Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Overview

Inside the Material Editor you can browse, create, edit and assign materials to objects, terrain, etc.

It also allows you to copy existing materials and use them as a starting point for your specific material needs. Materials files (*.mtl) are ideally located in the same folder as the object they were created for. However, as they can be freely assigned to any objects inside your game project, the only restriction is to place them inside the game project folder structure.

Editing materials not only allows you to choose textures and shaders, but also fine-tune placement, animation of textures and tweaking parameters relevant for a chosen shader type.

To open the Material Editor, go to Tools -> Material Editor.

Click on the name of the area names below to learn more about them.


1. Toolbar

The toolbar at the top of the Material Editor window has shortcut buttons for frequently used actions.

#

Button

Description

1

Assign Item to Selected Objects

Assigns a material to the object that is selected in the main Viewport; overwrites the original material (i.e. for a CGF) for this copy of the object in the editor.

2

Reset Material on Selection to Default

Resets the selected object's material to default (or the material stored in the *.cgf file).

3

Get Properties from Selection

Selects the material which is assigned to the selected object.

4

Pick Material from Object

Interactively select a single Material or a sub-material of an object in the scene by using an eyedropper tool.
The Editor highlights an object's polygons sharing the same sub-material when the eyedropper tool is moved over them. Click LMB to select the material/sub-material.
Also provides info about the name of the material/sub-material and the surface type ID in the Viewport.

5

Materials Library Browser

Select a filter to display materials in the library.

  • All materials for example shows all materials that are in your working folder, no matter if they are checked in or not.
  • Used In level shows just the materials which are used in your level. 
6

Add New Item

Adds a new material to the library

7

Save Item

Saves the selected material (only works for materials outside of *.pak files)

8

Remove Item

Deletes the material.

Icon
CAUTION: also deletes the *.mtl file. No Undo possible.
9

Copy Material

Copies the selected material.

10

Paste Material

Pastes the selected material.

11

Open large material preview

Opens a separate window which enables you to preview the material in more detail and from different angles.

2. Browser

The Material Browser lets you browse the library for materials, similar to Windows Explorer.

At the top of the folder structure you can find a quick search, which filters the materials in your library. You can use it to quickly locate a material you know the name of.

Right-Click Menu

When right-clicking on items in the Material Browser, a context menu will be displayed. Which options are displayed depends on the kind of item you have clicked on:

OptionDescription
CutCuts the selected material and moves it to the clipboard.
CopyCopies the selected material onto the clipboard.
PasteOpens File dialog and allows paste copied earlier material to specified folder.
Copy Name to ClipboardCopies the name and the path of the material onto the clipboard.
ExtractExtracts the selected material from the *.pak file into a folder with the same path as in *.pak file.
DuplicateDuplicates the selected material and puts the duplicate into the same folder.
RenameLets you rename the selected material.
DeleteDeletes the selected material.
NOTE: when deleting the material this way, it will be deleted from your hard-drive. 
ResetResets the selected material to its default settings.
Assign to Selected ObjectsAssigns the material to the object you have selected in the Viewport.
Select Assigned ObjectsSelects all objects the selected material has been assigned to.
Convert To Multi MaterialConverts the selected material to a Multi Material.
Add New MaterialAdds a new material in the active folder.
Add New Multi MaterialAdds a new Multi Material in the active folder.
Icon

The padlock icon next to a material indicates that it is read-only. Any changes you make to a locked material will be lost, even if you save the level.

If you wish to edit an existing material, extract it from the *.pak file it's located in and ensure that read-only is not checked on the file properties.

3. Preview

In the Material Preview, you can see what the material you have selected looks like. You can also see the material on several predefined objects to get a better idea of what it would look like in-game.

When right-clicking on a preview, a context menu appears:

OptionDescription
Use Default ObjectUses a default object for a preview of the selected material.
Use PlaneUses a plane for a preview of the selected material.
Use BoxUses a box for a preview of the selected material.
Use SphereUses a sphere for a preview of the selected material.
Use TeapotUses a teapot for a preview of the selected material.
Black BackgroundChanges the background of the preview to black.
Gray BackgroundChanges the background of the preview to gray.
White BackgroundChanges the background of the preview to white.
Texture BackgroundChanges the background of the preview to textured.
Use Back LightEnables back light for preview.

4. Parameters

The Material Editor has basic material parameters that are common to all materials, as well as shader parameters that can be adjusted if shaders are enabled.

Please see Tutorial - Getting Started with the Material Editor to learn more about the basic of the Material Editor.

Material Settings

 Click here to expand...
SettingDescription
Template MaterialThis function is deprecated and may not work as expected.
ShaderHere you can select the shader you want to use. Generally you use illum/vegetation/glass shader.
Surface Type

You can select a surface type for your material here. The surface type sets up what kind of sound will be played or what kind of particle effects will be spawned when you shoot the object.
For an old wooden table you would choose something like "wood", or you could even create your own custom surface type through the Material Effects system.
This can be applied to any object and will result in the associated particles, decals and sounds being played on that object, so yes, you can make a rock bleed!

mat_woodmat_rockmat_flesh

Opacity Settings

These settings are important if using alpha channels for transparency, for example when creating leaves and wire fences.

