progeCAD Professional manual The low-cost alternative to AutoCAD

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Render

Materials Command

Toolbar: Render > Materials (

).

Menu: View > Render > Materials.

Keyboard: MATERIALS.

Alias: RMAT.

The Material Assignment window allows you to specify the material that will be assigned to different surfaces in the drawing and how those materials will be mapped to the surface. A number of predefined materials are available that include different color patterns and surface finishes. In addition, a Materials Editor is available which allows you to modify the predefined materials or create new ones.

Materials can be assigned to either individual drawing entities, to drawing layers, or to drawing colors. When rendering an entity, first material properties are retrieved for that entity if they exist. If no material assignment has been made for that entity, then material properties are retrieved for the layer on which that entity resides. If no material assignment has been made for the layer, then material properties associated with the drawing color are used. Finally if no material properties have been assigned to that color, then the entity is rendered using the DEFAULT material properties and the drawing color that it has been assigned.

The Material Assignment window includes two different tabbed worksheets and a preview area as illustrated below. The first tab is entitled Material Library and allows you to select from among a variety of predefined materials. The second tab is titled Material Mapping and controls how the material is mapped to the surfaces in the drawing.

After you issue the Materials command you will be prompted to choose whether you'd like to specify materials for a set of drawing entities, for a particular drawing layer, or for a particular drawing color. The prompt line, as shown below, will read "Assign materials to: <Selection>/Layer/Color/Browse:". You can either type in Selection, Layer, or Color; or you can click on the corresponding options on the popup menu that will appear (you can type the letters 's', 'l', or 'c' as shortcuts for selection, layer, or color). The default value is Selection, so if you would like that choice, you can just press enter. The Browse option allows you to look at and edit the materials library without affecting any material assignments.

 

To assign materials to a selection of drawing entities, you must designate to which entities you'd like to make the assignment. If any entities are already selected when you issue the materials command, the materials will be assigned to those entities and the Materials Properties window will appear immediately. If no entities are selected, then a prompt, "Select entities:", will appear and allow you to select an entity or group of entities. Once you have selected one or more enties, you can then type the "Enter" key to confirm your selection and then the Materials Properties window will appear. After you have made your material selection using the Materials Properties window and then click on the OK button, your material selections will be applied to all of the drawing entities selected.

To assign materials to a layer, you must choose to which layer you'd like to make the assignment. A selection dialog box as shown below will appear and you can select a layer by clicking on the layer.

Once you have clicked on the layer of interest, the Materials Assignment window will appear and enable you to assign the desired material to the chosen layer. Once you've done that you will return to the Select Layer dialog again. When you have completed assigning materials to the various layers in the drawing, you can click the Done button to return to the drawing.

To assign materials to a drawing color, you must choose to which color you'd like to make the assigment. The color chooser, shown below, is similar to the normal progeCAD color selection dialog and allows you to click on one of the 256 different progeCAD drawing colors.

Once you have clicked on the color of interest, the Materials Properties window will appear. When you are finished assigning materials to the various colors you can click the Done button to return to the drawing.

In addition to the normal OK, Cancel, and Help buttons, a Clear Assignment button is provided at the bottom of the dialog box. This button will clear the material assignment for the selected entities, layer, or color. This is useful for example if you have assigned a material to a particular entity, but then wish to have the entity drawn using the material selected for the layer. In this case you can select the entity, then issue the materials command to open the Material Assignment dialog and then click on the Clear Assignment button. The material selection will then be removed from that entity and the next time it is rendered it will use the material selection for the layer.

