PBR texturing is more and more popular and I believe one of the most impressive ways to breathe life into your characters and assets. There are tons of nice software such as Substance Painter or MARI but with some tips you can also create your PBR materials in Blender and generate nice maps to be used in your favorite real-time engine (e.g. Sketchfab or Marmoset).
Plus, this tutorial is also a good way to deconstruct and understand how PBR logic works and how complex reflections and blending can be translated in simple maps. Also, note that PBR viewport is being developed in Blender, as well as PBR painting so this could be a nice introduction to potential future tools.
Video 01: Document and basis overview
Quick overview of our document and the main issues when you want to bake nice maps from your sculpted mesh.
Video 02: Enhancing Cycles baking using a cage
Baking maps is crucial to make texturing easy and accurate. Here is how to enhance your texture baking with cycles.
Video 03: Base wood texture creation
We'll start painting our wood texture and build it using nodes.
Video 04: Enhancing wood texture
We'll go a little further adding painted effect to our wooden part.
Video 05: Metal textures and shading
Using same method as before, we'll paint and shade our metal parts.
Video 06: Exporting all maps
We can now export all our maps to build the same shader with a super simplified node setup or to be used in other PBR engines.
Top tip 1: Aging and imperfections
If you want to get nice result on any object, try to think about what it was made for and what damages, history, dust, rust it could have gathered through the time making its material way more appealing and realistic. Think about your brand new Smartphone and how your finger prints gives the impression of roughness to the surface making it look like it's not new anymore!
Top tip 2: Watch your references!
Text: As with learning to draw try to keep an eye on the references as much as possible during creation process, it will help you fix the problem and get your shader right very fast. You should also search for some information about how materials behave, it really help getting more realistic.
Top tip 3: Tweak and keep it contrasted
Text: Most of the PBR engines don't manage roughness, metal, Specularity values in the same way. Do not hesitate to tweak your map values and contrast to make them fit better in your favorite renderer.