Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Loading materials, part of Up and Running in VUE.
- This chapter is an exploration of materials in Vue. It's always a good idea to isolate the effects of materials from lighting and to accomplish that I've created a scene that has perfectly neutral white light. It's using a standard atmospheric model with no haze and no fog. Let's open that scene. Browse, go to exercise files scenes. 04_01_load_material.vue.
We get a warning message saying that the preference settings stored in this scene differ from the current user preferences. We previously set the gamma in our options to 2.2, however, in this scene the gamma is set to 1.0. And I want it that way in order to isolate the effects of materials from post render options, namely gamma. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, don't worry because we're going to cover this later in the chapter on rendering.
For now, we just want to click yes, but be aware that it says your user preferences will be restored when you close the scene. That may not actually be the case. In the current version of Vue that I'm using the user preferences are only restored when we exit out of Vue. For now, we'll just click yes and we get a scene loading up that has neutral white lighting with a gamma of one. We've got a terrain here and we can start to work with applying materials to it. Right now, it's got the default material on it and we can do a quick render of that just to see what it looks like.
And you can see that there's a procedural texture on that. Notice by the way, that I've completely hidden the camera control panel that used to be over here and the reason for that is we're going to be using some displacement materials and in the current version of Vue I'm having issues with displacement materials and the camera control center is not displaying them properly. We're going to be using the Quick Render option here in order to preview our materials. Additionally, we can compare the different renders.
Let's take a look at that. If we go into the Render menu and choose Browse Previous Render, we get a window called the Render Display window and down here is an area called the render stack. Every single time you click Quick Render in Vue a file is stored on your hard drive and eventually that will use up to 500 megabytes of space on your hard drive and you will need to come in here and click this trashcan and wipe all of that out in order to make additional quick renders.
And by the way, you can adjust the size of the render stack in your options. Okay, so we've got a render in here that just has the default material. In order to change the material what we'll do is select the object and go to Object Properties and the aspect tab and we see a preview of the current material. We can erase that material and replace it with a default neutral gray, right click on that material sample and choose Reset Material.
And now we have a flat gray material and we can do another rendering of that and you can see it has no texture on it. Now we can load material from the material library that ships with the content files. Right click and choose Load a Material. And we get the materials browser and as we saw earlier in the chapter on atmospheres there are many tabs here for different types of materials including basic materials and each one has multiple pages.
And the tabs may not all fit here on your screen. You may need to scroll through to get add more of them such as for example the cloud materials. For a terrain of course we want terrain materials. I'll go back and we've got here a tab for Landscapes and there are two sections here, Landscapes and Terrianscapes, and some of them as you can see have a sample sphere that's kind of bubbled outward and those are in fact displacement materials.
Let's try this one, RoughRocks, it's found under Terrainscapes on the first page here. Click on RoughRocks and we have a preview here, but we don't see the displacement effect nor do we see the actual procedural texture in the open GL view. I can deselect the object just to show you all we get to see is a very simplified version of the material with no displacement and in fact no diffuse texture and no bump mapping and nothing.
In order to see what that looks like, we actually have to do a Quick Render. And that'll take a moment because the displacement mapping is actually pushing the vertices of the object and creating this really cool effect of these rocks and it's not just pushing the vertices up to displace in a sort of ordinary way, it's pushing the vertices up and out in all directions so we get overhanging rocks and it's really quite amazing what we can do with just materials alone.
We can compare that with the previous renders by going back to the Render, Browse Previous Render and in our render stack we can select the different versions. Here was the default material. Here is, after we reset and we got the neutral gray and then here's the one that has the displacement material. Really cool. Alright, so that's how you apply materials to objects in Vue.
Author Aaron F. Ross covers sculpting and procedurally generating terrain, adding realistic lighting and atmospherics, and creating thousands or even millions of natural objects such as trees, rocks, and plants in an instant with EcoSystems. With VUE's powerful tools and Aaron's instruction, you'll have everything you need to start building landscapes, oceans, atmospheres, ecosystems, and other realistic digital worlds.
- Installing VUE
- Navigating the interface
- Manipulating objects
- Adjusting sunlight and clouds
- Sculpting terrains
- Generating procedural terrains
- Editing materials
- Adding water, rocks, and plants
- Rendering your VUE environments