Material Library
  1. The material library provides a selection of predefined materials that you can assign to the surfaces in your drawing. These predefined materials are shown in a file selection box on the left-hand side of the window. Folders in the file selection box can be opened or closed by clicking on the plus or minus sign to the left of the folder name. Individual materials can be selected by clicking on the name (ending in ".tex"). Once you click on the material name, a preview image will be shown in the right-hand-side area. The Brightness slider on the far right side next to the preview window adjusts the brightness of the preview image. Moving the slider tab up will increase the brightness and moving it down will make the preview image darker. It does not in any way affect the rendering of the model.
  1. The predefined materials listed in the Material Library are initially stored in files on your hard disk. When they are assigned to a surface in your drawing, a copy of the material definition is loaded and saved in the drawing file. This ensures that your drawing will render the same even if you later edit the material definitions on your hard disk.
  2. Above the file selection box on the left-hand side of the window, there are three option buttons that let you select whether you'd like to see the materials that are saved in the current drawing (the "Drawing" option), the materials that are stored in the library on your disk (the "Library" option), or all materials in the current drawing and in the library (the "All" option). If you make changes to a material in the library, you may want to reload that material in other drawings so that the changes you made will be effective in those drawing. The "Reload" buttons on the right side of the file selection box allow you to do this. The Reload button will reload the definition of the currently selected material from the library. If the selected material is not loaded this will have no effect. The Reload All button will reload the definitions of all of the currently selected materials.
  3. Above the Reload button is a Save button. If you receive a drawing from someone else, it may have materials loaded in the drawing that are not in your material library. The Save button will allow you to save those materials to your library so that you can reuse them in other drawings.
  4. Below the file selection box are three buttons that allow you to create new materials, edit existing materials, or remove unneeded materials. The New button will create a new material and load the Material Editor dialog so that you can define the material's characteristics. The Edit button will load the Material Editor dialog so that you can modify the selected material's characteristics. The Remove button will removed the selected material from the drawing and will also delete the associated file from your material library. Note that if you'd like to create a new material based on one of the existing materials, you can use the Edit button and then Rename the material before saving it as described on the Material Editor page.
Material Mapping
  1. The Material Mapping tab controls how materials are mapped to surfaces in the drawing. Most of the procedural materials and bitmapped materials are 2D in nature, while the surfaces in the drawing are 3D. Therefore there must be some method of mapping the 3D coordinates of the surface to the 2D coordinates of the material. As shown below, the Material Mapping tab gives you a number of options to specify the way this is done.
  1. Three different mapping or projection types are available for doing this, Planar, Cylindrical, and Spherical. The option buttons at the top left of the dialog allow you to control which projection type is used. The three different projection types are illustrated below with the Planar to the left, Cylindrical in the middle and Spherical to the right.
  1. In each case, the 2D image is mapped to the specified geometric shape. Obviously many surfaces will not be planes, cylinders, or spheres so the material is projected from that simple geometric shape to the real surface shape.
  2. Below the projection type options, there is another block of options for selecting Plane Normal Vector, the Cylinder Major Axis or the Sphere Major Axis depending on the projection type. The Plane Normal Vector defines the orientation of the projection plane and is perpendicular (or normal) to the plane itself. For example, if you would like the projection plane to be the X-Y plane, the normal vector would be the Z Axis. For a Cylindrical projection, this vector defines the axis of the cylinder. For a Spherical projection, the vector points to the north pole of the sphere. The first three options are the axis directions, X, Y, and Z. The fourth option is to specify the normal or axis vector directly using the entry boxes just below. The final option is to use the normal vector calculated for the drawing entity itself. This last option works best for entities that are nearly planar. The software will calculate the average normal vector for the entity and use it for the projection.
  3. The box toward the bottom of the window provides entries where you can specify the Center vector, the Scale vector, the Rotation angle, and the Skew angle for the project. The Center vector defines where the center of the plane, cylinder, or sphere will be. If the Auto checkbox to the right of the entries is checked, the center of the drawing entities will be used. The Scale vector adjusts the size of the material as applied to the surface. For planar mapping, scale values of 1 will result in the image extending over a unit square (i.e., a square with width and height equal to one). If the scale values are greater than one, then the image will extend over a larger area. For example, if the x scale value (the first entry) is 2, then the image will extend over a rectangular area of width 2. If the y scale value (the second entry) is 3, then the image would extend over a rectangular area of height 3.
