our assets are listed below:
Texel Density: Our target density for Medium to Large assets is 32 texels per centimeter. While Extra Small to Small assets are using closer to 128 texels per centimeter. The consistency in resolution results in high quality visuals and visual consistency throughout our products.
Poly Density: We recently implemented a target poly density of 10000 polys per meter for our assets. We find this resolution is has the perfect balance between high quality visuals and performance.
Animation Friendly Pivots: We know that many of our users are looking for faster ways to build environments. One of the most important and annoying aspects of production is asset placement. Its because of this that we created internal tools to to help unify pivots for our community and streamline your production needs
Pascal Case Naming Conventions: We recently updated our standards to better utilize clear and concise naming standards. Newer assets now embrace this standard.
UV Utilization: We know the visual quality of an asset is often tied to how UVs are created and packed. Poliigon's target UV utilization is 65% or higher. This attention to detail will result in visually stunning assets that are lightweight.
Synced Normals: We have overhauled our normals and now author content with a synced workflow. This means the math being used to calculate and create the normal maps is the same mathematical equation being referenced by the renderer. This means we have fewer visual artifacts in our assets that present themselves during the normal map pass.
Some of your assets have both a 'Specular' and 'Metalness' option when downloading. Some only offer 'Regular'. What's the difference?
Newer materials come in two workflow options; Specular and Metalness. The reason for this is so that our users have options for importing these textures into the diverse variety of 3d applications available.
Up until recently, Specular was the industry standard for many applications. In the last few years however, many renderers have been updated to use a physically based workflow (aka, 'PBR'). Physically based rendering aims to more accurately reflect real world material qualities. 'Metalness' is effectively another term for the PBR workflow. Whenever possible, we'd recommend using the Metalness option, as it's hard to deny that's where the industry is already heading.
You might be asking yourself "How do I know which workflow my 3d application supports?" The answer may very well be "It supports both!". Many renderers that have recently switched to physically based rendering still support "legacy" workflows, so existing scenes can continue to function, or be updated to the newer workflow. As a general rule, if you see inputs for 'Gloss' and 'Reflection' maps in your shader setup, it's expecting the 'Specular' workflow. If you see an input for 'Roughness' and 'Metalness' maps, it's expecting 'Metalness'. Some renderers have a Metalness slider, effectively allowing users to switch between workflows.
Some of our older materials are only offered in what we now call the 'Regular' workflow. Technically specular non-metallic materials.
If you're still unclear on the differences between the two, or would like to learn more about Physically Based Rendering, we can recommend the following video:
Understanding the different Normal Map formats
A normal map is a texture that rendering engines use to fake bumps and imperfections on a surface. They’re very effective and also very efficient and nearly all materials will make use of them in one way or another.
All Poliigon Materials include a normal map.
There are two common formats of normal maps, DirectX and OpenGL, both do the same job but need to be interpreted differently. It’s important to know which type your engine is expecting otherwise the results you get will be incorrect.
Poliigon materials use the OpenGL normal format.
Understanding Poliigon Models / Download options
Depending on the asset, you may have noticed we have an option to "Include LOD files".
When this option is checked, your download will contain various 'LOD' level versions of the model, as well as additional texture maps for these variants. LOD stands for "Level of Detail" and we provide these variants so users can tailor their downloads to better suit the intended use case. The 'higher' the LOD level, the lower the polygon count will be for that model. So LOD1 will be a higher fidelity mesh than LOD4.
Lower LOD levels are often utilized by real-time rendering applications like game engines.
You may have also noticed a 'SOURCE' version of the model. We currently have two different workflows for Source assets. One for handmade models and another for photoscanned models:
Photoscan: Source files are higher poly then our target file and are not downloaded automatically. We provide this via website only (the option isn't available through our addons) and its for community members that want super high-poly assets.
Handmade: Source files are versions of the model that are not triangulated. They are at the same poly density that LOD0 is at but can only be downloaded from our site. This is for people that want to change the topology of the asset.
I downloaded an asset, and some of the texture maps are only 32x32 pixels. Is this an error?
This is in fact intended! For some specific cases, certain texture maps don't contribute meaningfully to the final look of the material (consider a completely smooth plastic for example. a normal map may not be necessary). We include them because our material converter tools expect them to be present, so we just reduce the size, which increases both performance and download speed.
I've added a material to my scene, but it doesn't look exactly like the preview on the site. Why is this?
While it's possible any number of factors could result in a material not looking as expected, there's one that often stands out: Displacement.
Many of our materials ship with a _DISP map, a black and white height map, which can sometimes make a big difference in the final look of a material (consider a brick wall material, and the height differences between all the bricks and the mortar). All of our converter tools and addons/plugins have a default setting of 0 for displacement, and our Sketchup extension doesn't currently import displacement at all, so if you download or import a material, and it looks a little flat, check the displacement first.
We'd also always recommend checking out our help section, as there may be other reasons a material isn't displaying as expected. Just navigate to the relevant section for your software of choice: https://help.poliigon.com/en/
If you believe there's a technical error with one of our assets, please contact email@example.com
I've imported a material through one of your Material Converter tools, but it doesn't look right. Why is this?
The short answer here is that it's likely that the selected renderer, whether that's Vray, Octane, Redshift etc. has been updated, and the new settings have broken the functionality of our tool.
Many renderers are moving to physically based workflows, so previous settings or maps may not behave in the same way. Some renderers have options to convert a legacy material to the current standard. Others may require manual adjustments. We'd always recommend reading up on what your renderer of choice is expecting, and adjusting where necessary.
While we do still occasionally update our Material Converter tools, some are considered legacy products, so we may not always be able to provide comprehensive updates to keep up with every renderer we have historically supported. We always recommend users switch to our newer more feature-rich addons whenever possible.
I've noticed your recent models only offer one texture resolution, but earlier models often have multiple options. Why the change?
If you have a look at the top topic on this page, here, you'll see Texel density mentioned in the list. As part of our goal to offer high quality visuals and visual consistency throughout our products, we now author materials for models at a target resolution unique to each model to ensure a consistent Texel Density across our entire library of models.