Previewing Materials

When editing materials, you can preview the result by checking the Preview option of the property window. The preview window will be updated every time you change the material. The material icon is also automatically updated after each preview rendering.

The program uses a simple default scene for previewing the material. However, one single preview scene cannot show the characteristic properties of all possible materials. Therefore, the program provides an option for selecting the most suitable preview project for each material. The 'previews' folder contains a collection of predefined preview scenes. You can select the most suitable one using the File gadget. The name of the preview file is stored with the material when you save it to a disk file.

Selecting the preview scene

Note that the preview window is actually a small view window. You can zoom, rotate and pan it by dragging with the right mouse button Shift, Alt or Ctrl key held down. The window can be set back to the original scale and orientation using its Reset popup menu.

Changing rendering settings for the material preview window

The default collection of rendering settings contains an object called Material preview. You can control the rendering settings for the material preview by editing this object. Save the startup project after editing if you want to change the rendering settings permanently.

Editing rendering settings for the material preview

Post processing settings for the material preview window

Some frequently used material properties are rendered using the post processing system. Glow is a good example of this. Therefore, the material preview scene should include a valid post processing configuration.

You can define the configuration by including a post image with the suitable sub modules to the material preview scene. See the manual chapter Post Processing for further information. The name of the post image should be set to 'Material preview effects'.

Customizing the default preview project

The file 'material preview' included in the Previews folder defines the structure of the default preview scene. The scene is always loaded at program startup. You can find the scene in the Projects list of the select window and change it as desired. Save the edited file back to disk if you want to change it permanently.

The preview scene can include any objects and materials. However, it should always include one material mapped test object. The mapping object should refer to a material called as Preview. The image below shows the hierarchy of a typical preview scene.

The material preview system loads only objects, materials, post image effects and post particle effects from a preview file. Therefore, use of the Selected Sections option (with the above mentioned sections checked) when saving a preview project consumes less disk space.

The same guidelines are valid for building additional preview scenes, which can be saved to the Previews folder.

The structure of a preview scene