 Click here to expand...
SettingDescription
Opacity

With the opacity value you can switch between Alpha Blend and Alpha Test.

Opacity value: 0-99 -> alpha blend. Opacity value: 100 -> alpha test.

With alpha blend you can get very soft and semi transparent results, but it is more expensive than alpha test.

Alpha Test

If you want to use alpha test, which is less expensive, set the opacity value to 100 and the AlphaTest value to 50.

50 is the default value. A value below 50 tends more to the white color of the alpha map. A value above 50 tends more to the black color of the alpha map.

Default alpha test = 50Alpha test = 10Alpha test = 90
Additive

When using a semi-transparent material like glass, use the additive function. The material color will be added to the background color. The resulting color will the be brighter.

Lighting Settings

This section controls the material color and specular settings.

 Click here to expand...
SettingDescription
Diffuse Color

Controls the material diffuse color by double clicking the color square. The default RGB value is 255,255,255 and should usually be left at 255,255,255 for Physically Based Shading (PBS).
Choose the color on the left side by clicking the desired color.

Icon
To get the best quality rendering, it is recommended to always use 255,255,255 diffuse with no color input and adjust the diffuse texture accordingly.

Using the slider next to the color you can control the brightness. You can also type in the RGB code in the fields underneath the color spectrum. There is also a color swatch available in the Standard tab.

Specular ColorThe specular color is the reflective or shiny component of a material when light shines onto the object. To correctly set up PBS materials please see the documentation for Physically Based Shading (PBS).
Specific metals reflect a certain color, e.g.: Gold = 255,219,145, Silver = 250,247,242, Copper = 250,209,194 (see the lookup table at the bottom of the Texture and Material Setup for PBS page). All other non-metals should be within the sRGB color range of 40,40,40 -> 60,60,60. They should never be above 80,80,80!
As long as you adhere to the PBS specular color guidelines, your materials should look 'physically plausible' no matter what the lighting conditions are (in images below, you'll see gold, silver and copper in different lighting conditions):

SmoothnessThe smoothness defines how rough or glossy a surface is. To correctly set up PBS materials please see the documentation for Physically Based Shading (PBS).
Think of it as defining the micro details on a surface, where the normal map defines the macro details. The smoothness map is stored inside the Alpha channel of the normal map (saved with the postfix _ddna). The higher the value you enter for the Smoothness, the tighter the specular highlight will be.
In the following picture, from Left to right, we are decreasing the Smoothness value.
  • (Left: Smoothness = 255, very smooth surface, highly reflective, tight specular highlight)
  • (Right: Smoothness = 0, very rough surface, no reflection, wide specular highlight)

Emissive Intensity (kcd/m2)

The Emissive Intensity defines how much light gets emitted from the surface (previously known as 'glow'). The intensity is specified in kilonits (same as kcd/m2) which is the physical unit for Luminance. A candle flame has a typical Emissive Intensity of 10 kcd/m2.

Icon
Please note that for surfaces, emittance is only supported by the Illum shader and is ignored by the Vegetation and HumanSkin shaders.
Emissive ColorThe Emissive Color defines the color of the emitted light ("glow") when the Emissive Intensity is not zero. In case an emittance map is used, the emissive color gets multiplied with the emittance map color.

Advanced Settings

 Click here to expand...
Setting
Description
Allow layer activationEnabling this feature will load the material while the layer is loaded. When the layer is not loaded, the material will not be loaded either. For performance reasons, it is recommended to turn this on at all times.
2 sidedBoth sides of the face the material is assigned to will be rendered by the engine. You normally use this for objects with alpha channels like leaves which have no thickness.
No shadowFaces the material is assigned to will not cast a shadow.
Use ScatteringDeprecated
Hide After BreakingThis will make a subset disappear when the object it's attached to breaks procedurally. An example is a liana that disappears when the palm tree it hangs from breaks.
Blend Terrain ColorColor information is tinted based on the terrain color. For example, Grass inherits terrain albedo in a use case.
Traceable TextureMaterial will be applied to Ray Traceable decals and will use an alpha map to verify the texture.
Fur AmountDeprecated
Voxel CoverageAllows you to control voxel opacity for SVOTI integration.
Heat AmountApplies heat to the object to be used in conjunction with the thermal vision effect (r_NightVision=3).
Cloak AmountDeprecated
Link to MaterialDeprecated
Propagate OptionsDeprecated

Texture Maps

In the material editor are different slots for texture maps. With texture maps, users can control different shader effects.

To add a texture to the material slot, click the "..." button on the right side or copy and paste the texture path into an empty slot.

The Texture Map slot layout is fairly straightforward: the left column displays which type of texture map the slot is associated with, the middle column is where the texture map file is place and on the right there are three buttons:

Button

Description

Opens the file browser dialog to select a texture.

Opens the current texture's associated *.psd file in Photoshop (requires defining Texture Editor in Preferences).

