More complex material editor

  • Are you planning on expending sketchup's material editor? Something more like Vray…Displacement map, glossiness map, normal map, maybe even an option for an overlay texture


    And maybe the mirror material (false reflection), the glass material (not casting enough reflection through depth), do you plan on an amelioration of any kind?

  • You can already use a normal map (use the normap map slot, works for both) and glossiness map (as a roughness map, just the inverse). Displacement is not yet supported, same for overlay textures.


    We will not add false reflections due their error-prone usage, but we will continously improve the glass and mirror reflection appearance as it is one of the most suggested improvements.

  • jure I'm sure it wouldn't be more complex. Layered materials are like a stack of pancakes.


    For example at my screenshot above - if I would like to add a decal on the top, than I would add a second diffuse layer and move it to the top. This layer needs to get the decal texture and transparency mask. If I like to get the clear coat effect over the decal too, than I would move the reflection on the top. It's like playing with bricks. ;)

    The setup at the layers could stay simple like yet.


    Here a raw and simplified example how the UI could be looking. Material layers are UI blocks, that could be free arranged in the top-down order. If needed, additional layers could be added, for example the second diffuse layer.



  • That could work. But it's important to somehow hide advance controls for 'regular' users. You and me might know how to use this stuff but someone who just want's to get decent results quickly will be quickly intimidated if there are many controls...


    I have a strong background in 3d viz but most of my coworkers don't. And I already see them being confused even with current Enscape material editor, not too mention Enscape general settings.

  • I have a strong background in 3d viz but most of my coworkers don't. And I already see them being confused even with current Enscape material editor, not too mention Enscape general settings.

    Ooops, sounds bad. Enscape controls are basic only and a lot of controls are missed for pro users. From Vray I know that the UI can be switched between different modes for beginners/advanced/experts. Seems to be useful for Enscape too.

  • jure


    Thing is, if your point is to keep it simple for your less advanced team to understand it better, I believe that the way it is named and displayed right now is not a standardized way amongst other 3D softwares, I found it way harder to understand than other softwares such as revit, vray, 3dsmax. Lets say you go on poliigon.com and you want some neat textures; you'll know exactly which file to associate with which label (reflection, gloss, normal, bump, displacement, diffuse) but you see, the fact that you ask what the diffuse is, makes me wonder how relatable the material editor can be if someday you decide to diversify your 3D software knowledge.


    Although, my point of view. And i've been away from enscape for a little while because I keep facing weird bugs with glass, mirrors and the space between two faces which lets light pass, but looking forward to try the new version soon.

  • the fact that you ask what the diffuse is, makes me wonder how relatable the material editor can be

    The problem is that the word "Diffuse" means to spread out and/or soften as it is used in most other industries that I have experience of: the obscurity level of glass is referred to as diffusing it, photography has diffuse lenses, stage lighting has diffusers, diffuse filters in editing software blur the image... (Although I admit "Albedo" is a bit of an obscure word and refers to the reflection of light.)


    Personally I think simpler language like "Base image" would be better. Or better yet (and more universal) would be an icon rather than words.

    • Albedo/Diffuse: It describes basically the same. Albedo is however a more specific term to describe what kind of color it is (see various internet sources to find explanations on albedo textures in PBR context). "Base Image" or something else would sound nicer but would not be precise. Albedo is not simply a photograph of the surface or "some colors of the object".
    • kerwin I understand that you like to tweak the reflections more than what's currently possible. We may add some of those features in the future (like a coating layer) but the major difference is that with the ancient Max/C4D maaterial systems, you can create materials that could never exist in reality. This can lead to your image just looking wrong and you don't really know why.
  • ....but the major difference is that with the ancient Max/C4D maaterial systems, you can create materials that could never exist in reality. This can lead to your image just looking wrong and you don't really know why.

    I afraid on the long run the pro users will be lost on this way. :( And can't many options be used in a wrong way? For example it is possible to add a strong DOF also if a wide angle lens is used? From a real world experience this is wrong. (Please don't limit it too now. ;) )

  • you can create materials that could never exist in reality. This can lead to your image just looking wrong and you don't really know why.

    Unfortunately, reality tends to be boring and flat and uninteresting. I think that most users of enscape are trying to create dreams and show an ideal or aspiration that is rooted in reality, but pushed beyond that. People want to create art rather than reality... and in art, the term "reality" is a fluid concept.


    I've been watching lots of conferences, talks and lectures about realism, creating pretty images, paintings and sculptures: Most of the key advice is to start with reality and then bend it - if you deliberately put a barrier to prevent people from going beyond what is "real" then you are going to become a starting point for people to move into other programs; the really good artists, the 'showcase' talent, the blossoming creative people will abandon your software for other tools that do the same thing. (And most of the development for current rendering software is currently for 'real-time' results)


    To the topic in hand: I think creating a tool that looks at a collection of geometry and could apply a gradated overlay texture dependent on a direction (like a 'light source' that applied a texture rather than light) would be amazing, especially if it could be inverted too. I can think on too many cool uses to list (ironically, all to do with adding realism ;) )

  • Many other renderers handle the issue of complexity by making it clear when you are leaving the "Preset Zone" They provide simple presets, but also a more complex option if those fail to produce the results desired. The UI makes it clear that when a user goes outside of the presets it is their fault is the image looks wrong.


    Also, Enscape will not (and currently does not) prevent users from creating images that look wrong. If we honestly critique the images in the gallery and compare to non-realtime expectations one could say most of them look wrong in one way or another.


    Great tool, but for me it is still primarily about speed when less realism is acceptable. With more control it is possible that it could compete with non-realtime for realism as well.

  • I think general the situation of simple render software (red curve) vs complex render software (black curve) is, that per simple UI you get very fast a quite good result for a specific work range and after a while you can't improve your render output anymore. A complex software needs a long learning time, but there is a lot of potential to improve the quality and to solve a wide range of render jobs. For a pro user the black learning curve is no problem and allow to reach a very high level of quality. The red curve allow beginners and non-daily-user to quick solve render jobs.


    For me as pro user it means I use Enscape for a limited range of tasks only or I jump to a more complex software later. A dream would be Enscape can be used in both ways.


    learning curve

  • It's true what you wrote. However I don't think pro users like you are Enscape's target market. I think they are more aiming for everyday users who want quickly render good enough images and really do not want to spend the time learning all the complexity of pro rendering. And besides pro market is pretty well covered with great and strong render engines so for Enscape trying to compete with them would likely be a suicide.

  • Which engine allow to render an interior in 3 seconds and a short animation in 3 minutes? Enscape is a game changer and there is no alternative (especially for Rhino).


    Please don't oversee, I don't request a complex UI. I ask for advanced options for advanced users which can be hidden per default and this option must not look like an old Vray plugin. I think, a software should allow the user to grow, also after three day of usage.


    Here an example where I adjusted a Vray UI - simple color and texture options and multiplier sliders. This could be the options for light users. And all advanced options could be packed to an extra option menu that can be opened, if wished.