When using the stand-alone application, knowing what the menus and toolbars contain in terms of options is key to getting your work done. For example, knowing how to export bitmaps and change the engine used for viewport rendering can be essential.
- [Instructor] When learning to use any application, the ability to find our way around the user interface and so locate the tools contained there is one of the first things that we will need to know how to do. Hopefully, this then turns into muscle memory that means we don't have to waste time in the working day looking for tools and options rather than creating our materials. In this video, we're going to look specifically at Bitmap2Material 3's menus and toolbars. Inside the application then, you will notice at the top of the UI that we have five menu options from which to choose.
The first, File, gives us the ability, amongst other things, to open up a substance archive. Now this isn't an essential step as B2M will, on launch, load a default archive for us. If we come to the Open option though, and take a look at the flyout, you can see that we're also able to load Bitmap2Material 3 and UE4 variants of this archive. As a quick aside, it is worth noting here that we can actually load the B2M archive along with all of its image manipulation controls into other applications such as UE4, Substance Design and 3DS Max should we prefer.
Moving on, in the Menu options we have, in my honest opinion, is the most important menu item of all which, as the name suggests, gives us the ability to export our Bitmaps once we've set everything up to suit our needs. When we click the Export as Bitmap option, we are greeted with the Export Bitmap dialog where we can set the target folder for our exported maps, the file type that we want to use via the dropdown here, and also the compression quality of the exported maps.
If we come to the Pattern dropdown, we can even set tokens that automatically control how our Bitmaps are being named. Selecting one of these from the dropdown simply appends it to the existing base name. The next item on the Menu bar contains the options controls for B2M. So, the maximum size of our Bitmaps, which if we click, shows that the defaults are set at 4K, although we can go much higher if we want, with one of the most important options in here being the ability to set the tangent space type that our normal maps will use.
If we click that option, you can see that the MikkTSpace plugin is selected by default, and as I personally use the UE4 engine, hence it being our target destination for this course, we can happily leave this set at default as Unreal itself uses MikkTSpace tangents. If we, however, use the Unity engine, then we want to make sure that we click the Browse button and switch over to using the Unity space tangent type instead. Our next menu item, Window, gives us the ability to both show and, or hide different areas of the UI based on whether we actually need them or not.
We can also, if I just click and drag on a section head here, let's say the 2D view, turn it into a tab by dropping it on top of something like that Parameters panel. Should I then decide that my UI changes were a bad idea, I can simply go and use the Reset option from the Windows menu and watch everything return to default. Finally, we have our Help menu which naturally enough, contains a number of quick links to help resources should we want a refresher on how to use certain aspects of B2M itself, or perhaps we just want to give feedback on the application to the team at Allegorithmic.
Now the toolbar that sits directly under the menus gives us, as you have no doubt discerned, quick access to some of the most used options found in the menus themselves, and the most useful of which in my particular workflow being the Export button, although we can also from here quickly switch the render engine being used in the 3D view via the last button on the toolbar. With our menus and toolbar covered then, let's move on to looking at areas of the UI that give us important feedback as we work, specifically in the case of our next video, the 2D view.
- Bitmap2Material UI
- Exploring the parameters area
- Bitmap2Material Lite
- Loading Bitmap2Material
- Adjusting output size
- Changing the colors in an input bitmap
- Using the low, mid, and high frequency controls
- Setting the Roughness Value
- Setting the AO balance
- Loading your maps into Unreal Engine