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Material Editor Suggestions

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It seems that the time to start implementing some basic material editor may come soon (no promises though). The plan is to have support for almost all of the Corona features, but that may take some time. I want to start small and then add few more features on each release. To better prioritize, I'd like to ask for your opinion. Please share your thoughts on what features you would like to see in the material editor (and categorize them as "need to have" / "nice to have" if you can).

Although we're still in closed beta stage, everybody is welcome to share his opinion, not just the current beta testers.

My list would be:

Need to have:
-Nice material preview - Probably like the one in max, with resizable window, so we can see a bigger preview if we need. This one is a must have for me. I have V-ray and Thea for SU. Vray 2.0 for SU has a very small preview for maps and for materials and you can hardly see some subtle effects... Thea render has the option to choose from 2 different resolutions. It's better but if we could have a resizable window would be the best!
-Nice map preview - A resizable window with immediate feedback of the changes - Like if we apply a color correction or any other effect from the material editor. Thea render has a separate map editor wich is nice.
-Complete interaction with interactive render - I know it will take some time to achieve but would be nice to be able to see all the changes made in the material editor immediately show in the IR.Including the changes made in maps. Without having to confirm this changes with a button. Thea render has a nice material editor, but you have to confirm the changes and close the editor in order to see the changes in IR. V-ray has immediate feedback in IR for the main material features but when you're inside the map slots you still have to confirm the changes in order to see the IR update.
-Most of the materials supported in max, like corona material, emissive, material for thin surfaces like leaves (2 sided material)

Good to have:
-Material library or some presets like metal, plastic, etc...

I'd like to elaborate more, but that's what came to my mind at the moment...

Keep up the good work!


thanks ryuu,

I would say keep it simple and all within one small window / dialog box and work with the sketchup native paint bucket material system instead of completely trying to replace it, which would mean retexturing everything again without being able to see the textures. In max or c4d, materials are represented by colours and not flat representations of textures like Sketchup, which brings me great difficulty when I compose a scene together as I can't visualise by weird colour representations.

So loosely tying the materials editor to the paint bucket materials native function would be great as the textures are updated on the spot visually shown with the model. the two main things that are shown directly on the model are material mapping  size and position (perfect for tiling textures), and transparency.

one of the best materials editor I have used is the extremely simple one from Podium. It has only a few settings. eg, diffuse, reflectivity, transparency (tied to native), base color (tied to native), it is only a single texture, bump, emmisivity, and alpha. I have always wished for displacement, SSS, and a rendered material preview . all textures reside in the skp file and not a separate JPEG file for each  texture  residing all over the place. Good place to start.

I would highly suggest not to have confirm or cancel settings, but rather immediate effect when sliders are moved like Mac. too many clicks spoil the soup.

what i really like about another material editor from twilight is that it contains approximate real world equivalents to materials that make sense : for example, in emissivity sliders, shifting the sliders over segments of the range will give an indication of light power output eg. glowworm, naked flame, fluorescent, incandescent 40W, halogen 50w, halogen 100w, halogen 200W, sodium street lamp, 400W flood lamp, lighthouse lamp, and colour temperture in terms of Kelvins. of course, LEDs are messing up the equations with their different power ratings... but should be left out as they havent come to a proper consensus yet even within the lighting industry.

i think that the 3D max material system is simply terrible, tying one material to another, linking this to that, redundant duplicate materials, paths to textures all over and tying to animation, it is overly complicated and unnecessary with too many cryptic boxes to fill out, leading you to the twilight zone.

Don't get me wrong, there should be multi mixed and mapped materials, I just think there should be a much better and simpler way of doing it, and not the Max way. I heard that Modo has a good system... but I am not sure.


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