Material Editor Overview

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Image:MaterialEditor_Icon.png Overview

The Material Editor is an editor which provides a graphical user interface for modifying .MTL files instead of editing with a text editor. Every Blue Mars Sandbox editor has its own customized Material Editor.
This document will:

  • cover the basic operation of the Material Editor,
  • explain how the Material Editor features differ among the various Sandbox Editors, and
  • explain features from the original CryTek editors that were disabled.


Image:MaterialEditor_Icon.png Before you get started

Preface

  • Any value change will be saved to the MTL file immediately and there is no undo function. So it's a good idea to always create a backup using the duplicate(ctrl+D) command.
  • Every content editor has a different Material Editor UI implementation due to the different editor objectives. Please see the individual editor sections below for more details.
  • Each editor has different file access privileges, and that privilege has been inherited to the Material Editor too. Please try using each editor to find out the actual folders that you can access from the Material Editor.

See also

Differences from the original Material Editor

Those of you familiar with the original Sandbox2 editor from CryEngine2 may have already realized that the Material Editor in the Blue Mars Developer Toolkit has removed some of its original functionality and added some extra features.
  • Limited folder access.
  • No source control support.
  • Obsolete controls for attributes of old shaders removed (hidden).
  • Support for "AR_" shaders.

Additional things you should know

  • MaterialID and multi-material
Multi-material was designed to hold more than one material in one material file. A MaterialID number will be used to access the sub-materials in a multi-material from the geometry data.
Image:MaterialEditor_MultiMaterial.png

Note: The object which has a multi-material assigned must contain the corresponding ID number(s).


  • Material settings are NOT the only source for determining the final color.
Image:MaterialEditor_FirstToKnow.png

The final color is not determined solely by the material settings, but also by sunlight, scene light and 2D post effects.
As such, when adjusting material settings, various factors that affect lighting should be taken into consideration, like in the real world.


Tip: Having your own City with City-limited content gives you the most control over the final look of your content.

Block Developers can create a VisArea to avoid side effects from the sun.


Image:MaterialEditor_Icon.png Open Material Editor

  • From the pull-down menu:
Image:ItemEditor_Pulldown_MaterialEditor.png

  • From a keyboard shortcut:
Type the 'm' key.


  • From the Rollup Bar:
Image:CityEditor_Rollupbar_MTL.png

Note: This will only work with an object which has that material assigned to it.


  • From the Terrain Texture Layer Editor:
Image:CityEditor_TerrainTextureLayer_Material.png

Note: To assign a material to the terrain layer, you have to use the "Assign Material" button on the Terrain Texture Layer Editor instead of the one in the Material Editor.


Image:MaterialEditor_Icon.png Layout

The Material Editor is composed of 4 sections:

Image:MaterialEditor_Layout.png

Provides basic functions.
Provides access to the material file.
Provides a preview of the selected material.
Provides access to the attribute settings of the selected material.


Some components have a pop-up menu which is assigned to the right mouse button click.

  • Material Browser
Image:MaterialEditor_MaterialBrowser_Popup.png

  • Material Preview
Image:MaterialEditor_MaterialPreview_Popup.png


Image:MaterialEditor_Icon.png Toolbar

  • City Editor & Block Editor
Image:MaterialEditor_Toolbar_CityEditor.png

  • Other content Editors
Image:MaterialEditor_Toolbar_ItemEditor.png


Image:MaterialEditor_Icon.png Material Browser

The items being displayed may change according to the filter type which you selected in the Toolbar.

  • Comparison between "Used in Level" and "All Materials"
Image:MaterialEditor_ToolBar_FilterCompalison.png


A pop-up menu will appear when you press the right mouse button.

