Mechanical/metalic material "tutorial"

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Mechanical/metalic material "tutorial" // Tech Forum

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Post by Weevil // Dec 17, 2008, 2:10am

Total Posts: 534
Following a few questions/requests, I've put together a quick tutorial on making some of my best materials (which are going to be included at a later date)

what with my UV mapping and texturing skills inside a paint program not being up to scratch, this hopefully explains a little of how I go about making my materials. The ones that I'll be covering are below:

Let's start with tinted glass like on an aircraft:

Put the first layer on and select the "Caligari Phong" reflectancy shader, which will be the tint in the glass.
You want a high shine and specularity as this layer will become 50% transparent, add a tiny amount of refraction so the edges of the shape will become more dominant

Second layer, select the "Caligari Phong" reflectancy shader again and the the properties should have duplicated

Turn the specularity down to allow more of the blue highlights to shine through, and to accent it, add more shine.

This glass will appear black if there is no object behind it.

Works best on smooth surfaces such as aircraft canopies, you can use just either the top or bottom layer to create either plastic, or regular windows. While the preview doesn't look so good, the more objects there are for the glass to reflect, and the more objects there are behind it, the better

A stock sphere with the glass material applied is below, royalty free but if you do use this material unedited, please give me credit for it. Generated in 6.6 but can be converted to 7.6 no issue, just remember to use modelside to import it.

Post by Ospreyluvr // Dec 18, 2008, 2:46am

Total Posts: 112
Great tutorial! I am guessing you are working on the tutorials for the other materials? Anyways, that is a great tutorial, never thought of using two layers to make better looking glass/plastic.

Post by Breech Block // Dec 18, 2008, 8:05am

Breech Block
Total Posts: 844
Very informative. Always wondered how you managed to get your aircraft canopies to look so good. Thanks for sharing.

Post by tahnoak // Dec 19, 2008, 6:24am

Total Posts: 487
Thanks Weevil.

Post by Weevil // Dec 20, 2008, 4:13am

Total Posts: 534
Following a recent question, I've decided to make this first (don't worry tahnoak I will show you how to make the puddle when I remember how I did it!)

This next little tutorial will be in two halves, first half will be making a UV map, then the second half will be for those who haven't got a paint prgram handy so will need to use materials only.

While this applies for aircraft, this can apply for vehicles such as trans and cars. (And also requires an object already made) I'll be using this one:

You've got your object completed and its time for mapping, different parts will need different mapping, for example a fuselage will need a different map than a wing.

Glue corresponding parts together and copy, and move it to the side, this object will make our reference image when we come to make the texture, if you have any parts that are a NURBs object, (though its always good to just check)then do a final apply

Next you will need to bolean union the copied object, unglue one object and select the bolean union tool, making sure these options are selected
The object is being boleaned so when the mapping is applied, there is no excess geometry to obscure the view.

Ideally the less geometry, the clearer the reference image will be, but as long as shapes can be picked out there is not an issue.

Choose a cylindrical map, and rotate it so it looks the same as the image below (visually, not numerically as alignments may be different)

Click this button:
resize the window that appears and make it as large as possible, then hit printscreen. You can now delete the copied object.

Now you need to repeat the process for the original group, finalise any NURBs objects, and apply a cylindrical map that has exactly the same orientation. This time it is not needed to union the objects together.

Load up your paint program, and paste the prinstcreen in, and crop the image down
(linked for some reason its size remains large despite editing)

Start off by making the panelling, this will allow you to draw lines to determin where everything is corresponding to the object map, by drawing on top of the reference image. Then save it as a .jpg (Just make sure that you change the reference image to a white background before you save and re-save it each time!)

Once you have some lines laid out, you will need to apply these to your object. Go back into truespace. Right click on the bump map shader box, then select the bump map shader then right click on the file box, and load your new bump map.

Test to see if lines are right

If some things aren't aren't don't panick, just go back and edit the lines, re-save and to refresh applied textures/maps, click on the UV map editor button

In the end, something like this should appear

Post by Weevil // Dec 20, 2008, 4:13am

Total Posts: 534
(sorry for double posting, image restrictions)
If your paint program and tools can allow it, you can then and create a texture for each part using the same principles and different UV maps, for example a wing will have a planear map
(Tornado image map shown)

I intend on making a second part to this for those who don't have a paint program or have the toolsets


Post by Weevil // Dec 24, 2008, 7:21am

Total Posts: 534
Okay, one more for a bit of luck.

I've decided to upload all of the objects you see in the first image in this thread. As well I know you waiting for this one for a bit Tahnoak. Still water, or more specifically, the puddle used in my corridor scene.

Unlike the ocean, which is constantly moving, a puddle is standing still unless there's rain water on it, so there is no need for any displacement mapping (unless you want to simulate water drops).

We start with a simple plain, position it so its floating just above the ground, and we need to make sure that it won't cast any shadows (which is especially needed if you're using shadow mapping).

Right click on the object tool
when the object panel pops up, click on "Render options" and turn off the option labelled "Cast shadows"

Now you need to paint it. This is where having a paint program is useful, as you can make your own one, and/or edit an existing map. The map needs to be black around the edges so the texture doesn't end abruptly.
You will need to load your created/edited/existing map in as a transparency shader
Then hit the "paint object" button, and it should look similar to this:

Time to add the reflectancy map.
Right click on the reflectance button on the paint object toolbox and select "Caligari phong" as your shader.
Now fiddle with the settings, you want a small amount of refraction to give the puddle some shape, some shine and a lot of reflectiveness
You may have to alter the diffussion depending on the lightness of your scene

Paint it, and give it a try!

You can also now add another layer on top with a different material for thing slike blood or mud, and add a displacement map to simulate rain water

I've now attached a .zip of some of my materials, bear in mind that you need Shaderlab 2.4 installed for some of these


Post by tahnoak // Dec 28, 2008, 12:19am

Total Posts: 487
Weevil...Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks with the rest of us. These are the kinds of things (puddles) that help someone like me turn a decent scene into a good one. is a privately held community resource website dedicated to Active Worlds.
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