An Introduction to the Material Visualizer
The Material Visualizer provides a way for maps to be visualized in ShaderMap to simulate 3D environments such as games, simulations, and offline renderers.
It takes the place of the Map Preview and Model Setup on the right side of the Main Interface. It can
also be set to an external window. Below is an image of the Material Visualizer Interface with descriptions of the main parts of the Visualizer following.
On the left side of the Material Visualizer is the vertical toolbar. It has two tool buttons - they are Translate and Material Erase.
- Translate Tool - The default tool for selecting, rotating, and moving in the 3D scene. It has the following properties:
- Double click a geometry instance to zoom into it.
- Double click anywhere on the canvas to zoom to all instances.
- Mouse scroll to zoom in and out. Hold the Shift Key to increase the speed of the zoom.
- Left mouse drag a geometry instance to rotate it.
- Right click a geometry instance to reset its rotation.
- Middle mouse drag to strafe horizontally and vertically in the scene.
- Material Erase Tool - Select this tool and left click any subset of a geometry instance to remove its assigned material.
The Light Control is located in the upper right of the Material Visualizer. It supports up to 4 directional lights in a scene. Each light can be
selected by left-clicking and rotated by left dragging. The icon buttons on the right of the control do the following:
Canvas, Tessellation, and Geometry Controls
- Ambient Light - Click to open a color dialog to set the scene ambient lighting.
- Add Light - Click to add a new light to the scene.
- Delete Light - Click to delete the selected light.
- Light Color - Click to open a color dialog. This sets the color of the selected light.
The Canvas / Tessellation / UV Channel Controls are located to the bottom left of the Material Visuzlier. There are four controls:
- This first is a button that opens a color dialog to set the background canvas color of the Material Visualizer.
- The second control is a checkbox for toggling auto rotation of all geometry instances.
- The third control toggles tessellation of all current geometry instances. Any Material that requires
tessellation, such as the Displacement Material, will auto set this when applied to a geometry subset.
- The fourth control selects the UV Channel for the current geometry. Up to 8 UV channels are supported in the visualizer window.
Geometry controls are on the bottom right of the Material Visualizer. The controls set the number of instances for the selected geometry,
select the geometry displayed, and allow import and deletion of user geometry.
External Material Visualizer
- Instance Count - Set the number of instances displayed for the selected geometry. This is useful when comparing multiple materials side-by-side.
- Geometry Selection - Choose the geometry to be displayed in the Visualizer
- Add / Delete Geometry - Click the + button to open a file dialog to import your own 3D models into the project. The - button will delete the selected imported geometry from the project. Currently ShaderMap supports OBJ and FBX files. This can be expanded using plugins.
When the Material Visualizer is open there will be a button on the very bottom right of the application window. It looks like this:
Clicking that button will move the Material Visualizer to an external window. If you have enough screen space, this window can be
resized and positioned next to the main window. This is very useful when painting normals. You can view the results in real-time.