  4. For cylindrical mapping, scale values of 1 will result in the image extending over a cyclinder of unit height and all the way around the cyclinder. The first/X component is mapped to the angle around the cylinder. The x value for cylindrical mapping will always lie in the range 0 to 1 around the circumference of the cyclinder. Thus x scale values greater than 1 will result in only part of the image being shown. The second/Y component is mapped to the height of the cylinder and the third/Z component is the distance from the centerline.
  5. For spherical mapping, scale values of 1 will result in the image extending completely around the unit sphere. Note that the center of the image will be stretched around the "equator" of the sphere. The top and bottom of the image will be shrunk down to points at the "poles." The x and y values for spherical mapping will alway lie in the range from 0 to 1 around the sphere. Thus x or y scale values greater than 1 will result in only part of the image being shown. The x value is the azimuthal angle or longitude angle around the equator of the sphere. The y value is the elevation or latitude angle on the sphere and the z value is the radial distance from the center of the sphere.
  6. The rotation and skew angles control the angle at which the pattern is applied. For a planar mapping, the rotation angle and skew angle are applied the same way and are essentially added together to rotate the pattern on the plane. For a cylindrical and spherical mappings, the rotation angle controls where around the circumference of the cylinder the wrap line appears. The skew angle controls the angle of the pattern with respect to the axis of the cylinder. The illustration below illustrates the effect of rotation and skew on an image mapped to the surface of a cylinder. The left hand image has a rotation and skew angle of zero degrees. The middle image has a rotation angle of -60 degrees. Note that the image has been rotated around the circumference of the cylinder. The right image has a skew angle of 45 degrees. The image has been skewed so that the image is no longer lined up with the axis of the cylinder.
Material Editor
  1. The Material Editor window allows you to modify the properties of any of the materials in the current drawing or in the material library. The window includes the name of the material at the top, three tabbed worksheets for editing the material properties, and a preview window on the right-hand side. The three tabbed worksheets are entitled Surface Pattern, Color Map, and Surface Finish. The Surface Pattern worksheet allows you to choose the type of color pattern that will be displayed on surfaces in your drawing or as a background for your drawing. Fifteen different patterns (or procedural textures) are available and each has various parameters that control the look of the pattern. The Color Map worksheet allows you to choose the colors that will be used with the selected pattern. Finally, the Surface Finish worksheet allows you to specify how light will reflect off of the surface and the transparency of the surface.
  2.  
  1. The preview window on the right side of the dialog box enables you to see how the material will look. After you have made a change to the material, you can click on the Preview button and the image of the material in the preview window will be updated to reflect the current settings. The material is shown as a flat 2D surface 1 unit wide by 1 unit high. When you actually assign the material to a surface in your drawing, the Material Mapping worksheet will allow you to control how the 2D pattern is mapped to a three dimensional surface.
  2. If you would like to rename the material, you can click on the Rename button and then modify the name of the material in the entry area at the top of the window. After you complete your changes and click on the Save button, you will then be asked to confirm that you want to remove the old material as shown below.
  1. If you click Yes, the old material will be removed from the drawing and the library. If you click No, the old material will remain as well as the modified material. This is useful if you'd like to create a new material based on one of the existing ones.
Surface Pattern
  1. The Surface Pattern worksheet is part of the Material Editor dialog box. This worksheet allows you to choose the type of color pattern that will be displayed on surfaces in your drawing or as a background for your drawing. The simplest option is the Solid Color pattern option shown below. This option simply applies a solid color to the entire surface. For the Solid Color pattern you can select the color by clicking on the button labeled Pattern Color (colored white in the example below).
  1. Once you click on the Pattern Color button, a color chooser dialog box illustrated below.
  1. This dialog box will allow you to select which color you'd like to use for the drawing entity.
  2. In addition to the Solid Color option, a number of other additional patterns are available as described in the table below. The appearance of the patterns can be further changed by modifying the way the material or texture is mapped to the drawing entity surface through the Material Mapping tab on the Material Assignment dialog.
  3. Pattern

