First Impression on Materialize

Ok, I´m just gonna repeat what I did when trying out the layered texturing module and write up my first impressions for the Materialize module.

Because some stuff I was missing might be there and I just didn´t find it or it might work differnet then I expected it to work and it just needs more documentation.
Hope you can clarify these, before I make a bunch of redundant feature requests (I´ve already made way too many…:slight_smile:

  1. There is one feature I generally don´t like right now, but maybe I´ll come to appreciate it: I can´t open the program without picking either a mesh to paint on (layer workflow) or an image to start with.
    I prefer doing that AFTER I started the app, because maybe I don´t even know yet what I wanna work on…
    A skip button would be nice here.
    Also: The image I picked didn´t show up in the package assets, which confused me and I just manually loaded it in then.

  2. There seems to be a bug with loading in the mesh (EA versoin 2 from today):
    At first it doesn´t show up in the viewport.
    I tried a bunch of things and after messing with the displacement settings in the viewport preference tab, it suddenly showed up.

  3. Does wireframe not work with displaced meshes? I´d actually like to see the density of the different tesselation levels.

  4. Is there a way to quickly (ideally with a hotkey) swap to a “clay” type render?
    I thought I read something like that, but couldn´t find it.
    Would be super useful to better tune the normal and displacement map in particular.

  5. Performance is BLAZING fast.
    I was still trying to figure out where to create the different maps before I realized they were already created after i picked the texture as input…
    Then changing resolutions was just as fast, as was tweaking stuff for the single map channels.
    And it looks absolutely gorgeous after just a few minutes of tweaking.

  6. A tutorial on the workflow in general would also be very helpful, maybe outline the steps in the docuumentation.
    Didn´t take me too long to figure things out, but would still invite people I think, especially those new to all this.

  7. I don´t really like the cropping section.
    Took me a second to figure out I couldn´t just do this in the viewport.
    Would be nice to have that option, as fiddling with scale and offset is not as intuitive and is a bit of guesswork, if you don´t start with square images.

  8. I would have liked to be able to preview the tiling in the 2d image view as well, not just in the 3d View. Sometimes its easier to finetune the seamless settings for example, when you can see it in 2d.

  9. When I double click on another image in the package tab, it opens right where all the maps are displayed for the current material.
    Thats not only confusing, it also makes the basecolor map disappear and I couldn´t figure out how to get it back.

  10. This one applies to all areas, not just to the materialize workflow,
    There are two things about the internal file browser that instamat uses, that I don´t like:
    A) You don´t get an image preview in the browser, because you cannot display “extra large” or “large” previews, only names or names+details in a list.
    I ended up just using the windows explorer and drag and drop the images, which works just fine, but if you´re not planning to fix that, maybe mention that in the manual, because once more I thought I might just be too dumb to figure out how to display images in the browser.
    B) It lets you pick any object in the browser, instead of displaying just compatible types and it tries to then open them on double click.
    I´d prefer it if you´d have to confirm before it tries to load an asset anyways, because sometimes with a network drive it just lags a bit and I ended up several times accidentally already having double clicked on an asset of the wrong type, just trying to navigate to the correct folder, causing a delay and then an error message (like picking an image instead of an fbx as mesh or vice versa).

  11. I found out you can have the camera orbit and it kind of does an automatic “turntable” display of your material.
    Thats neat, I also found out just now you can do the same for the environment map.
    It would be even better to make a button for it in the viewport or at least let us make it hotkeyable, as well as change the speed…:slight_smile:
    I also couldn´t figure out if I could then just render out a few frames this way, so I could save it as a gif or mp4 for upload.
    For the future I saw you´re planning to integrate the “polyverse” and sharing there and then being able to just share or embed the view from there is probably even better.

  12. Hitting the “raytrace” icon didn´t seem to work, or I didn´t get: I just saw a black screen.
    DIdn´t try that in the other modes yet though, so I´ll have to do that still…

  13. Generally the whole workflow from start to finish could use a bit more explanation in the docs or a tutorial.
    A) It took me a hot minute to figure out how I could just duplicate the material and then swap out the base image, but keep all the other settings so I just needed to finetune these and create more variations easily.
    I first simply switched out the base image in the right view and started tweaking and it took me a while to figure out I had actually now “destroyed” the previous material:
    B) Then I duplicated that material a bunch of times, renamed it and then switched out the base images and tweaked them, by going to “file-save new project copy”.
    Intuitively I would have tried to just duplicate the asset in the package tab or would look for a button to do so in the materials channels tab to the right.
    C) But what do I do with these materials now? How can I save them to the base material library and make it available for all future layer/graph projects?
    D) What do I do with the package after I´m done with creating the materials? Do I still need that or is it enough to individually save the materials?

I know its quite a lot again, like I said: Overall I´m very happy with Materialize already, hope this observations make it easier to spot where you could improve either on the tool or the documentation.

And if something I described isn´t possible at all right now, please let me know real quick, so I can make a few feature requests…:slight_smile: