• Tue. Sep 21st, 2021

Roblox New Terrain and Parts Built-In Materials

Over the past six months, we’ve been working to update the built-in materials we provide. We announced this last December 85 and have been continuously releasing stand-alone Studio builds with the improved material library for you to try the past few months. Today, we’re excited to share a stand-alone release candidate build 2.4k along with release information.

DIscover Now https://devforum.roblox.com/t/new-terrain

Let’s start with the future. Our long-term goal is to ensure that it’s easy for you to have the control you need to use materials in everything you build. We want you to use materials because the physical properties associated with them let us provide emergent behavior, such as how different friction per material affects object motion.

The two major things we need to do next to achieve this goal are:

  • Expand the built-in material library to have a wider range of common materials. After this release, we’ll soon start continuously releasing new part and terrain materials.
  • Provide a system for custom material variants, which will allow you to customize the look and properties of any of the materials in the library. We’re building this now, but don’t have release timing information to share today.

Before we can start delivering those features, we need to update the existing materials to be on par with the standards of fidelity we’re building the new materials with. We also need to update them in order to enable better use of the latest shading and lighting technologies on the platform. And finally, we took this opportunity to fix a range of smaller issues that were present in the existing materials.

In particular, the improved material library:

  • Strives for a high level of fidelity with all the lighting and shading technologies Roblox provides, using real world examples to drive our direction.
  • Unifies the appearance of similar parts and terrain materials, making them more compatible.
  • Unifies the scale of the materials, so that they look more coherent when used next to each other.
  • Authors for the most common uses for each material to maximize usefulness and uniqueness of each material.
  • Improves blending between terrain materials.

We’ve looked through every piece of feedback you provided about the new materials (including Wood Reviewer’s extensive deep dive of our updated wood material 253). Thanks to your feedback over the past few months, we have finally arrived at the next generation of Roblox’s built-in materials. We think you’re going to build awesome stuff with them

With this first attempt, we wanted to capture the richness of wood with the slight color variations you see in real life. In the first preview build, many of you had feedback around:

  • The wood having too much color baked in, restricting your control.
  • The wood was too dark, restricting your control and changing the look too much.
  • The wood didn’t have “stud alignment” so parts wouldn’t fit together seamlessly.
  • Plank arrangement wasn’t regular and didn’t match up with (implied) floor joist location.
  • The obvious nails should be aligned to the floor joists, or we should remove them.

Based on your examples and discussion, we specifically addressed the first three points by:

  1. Removing most of the color, giving you back control.
  2. Brightening up the default wood to match the previous wood value.
  3. Making sure the planks were stud aligned, making building easier.

We debated the last two a lot and experimented internally with how different changes looked, and we decided:

  1. We would keep the staggered plank layout, as it looked more natural than a regular pattern. We felt the material would be more versatile this way and would maintain the same organic look the original had.
  2. We would keep the nails as it adds to the realism of the wood, but we would make them less obvious. We’d also keep them unaligned as it looked unnatural when the nails were all the same size and space.

Here’s the final version of the new and improved wood material!

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