The PBR guide - 2018 edition

Volume 1: The Theory of Physically Based Rendering and Shading

The first part of the PBR guide focuses on the theory of physically-based rendering and shading.

It’s important for us to understand how light rays interact with surface matter because our job as texture artists is to create textures that describe a surface. The textures and materials we author interact with light in our virtual worlds and the more we understand about how light behaves, the better our textures will look. In this first volume, we will discuss the theory behind the physics through which physically-based rendering models are based upon. We will start with a light ray and work up to defining the key factors for PBR.

Read the first part of the PBR Guide on Substance Academy

Volume 2: Practical Guidelines for Creating PBR Textures

In the second part of the PBR guide, we discuss the practical application of authoring PBR textures and provide a set of guidelines that are based on the foundations established in the first part.

We will begin by redefining PBR from an artistic perspective. From there, we will discuss the metal/roughness and specular/glossiness workflows to address the principles and guidelines for authoring physically-accurate maps.

Read the second part of the PBR Guide on Substance Academy

This guide was put together and updated by Wes McDermott as well as cross-checked by experts in the field.


Discuss PBR theory, guidelines and application in our dedicated forum thread.