    Description

    Use Entity Color

    This selection is similar to the solid color option, but uses the color assigned to the drawing entity. This allows you to assign the same surface finish to several different entities or to a layer, but allow them to have different surface colors.

    Image

    This pattern allows you to select an image file that will be used to color the drawing entities surface.

    Gradient

    A linear gradient fill. The color map defines the way the color changes along the gradient direction.

    Grit

    This pattern is a solid colors whose intensity varies in a psuedo-random manner to simulated a gritty appearance.

    Marble

    A pattern simulating the color variations and striations appearing in marble.

    Wood

    This pattern simulates the concentric growth rings seen in wood.

    Checker

    A planar checkerboard type pattern.

    Solid Checker

    A solid checkerboard type pattern. Not only do the colors alternate in one plane but also in the direction normal to the plane.

    Agate

    A pattern simulating the color variations of agate.

    Bozo

    The bozo pattern is commonly used to simulate the apperance of clouds.

    Granite

    A pattern simulating the color variations of granite.

    Onion

    A pattern simulating the concentric spherical layers of an onion.

    Tile

    A regular geometric pattern simulating tiles or bricks in a "stacked bond" configuration. The tile color and morter/grout color is controlled by the colormap as well as the thickness of the morter/grout line. The size of the tiles or bricks is controlled by the scale parameters.

    Brick

    A regular geometric pattern simulating tiles or bricks in a "running bond" configuration. The tile color and morter/grout color is controlled by the colormap as well as the thickness of the morter/grout line. The size of the tiles or bricks is controlled by the scale parameters.

  4. Most of these patterns utilize the colors defined on the Color Map worksheet and significant variations can be achieved by modifying the color map.
Agate Pattern
  1. The agate pattern varies the color in a turbulent pattern that simulates the appearance of venis in various types of natural stone. The turbulence parameter controls the degree of irregularity in the pattern.
  1. The parameters available to modify the pattern are described in the table below and an example of the Surface Pattern worksheet for agate is also shown. The colors associated with the agate pattern are controlled by using the Color Map tab.
  1.  
  2. Parameter

    Description

    Center

    The center vector includes three numbers (x, y, and z coordinates) that determine the center of the pattern. Changing this vector will offset the pattern in the direction specified.

    Scale

    The scale value determines the size of the pattern in each of the three axis directions. Larger scale values will increase the overall size of pattern.

    Noise Octaves

    The noise model used to for the agate pattern superimposes mulitple layers or octaves of pseudo-random variations. Each layer has a higher frequency and a lower magnitude. The superposition or fractal approach results in very complex and natural-looking patterns. The Noise Octaves parameters controls how many different layers or octaves of random variations are used in the noise computation.

    Fractal Dimension

    The fractal dimension controls the magnitude of successive octaves of noise. For example, a value of 0.5 would result in each octave being one half the magnitude of the previous octave.

    Lacunarity

    The lacunarity controls the relative size of successive octaves of noise. For example, a value of 2.0 would result in each octave have approximate twice the frequency of variation as the previous octave.

    Turbulence

    Turbulence controls the magnitude of the random variations in the pattern. Zero turbulence would result in a regular geometric pattern. Larger values result in increasing amounts of pseudorandom variation.

Bozo Pattern
  1. The bozo pattern is typically used to simulate the appearance of clouds in the sky. The parameters available to modify the pattern are described in the table below and an example of the Surface Pattern worksheet for bozo is also shown. The colors associated with the bozo pattern are controlled by using the Color Map tab.
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  2.  
  1.  
  2. Parameter

    Description

    Center

    The center vector includes three numbers (x, y, and z coordinates) that determine the center of the pattern. Changing this vector will offset the pattern.

    Scale

    The scale value determines the size of the pattern in each of the three axis directions. Larger scale values will increase the overall size of pattern.

