Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Managing materials, part of Animating a Landscape with VUE.
- [Voiceover] In Chapter 3, we'll look at material editing in VUE. As I mentioned before with the Terrain Editor, I recommend that you save the scene before you open the Material Editor, and this is because of an issue with the undo/redo system in VUE. If you edit something, such as a material, and then close the window, if you choose to undo at that point, then you cannot redo to get your changes back, and for that reason, it's a good idea to save out a version of your scene before entering the Material Editor.
We can see a summary of all the materials in the scene, and there's a button on the control bar to open up the Material Summary or we can use the keyboard shortcut, which is F6. And we have a list and thumbnails of all the materials in the scene. In VUE, each object starts out with a separate material. If I select something in the Summary, then the corresponding object is selected in the main Viewports. If I click on this other one labeled Default, then now we have our procedural terrain selected.
And it's a bidirectional process. If we select something in the Viewport or in the World Browser, then its corresponding material is selected in the Materials Summary. So, for example, I select one of these Mediterranean Cyprus trees, then the Cyprus bark is highlighted in the Material Summary, and over here in the Object Properties Aspect tab, we see that there is more than one material assigned to that object, and we can page through those using these arrows, or we can use the dropdown list to choose the appropriate material by name.
Let's load a material from the Stock Library. We'll select the Procedural terrain in the World Browser, and then its material is displayed in the Aspect tab and again, in the Summary. In either location, we can right click and choose Load a Material, and the Material browser opens up. We'll go to the Rocks tab, and look for pebbles, and you'll see it's here on the first page, and it's actually two materials in one. The lighter color is above the sea level, and the darker color is below.
Click on Pebbles. And that now replaced the sample slot that we saw here. That may not necessarily happen. Garbage collection in VUE is not the greatest, and you may actually see some leftover materials in this summary that are not actually in your scene any longer. When you save this scene, then there will only be one material named Default, and the other one has actually been erased completely. But again, it may show up, spuriously in this window.
The only way you'll know if something is in your scene or not is if you close it and reopen it. Because of the way that VUE assigns materials per object, if you replace a material on an object, then the old material no longer exists, and you can never get it back. It's been destructively removed. So, if you have a need for that material in the future, there's no way to store it here in the Summary. If it's not assigned to an object, it's not gonna get saved.
So, your only workaround really is to create a primitive, such as a sphere or a cube, assign your working material to that object, and then hide the object or put it on a hidden layer. Okay, that's a basic introduction to the Materials Summary in VUE.
Realistic skies and lighting are achieved with the VUE photometric spectral atmosphere model. This course covers adding animation to plants, water, and clouds with procedural wind effects. Aaron also shows how to create camera movement by employing the Timeline's intuitive tools, including animation and curve editing. Rendering many animation frames poses challenges not experienced with still image rendering, and so the course concludes with key strategies for optimizing the balance between image quality and rendering time.
- Laying out the scene
- Importing and sculpting models
- Adding water, plants and clouds
- Directing sunlight and atmosphere
- Customizing exposure and tone mapping
- Building procedural materials
- Working in the Function Graph
- Automatic and manual keyframing
- Editing splines in the Animation Graph
- Adding wind
- Keyframing the atmosphere
- Optimizing render settings for animation