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I want to make a materials library (a simple blend file integrating the materials). These materials will be "everyday" materials (nothing specific).

But I am wondering about two main aspects for this :

  • How to choose and define the good lightning ?
  • Which object is the best suitable to show the materials ?
  • (or any other aspect you should indicate)

Concerning the lightning, the idea is to choose something "neutral", I think. But what is "neutral" ? And how to set it in Blender ?

Concerning the object to show the materials, I have of course often seen the typical "sphere" which can be found everywhere. But why this object is so often chosen ?

I hope this question is not too broad (?).

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    $\begingroup$ Why are you concerned about lighting and objects in a material library? Both does not matter. For what purpose would this material library be if it only looked good on those special objects and under that lighting? It should be only about those materials. So the best case how to showcase a material is to show how universal it is - showcase it on multiple objects under multiple lighting conditions. Or showcase is on an object with enough surface features to cover as many object shapes as possible. $\endgroup$ Jun 22 '16 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ If you are simply using the link/append features for your library, then the materials will be rendered in the .blend file on spheres. If you want a custom object or lighting setup, you would have to create an addon or render your images and place each material in a separate blend file. $\endgroup$
    – cturtle
    Jun 22 '16 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ In most cases a shader ball is a good option: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/21807/… In order to store your materials just give it a fake user and use link/append as Zachman suggested for a built-in solution. $\endgroup$
    – p2or
    Jun 23 '16 at 10:17

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