    Noise Octaves

    The noise model used to for the bozo pattern superimposes mulitple layers or octaves of pseudo-random variations. Each layer has a higher frequency and a lower magnitude. The superposition or fractal approach results in very complex and natural-looking patterns. The Noise Octaves parameters controls how many different layers or octaves of random variations are used in the noise computation.

    Fractal Dimension

    The fractal dimension controls the magnitude of successive octaves of noise. For example, a value of 0.5 would result in each octave being one half the magnitude of the previous octave.

    Lacunarity

    The lacunarity controls the relative size of successive octaves of noise. For example, a value of 2.0 would result in each octave have approximate twice the frequency of variation as the previous octave.

    Turbulence

    Turbulence controls the magnitude of the random variations in the pattern. Zero turbulence would result in a regular geometric pattern. Larger values result in increasing amounts of pseudorandom variation.

Brick Pattern
  1. The brick pattern generates a regular geometric pattern simulating tiles or bricks in a "running bond" configuration where each row is offset from the row beneath it. The tile color and morter/grout color as well as the thickness of the morter/grout line are controlled by using the Color Map tab. The size of the tiles or bricks is controlled by the scale parameters. The other parameters are described in the table below.
  1.  

Parameter

Description

Center

The center vector includes three numbers (x, y, and z coordinates) that determine the center of the pattern. Changing this vector will offset the pattern in the direction specified.

Scale

The scale values determines the size of the bricks in each direction. The first value determines the width of the bricks (where width represents the length of the long side of a typical brick). The second value determines the height (top to bottom) of the brick and the third value determines the depth (front to back).

Checker Pattern
  1. The checker pattern varies the surface color in an alternating checker-board pattern as shown above. The parameters available to modify the pattern are described in the table below and an example of the Surface Pattern worksheet is also shown.
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  2.  
  1.  
  2. Parameter

    Description

    Center

    The center vector includes three numbers (x, y, and z coordinates) that determine the center of the pattern. Changing this vector will offset the pattern in the direction specified.

    Scale

    The scale value determines the size of the pattern blocks in each direction.

    Pattern Colors

    The two pattern color buttons are used to specify the two alternating colors of the checker pattern. Clicking on either of the two buttons will activate a color chooser window that will allow you to choose the colors of interest.

Image Surface Pattern
  1. The image surface pattern uses an image or bitmap file to color th e selected surface. This can be used to generate very sophisticated patterns and also to merge your CAD model with an existing scene or background. The Image Filename entry specifies the file to use for the pattern and the Center vector and Scale vector control the placement and size of the image on the surface. The meaning of each of these parameters is discussed in the table below.
  2.  
  1.  
  2. Parameter

    Description

    Image Filename

    The image file parameter determines the name of the file used. Note that the file name is stored with the drawing. The image itself is not stored in the drawing. Consequently, if the image file location is moved, renamed, or deleted, the image will not be found during rendering and the surface will be colored black.

    Note that if you put only the filename and not the full path here, then you can move the drawing file and image file together to different locations without breaking the association.

    Center

    The center vector includes three numbers (x, y, and z coordinates) that determine the placement of the image during rendering.

    Scale

    The scale vector determines how the width and height of the image is scaled. The first number controls the image width, and the second controls its height.

Gradient Pattern
  1. The gradient pattern provides a way to smoothly vary the color of a surface between two or more different colors. For example the sphere above used the gradient pattern to vary the color from blue at the top to red at the bottom.
  1. As shown below, several parameters control the gradient effect, including the Center vector and Scale. The meaning of each of these parameters is discussed in the table below. The colors associated with the gradient pattern are controlled by using the Color Map tab.
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  1.  
  2. Parameter

    Description

    Center

    The center vector includes three numbers (x, y, and z coordinates) that determine the center of the gradient sweep. This point will be the midpoint of the sweep and will have a value of 0.5.

    Scale

    The scale value determines the distance over which the gradient sweep takes place. This value represents the total distance from one extreme to the other along the direction vector specified by U Axis.