Image:MaterialEditor_MaterialBrowser_PopupFull.png
Command Description
Set Number of Sub-Materials Change number of sub-materials in selected multi-material.
Note: This menu will only appear when a multi-material is selected.
Cut Store all information about selected material then delete it.
Copy Store all information about selected material.
Paste Set stored information to selected material.
Copy Name to Clipboard Store the material name instead of the information.
Duplicate Duplicate selected material.
Rename Change name of selected material.
Delete Delete selected material. Note: This operation CANNOT be undone.
Assign to Selected Objects Assign selected material to a selected object in the scene.
Select Assigned Objects Select object from the scene (only selects objects that are not in Group or Prefab).
Add New Material Create new material from scratch.
Add New Multi Material Create new multi-material.

Image:MaterialEditor_Icon.png Material Preview

To change the material preview settings, push the right mouse button on the icon image to open the pop-up menu.
Image:MaterialEditor_MaterialPreview_Popup.png

Note:: The setting for the preview icon will affect all materials; you cannot apply this setting to individual materials.

Preview shape

The object shape in the preview menu can be changed to one of the following shapes.
Menu Shape
Use BoxImage:MaterialEditor_MaterialPreview_Box.png
Use SphereImage:MaterialEditor_MaterialPreview_Sphere.png
Use TeapotImage:MaterialEditor_MaterialPreview_Teapot.png


Background color

You can change the background color.
Menu Shape
BlackImage:MaterialEditor_MaterialPreview_BlackBackground.png
GrayImage:MaterialEditor_MaterialPreview_GrayBackground.png
WhiteImage:MaterialEditor_MaterialPreview_WhiteBackground.png



Use Back Light

Image:MaterialEditor_MaterialPreview_UseBackLight.png

Image:MaterialEditor_Icon.png Material Settings window

See also: Materials Settings Section (user-created document)

All controls in the Material Settings menu have tool tips, which will show up at the bottom of the region when you hover your mouse cursor over that control.
Image:MaterailEditro_MaterialSettins_QuickHelp.png

Material Settings

Shader

To change the shader of the material, click the shader and select the desired shader name from the menu.
image:MaterialEditor_MaterialSettings_Shader.png


Note: The shader choices may vary depending on the editor.

Surface Type

Surface type is used to determine the effect of the reaction on the assigned object when that object interacts with other objects.
Surface type settings will work only with physicalized objects such as a proxy.


image:MaterialEditor_SurfaceType.png

  • There are at least 2 surface types you should know: mat_blank and mat_ar_forbidden.
Surface Type Description
mat_blank Can be used on any surface without side effects.
mat_ar_forbidden Can be used on a floor surface where you want to prevent the avatar from entering.


Please see Material Effects XML files for more details about surface types.

Opacity Settings

See also: Opacity Settings Section (user-created document)

Opacity

Note: Opacity settings have 2 different effects depending on the value.
  1. If you set the opacity value between 0 to 99, the value is used to specify the alpha blending ratio.
  2. If you set the opacity value to 100, it activates the Alpha Test routine as an alternative and faster method for alpha blending.

Alpha Test

The Alpha Test works when Opacity Value is set to 100.

Additive

The Additive switch toggles the way alpha blending is done.
Please refer to the original Crymod document and images for more details.

Lighting Settings

See also: Lighting Settings Section (user-created document)

Image:MaterialEditor_LightingSettings.png


Tip: Click on a color field to activate the Color Picker window.

Image:MaterialEditor_ColorPicker.png

Diffuse Color

Controls diffuse color of the material.

Specular Color

Controls specular color of the material.

Glossiness

Changes specular size of the material.
Smaller values make the specular shape blurry, and larger values make it sharper.

Emissive Color

Note: Please turn off the HDR option before you adjust Emissive Color settings.

Adjusting Emissive Color will brighten the material as ambient color would do in a typical 3DCG application.

Glow Amount

Note: Please turn off the HDR option before you adjust Emissive Color settings.

Setting the Glow Amount higher than 0 will add glow to the material.


Texture Maps

See also: Texture Maps Section (user-created document)

The usable texture slots may vary depending on the shader you selected. Please refer to this guide to AR shaders (currently unavailable due to an update) for details.

