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Why Nexture ?

NOTE: This section is a work in progress, pending rewrite

Creating the last level of detail of any texture by hand is a very time-consuming task. Often, the workflow consists in placing by hand parts of scanned textures, then stitching all those patches together so that the final result looks correct. However, stitching multiple patches on a large-scale image while retaining all detail is difficult, because individual patches do not share the same structure.

Nexture offers a new approach around these kind of problems, by providing a new way to synthesize patterns while retaining image structure.

The artist can focus on what's fun, creating the primary image features, and leave the repetitive and time-consuming task of detailing work to the application.

Applying multiple patterns on an image

However, Nexture does not try to replace the artist. Instead, the artist has full control over what gets synthesized.

Pattern placement

The artist defines areas on the image to indicate where each pattern must be synthesized. Each colored zone on the image above represents a different pattern.

The synthesized image will match the placement while producing a perfectly seamless map, with full-resolution details. This is possible thanks to our state-of-the-art synthesis algorithm, that eliminates the need for pixel-space blending.

Custom patterns

The artist has also full control over the input. Basically, artists can provide their own patterns.

A pattern can be anything, not just skin texture:

  • It can represent the displacement of a wood surface, drawn by hand.
  • It can represent the specular of a stone surface, captured by photogrammetry.
  • It can be anything you, the artist, want to put in.

In Nexture, a pattern is simply an image of small size (usually 512px*512px). This is highly convenient, because 512px*512px can already contain a lot of visual information, yet is small enough to be quickly and easily drawn or captured.

Overall, there is zero constraint over the pattern image:

  • A pattern image does not need to be tileable.
  • It can be grayscale, or in color.
  • It can be 8 bits per pixels, or floating-point resolution.

This is one of the features that makes Nexture truly powerful. You are not constrained in any sort of way, and you only need to work on images, which is, for a texture artist, probably the most expressive medium.

About the synthesis

The synthesis process analyzes the input image and synthesizes the output tile after tile. It starts with the top-left tile, and processes the entire image in a column-wise fashion. Even though the synthesis is not real-time, the first results are available very quickly, usually after a minute or two. This enables some quick feedback. Each tile is usually 512x512px wide.

Current benchmarks (on a GTX 1080 ti) to render an entire image are in the following range:

  • 1k image: ~3 min
  • 2k image: ~15 min
  • 4k image: ~3h
  • 8k image: ~8h

Those synthesis times are not guaranteed on any hardware. However, they are very common for a wide range of modern GPUs.