Granite Pattern
  1. The granite pattern varies the color in a turbulent pattern that simulates the appearance of veins in various types of natural stone. The parameters available to modify the pattern are described in the table below and an example of the Surface Pattern worksheet for granite is also shown. The colors associated with the granite pattern are controlled by using the Color Map tab.
  1.  

Parameter

Description

Center

The center vector includes three numbers (x, y, and z coordinates) that determine the center of the pattern. Changing this vector will offset the pattern in the direction specified.

If the checkbox labeled Auto to the right of the number entry blanks is checked, then the center vector will be automatically calculated as the centroid of each entity or block to which this pattern is applied. Since in the automatic mode the center vector is recalculated for each entity or block, there will be a discontinuity in the pattern between different entities or blocks that share the same pattern. You can avoid this discontinuity by manually setting the center vector to a common value for all of the entities or blocks that share the pattern.

Scale

The scale value determines the size of the pattern in each of the three axis directions. Larger scale values will increase the overall size of pattern.

Noise Octaves

The noise model used to for the granite pattern superimposes mulitple layers or octaves of pseudo-random variations. Each layer has a higher frequency and a lower magnitude. The superposition or fractal approach results in very complex and natural-looking patterns. The Noise Octaves parameters controls how many different layers or octaves of random variations are used in the noise computation.

Fractal Dimension

The fractal dimension controls the magnitude of successive octaves of noise. For example, a value of 0.5 would result in each octave being one half the magnitude of the previous octave.

Lacunarity

The lacunarity controls the relative size of successive octaves of noise. For example, a value of 2.0 would result in each octave have approximate twice the frequency of variation as the previous octave.

Grit Pattern
  1. The grit pattern applies a slight pseudo random variation in the surface color that gives the appearance of a gritty texture. For example, the two spheres below have the same color applied, but the left sphere uses the Grit pattern and the right uses the Solid Color pattern.
  1. The only parameter available for this pattern type is the color. To change the color click on the button labelled "Pattern Color." A color selection window will then appear and enable you to select the color of interest.
Marble Pattern
  1. The marble pattern varies the color in a repeating wave pattern that simulates the appearance of veins in marble and other types of natural stone. The turbulence parameter controls the degree of irregularity in the pattern.
  1. The parameters available to modify the pattern are described in the table below and an example of the Surface Pattern worksheet for marble is also shown. The colors associated with the marble pattern are controlled by using the Color Map tab.
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  1.  
  2. Parameter

    Description

    Center

    The center vector includes three numbers (x, y, and z coordinates) that determine the center of the pattern. Changing this vector will offset the pattern in the direction specified.

    Scale

    The scale value determines the size of the pattern in each of the three axis directions. Larger scale values will increase the overall size of pattern.

    Noise Octaves

    The noise model used to for the marble pattern superimposes mulitple layers or octaves of pseudo-random variations. Each layer has a higher frequency and a lower magnitude. The superposition or fractal approach results in very complex and natural-looking patterns. The Noise Octaves parameters controls how many different layers or octaves of random variations are used in the noise computation.

    Fractal Dimension

    The fractal dimension controls the magnitude of successive octaves of noise. For example, a value of 0.5 would result in each octave being one half the magnitude of the previous octave.

    Lacunarity

    The lacunarity controls the relative size of successive octaves of noise. For example, a value of 2.0 would result in each octave have approximate twice the frequency of variation as the previous octave.

    Turbulence

    Turbulence controls the magnitude of the random variations in the pattern. Zero turbulence would result in a regular geometric pattern. Larger values result in increasing amounts of pseudorandom variation.

Onion Pattern
  1. The onion pattern varies the color in a series of concentric spheres around the center similar to the layers in an onion. It can be used to simulate a random ripple effect or wood burl. The parameters available to modify the pattern are described in the table below and an example of the Surface Pattern worksheet for onion is also shown. The colors associated with the onion pattern are controlled by using the Color Map tab.
  1.  
  2. Parameter

    Description

    Center

    The center vector includes three numbers (x, y, and z coordinates) that determine the center of the pattern. Changing this vector will offset the pattern in the direction specified.

