It’s not something that comes without practice though. Being able to produce textures that truly represent these values is a skill. As random as the world seams everything happens for a reason and it is this organised chaos that needs to be reflected in your textures to get a truly realistic finish. Scuff marks, grime, oil spills, finger prints, scratches need to be done with purpose or you’re going to end up with materials that visually look good but don’t actually represent realistic surfaces.
To practice making textures that use PBR shaders I made a series of different tiling materials in Unreal Engine 4. This not only gave me the opportunity to create realistic shaders but also play with UE4 material editor and see what interesting results I could get out of it.
But not all shaders have to have complexity to them to be effective. The PVC material is one of my favourite out of the 9 but it only uses the 3 texture samples and 1 constant1vector to produce, showing that if you do have a good understanding of the materials properties then you can produce a realistic finish just with the fundamental textures.
Here are how I’ve got all the shaders setup in the material editor: