How to make photorealistic wood with Blender | Andrew Price

Andrew Price is back this week with a new video tutorial for Blender, which shares its workflow and one other tip to create photorealistic wood floors.

Take a look at the two materials below and see if you can spot the differences:

How to make photorealistic wood with Blender

On the left is an average material: simple shader, diffuse map, slight bump. Pretty bland.

On the right is something much more realistic. From the wood grain to the subtle imperfections in the reflection, it looks and feels like something you’d see in everyday life.

The difference between these two materials in your scene, can mean the difference between an image that’s okay and one that makes it to the staff picks section on ArtStation.

Very few artists take the time to study how to make materials that feel real, so if you can pull it off, you’ll have a much higher chance of standing out.

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How to make photorealistic wood with Blender

It took me years to realize, but the process for creating all realistic materials follow what I call the 3 Laws of Realistic Materials:

  1. Realistic Shader – making your shader physically correct.
  2. Base Material – adding all base material textures (diffuse, normal, gloss maps etc.)
  3. Surface Imperfections – an extra layer of real world detail (dust, dirt, smudges) to interact with the base material.

I’ve discovered that this process applies to 99% of all materials. Everything from metal, to leaves, fabric, car paint, anything!

To help you understand the process, I’ve created a tutorial that gives you a complete walkthrough on how to create a photorealistic wooden floor from scratch, using Blender:

Source: Andrew Price – Poliigon

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