Editing PBR Materials

Physically-based Materials let you add rich, realistic materials and lighting to your models. Some 3D editing experience is required.

Jonathan Keyse avatar
Written by Jonathan Keyse
Updated over a week ago

If you are comfortable working with materials in 3D editors or game engines, PBR (Physically Based Rendering) is a great way to increase the visual quality of your content by simulating realistic reflections, roughness/smoothness, and metal effects.ย 

We have created a process using the Unity3D game engine that enables you to edit PBR materials onto your existing 3D models, then export them in the correct format for Plattar (glTF format) without needing to purchase new tools.


First, download the Unity3D editor from https://unity3d.com/ launch it, and create a new project. Next, download our Exporter unitypackage from https://github.com/Plattar/gltf-exporter/releases and double click it to import it into your project.

In the Project window you will see a folder called Plattar Environments. This contains 'scene' files that are set up to duplicate the lighting available to you in your Plattar scene settings.


Import your model into the project, open one of the Plattar Environments, and create your first material.

The shader should always be set to 'Standard', which is the default Unity PBR shader. If your material has any transparency in its diffuse/albedo map, or an alpha value set in the color-picker, you should change 'Rendering Mode' to 'Transparent.

The texture maps and sliders shown in the above screenshot are the only values and images that will be exported. Secondary maps, UV tiling settings etc. are all ignored.

The 'Source' dropdown under smoothness will determine which map the base smoothness is grabbed from. Normally its ok to leave on 'Metallic Alpha' as either your metallic channel wont exist or will be 1.0 (and hence smoothness just uses the slider value). If your metallic map has an alpha, make sure you intend it to be used for the smoothness value.

โ€‹For High-Poly Models (Depends on Unity Version)
In your model import settings, make sure to specify the index format as 16-bit which will automatically split your model up into smaller mesh components to allow it to export properly.

An example of a more complex material


Go to Tools > Export to Plattar. This will open the Plattar Exporter window.
Select the object you want to export in the 'Hierarchy' window. If your object has animation, make sure the 'Export Animation' box is ticked.

Click the big export button and you will be asked where to save the zip file. This file is then ready to upload to the Plattar CMS

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