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Material Linker#

The Material Linker is a dedicated widget that manages geometry shading group visibility and material/displacement/shading variables assignment. Unlike Shading Layers, the Material Linker physically attach material definition to geometries.

With it, you can assign materials, clip maps, displacements and set visibility and shading variables on multiple shading groups at the same time.

The Material Linker has also been designed to work on multiple geometries at the same time. When you have multiple geometries in your selection, all their shading groups are displayed and collapsed in one if the shading group name is shared. In a few clicks, you can manage material definition of all geometries of your scenes.

Material Linker

Material Linker displaying shading groups

(1) Shading Group Visibility (2) Shading Group Name (3) Select Material (4) Material (5) Select Clip Map (6) Clip Map (7) Select Displacement (8) Displacement (9) Shading Variables (10) Shading Group Filter (11) Edit Menu (12) Hierarchical View

By default the Material Linker organizes shading groups hierarchically when their names contains the / separator. For example the shading group my/shading/group/name while be displayed in a hierarchy where the root is my and name is the leaf.

It is possible to disable the hierarchical display by clicking on (12).

Edit Menu#

Shading groups are hidden attributes that can't be seen in the Attribute Editor. You need to use the Material Linker to edit Shading Group association.

Since you can't use the Attribute Editor, Localize, Unlocalize features are found in the Edit menu of the Material Linker among other useful features to select all shading group, toggle visibility etc...

Column Description
Select All Select All shading groups
Deselect All Deselect All shading groups
Show All Enable the visibility of all shading groups
Show Selected Only Enable the visibility of the selected shading groups
Hide All Disable the visibility of all shading groups
Toggle All Visibilities Toggle the visibility of all shading groups (if they are visible they become invisible and the other way around)
Toggle Selected Visibilities Toggle the visibility of the selected shading groups
Revert Value Remove Override
Localize Localize the shading groups of the instances
Unlocalize Unlocalize the shading groups of the instances

Shading Group Visibility#

You can toggle on and off shading group visibility. This is very useful if you wish to hide geometry parts. To toggle visibility on selected shading groups just click on (1).

Note

Hiding shading groups is pretty inefficient for rendering speed.

Assigning Materials#

Materials are assigned to shading groups. To assign a material, click (4) and select or create a material.

You can also drag and drop a material to a shading group in the Material Linker. In the same way, you assign a material to a single shading group. Assignments can also be done on a multi selection of shading groups.

Assigning Clip Maps#

A Clip map texture is a texture that clips the geometry. It behaves exactly as if a binary (on/off) transparency map was attached to its material except a Clip map renders way faster than transparency.

To assign a clip map, double-click on (5) and select or create a new texture. You can also drag and drop a texture to a shading group in the Material Linker.

In the same way, you assign a clip map texture to a single shading group. Assignments can also be done on a multi selection of shading groups.

Assigning Displacements#

Displacements are assigned to shading groups. To assign a displacement, double-click on (7) and select or create a displacement.

You can also drag and drop a displacement to a shading group in the Material Linker.

In the same way, you assign a displacement to a single shading group. Assignments can also be done on a multi selection of shading groups.

Assigning Shading Variables#

To assign shading variables to a shading group, double-click on (9) and type your shading variables in the editor.

Localizing Shading Groups#

As for any attribute, you can localize shading groups. However, shading groups can't individually be localized. When you localize shading groups of a geometry instance, they all get localized.

Localized or unlocalized shading groups are displayed following the Attribute editor convention: bold for localized attributes and italic for unlocalized ones.