UV Modifier

Before adjusting this value, you need to turn on the function from the Tiling menu (check box) or the "Type" menu on the Rotator or Oscillator menus.
  • Tiling
Image:MaterialEditor_UVModifier_TilingIsTileUV.png

  • Rotator
Image:MaterialEditor_UVModifier_RotatorType.png

  • Oscillator
Image:MaterialEditor_UVModifier_OscillatorType.png

Please see the original Crymod document for a more detailed description of the UV Modifier.

Shader params / Shader Generation Params

See also: Shader Params Section (user-created document)

Note: Each shader has its own shader parameters, so please refer to this guide to AR shaders (currently unavailable due to an update) for detailed information on each shader parameter.

Shader Params

To access the Shader Params you need to check one of the boxes in the Shader Generation Params section.

Shader Generation Params

Checking a box will activate the Shader Params menu.
Some Shader Generation Params require a texture to make the parameter accessible, so you have to set the proper texture prior to checking a box.
image:MaterialEditor_ShaderParams_ShaderGenerationParamas.png

Vertex Deformation


Material Layers Presets

For rendering performance reasons, Blue Mars only supports default presets for layers, so you don't need to change any settings here.


Image:MaterialEditor_Icon.png Editor-specific controls

  • Supported shaders
image:EditorSupportedShaders.png

Item Editor

Summary

The Item Editor was originally created as an interface to convert model data from Collada .DAE to .CGF or .CGA. Detailed material adjustment was to be done on other editors such as City, Block, or Furniture, which is why the Item Editor only provides a minimum set of shaders.

File access privilege

The Item Editor has access privileges to the following folders:

  • materials/AR/Common
  • Objects/MyData
  • Objects/MyData/<Your working folder>

Usable shaders

The Item Editor was designed to create simple assets for City Developers, Block Developers and furniture creators.
Now that we have specific editors for various purposes, the Item Editor should be used mainly as a file converter, with finer adjustments done in other editors. Thus, the Item Editor supports just these basic shaders:

  • NoDraw
  • AR_Cloth
  • AR_Glass
  • AR_Illum
  • AR_Metal

Body Editor

Summary

Currently, each cloth item can only hold up to 31 materials because of technical limitations.

File access privilege

The Body Editor has access privilege to the following folders:

  • Objects/MyData/<Your working folder>

Usable shaders

The Body Editor was designed to create human bodies, so this editor only supports shaders which can only be used for human bodies.

  • NoDraw
  • AR_Eye
  • AR_HumanSkin
  • AR_Illum
  • AR_Metal

Cloth Editor

Summary

  • Currently, each cloth item can only hold up to 31 materials because of technical limitations.
  • The Cloth Editor can be used to create not only cloth, but also attachments such as hair or accessories. As such, it supports various shader types.
  • AR_Hair is a shader for creating hair, and our content server only accepts it if it's uploaded as a hair asset. Please do NOT assign the AR_Hair shader to objects that is not hair.
Note: AR_Hair shader is one of the heaviest shaders we have. Please use it with extra caution.

File access privilege

The Cloth Editor has access privileges to the following folders:

  • materials/AR/Common
  • Objects/MyData
  • Objects/MyData/<Your working folder>

Usable shaders

The Cloth Editor can be used to create not only cloth, but also attachments such as hair or accessories. As such, the Cloth Editor supports various shaders, but some restrictions may apply due to performance limitations.

  • NoDraw
  • AR_Cloth
  • AR_Glass
  • AR_Illum
  • AR_Metal
  • AR_Hair

Furniture Editor

Summary

Currently, each furniture item can only hold up to 31 materials because of technical limitations.

File access privilege

The Furniture Editor has access privileges to the following folders:

  • materials/AR/Common
  • Objects/MyData
  • Objects/MyData/<Your working folder>

Usable Shaders

  • NoDraw
  • AR_Cloth
  • AR_Decal
  • AR_Glass
  • AR_Illum
  • AR_Metal

Shop Editor

Summary

  • The Shop interior data is distributed within Blue Mars using the same method as other content such as cloth or furniture. As such, Shop interiors will also be subject to the same technical limitations as other content data, which means they can only hold up to 31 materials.
  • AR_Plaster has been included in the usable shader list for making nice detailed walls.


