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Thread: Material efficiency questions

  1. #1
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    Default Material efficiency questions

    1. What is the recommended route for loco features such as headcodes and destination signs? This has typically been done using texture replacement, with multiple small textures in a separate asset. For the model I'm creating there could be up to eight separate characters loaded at any one time. Is it preferable to use a single larger texture, with separate meshes mapped to each character on a different area of that texture, and then swap meshes, or is the texture replacement method still regarded as OK?

    2. Is it better for attached meshes such as animated fans to share the same material and texture as the main mesh, or use a separate material with much smaller texture size?

    3. Is there a way to get the environment reflection effect of m.tbumpenv on transparent items such as windows?

    R3

  2. #2

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    As for number 3, I don't think this is possible, but it's an excellent idea. I tried before, but I couldn't get it to work sadly.

  3. #3
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    I think these are good questions and am looking forward to some answers from N3V.

    Q1 is interesting since things have moved on since numberit and other similar assets were created.

    Q2 has some interest for me for cabs with attached meshes which have the same issue - I think!

    I've been using inbuilt colours and transparency for windows (Blender). Haven't checked to see if some reflectivity could be incorporated.

    Paul


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumour3 View Post
    1. What is the recommended route for loco features such as headcodes and destination signs? This has typically been done using texture replacement, with multiple small textures in a separate asset. For the model I'm creating there could be up to eight separate characters loaded at any one time. Is it preferable to use a single larger texture, with separate meshes mapped to each character on a different area of that texture, and then swap meshes, or is the texture replacement method still regarded as OK?
    Both are bad, but there aren't any real alternatives. It's likely that a single skinned animation would actually provide better performance than a series of individual textures/meshes, but script doesn't offer the necessary level of control to make this workable. Name attachment points are better-performing, but less flexible- if at some point in the future we could allow loading custom glyphs instead of a standardised font, this would be the way to go.

    At this stage, I would suggest using the built-in support. It's not great, but there aren't any better alternatives and the fact that it's built-in means that it's less likely to run into future problems.


    2. Is it better for attached meshes such as animated fans to share the same material and texture as the main mesh, or use a separate material with much smaller texture size?
    If the fan is animated and the main mesh is not, then it's not likely to make much difference.

    If you manage to build (eg) all of the fans out of a single skinned mesh, then avoiding creating separate materials for each is a big win.



    3. Is there a way to get the environment reflection effect of m.tbumpenv on transparent items such as windows?
    Not currently, but it's not particularly hard for us to add new materials. (Actually you can possibly use per-material opacity here, i'm unclear on that one, but certainly not per pixel because the alpha channel is reserved for another use.)

    chris

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    Thanks for the response, Chris.

    I don't recall having much success on a previous try, but I'll have another go at persuading m.tbumpenv to be transparent.

    The model only has one fan so probably not worth worrying too much about a 256x256 or smaller texture. On the subject of single skinned animation, can you or anyone suggest any tutorials for this technique?

    R3

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by rumour3 View Post
    3. Is there a way to get the environment reflection effect of m.tbumpenv on transparent items such as windows?
    Not with tbumpenv but you can use m.tbumpgloss with your own environment map which allows you to combine a diffuse texture, overall transparency and reflection:

    2015-06-23 210048.jpg

    Not very sophisticated but this was just an experiment to see how the map is used, the green and red splodges come from single pixels in the source image! This is the map everybody uses but its not mandatory.

    env.jpg

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