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Material Types


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Overview

In DesignWorkshop materials are used to define both lights and textures for rendering of the 3D model.

Materials are assigned to objects primarily using the "Object Info" floating window.

The effects of materials are seen primarily when rendered with the View menu Lights and Textures command, using QuickDraw 3D.

Altogether, there are six different material types defined in DesignWorkshop. The material types for light sources are Point_Light, and Spot_Light.

The material types that control the visual appearances of solid objects are Tiled_Texture, Full_Face_Texture, Centered_Texture, and Properties.

The Properties material does not use a PICT file for defining a texture, while Tiled_Texture, Full_Face_Texture, and Centered_Texture are all based on using specific PICT files.


Tiled_Texture

A tiled texture is a texture that tiles itself to cover the object. If you add a PICT file to the textures folder by default it will be a Tiled_Texture, you need to edit the DW Material Prefs file to customize the material definition. Here is what a Tiled_Texture looks like in the DW Material Prefs file:

Brick-Std-Red	Tiled_Texture	Brick-Std-Red	0.000000	1.000000	2.000000	2.000000	Feet
As you see there are eight different fields for a Tiled_Texture. The first is the name of the material. The next defines the material type, in this case Tiled_Texture. The third is the name of the PICT file to use for this material, the name of the material and the name of the PICT file will usually be the same, but they donıt have to be. The next field defines the specularity of the object. See the page on specularity for an explanation of how this field is defined. The next field is the opacity of the material, again on a scale from 0 to 1, with 0 being completely transparent and 1 being completely opaque (transparency is only apparent with a QuickDraw 3D accelerator card). The final three fields are related. These fields define the dimensions of the texture (the dimension at which it will repeat). The first of these three is the horizontal dimension, the next is the vertical dimension, and the final field is the unit of the dimensions, either Feet or Meters.


Full_Face_Texture

A full face texture is a texture that scales the corresponding PICT file so the image fills the entire face of an object. For example, you can have a PICT file of a sign and then make a single block in DesignWorkshop and assign the materiality so that it is a full face texture of that PICT and there in your model will be the sign. The texture will be applied to every face on the object. You can also make extrusions in the shape of a tree and apply a full face texture of a tree and have trees, this requires careful coordination between the PICT file and the shape of the extrusion for it to look right. Here is what a Full_Face_Texture looks like in the DW Material Prefs file:

Facade-Photo_1	Full_Face_Texture	Facade-Photo_1	0.000000	1.000000	2.000000	2.000000	Feet
This is virtually identical to a tiled texture. The first item is the name of the material, the second says itıs a Full_Face Texture, the third is the name of the PICT file, the fourth is the specularity, the fifth is the opacity. The last three are also identical to a Tiled_Texture, but in this case they are irrelevant, there is no dimension to the texture that you can set because it will scale to fill the entire face of an object.


Centered_Texture

A centered texture will center the corresponding PICT file on every face of an object and the rest of the object will maintain the color as defined in the standard DW model. You can use this type of texture to label blocks in a massing model. Here is what a Centered_Texture looks like in the DW Material Prefs file:

Bedroom	Centered_Texture	Bedroom	0.000000	1.000000	10.000000	2.000000	Feet
Again, this is virtually identical to the previous types of materials we have discussed. The first item is the name of the material, the next declares it to be a Centered_Texture, the third item is the name of the PICT file to use, the fourth is the specularity, and the fifth is the opacity. And the final three are the dimensions of the texture as it will be rendered in QuickDraw 3D, in this case 10 feet wide and 2 feet high.


Properties

A material type of Properties defines the characteristics of an object without applying a texture to the object. This is a good way to make glass, or various kinds of paint. A Properties material type looks like this in the DW Material Prefs file:

Paint-Gloss-Green	Properties	0.200000	1.000000	0.133300	0.690200	0.200000
This is somewhat different from the previous examples. The first field is the name of the material, the second is the type of the material, there is no PICT that corresponds with properties, so now the third item is the specularity. The fourth item is the opacity. The final three items define the color, they are the red, green, and blue values (respectively) of the object. Again these are on a scale from 0 to 1 with 0 meaning the object is devoid of that color and 1 meaning the object has as much of that color as possible. White would be 1 1 1, green (as in the example) would have some red (0.133300) a lot of green (0.690200) and some blue (0.200000).


Point_Light

A point light material type will give off light from every face of an object. A Point_Light type looks like this in the DW Material Prefs file:

Light-Bulb	Point_Light	3.000000	1.000000	1.000000	1.000000	kQ3AttenuationTypeInverseDistance
The first item is the name of the material, and the next is the material type. The third item is the brightness of this object. The next three items define the color of the light, once again with the red, green, and blue values of the color on a scale from 0 to 1. The final item defines how the light disperses in relation to the distance from the light. There are three options here and they are kQ3AttenuationTypeNone, kQ3AttenuationTypeInverseDistance, and kQ3AttenuationTypeInverseDistanceSquared.


Spot_Light

A Spot_light type is just that, a spot light. Light will shine from the lowest face of the object and the other faces will be black. A Spot_Light looks like this in the DW Material Prefs file:

Light-Spot_N_Medium	Spot_Light	1.000000	1.0000000	1.000000	1.000000	kQ3AttenuationTypeNone	kQ3FallOffTypeCosine	7.500000	15.00000
As always the first item is the material name and the second is the material type. The next five items are the same as a Point_Light, that is brightness, red, green, and blue values, and the attenuation type. The final three items are all related, the first determines the way the light disperses outward from the center of the beam, the options are kQ3FallOffTypeNone, kQ3FallOffTypeLinear, kQ3FallOffTypeExponential, and kQ3FallOffTypeCosine. The next number defines an angle in degrees in degrees from the centerline that will have full brightness of light. The next number is the angle of light from the centerline in which the fade from full brightness to no light will occur.


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