Introduction

Material Mapping objects allow the user to assign material properties to geometric objects. They also allow post effects to be associated with objects. For example, one can associate a lens flare post effect with a set of 1D particles to get a flock of lens flares (perhaps acting under the influence of a gravity field).

The system follows the fundamental Realsoft 3D philosophy: a 'wooden sphere' consists of two sub objects, a sphere and a wood material mapping object.

Material Mapping Tool Set

Another idea behind the system is that different volumetric mapping methods, such as parallel mapping, spherical mapping, etc. are represented using a geometric object. For example, the material space for a spherical mapping is visualized using a sphere object.

This system has two remarkable features:

First, it allows any number of materials to be assigned per object.

Second, the tool set for editing geometric objects and material mapping objects is the same. One can move and rotate textures and other material effects as easily as one can move geometric objects.

A third advantage is that geometric objects visualize the material space in a very intuitive way. For example, the perspective projection is visualized using a pyramid object.

All material mapping objects define the following attributes:

Material - Name of the material to be mapped.

Effect - Name of the post particle effect to be mapped.

Translate, Scale, Rotate, Skew - Material coordinate space transformation that is applied after the mapping specific transformation is computed. For example, by changing the 'Scale' factors to 0.5, you can make a texture pattern 50 % smaller.

Scope - Controls how strongly the material affects the object.

Full wood and 'scope=0.5' wood

X, Y, Z Fading - Values greater than zero fade the material away at the both ends of the 0..1 unit interval of the respective mapping coordinate dimension. In other words, the material fades smoothly away at the mapping geometry edges. The value defines the width of fading area: value 1 will start fading from the middle point of the mapping. Value 0.1 will produce a 10 % fade area, 5 % at both ends.

Priority: Evaluation order control. By default, material maps are evaluated in the order they appear in the hierarchy, deep sub level materials last. The hierarchy defined evaluation order can be overruled with the mapping priority setting. The higher the priority, the earlier the mapping will be evaluated.

A bump map faded smoothly at parallel mapping edges, X and Y Fading = 0.5
[Note] Note
This means that the associated material will have a weaker effect! Later evaluated materials can overwite the result. Some special materials, such as a global illumination shader, may work best if it is evaluated last. Because most material mappings have the default priority 0 and only some built in objects use evaluation priority -2 .. +2, a value -5 is usually sufficient to guarantee that the mapping is evaluated last.Note 1: The priority control is only rarely needed. Usually the hierarchy provides a much better way to control the order. However, in some cases, it would be too laborious to place the mapping to the end of all involved sub hierarchy levels. In such cases this feature can be a real time saver.
[Note] Note
The priority controls only material maps in the object hierarchy. SDS face materials don't use any mapping object and therefore they are always evaluated last.

FiniteX, FiniteY, FiniteZ - If set, the material effect is limited inside the corresponding dimension of the mapping object (to 0..1 coordinate range)

A thin layer of stone mapped to a cube using a parallel map with the 'Finite Z' option set