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Materials Support and Tips


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Hi Content Creators!

I’m as excited as I hope you all are about the launch of Materials, and will be joining you in the content creation forums for the next month to help answer questions and offer tips and tricks for using this new feature set.

Please let me know if you have any questions by adding them to the Building and Texturing Forum, and I’ll do my best to answer them or direct you to the right place to get answers.

We’d also love to hear about what some of you are already making with this new feature set - so share your Materials creation stories.

Don’t forget to get the latest Official Viewer to ensure the best possible experience with Materials.

Creator Linden

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I'm going to start with answering a couple of questions from a post in the Mesh Forum

1) If the normal map is set to "Brightness", the shiny and environment spinners no longer have any effect. Instead, both appear to be stuck on maximum setting.

If I create a cube and apply ‘Brightness’ legacy bump settings, then select the Specular tab, I can select any of the legacy Shininess values (None, Low, Med, High) and I don’t see any other controls until I apply a specular map texture. Once I’ve applied a specular texture, the controls function normally, defaulting to Glossiness of 51 and Environment Intensity of 0. Pushing the up and down arrows on each changes values, but if this does not work for you, you may be seeing a bug.

2) You can no longer set the repeats of the normal map independently. Instead they are fixed to those set for the diffuse map. Changing them while vieweing the normal map (selected in the dropdown) has no effect.

First you must select a normal map texture (instead of one of the legacy bumpmap settings), by clicking on the “X” image in the normal map texture pane. After you have selected a normal map, you can adjust the offset and repeats of the normal and specular channels independently from the diffuse channel settings. The current release viewer has the bumpmap texturing slaved to the diffuse map settings and that behavior cannot be changed without breaking existing content.

If either of these problems are still happening for you after reviewing this feedback, please file a MATBUG JIRA with detailed steps.

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Thanks. Glad to see you here to help people with this.

1) I am indeed seeing this bug, and I have reported it in the MATBUG jira (MATBUG-206) with a simplified reproduction. I see there is another jira that may be essentially the same bug. Put simply, the bug causes the "Glossiness" and "Environment" settings to be stuck on the maximum, independently of spinners, whenever you use a legacy bump setting. With an explicit normal map, the behavior is correct and the spinners work.

2) Yes. This seems to work as expected now. I think the effect I was seeing was the result of some sort of interpolative smoothing of the particular normal map when the repeats were changed. So there's nothing wrong there after all.

PS - Sorry, it was silly of me to have put this post in Mesh, when it obviously belongs here.

 ETA - for (1) this also affects alpha mask threshold - so that you get complete opacity whatever that is set at.

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It has been reported that round prim objects inflate (explode) the LI value when Material shading is applied.

The promise was that Material would not cost LI. I am now unable/ scared to apply materials on my builds.

People should be warned NOT to apply material shading on buildings without making a backup first.

When will this bug be fixed?

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"how can I apply specular and normal map to each face?"

Activate the "Select Face" radiobutton near the top of the edit dialog. Then click on the appropriate face, choose Bumpiness of Shininess and specify the normal and specular map textures in the Textures tab by clicking and selecting or by dropping on the texture preview box.

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Dowloaded the Beta viewer.

Rezzed a prim and tried to make "the box" with the textures available on the wiki. Can't get it to work.

The Alpha blending pull down menu remains greyed out. Other standard available bump maps are visible, not the one I uploaded.

Is there a server requirement I'm not aware of?

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Vick Forcella wrote:

Dowloaded the Beta viewer.

Rezzed a prim and tried to make "the box" with the textures available on the wiki. Can't get it to work.

The Alpha blending pull down menu remains greyed out. Other standard available bump maps are visible, not the one I uploaded.

Is there a server requirement I'm not aware of?

It is a client hardware and settings requirement. You must have Advanced Lighting Model enabled in the viewer's graphics preferences, or those parts of the build floater will be disabled (or rather will have no apparent effect). Also, if the texture does not have an alpha channel, you can't pick a blanding mode.

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Cerise Sorbet wrote:


Vick Forcella wrote:

Is there a server requirement I'm not aware of?

It is a client hardware and settings requirement. You must have Advanced Lighting Model enabled in the viewer's graphics preferences, or those parts of the build floater will be disabled.

