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Overview

The Material Editor has basic material parameters that are common to all materials, as well as shader parameters that can be adjusted if shaders are enabled.

Please see Using the Material Editor to learn more about the basic of the Material Editor, and the Shader Reference for more information about specific shader parameters.


Material Editor, settings window.

Material Settings

PropertyDescription
Template MaterialDEPRECATED
ShaderHere you can select the shader you want to use. Generally you use illum/vegetation/glass shader.
Surface TypeDefine the surface type this material should use. In conjunction with the Material Effects system. See below for more information.

Surface Type

You can select a surface type for your material here. The surface type sets up what kind of sound will be played or what kind of particle effects will be spawned when you shoot the object.

For an old wooden table you would choose something like "wood", or you could even create your own custom surface type through the Material Effects system.

This can be applied to any object and will result in the associated particles, decals and sounds being played on that object, so yes, you can make a gas pump bleed!

mat_wood

mat_metal

mat_flesh

Advanced Settings

PropertyDescription
Allow layer activation 
2 sidedBoth sides of the face the material is assigned to will be rendered by the engine. You normally use this for objects with alpha channels like leaves witch have no thickness.
No shadowFaces the material is assigned to will not cast a shadow.
Use ScatteringDeprecated - It is used to fake subsurface scattering. It is needed for semi transparent materials, like jelly, human skin, alien glibber. You need to put a texture in to the subsurface slot.
Hide After BreakingThis will make a subset disappear when the object it's attached to breaks procedurally. An example is a liana that disappears when the palm tree it hangs from breaks.
Fur AmountDeprecated
Heat AmountApplies heat to the object to be used in conjunction with the thermal vision effect (r_NightVision=3).
Cloak Amount 
Link to Material 
Propagate Options 

Opacity Settings

These settings are important if using alpha channels for transparency. For example, when creating leaves and wire fences.

Opacity

With the opacity value you can switch between Alpha Blend and Alpha Test.


Opacity Settings of 100 on the left, and 99 on the right.

Opacity value: 0-99 -> alpha blend Opacity value: 100 -> alpha test

With alpha blend you can get very soft and semi transparent results, but it is more expensive than alpha test.


Opacity setting of 50.

If you want to use alpha test, which is less expensive, set the opacity value to 100 and the Alpha test value to 50.

50 is the default value. A value below 50 tends more to the white color of the alpha map. A value above 50 tends more to the black color of the alpha map.

Default alpha test = 50

Alpha test = 10

Alpha test = 90

Additive

When using a semi-transparent material like glass, use the additive function. The material color will be added to the background color. The resulting color will the be brighter.


With and without Additive applied.

Lighting Settings

This section controls the material color and specular settings. For more information, please see the PBS document.

Diffuse Color

Control the material diffuse color by double clicking the color square. The default RGB value is 255,255,255 and should usually be left at 255,255,255 for PBS.

Choose the color on the left side by clicking the desired color.

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To get the best quality rendering, it is recommended to always use 255,255,255 diffuse with no color input and adjust the diffuse texture accordingly.

Using the slider next to the color, control the brightness. You can also type in the RGB code in the fields underneath the color spectrum. There is also a color swatch available in the "Standard" tab.

Specular Color

The specular color is the reflective or shiny component of a material when light shines onto the object. To correctly setup PBS materials please see the PBS document.

Specific metals, reflect a certain color eg: Gold = 255,219,145, Silver = 250,247,242, Copper = 250,209,194 (see the lookup table at the bottom of the PBS document). All other non-metals should be within the sRGB color range of 40,40,40 -> 60,60,60. They should never be above 80,80,80!

So long as you adhere to the PBS specular color guidelines, your materials should look "physically plausible" no matter what the lighting conditions are.

Smoothness

The smoothness defines how rough or glossy a surface is. To correctly setup PBS materials please see the PBS document.

Think of it as defining the micro details on a surface, where the normal map defines the macro details. The smoothness map is stored inside the Alpha channel of the normal map (saved with the postfix _ddna). The higher the value you enter for the Glossiness, the tighter the specular highlight will be.

In the following picture, from Left to right, we are decreasing the Glossiness value.

  • (Left, Glossiness = 255, very smooth surface, highly reflective, tight specular highlight)
  • (Right, Glossiness = 0, very rough surface, no reflection, wide specular highlight)

Emissive Intensity (kcd/m2)

The Emissive Intensity defines how much light gets emitted from the surface (previously known as "glow"). The intensity is specified in kilonits (same as kcd/m2) which is the physical unit for Luminance. A candle flame has a typical Emissive Intensity of 10 kcd/m2.

Please note that for surfaces emittance is just supported by the Illum shader and gets ignored by the Vegetation and HumanSkin shaders.

Emissive Color

The Emissive Color defines the color of the emitted light ("glow") when the Emissive Intensity is not zero. In case an emittance map is used, the emissive color gets multiplied with the emittance map color.

Texture Maps

In the material editor are different slots for texture maps. With texture maps, users can control different shader effects.

To add a texture to the material slot, click the "..." button on the right side or copy and paste the texture path into an empty slot.

For a complete description of the various texture maps and their properties, please see the Texture Maps documentation.

Shader Params

For information on specific Shader Params, please see the Shader Reference documentation.

Shader Generation Params

For information on the Shader Generation Params, please see the Shader Reference documentation.

Vertex Deformation

The "Vertex Deformation" function offers the opportunity to influence geometry. You can choose between different types, and each of them will deform your model in a different way.

Vertex deformation is applied in the direction of the vertex normal.

Wave length: This value sets the wave length of the wave the deformation is based on, equally in all directions xyz. A good default value for the wave length is 0.1.

Level: Scales the object, equally in all directions xyz.

 

If Type: Sin Wave using vertex color is selected, vertex color information is included in the calculation of:

Amplitude: Strength of deformation (vertex color: b/z)

Phase: Offset of deformation. Only interesting when no Frequency is applied (vertex color: r/x)

Frequency: Animates deformation (vertex color: g/y)


Deformed sphere - Wave length: 0.1

Amplitude: 0.05

Deformed sphere - Wave length: 0.1

Amplitude: 0.1

You will have to play around with the settings a bit in order to get the desired result.

Material Layers Presets

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The presets are a legacy feature and no longer supported.

You can add different layers to your material in this menu.

Property

Description

Frozen layer

Frozen layer is used in ice levels. Objects will have snow on top of them and frost on the sides. Used for static objects. If an object rotates, the layer won't rotate and the snow will always face in the Z-direction.

Wet layer

This option adds an animated texture to the model that fakes water dripping onto the model.

Cloak layer

This option activates the cloak effect for the object.

 

Use the Material Layers parameters on the RollupBar in order to activate the Frozen, Dynamic Frozen, Wet, or Cloak Material Layers for an object.

Property

Description

Frozen

Gives an object a frosty and frozen appearance.

Dynamic Frozen

The Dynamic Frozen setting is similar to the Frozen effect, but with a slightly different appearance.

Wet

Deprecated - See Rain Entity.

Cloak

Gives and object a transparent appearance.