Opens the current texture's *.tif file (if available) in Photoshop (requires defining Texture Editor in Preferences).

Icon

Hovering over the name of the Diffuse texture gives you a preview of that texture.

The table below shows the textures available for the Illum shader. Some texture maps will only be available when certain materials or textures are selected, or upon activation of Shader Generation Parameters.

Texture Map
Filename Suffix
Channels
Description
Diffuse Map_diffRGBADefines the albedo color of the surface. Can also contain monochrome Alpha channel to describe alpha transparency.
Bumpmap_ddnaRGBASpecial version of Normal maps. Additionally uses monochrome Alpha Channel (aka Gloss Map) to describe the Surface's Smoothness inside the Physical Based Rendering System.
Specular (Reflectance map)_spec The texture representing the specular intensity and color of material highlights defined as the "shininess" and color of specular reflections.
Environment Map_cmRGBACan be defined custom through slot input or can inherited from the "nearest cubemap."
Detail Map_detail The texture allowing you to add more details to surfaces. It works like the second material layer and it is not affected by the mapping of the model it is used for.
Heightmap_displ The texture which is utilized by POM/OBM/Tessellation to give more depth and definition to an object.
Dirt Map_diffRGBAA decal that houses an alpha for laying over grime or moss on objects.
Custom_sssRGBAThe custom slot is generally used to expose common parameters such as SSS or opacity for opaque materials.
Emittance Map_em The Emittance map is used to control what portion of the texture will be set to glow or emit.

 

All of these Texture Maps have the following options when they're expanded:

 Click here to expand...
OptionDescription
Tex TypeLets you select the following texture types:
  • 2D
  • Cube-Map
  • Dynamic 2D map
  • From User Params
  • Nearest cube-map probe for alpha blended
FilterThese options are deprecated.
Is Projected Tex GenDescription please
Tex Gen Type

Lets you select the following options:

  • Camera
  • Stream
  • World
Tiling

Lets you select the following options:

  • Is TileU
  • Is TileV
  • TileU & TileV - You can tile your texture for the U and V axis separately by using the arrow button, the slider, or the text field.
Icon

Note that you currently cannot tile normal or specular maps independently of the diffuse map. This is because of material instancing which saves many draw calls.

Texture tiling 1, 1Texture tiling 5, 5Texture tiling 1, 3

 

  • OffsetU & OffsetV You can move the texture on the model in U and V direction separately. In the example below, the texture is moved 1.32 in U and 2.17 in V direction:
  • RotateU, RotateV & RotateW - You can rotate the texture on a model in U and V direction separately. In the example below, the texture is rotated about 45 degree into U and V direction:
Rotator

With the rotator you are able to create a rotating/shifting texture animation. Choose between three different types of rotation by clicking the option box.

  • Type
    • Constant Rotation - Rotation is constant, rotating/shifting in one direction and back:
    • Fixed Rotation - Static rotation with no animation. Similar to the rotation function of the tiling menu.
    • No Change - Rotator is deactivated.
    • Oscillated Rotation - Rotation oscillates from the minimum, to the maximum, and back:
  • Rate - Defines the number of complete rotation cycles per unit of time. Or in the case of oscillating rotation, defines the rate of change of direction.
  • Phase - The phase of an oscillation or wave is the fraction of a complete cycle corresponding to an offset in the displacement from a specified reference point in time t = 0.
  • Amplitude - Defines the maximum value of an oscillation/wave.
  • CenterU and CenterV - Centers the texture on the model in U and V direction separately.
Oscillator

Like the rotator, the oscillator animates a texture.

  • TypeU
    • Constant Moving - Texture shifts endlessly in the adjusted direction:
    • Fixed Moving - Fixed moving is a static oscillation with no animation.
    • Jitter Moving - Texture shifts endlessly in the adjusted direction with jittering added. Has a stroboscope effect:
    • No Change - Oscillator is deactivated.
    • Pan Moving - Texture shifts in the adjusted direction until the maximum amplitude is reached and back until the minimum amplitude is reached. Comparable to a pendulum movement:
    • Stretch Moving - Similar to pen moving, but different in that the texture is stretched and not shifted to the adjusted direction until the maximum amplitude is reached and back until the minimum amplitude is reached:
    • Stretch-Repeat Moving - Similar to stretch moving with the difference that the texture stretching restarts at 0 when the maximum amplitude is reached:
  • TypeV - See TypeU
  • RateU & RateV
  • PhaseU & PhaseV
  • AmplitudeU & AmplitudeV
  • AmplitudeV

The rotator and oscillator functions are only available for diffuse and decal textures because of technical limitations.

You can create many interesting effects like animated glow by using the decal slot:

 

Shader Params

A complete list of shader params will be added to the documentation soon.

Shader Generation Params

A complete list of shader generation params will be added to the documentation soon.

Vertex Deformation

The Vertex Deformation function offers the opportunity to influence geometry.

A complete list of the Vertex Deformation params will be added to the documentation soon.

Layer Presets

Icon
The presets are a legacy feature and no longer supported.