How to bring materials from Quixel DDO to Blender EEVEE

Did you create some texture maps in Quixel and wanted to use them in Blender’s new EEVEE render engine? You plugged them into the principled shader but the outcome looked very different from what you had in the 3DO preview of Quixel? Maybe especially the metals looked way too dark and almost black?

Here is a simple workflow that seems to work pretty well between Quixel and EEVEE:

IN QUIXEL:

1. When you create your project, make sure you choose the metallness workflow.

2. Add your materials.

3. Export with the exporter into PNG files using the Metalness PBR (Disney) -preset.

IN EEVEE:

1. Give your object a material with the principled shader.

2. Plug in the following texture map files into the following inputs in the principled shader:

-Albedo to base color
-Metalness to metallic (set node to non-color data)
-Roughness to roughness (set node to non-color data)
-Normal to normal map node and that to the normal input (set node to non-color data)

Now your metals and other materials should look pretty close to how they looked in Quixel 3DO.

Six easy ways to speed up renders in Blender

1. Enable the “auto tile size addon”. This will automatically optimise the size of your render tiles for best possible performance.

2. Set the Light Sampling Threshold in the render settings (under the sampling settings) to something other than zero. The greater you make this number, the faster the render (but with some sacrificed quality, especially in the darker shadow areas of the image). Here’s what the Blender manual says about that setting:
Probabilistically terminates light samples when the light contribution is below this threshold (more noise but faster rendering). Zero disables the test and never ignores lights. This is useful because in large scenes with many light sources, some might only contribute a small amount to the final image, and increase render times. Using this setting can decrease the render times needed to calculate the rays which in the end have very little affect on the image.

3. Use GPU rendering. This one is probably a no-brainer these days, but in case you are not familiar with the fact, using the graphics processing unit instead of the central processing unit can greatly speed up your renders. Set it in the preferences –> system –> cycles compute device to your graphics card (which hopefully has Cuda support) and the switch to GPU rendering in at the top of the render settings.

4. Use denoising and drop your sample amounts. The new denoiser let’s you get clean images even with lower sample amounts. Simply turn it on in the “render layer” settings and let it work it’s magic.

5. Use the “simplify” option in the scene settings. Just check the “simplify” checkbox and set the “AO bounces” and “AO bounces render” to 2.

6. Render in the background using the command line. It can really speed up Blender when the user interface doesn’t have to be updated/maintained while rendering.
To do this in Windows perform the following steps:

-Go to your Blender installation folder (probably inside C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation) and shift+right click the folder called Blender, the choose “open command window here” from the list).

-Type in the following string without the quotes:

“blender -b pathToTHeFileToBeRendered -a”.

Here’s what this command means:
“blender” starts up blender.exe,
“-b” starts it in the background,
“pathToTHeFileToBeRendered” should be replaced by the path to your actual .blend file, which you can easily copy-paste by shift+right-clicking on that file and choosing “copy as path” from the list,
“-a” means that Blender should render an animation.

-Hit enter to start the render

Now if you are like me and start using the background rendering possibility a lot, you might feel annoyed having to always browse to the Blender installation location first.

So here is a handy little batch file that does the work for you. Just double click on it and It will open the cmd-window and automatically enter the Blender installation folder at C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender. Now you can just type the rest of the commands and start the render.
Here’s the bat-file download (unzip first after downloading):
blenderBGrender