Texture settings (Enscape materials)

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  • {Note: I can only comment on the SU version of Enscape 2.1.3.1247 ; it might be different in other programs}


    - As a shortcut to save time and file size I often use a flat colour as a base and apply a bump map to it - (floor tiles, coping stones, smooth cement render, ridge tiles, ...etc)

    It would be really handy if you could apply an off-set to any of the material textures (Texture, transparency, bump & reflections) so that they can be aligned properly without having to use the albedo texture or assign a texture to that material.


    - When assigning any texture it would be nice if the program actually looked at the image it's importing and pulled in a width/height from it (and had a button to re-set, and another to lock proportions so that changing one size automatically scaled the other). It would also be useful to see the width/height of the texture without having to tic the "explicit texture transformation" box.


    - The other settings for enscape materials would be good to replicate within the relevant tab for the image (eg bump amount slider within the tab where you see the bump image)


    - The Colour selection (seen on the Albedo and Illumination sections): Could a pipette to 'select colour from screen' be added? (As per the one in the SU materials editor)


    - If the material window could float above the enscape render window like the settings window does, it would be easier to change materials and see the effects of these changes "live".

    If this is possible, putting a pipette button on the same window to select a material from the render window would be really useful... as would be a way to roll it up/down and hide it. (Same with the settings window: a way to hide it other than closing it or dragging it off-screen would be handy)



    Specific to the sections -

    Window title - could the title be populated with the name of the current material? (eg "Enscape material: Chris_Hair")

    Type - Would be nice if it highlighted that a keyword was selected (eg "General - metal") and/or be able to select these keyword presets.

    - (requested elsewhere) If you could add your own presets to this list it would be great; perhaps a "save current material settings as preset" option somewhere?

    Self Illumination - (requested elsewhere) Since there are textures for the other settings, it would be nice to apply an illumination texture with white = 100% bright, grey = 50% black = 0%

    - It would also be nice to be able to type in a value for the Luminance instead of relying on a slider.

    Transparency - Tint only affects the objects seen through the glass; it does not apply any colour to the light as it travels through the glass (eg a stained glass window would not show coloured patches on the floor/wall)

    - Glass does not cast a shadow (this is related to the above) and the opacity does not affect the transmittance of light through it.

  • Wow, thanks for that amount of suggestions. Let me try to comment on them:

    Quote

    - As a shortcut to save time and file size I often use a flat colour as a base and apply a bump map to it - (floor tiles, coping stones, smooth cement render, ridge tiles, ...etc)

    It would be really handy if you could apply an off-set to any of the material textures (Texture, transparency, bump & reflections) so that they can be aligned properly without having to use the albedo texture or assign a texture to that material.

    We thought about adding more texture transformation controls like known from Revit/Rhino, which are already supported by the rendering code (Offset, Rotation), but we didn't because we liked that you see the albedo texture in the SketchUp viewport. Adding more than SketchUp can handle means to have different views in SketchUp and Enscape, and that's not goot in our opinion. Of course that's not a problem for bump/reflections, but having more controls in these sometimes less important can also feel weird. So we didn't add them at all.

    Quote

    - When assigning any texture it would be nice if the program actually looked at the image it's importing and pulled in a width/height from it (and had a button to re-set, and another to lock proportions so that changing one size automatically scaled the other). It would also be useful to see the width/height of the texture without having to tic the "explicit texture transformation" box.

    Looks like it can be done. Although resetting to the original texture size is ambiguous - textures do not have a real size, only pixels. I guess using the DPI setting from specific file formats is the wrong way, because most textures are quite large in real. So you would have to reset the proportion, and afterwards adjust the size.

    Quote

    - The other settings for enscape materials would be good to replicate within the relevant tab for the image (eg bump amount slider within the tab where you see the bump image)

    We thought about that, but didn't want to have the same control on several locations. What are you doing so often in the bump tab? We hoped that users spend most of their time in the general tab.

    Quote

    - The Colour selection (seen on the Albedo and Illumination sections): Could a pipette to 'select colour from screen' be added? (As per the one in the SU materials editor)

    We have never thought about that one, but I can see how it can help. Unfortunately we use a 3rd party library for the color selection dialog. Don't know how easily we can integrate the screen color pipette function.

    Quote

    - If the material window could float above the enscape render window like the settings window does, it would be easier to change materials and see the effects of these changes "live".

    Would be only one line to change it, but there are also some users, who complain about the same behaviour regarding the settings window. So I think we won't go down this road unless it's somehow configurable.

    Quote

    If this is possible, putting a pipette button on the same window to select a material from the render window would be really useful...

    Do you want to select color/texture from another material for use in the currently open material? Or do you want to change to another material? For the latter you can use the SketchUp paint bucket tool (press P, hold down Alt).


    Quote

    as would be a way to roll it up/down and hide it. (Same with the settings window: a way to hide it other than closing it or dragging it off-screen would be handy)

    Would be on done in combination with a configurable "floating on top of everything" behaviour.


    Sorry, buggy forum, can't use any more quotes. My text in red.


    Window title - could the title be populated with the name of the current material? (eg "Enscape material: Chris_Hair")

    That should be possible.


    Type - Would be nice if it highlighted that a keyword was selected (eg "General - metal") and/or be able to select these keyword presets.

    These presets are only used if you have never modified a material using the material editor. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to adjust them. Do you think it helps if you see a line of text for untouched materials, that tell you what preset was detected (and that is hidden after the first change)?


