Toolbox Reviews - June 4, 2021

Preview: New Roblox Studio Materials




Released now as a preview for developers the new material system brings new materials for parts to match options in the Terrain Editor and updates many of the existing ones.

Roblox Staff member @Sorcus recently posted:

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.

For more details see this post from Roblox Staff on the dev forums.