Clicking on any texture icon will bring up the Texture Picker, which allows you to load a bitmap or create a procedural texture, and adjust its brightness, contrast and saturation, or change the tiling of the texture on the object. The panel is divided into four main areas:
- Bitmap section
- Procedurals section
- Projection properties
- Image properties
This area gives you access to load a texture file from disk in any of the supported bitmap formats (Png, Tga, Jpg, Tiff, Exr, Hdr, Jpg2000, Bmp).
The Texture Picker showing a loaded Bitmap texture
Tools available in the Bitmap section
- Load texture: To choose a texture, click on the Load button or drag & drop a texture from any Explorer or desktop window into the main frame. You can drag & drop multiple textures at once. The textures will become available for selection in the dropdown menu.
- Unload texture: Select a previously loaded texture from the dropdown menu and click the Unload button to remove it from the scene. This will free up some memory.
- Full View: View a texture in full size. You can also use the image control sliders in the full view window, although the texture will not update in real time. It will update after you have made a change.
- Switch Display Size: Switch the thumbnail texture view to a small or a large preview for easier viewing of texture changes.
This area allows you to create and adjust procedural textures and arrange them in the procedurals stack. When a procedural texture is selected, its parameters panel pops up at the margin of the Texture Picker. You can apply several procedurals which are evaluated from bottom to top (just like Photoshop layers). Procedurals are useful because they are fully customizable and present infinite detail independent to the resolution, but they are a bit slower to render compared to bitmaps. This is why Maxwell offers the option to bake any procedural to a bitmap file to be used instead.
The Texture Picker showing a Procedural texture and its parameters
Tools available in the Procedurals section and the Procedurals stack
- New: Creates a new procedural from the list of supported procedurals.
- Remove: Removes the selected procedural from the stack.
- Arrows Up and Down: Moves the selected procedural up and down in the stack. The procedurals are evaluated from bottom to top (just like Photoshop layers) so this allows you to control their order to get the look you want.
- Save to disk: Allows you to bake the selected procedural to a bitmap file at the given image resolution and replaces the procedural with its corresponding baked bitmap version if you choose so. Please note that if you try to bake a very detailed procedural texture to a small resolution file, the resulting bitmap file will not look the same as the procedural. This is because there are not enough pixels in that small bitmap file to describe accurately what the procedural looked like. In this case you should bake the procedural to a larger size bitmap file.
These parameters control the placement and tiling of a texture on the object.
- Channel: Specifies the UV set to be used for this texture. For more detailed info see the page Working with UV sets and textures in Studio
- Method: Tiles your texture in X axis, Y axis, both the X and Y axis, or turns off tiling (no repeat).
- Relative/Meters: The amount of tiling for a texture can be set in the texture coordinates (Relative), or in real scale in meters (Meters). Maxwell Render will use a 1m x 1m x 1m UV set for the texture when the Meters option is selected, regardless of the actual size of the object and what other UV sets may be applied to the object. This is very useful to create re-usable materials which can simply be dragged & dropped on an object of any size. For example, if you want to create a material with 25cm tiles, check the Meters mode, and set the tiling for both X and Y axis to 0.25. Now you can drop this material on a floor of any size and your tiles will always be 25cm. For more detailed info see the page Working with UV sets and textures in Studio.
- Repeat: Specifies the tiling amount (number of repetitions of the texture) in the desired axis.
- Mirror Y and Mirror Y: Uses the texture rmirrored in the X or Y axis (or both).
- Offset: Selects the amount of offset for the X, Y axis.
- Rotation: Rotates the texture the given angle in degrees in its own UV space.
The Image Properties area is an image editor where you can make simple adjustments:
- Invert: Inverts the loaded texture. This is useful for black & white textures used as a weightmap or mask.
- Alpha Only: On RGBA images (images that contain its Alpha channel embedded), this option considers only the Alpha channel, mainly for masking purposes.
- Interpolation: Turning this option on applies filtering to a texture, which may be useful to avoid pixelization when rendering close-ups of smaller textures. Filtering is useful mostly for displacement textures – to smooth out the displaced surface – especially when using 8bit textures. It is recommended to keep this option turned off for regular textures (color, bump, weightmaps, etc.) to avoid blurring them.
- Brightness/Contrast/Saturation/Hue: Common image editing options useful for fine-tuning a texture without having to use an external image editing application.
- RGB Clamp: Adjust the levels of your image. This function enables you to specify the maximum darkest or brightest values in the texture. For example, if you change the min Clamp from 0 to 30, any value in the texture darker than RGB 30 will be set to 30.