formZ | Materials


There are two approaches to working with Maxwell materials in formZ:

Translate ShadedUse formZ Shaded materials and let the plugin automatically translate them into Maxwell materials. This approach is fast and easy, and perfect for production projects where meeting a tight deadline is more important than perfectly accurate materials.
Referenced MXMUse Maxwell Materials (MXM files) directly. This approach allows you to leverage the full power and realism of Maxwell materials. Each formZ material can be set up to reference a unique MXM file.

Both approaches may be freely combined in a project. In a scene with many materials, it is usually easiest to let the plugin automatically translate most of the materials and use referenced MXMs only in cases where material accuracy is critical.  All options are located in the Maxwell tab of Material Parameters.


Material Preview

To create a Maxwell preview of any material, make sure the Maxwell representation is selected in the list. Then, select a sample object (6” sphere, 6” cylinder, 6” cube, or 6” plane), and click the Preview button. A Maxwell render will be launched in the background, which will update the preview. The update process can be stopped at any time by clicking anywhere in the preview window, or by editing a control.

The material preview target time, SL, and lighting can be adjusted in Maxwell > Project Settings.


Tips for Materials and Texturing


  • Separate Maxwell materials may be applied to different faces of an object by assigning materials at face-level in the normal manner, with one exception: Maxwell Render requires that the emitters are applied to entire objects. An emitter material can not be applied at face level, otherwise the whole object will render black. This is not a limitation of the plugin, but the way the render engine works.
  • Maxwell supports jpg, tga, bmp, tiff, and png image types for texture maps. Other types may not be supported.
  • Use file paths containing only letters, numbers, spaces, dashes, and underscores. Special characters (such as the bullet, •) may result in a ‘file not found’ error.
  • To render materials with texture maps, assigned objects must have texture coordinates applied. In formZ, the Map Texture tool is used for this. If the plugin detects objects without texture coordinates when creating the MXS, it will apply a set of default coordinates to those objects.
  • To scale or rotate the texture on an object, use formZ’s Edit Textures tool.
  • If you have the Renderzone plugin installed, a bitmapped tile of each procedural texture is stored in memory for formZ’s native Shaded Renderers to use. If the material is set to ‘Translate Shaded’, the plugin will save this swatch to disk when performing the Maxwell render. Texture mapping in the Maxwell rendered image will precisely match the openGL Shaded view, not the RenderZone render.


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