    Scale

    The scale value determines the size of the pattern in each of the three axis directions. Larger scale values will increase the overall size of pattern.

    Noise Octaves

    The noise model used to for the onion pattern superimposes mulitple layers or octaves of pseudo-random variations. Each layer has a higher frequency and a lower magnitude. The superposition or fractal approach results in very complex and natural-looking patterns. The Noise Octaves parameters controls how many different layers or octaves of random variations are used in the noise computation.

    Fractal Dimension

    The fractal dimension controls the magnitude of successive octaves of noise. For example, a value of 0.5 would result in each octave being one half the magnitude of the previous octave.

    Lacunarity

    The lacunarity controls the relative size of successive octaves of noise. For example, a value of 2.0 would result in each octave have approximate twice the frequency of variation as the previous octave.

Solid Checker Pattern
  1. The solid checker pattern varies the surface color in an alternating checker-board block pattern as shown above. This pattern differs from the checker pattern in that the blocks alternate in all three dimensions instead of just two dimensions. The parameters available to modify the pattern are described in the table below and an example of the Surface Pattern worksheet is also shown.
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  2. Parameter

    Description

    Center

    The center vector includes three numbers (x, y, and z coordinates) that determine the center of the pattern. Changing this vector will offset the pattern in the direction specified.

    Scale

    The scale values determines the size of the pattern blocks in each direction.

    Pattern Colors

    The two pattern color buttons are used to specify the two alternating colors of the checker pattern. Clicking on either of the two buttons will activate a color chooser window that will allow you to choose the colors of interest.

Tile Pattern
  1. The tile pattern generates a regular geometric pattern simulating tiles or bricks in a "stacked bond" configuration. The tile color and morter/grout color is controlled by the colormap tab. The size of the tiles or bricks is controlled by the scale parameters. The other parameters are described in the table below.
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  2.  

Parameter

Description

Center

The center vector includes three numbers (x, y, and z coordinates) that determine the center of the pattern. Changing this vector will offset the pattern in the direction specified.

Scale

The scale values determines the size of the tile blocks in each direction.

Wood Pattern
  1. The wood pattern varies the color in a series of concentric rings that simulates the grain pattern in wood. The turbulence parameter controls the degree of irregularity in the pattern.
  1. The parameters available to modify the pattern are described in the table below and an example of the Surface Pattern worksheet for wood is also shown. The colors associated with the wood pattern are controlled by using the Color Map tab.
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  1.  
  2. Parameter

    Description

    Center

    The center vector includes three numbers (x, y, and z coordinates) that determine the center of the pattern. Changing this vector will offset the pattern in the direction specified.

    Scale

    The scale value determines the size of the pattern in each of the three axis directions. Larger scale values will increase the overall size of pattern.

    Noise Octaves

    The noise model used to perturb the wood grain pattern superimposes mulitple layers or octaves of pseudo-random variations. Each layer has a higher frequency and a lower magnitude. The superposition or fractal approach results in very complex and natural-looking patterns. The Noise Octaves parameters controls how many different layers or octaves of random variations are used in the noise computation.

    Fractal Dimension

    The fractal dimension controls the magnitude of successive octaves of noise. For example, a value of 0.5 would result in each octave being one half the magnitude of the previous octave.

    Lacunarity

    The lacunarity controls the relative size of successive octaves of noise. For example, a value of 2.0 would result in each octave have approximate twice the frequency of variation as the previous octave.

    Turbulence

    Turbulence controls the magnitude of the random variations in the pattern. Zero turbulence would result in a regular geometric pattern. Larger values result in increasing amounts of pseudorandom variation.

