and Materials: Understanding the "Materials Tab"
I'm Just going to talk briefly about Material
types and what those nifty buttons are for. First
thing you should know about is the different kinds
of materials that are used in most 3D applications.
is constant which has no highlights and no shadows.
Here is an example of Constant:
is Lambert. This has no highlights but does have
shadows. Here is an Example of Lambert.
Now beyond this there are a few others that are
all simmilar but look more or less the same. The
only real difference is how they calculate the
highlights. The most common is Phong and most
likley the one Mete uses for MilkShape. There
is also Blinn which is prized when doing a shiny
car in 3d in the more detailed 3d packages since
it give's you a better highlight across irregular
surfaces. Anyway, here is an example of Phong
which has Shadow and Highlights.
Ok, so now you know a bit more about 3D materials.
So how do you do any of this stuff in Milkshape
and how and when should I use these? Well let's
start with the material interface:
There are some more terms here that you should
be aware of. First is the Diffuse which is your
objects main colour if your object were painted,
Diffuse would be the colour you painted it with.
is the Ambient. Ambient is the shadow area or
surrounding effect. Typically it's used as the
shadow however it can be coloured. An example
is if you were to look at an object in a real
world area that when light is cast on it, it is
never really black or even just a darker colour
on it's shadowy side. Sometimes they may have
a more blue colouring to it or even a red or green
hue in the shadowy area even though it is not
any of those colours it self nor is the light.
Anyway, suffice it to say it does have real world
applications but for games black is probably the
in line is your Specular. Specular is the highlight.
If it is a glossy object chances are it's got
a specular highlight. The highlight can also have
it's own colour and this again is seen in real
life examples. Materials that are one colour and
yet a complete other in the highlight can be seen
in costumes for stage (or back in the 80's on
the average person but lets not go there) again
the most common choice for games would likley
is the Emissive. Well for this we need to think
about what Emissive is. Well it is the colour
it Emits like a lit object. This doesn't make
it an actual light source though so don't go expecting
to turn this up and have glowing characters. What
it will simply do is take the the Ambient and
Diffuse and bring them up to that colour. if you
bring it all the way up to white you will lose
the specular as well. This is what you would likley
use to make a constant material. This is also
usefull when creating geometry that is supposed
to be the physical representation for a light.
While the object itself does not emit light it
will apear as if it is the source of the light.
you will notice as well there are two sliders.
The one to the left is your specular highlight
control. It changes how spread the highlight gets
across the surface. a smaller highlight would
likley be on something like plastic or glass and
a wider specular would be seen on skin or frosted
glass. The other slider is for transperancy of
the object. This won't work unless you have a
texture on it .. or so it would seem.
you also have the two slots that say (none) on
them, those are for your Textures. The first is
for your object map. The other is your alpha map.
An alpha Map is a greyscale image that usually
makes white fully solid and black fully transparent.
So the greys are various levels of translucency.
Lastly, we should discuss some of the uses of
these tools. I've dropped comments of where they
could be used but lets just mention them again.
levels and controls are important for what kind
of surface you are trying to create. A bright
and tight specular is a glossy object like metals,
glass, and plastic. For this you keep the specular
small and use a white or very bright colour. For
something like skin though it's not quite so shiny.
For that you would like to spread it a bit, not
too much but a bit, and lower the brightness of
the specular. Making it dimmer and thus allowing
it to be less shiny. A Dark grey is fine for this.
If you drop it down to black you get something
that has no shine at all. Like dirt or fabric.
is again the way to get something to look as though
it's glowing. You can use this in various degrees
though. You can give a low emissive value to something
simply to make it stand out against the rest of
the objects in your game even in a dark room.
It doesn't have to be very high just enough that
you can barley make out the shape in a nearly
black room. For higher levels you can use it to
make things like lava which still get's some shadow
but not much of a light that get's no shadows
on it. A medium Emissive would be practically
used for something like a lampshade. It's emitting
light from behind it but yet can still have shadows
cast across it.
with the specular, diffuse, and Ambient you can
create some interesting effects. For example you
could set the specular to a bright yellow and
the diffuse to an orange and the Ambient to a
deep red, then even add some red with the emissive
and you have a fireball. Add a texture to it for
even more detail.