Material Classes

Realsoft 3D has an open architecture, which means that a material object can have any kind of property or interface. This chapter gives an overview of the material types included in the program. You can find the collection of installed material classes by opening the New sub menu from the popup menu of the select window's material section.

VSL Material

This is the most powerful and commonly used material type of the program. All materials, which you can find in the default material library, are of this type. The reason why VSL materials are so powerful is that the low level interface of the VSL materials is a programming language. Advanced users can therefore implement unusual and customized material effects. Don't be alarmed by the term 'programming language', you do not have to write complex formulas and algorithms, because VSL materials can be built using wizards and an easy drag and drop interface. Consequently, it is easy to get started. Nevertheless, in order to fully utilize the possibilities of VSL, some programming experience is required.

Using VSL materials is very easy. VSL makes it possible to build an optimal interface for each material type. You can see this by examining the materials of the default library in the property window.

You can find more information about this material type from the VSL specific section of this chapter.

Level Material

The Level material allows you to combine existing materials to construct more complex materials. Thanks to this, you can map several materials to an object using a single mapping object. The tutorial Blending Materials already showed one typical use of the level material: combining a material and a scope mask, which defines where the material has influence.

Creating level materials

Wood and bump are dragged and dropped into a level material. The result is a bumpy wood material

Level materials can be created from the select window's New menu (when the Materials tab is selected).

This material can refer to any number of other materials. The sub materials of a level material can be selected simply by dragging the desired materials into the level material in question.

Create a Level Material

Modifying level materials

Level materials can be edited as usual: just double click the desired level material in the select window and the property window is opened allowing you to edit the material. Also the property window supports drag&drop. Drag the desired materials from the upper material list into the level material.

A level material consists of two sub materials: wood and bump

V3 Material

This material type implements the same kind of controls for optical material properties as Real3D. Brilliancy property defines the amount of mirror like reflection. The amount of diffuse shading is automatically computed from brilliancy: if brilliancy is zero, diffuse shading is at its maximum and vice versa. The material can be used for basic mirror, glass, etc. and it renders quickly.

[Note] Note
The more general VSL material allows all effects that V3 material can define, but V3 material is slightly faster to render.