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Creating a custom Material preview scene

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4 comments

  • adamgravois
    adamgravois

    How do we set up a custom scene for developing materials? This is a followup to the problem I was trying to solve in this post, now with a better subject line:

    I’ve got a custom default scene for testing materials. I want to put a custom model into it, but I only see how to add cubes, spheres, and "from shape” primitives. Is there a way to add a model I’ve imported?

    Why a custom scene? The sphere is not an ideal test shape for many materials, and the default scene has a pronounced blue cast to the lighting environment. That’s a 50% gray matte material but it sure looks blue, doesn’t it?

    Step one, the Model
    Pick a model that’s a better fit for the materials you’ll be developing.
    1A: In the LOGIC panel, create an Attribute of type Asset / Material. Name it "Asset”

    As far as I can tell this won’t work unless you use the name "Asset” throughout.

    1B: Create a new rule with Action: Set Material. Fill out the rule to set [mesh name] to attribute [attribute name]. Click "Done”

    continued…

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  • adamgravois
    adamgravois

    Step Two, the Scene
    Create a scene, add lighting to taste. (I like to use a simple HDRI with a big area light on one side, and an empty room elsewhere. Makes it easier to see how reflections work, how glancing-angle effects like fresnel falloff and sheen work.)

    Add the model from step 1 to the Scene Objects. You can add more than one object, and not every object needs to get its material replaced. I like to use a "color calibration object” in the Scene to confirm my lighting is behaving as desired.

    2A: In the LOGIC panel, create an Attribute of type Asset/Material, also named "Asset”

    2B: Create a new rule with Action: Set Material. Set [model name(s)] to attribute [attribute name]. You can add more than one model to this rule, and it will override the material on all of them.

    Don’t forget to click "Done”

    continued…

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  • adamgravois
    adamgravois

    Step Three, The STAGE

    Create a new stage. ​(for whatever reason, stages are a separate category of thing from Assets, and don’t live in the Assets structure)

    3A: Add an Attribute of type "Part Reference” and name it "Asset”. Leave the "values” field blank.

    3B: Set Visualization > 3D Asset to the Scene asset you created in step 2

    3C: Click "Save stage”

    …almost done…

    Step Four, Player Settings
    In the sidebar, navigate to Settings > Player

    In "Default Stages”, set the Material slot to the name of the stage you created

    Click "Save Settings” (very important, easy to overlook!)

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  • adamgravois
    adamgravois

    And now, when you work on your materials, you’ll be doing with a model and lighting setup of your choice!

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