Color Map
  1. The Color Map worksheet, illustrated below, is part of the Materials Editor dialog boxes. This worksheet allows you to choose the colors that will be used with the selected pattern on surfaces in your drawing or as a background for your drawing. The different surface patterns calculate a value between 0 and 1 for each point on the surface of the entity using a specific algorithm. For example, the gradient pattern calculates the distance for each surface point from the specified origin along a specified direction. A scale factor is provided and the value is limited to lie within the range 0 to 1. The Color Map worksheet allows you to control how those values are then mapped to colors for display in the rendered image.
  1. The worksheet includes a colored slider bar across the top with five sliders and five corresponding color indicators at the bottom. The first slider is constrained to remain at the left side of the bar corresponding to a value of 0 (zero). The last slider is constrained to remain at the right side of the bar corresponding to a value of 1 (one). The other three sliders can be moved up or down to control the color map. The color represeted by each slider can be controlled by clicking on the color indicator buttons at the bottom of the worksheet. This will bring up a color selection dialog that will allow you to select the color of choice. The selected color will be used for values that are near the slider position. For values between slider positions, the color will be a mixture of the color map colors above that value and below it. As you move the sliders or adjust the colors, the background of the slider bar will change to illustrate the color mapping.
  2. For example, in the illustration above a brick pattern is used to simulate a red brick wall. Colormap values around 0 are a gray color representing the mortar. The body of the brick is represented by a red color from values of 0.05 to 1.0.
  3. Significantly different effects can be generated using the same pattern but modifying the color map. As you change the colors you can click on the Preview button to the right to observe the effect.
Surface Finish
  1. The Surface Finish worksheet, illustrated below, is part of the Materials Editor dialog box. This worksheet allows you to specify how light will reflect off of the surface and the transparency of the surface. It includes one checkbox and 6 different sliders. For each of the sliders, the value can be adjusted by clicking on the slider tab and moving it up or down. The value is shown as the tab is moved and is also displayed to the right of the slider. All except the Light Reflection Size range from 0 to 1. The Light Reflection Size ranges from 0 to 500.
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  2. Parameter

    Description

    Metallic Finish

    This controls whether the surface is assumed to be metallic or not. When this is checked, light bouncing off of the surface takes on some of the color of the surface. For non-metallic surfaces, light bouncing off of the surface remains the same color as the light source.

    Ambient Light

    Ambient light is used to model the small scale diffuse reflections that tend to fill in shadows and dark areas in real life scenes. Raytracing algorithms trace the major light reflections and shadows, but in a real-life scene there are many small scale reflections and refractions that cannot be modeled effectively with raytracing. For example, with raytracing areas that are in shadows tend to be very dark if not entirely black. In real life, shadows tend to be filled in by small scale or diffuse reflections off of other objects. Ambient light is a way to approximately model this effect. If the ambient light value is above 0 the surface will appear even if it is not lit by a light in the scene. Ambient light is equally distributed over the surface regardless of the angle of view.

    Diffuse Light

    Diffuse light models the way light reflects off of a rough surface. When light shines off of a rough surface it is reflected in every direction by the surface. In contrast, a very smooth surface such as a mirror reflects the light primarily one direction (i.e. the specular direction). The intensity of diffuse lighting depends on the angle that the light hits the surface and not the angle that the viewer observes the surface.

    Specular Reflection

    The specular reflection value controls the way other objects reflect off of the surface. If this value is greater than 0 then when a ray hits this surface, a reflection ray will be generated and traced. Consequently, the image of other surfaces will be reflected on this surface.

    Light Reflection

    This parameter controls how light reflects off of the surface in specular highlights. Smooth surfaces reflect most of their light in the specular direction (imagine a ball bouncing off of a flat surface). In contrast, rougher surfaces will scatter the light in a diffuse reflection The light reflection parameter controls the magnitude of this specular highlight that occurs.

    Light Reflection Size

    The light reflection size parameter controls the size of the specular highlight that appears on an object. A value of one will produce a very diffuse reflection similar to the affect produced by the diffuse light parameter. Higher values of this parameter will produce smaller/tighter highlights on the surface.

    Transparency

    Transparency controls the way light filters through the surface. If this parameter is greater than 0 then some portion of what lies behind the object will show through it. If this parameter is 1, then the object is totally transparent and will not be visible at all.