The second tab of the select window contains the current material library. Materials are objects which control object shading. The Current material Library means the set of materials loaded into the computer memory for use in the project under construction.
The program installation contains a set of predefined materials stored into the 'materials' folder and its sub folders. Part of these materials are loaded with the default startup file. When building a project, the user needs only a certain subset of materials, which are also often customized for the project needs. The current material library is a suitable place to store such project specific materials. When the users saves the project, the current material library is saved as a part of the project data, and the original material templates remain intact in the 'materials' folder.
A typical material usage workflow goes as:
Start the program and model a scene.
See if the default startup loaded library contains suitable materials and assign them to objects.
Apply the 'Purge' feature to remove unused materials. This saves disk space when later saving the project.
Load (or build) the rest of the required materials from disk files of the 'material's folder.
Save the project
New Tools for inserting a new material into the current library.
From Template Opens a file browser for loading a material that has been saved to a disk file.
VSL Material, VSL Procedure Library, Level Material, V3 Material Creates new empty materials to the current library.
Browse Material Library Opens a special preview icon based window for loading disk based materials. Unlike the 'New/From Template' menu, this method allows you to load several materials at the same time. With this window, you can load a material from the disk file in one of the three following ways:
Double clicking a preview icon on the material browse window inserts it in the current library.
You can also drag and drop a material from the browse window into the select window.
Drag and dropping a material from the browse window to a view window loads the material and maps it to the selected geometric objects (just like drag and drop from the select window's material tab to a view window).
Drag and dropping a material from the select window to the browse window saves the material to a disk file using material's name as the file name.
Cut Cuts the selected material from the material library to the Realsoft 3D material clipboard.
Copy Copies the selected material to the Realsoft 3D material clipboard. The selected material stays in the library.
Paste Pastes the material from the Realsoft 3D clipboard to the current library.
Duplicate Creates a duplicate of the selected material. The duplicate is placed to the end of the material library.
Delete Deletes the selected material. The clipboard will not change.
Delete All Deletes all materials. The program displays a warning before deletion.
Delete Duplicates Removes objects which duplicate a name of an earlier object. After the operation, every material has an unique name.
Purge Deletes all materials that have not been assigned to objects of the scene.
Copy to a File Opens a file browser. The selected material is then saved to a defined disk file.
Paste from a File Opens a file browser. The materials from a selected disk file will be loaded to the current library (this is the same as New/From Template - the menu is here for consistency).
Sort Alphabetically Rearranges the materials into alphabetical order.
Map The sub items of this menu create material mapping objects. A mapping object attaches the selected material to selected geometric objects using a suitable geometric 'wrapping' transformation. After the tool activation, most mapping types require some mouse clicks which define the mapping geometry. See also Mapping Objects documentation.
Rename Activates a rename box for the selected material.
Show Previews If set, material preview icons are shown on the select window. If cleared, only the names are shown.
Properties.. Opens the object property window.
Make Choreographable Makes an material object animated. The time line and other animation properties can then be edited with the Choreography Window.
|Modifying a material property in the animation recording mode makes the material also choreographable.|
Load Choreography Loads animation properties from a disk file and attaches the loaded information to the selected material.
Add New Choreography Adds a new empty choreography to the selected material. The new choreography will be the active one i.e. animation recording actions will be stored to it. Multiple choreographs can be combined in a weighted manner.
Delete Choreographs Removes all animation information from the selected material.
Dragging a material from the select window to a view window auto maps the material to the selected geometric objects. The recommended mapping type is used for each selected object, as specified in the material properties. If no objects are selected, a mapping is inserted to the current geometry level. If a level object is selected, the first sub object is used for mapping recommendation calculations.
See also: Reference Manual/Models/Material Objects.