Blender3D MaterialX

While getting back into building CG tools and pipelines, one has to read up on the latest tools, workflows, best practices and specifications. One of the new specifications which has been creating some waves is the MaterialX specification. The main goal of MaterialX is to create a seamless bridge for the appearance modeling, also known as the "look" of an object, between different 3D applications.

This is a project that obviously caught my attention since back-end pipeline has been my main area of work for the last 5 years of my CG career. I read the documentation for the spec and did a quick survey of which DCC tools have added MaterialX to their development roadmap. I decided to go with Blender because, obviously, the source code is freely available so I would not have to deal with licensing and other "red tape".

Develop-a-long

Now that I'm ready to move forward with this project, I have decided to share the whole process of developing this extension with anyone who might be interested. I'm sure there are plenty of curious people out there that would like to learn how to approach writing such a tool. I also believe that sharing the process of creating the tool is just as important as creating the tool.

I'm doing this because I remember that during my first days of coding, one of the biggest bridges to the gap, was going from learning how to create a script that "did something", towards designing and developing a complete system or framework. It took years of testing and trying different approaches until I reached the point where I could actually produce a tool once an idea took hold. Teaching is something that is highly rewarding to me. Maybe its because my father was a University Professor for over 40 years of his life, so maybe teaching is something that just runs in the family. Also, teaching and sharing my knowledge with the inter-webs has always been a great experience.

Teaching is something that has always been highly rewarding to me. Maybe its because my father was a University Professor for over 40 years of his life, so maybe teaching is something that just runs in the family. Also, teaching and sharing my knowledge with the inter-webs has always been a great experience. So this is the plan folks, I will share the progress with blog posts, live video, and a completely open source project located at bitbucket.

I hope many of you join me on this journey. If you are interested, please bookmark this page and make sure to check in once in a while. You can also follow me on social media, as I will surely publish any results there.

Until then, have a great day!