    - (requested elsewhere) If you could add your own presets to this list it would be great; perhaps a "save current material settings as preset" option somewhere?

    Sounds easy, but is not. Would you like to have that preset bound to a keyword that we detect (and work only on untouched materials), or would you like to have it in a dropdown for manual assignment?


    Self Illumination - (requested elsewhere) Since there are textures for the other settings, it would be nice to apply an illumination texture with white = 100% bright, grey = 50% black = 0%

    Every texture slot, and every slider added, increases the complexity of the rendering and therefore might have a negative impact on the performance. We'll think about it.


    - It would also be nice to be able to type in a value for the Luminance instead of relying on a slider.

    You are not the first to want text input in addition to the slider.


    Transparency - Tint only affects the objects seen through the glass; it does not apply any colour to the light as it travels through the glass (eg a stained glass window would not show coloured patches on the floor/wall)


    - Glass does not cast a shadow (this is related to the above) and the opacity does not affect the transmittance of light through it.


    These things are easy using raytracing, but are a lot more complex in real-time rendering.

  • Thanks for the response :) I appreciate that some things are 'long term goals' and others are little adjustments that are relativity simple to implement. Of course complexity of implementation means little to an end user like me - I just want everything now ;)

    Offset - I'm only really looking to use this on textures other than the Albedo (I can move that within SU). If their is an Albedo set then I don't see the need to offset the other textures. For a simple UI I was thinking that you could drag/place/set the origin within the image tab; on top of the actual image.


    Texture size - The main reason this came to mind is that when you load in new textures the initial image size is... inconsistent. Perhaps if there is no Albedo to reference you could force a dialogue to ask what size the new image should be? Otherwise take the same settings from the Albedo texture.

    Texture size reset - I see where the problem might lie with "resetting"... perhaps there could be a global factor in a setting somewhere? ie 1px = 1mm


    Settings on tabs - 90% of the time I'm in the bump tab to change/set the scale of the image; tweaking settings for optimal results, the same thing as I do when adjusting the amount of bump. The other option would be to take a "Scale" setting from the bump image tab and put it on the main tab. (BTW Doesn't changing the brightness from this tab produce the same effect as changing the amount of bump?)


    Colour selection pipette - Just needs a little button beside the drop-down button; no need to change the existing pallet plugin ;)


    Floating material window - I understand that it could be annoying (I get annoyed with the settings one), but I work 90% of the time on a laptop without a multiple monitor setup; flicking between the two every time I change the depth of a bump or tweak the colour or change a material to see it's effect really has an effect on workflow. (If I am doing it a lot I split screen between them, but it's a thing that could be avoided and save a lot of jumping about.)
    Even better if the window could be docked or rolled up (perhaps with an auto-hide function? - wait x length of time or move the camera and it hides.)

    Selecting another texture - I would only want to change the currently selected texture to the one clicked on in the Enscape window. Without having to switch back to the native application. (This makes more sense with the floating material window notes above).


    Window title - Cool; You currently have no idea what the texture name is without referencing the native application. (Again this ties in with the floating window)

    Type - I like the idea that the key-word displays on un-edited materials to vanish if it's changed.
    Type Presets - If it could automatically pick up from key-words in the name like it currently does that would be cool: I could call things "Brick", "Tile", "Lamimate"... and have it pull my defaults for that texture. The wrinkle is how you then edit these key-words.


    Self Illumination - I understand that every layer to a texture adds complexity/run-time lag. However a self-illuminated texture cannot have a bump or a reflection layer, so really you have two less layers in that texture. And you can already apply a transparency - it just needs to recognize greyscale.


    Transparency - I do appreciate the complexity of this request, but I also think it would be an amazing feature; one of the "long term goals" perhaps?

  • +1 Type Presets that detect... pull down could be in addition to but not in lieu of. Detected Text is way faster. They could maybe be overrideable as the current presets work.


    Would also still love to have these settings accessible via external plain text xml or inI file. You keep the render settings via this method, why not type preset type material settings? This is useful for managing large numbers of settings with normal file management instead of having to use pull downs and sliders / buttons which are slower and not as easy to keep consistent.


    Material Editor in sketchup is working very solid for me by the way. Zero glitches / crashes which is awesome.


    Chris

  • Self Illumination - I understand that every layer to a texture adds complexity/run-time lag. However a self-illuminated texture cannot have a bump or a reflection layer, so really you have two less layers in that texture.

    Reflections for emissive materials are needed for example for rendering TFT displays. I use it all days here.

  • Offset - In addition to the ability to offset, I would really like to be able to rotate the bump; Really annoying when the image of floorboards run one way and the bump runs another.


    Another thought occurred to me: It would also be useful to have these tools for the main Albedo texture; something that SU is missing - If I colour a group with a texture it just slaps the texture on all the 'default' surfaces within that group... very useful and it's the way I colour 90% of all my models. Unfortunately I have no control over the position of images on these surfaces - If I want to position or rotate the texture for that group I have to do a lot of additional work. If I could do it within enscape that would be much simpler (and really cool).

  • Settings on tabs - 90% of the time I'm in the bump tab to change/set the scale of the image; tweaking settings for optimal results, the same thing as I do when adjusting the amount of bump. The other option would be to take a "Scale" setting from the bump image tab and put it on the main tab. (BTW Doesn't changing the brightness from this tab produce the same effect as changing the amount of bump?)

    Just re-visiting some things and it occurred to me that what would be 100% more useful than a "Brightness" slider would be a "Contrast" slider.