File access privilege

The Shop Editor has access privileges to the following folders:

  • materials/AR/Common
  • Objects/MyData
  • Objects/MyData/<Your working folder>

Usable Shaders

  • NoDraw
  • AR_Cloth
  • AR_Decal
  • AR_Glass
  • AR_Illum
  • AR_Metal
  • AR_Plaster

Block Editor

Summary

  • One unique aspect of the Block Editor is that it can access a City's common materials, as long as they are provided by the City Developer. For details on how to access City common assets, please see the document.
  • Unlike other editors (except City Editor), the Block Editor allows you to create the material file in the sub folders of the project folder where the .BLD file exists.
  • The Block Editor also supports the assign material function, which allows you to assign a material to a selected object, or assign one material to multiple objects that will share its settings.

Toolbar

image:CityEditor_MaterialEditor_Toolbar_IconName.png

Icon name Description
Assign Material to Selection Assign material which is highlighted in the Material Browser to the selected object.
Reset Material on Selection to Default If the selected object has a material assigned to it, this command will reset that material setting to default.
Get Material From Selection This will highlight the material which is assigned to the selected object in the Material Browser.
Pick Material from Object Makes a material selectable directly from the screen.
Add New Item For creating a new material file(.mtl)
You will need to specify the file location in order to create the new material file.
Remove Item Delete selected material.
This command will also delete the actual .mtl file. Please use with extra caution.
Generate Cubemap for Selected Object Please refer to the original Crytek document for more details.
Open Large Material Preview Window Opens preview window. image:MaterialEditor_LargeMaterialPreviewWindow.png

File access privilege

The Block Editor has access privileges to the following folders:

  • materials/AR/Common
  • Objects/MyData/<Your working folder>
  • Objects/MyData/<Your working folder>/
  • Levels/<Company Code>/Common

Note:

<Company Code> is the code of the company you leased your Block from.
To access company common materials you need to receive the common.pak file from the City Developer.


Usable shaders

  • NoDraw
  • AR_Cloth
  • AR_Decal
  • AR_Glass
  • AR_Illum
  • AR_Metal
  • AR_Plaster
  • AR_Volume
  • AR_WetSurface

City Editor

Summary

The Material Editor in the City Editor has maximum functionality, since the City Developer is responsible for the rendering performance of his/her City. And shader settings is one of the most important factors affecting your City's performance. So while the Material Editor in the City Editor has access to the most shaders, the City Developer in turn has to pay attention to various attribute settings in order to get the maximum rendering performance.

Toolbar

image:CityEditor_MaterialEditor_Toolbar_IconName.png

Icon name Description
Assign Material to Selection Assign material which is highlighted in the Material Browser to the selected object.
Reset Material on Selection to Default If the selected object has a material assigned to it, this command will reset that material setting to default.
Get Material From Selection This will highlight the material which is assigned to the selected object in the Material Browser.
Pick Material from Object Makes a material selectable directly from the screen.
Add New Item For creating a new material file(.mtl)
You will need to specify the file location in order to create the new material file.
Remove Item Delete selected material.
This command will also delete the actual .mtl file. Please use with extra caution.
Generate Cubemap for Selected Object Please refer to the original Crytek document for more details.
Open Large Material Preview Window Opens preview window. image:MaterialEditor_LargeMaterialPreviewWindow.png

Usable shaders

  • NoDraw
  • AR_Cloth
  • AR_Decal
  • AR_Fur
  • AR_Glass
  • AR_Illum
  • AR_Metal
  • AR_Plaster
  • AR_Vegetation
  • AR_Volume
  • AR_WaterSurface
  • Common.Cloud
  • DistanceClouds
  • Illum
  • OceanBottom
  • Sky
  • Stars
  • Terrain.Layer
  • TerarinHighLOD
  • TerrainIce.Layer
  • TerrainLowLOD
  • Vegetation



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