Material Mastery

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Bridge of the USS Bare-bones

This week I created a few placeholder assets to set my materials up with.  I set up a master material that takes an integer from 1 to 4 to display the correct direction for the texture.

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I’m using an RGB (Red, Green, Blue) map to control the colours, and for the first few assets I painstakingly drew each map by hand.  Fortunately, I quickly realised I could apply a block colour to certain parts in the 3D Modelling program.  Using an orthographic camera I took 2 shots every 90 degrees; one for the texture and one for the RGB map.  These were then composed in Photoshop.

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Value Map and RGB Map
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The turrets in game

For players that want that “custom look” without having to colour every item by hand, I’m hoping this system will allow for ship-wide colour schemes.  It will give modders more or less complete control over the colours of their creations too.

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Captain McTesty Pants (and his twin brother) at the helm.

To sum up, making master materials or master actors takes time to set up, but is a great time saver in the long run.  On the programming side it’s much easier to work with a master that takes a few inputs, than creating unique assets for every item/material combination.  From a player perspective this will ultimately grant the highest level of control whilst still being intuitive and simple to use.

The next item on the to-do list is letting players place, rotate, and delete these items in the Ship Builder.

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She’ll soon be ready to explore the stars…