I had all to the max and had everything enabled.

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Vick Forcella wrote:


Cerise Sorbet wrote:


Vick Forcella wrote:

Is there a server requirement I'm not aware of?

It is a client hardware and settings requirement. You must have Advanced Lighting Model enabled in the viewer's graphics preferences, or those parts of the build floater will be disabled.

I had all to the max and had everything enabled.

As you can see here: https://my.secondlife.com/vick.forcella/snapshots/51c6c2ac16ccc54f4a000001

 

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As Cerise said - the alpha options are greyed out if you texture has no alpha channel (24 bits/pixel instead of 32). That will always be the case for images uploaded from bmp or jpg files that do not have transparency. To use an uploaded normal map, you have to first put it in the texture preview after choosing "Bumpiness". Then it will add the "Use Texture" option and switch to it automatically. Itwill disappear (as will the texture) if you then select a different mode.

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Drongle McMahon wrote:

As Cerise said - the alpha options are greyed out if you texture has no alpha channel.

ok, sounds logical. I have tried different normal and specular maps. Home-made and others. No effect whatsoever. I thought that alpha mode was to blame.

I discovered something much worse that causes this. This viewer ignores my settings and refuses to show shadows at all. Also I suddenly can't make projectors any more. This viewer thinks I have a crappy computer setup.

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Cerise Sorbet wrote:

A few of steps in the crate example were a little bit muddled, I think the recipe should work now.

Thank you Cerise. It won't solve my problem but makes the article a lot better. My intenion was to gather all Material related articles and combine into an easy manual. Can't do that if the viewer doesn't allow shadows for my system :)

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Vick Forcella wrote:

Thank you Cerise. It won't solve my problem but makes the article a lot better. My intenion was to gather all Material related articles and combine into an easy manual. Can't do that if the viewer doesn't allow shadows for my system
:)

 

From your screen shot it looks like deferred rendering should be good to go, but it looks like you have plain plywood on there? That would explain the grayed out menu, at least. The box in your screen shot really looks like it has some shine going on, so perhaps specular really is OK? Not sure if that's a map or old school shiny. What happens if you use the textures from the wiki?
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I'm just starting to experiment with these matrials. I'm not sure if I am doing something wrong, or that I'm expecting something that is just not there. But when I apply a normal map to my existing texture, I see a very tiny difference. The mesh with the normal map applied seems to have little less contrast then the mesh that is just textured.

NormalYesNo.png

 

Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

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I think it is normal. Unless you add some environmental and/or specular reflection, the effect of normal maps only shows up with very low angles of lighting. Here is the same block with the same texture and normal maps on all faces viewed with the sun directly overhead. The grooves are sharp (normals almost tangential at the bottoms). The cube on the right has no shininess. You can only see the grooves on the side where it is very obliquely lit. On the left, I added a blank texture for the "shininess" map, and set the glossiness (expopnent) and environment settings to low values, about 30. Now you can see the grooves. Of course a proper custom specular map (and exponent map in the normal map alpha channel) would give more complete control, but you can do quite a lot using the blank shininess, by adjusting the parameters and tint, and it saves a texture download

speceg1.jpg.

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Actually I like he surface of the right one in your example much better, looks much more natural in my opinion.

So can I conclude that we have a bump map, that has no actual value as bump, but only starts working when you want all your objects to look like you spoiled a large pot of glue on them?

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I can't agree with that. First, they can no doubt be used much more effectively that my rudimentary skills allow. Secondly, ecen I can use them to make much more effcicient mesh. Here is an example. Texture and colour is the same for all. Objects 1 & 2 have 176 triangles and 119 vertices. Download weight  is 0.1.  Object 1 has no normal or specular maps. Object 2 is object 1 with a normal map and a blank texture for the sppecular map. Objects 3 & 4 are the mesh used to bake the normal map for object 2. It has 15232 triangles and 7802 vertices. Neither has a normal map, but object 3 has the same blank specular map and settings (22,23) as object 2. Of course, object 2 is far from perfect, especially around the top edge, but it saves a lot of LI.

speceg2.jpg

Unlike a baked lighting, the highlights move around with the sun and the camera.

speceg3.jpg

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