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Materials

Materials

Postby TattieBoJangle » 16 May 2015, 01:59

Ok guys this may sound like a rant but its more of a please change it/fix it lol i will post it here so the whole world wont see also don't take offence i just want skyline to be the best it can be and get people using it but if it is a way for a reason just tell me ;)

I don't know what you can do but some stuff lose there textures even after you have it in working fine then you would reload skyline and the texture is gone and you cant edit the material to put it back on tells you to buy the original model/textures hahah below is a video i made to show you ways it could be improved

You will see that there are 2 models that use the same textures and it creates 1 material file per defuse unlike skyline that uses per mesh file and if you add the normal and spec it puts it on every single model that uses that texture/material where skyline you have to do every single one individually you could imagine if you have say 30+ trees how long it would take in skyline where that other way is seconds most engines do it this way is there a reason why skyline does it per mesh also its a bit :? as it then creates 2 material files or 30-40 if its stuff like trees rocks ect and the files are identical apart from the mesh names.

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Re: Materials

Postby Shando » 16 May 2015, 02:47

Hi Tattie,

is there a reason why skyline does it per mesh


I think it's something to do with the way Ogre handles Meshes / Entities:

2.6 Entities

An entity is an instance of a movable object in the scene. It could be a car, a person, a dog, a shuriken, whatever. The only assumption is that it does not necessarily have a fixed position in the world.

Entities are based on discrete meshes, i.e. collections of geometry which are self-contained and typically fairly small on a world scale, which are represented by the Mesh object. Multiple entities can be based on the same mesh, since often you want to create multiple copies of the same type of object in a scene.

You create an entity by calling the SceneManager::createEntity method, giving it a name and specifying the name of the mesh object which it will be based on (e.g. ’muscleboundhero.mesh’). The SceneManager will ensure that the mesh is loaded by calling the MeshManager resource manager for you. Only one copy of the Mesh will be loaded.

Entities are not deemed to be a part of the scene until you attach them to a SceneNode (see the section below). By attaching entities to SceneNodes, you can create complex hierarchical relationships between the positions and orientations of entities. You then modify the positions of the nodes to indirectly affect the entity positions.

When a Mesh is loaded, it automatically comes with a number of materials defined. It is possible to have more than one material attached to a mesh - different parts of the mesh may use different materials. Any entity created from the mesh will automatically use the default materials. However, you can change this on a per-entity basis if you like so you can create a number of entities based on the same mesh but with different textures etc.

To understand how this works, you have to know that all Mesh objects are actually composed of SubMesh objects, each of which represents a part of the mesh using one Material. If a Mesh uses only one Material, it will only have one SubMesh.

When an Entity is created based on this Mesh, it is composed of (possibly) multiple SubEntity objects, each matching 1 for 1 with the SubMesh objects from the original Mesh. You can access the SubEntity objects using the Entity::getSubEntity method. Once you have a reference to a SubEntity, you can change the material it uses by calling it’s setMaterialName method. In this way you can make an Entity deviate from the default materials and thus create an individual looking version of it.


Though, of course, I could be wrong :oops:

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Re: Materials

Postby SolarPortal » 16 May 2015, 11:44

Hi Tattie,
Thank you for your input :) We can totally understand your frustrations.

i just want skyline to be the best it can be and get people using it

We are with you m8 and it is great to have you on our side :D

I think the problem is stemming from the FBX Conversion as we prefix the name of the fbx file onto the materials.
From looking at the video i can see both meshes have material names of "Material_#25" which is then prefixed with the name of the FBX File (r1_3000_Material_#25). It was done this way as before the "Prepare folder for skyline", the material names would have caused a duplicate resource error and you would of had to rename the materials in the mat file and mesh file. So it saved a lot of problems.

But, now with the new preparing system, we can remove the prefix from the material names that the FBX gives and then using the prepare, rename materials and inside meshes to be unique, but overall use the same material. We think this is very doable now. It is simply a new workflow we have not yet encountered due to the new "Prepare folder for skyline".

I will be working on this today.

A bit more knowledge information:
As you notice, with leadwerks you have to drag the files into a project folder and would have to do this for every project and set them up each time. Skyline has an open folder structure, so once it is setup. It is reusable in every project; but this does make thing more awkward like what you have encountered and duplicate resources.

Because skyline propriety format is .mesh, If the meshes are exported with the same material from a modelling package then it would use the same material. But again it is the FBX conversion at fault.

As Shando says each mesh ends up with its own material when exported, but this is not necessary as it will look for a single reference of the material name whether it is in one file or another. We can delete the other converted ones so it looks like one single material for all.

Hope this makes sense.
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Re: Materials

Postby TattieBoJangle » 16 May 2015, 15:30

Hi guys thanks for the reply's

A bit more knowledge information:
As you notice, with leadwerks you have to drag the files into a project folder and would have to do this for every project and set them up each time. Skyline has an open folder structure, so once it is setup. It is reusable in every project; but this does make thing more awkward like what you have encountered and duplicate resources.


when you drag the files to leadwerks and set them up you can use them in other projects you simply copy the folder where the files are to your new project.

Hope this makes sense.


yea i understand it was more or less due to the duplicate error i didn't even think of that that's what happens when you get a new toy you forget about not having it.

I will leave this in your capable hands im sure you guys will work your magic :D
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Re: Materials

Postby SolarPortal » 16 May 2015, 15:58

when you drag the files to leadwerks and set them up you can use them in other projects you simply copy the folder where the files are to your new project.

yes makes sense. However you end up with multiple files replicated through each project which essentially wastes precious hard drive space of the same files over and over. It was something we disliked with torque3d, that everytime we made a project, we had to duplicate a gigs worth of assets. Skyline only has the one set of files that can be reused.

I will leave this in your capable hands im sure you guys will work your magic :D

certainly will and will let you know when a usable version exists :)
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Re: Materials

Postby SolarPortal » 16 May 2015, 17:52

New Update: We have removed the prefix from the materials the FBX files create which means two meshes like your statues spit out the same material like shown in the video, but we came across a problem of adding the mesh to the scene to reference the materials as it loads the material with the same name as the mesh. So we have decided to upgrade the material system entirely. This will be done over the next couple of weeks as it is a big job. It has too be done as too many people have stuggled getting materials onto their meshes.

Instead of having a single material file that can have many sub materials inside it which is awkward for anyone to edit or upgrade. We are now going to split and make sure that each material is using its own .material file and expose in the properties panel each submesh belonging to the main mesh and create the ability to apply a material to a specific sub. For example, a statue has a rock material and a metal base. You could assign a new metal material to the base which currently is not possible. The only way at the moment is to make it unique on that material belonging to the mesh. (with meshes that have 2 or more submaterials).

When dragging the mesh file, it will be easier to add the material we require to the submesh.
It is a big change but it will fix around 4 or 5 errors that currently exist in the material system as well as allowing lods to reference the same materials as can other meshes which should reduce batches and draw calls and will speed up performance in some scenes.

@Tattie, i will give you a quick workaround for now until this system is in play :)
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Re: Materials

Postby TattieBoJangle » 16 May 2015, 19:13

You have hit the nail on the head with this one m8 this is exactly what we need and even better it will improve performance which is a big + for everyone :D

Cant thank you guys enough i know i am a pain but i like to have a nice workflow not that i am lazy its just i like the engine to do all tedious work that you can spend weeks and weeks just setting up :lol:
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Re: Materials

Postby SolarPortal » 16 May 2015, 19:22

well yes exactly. It's a toolset to make games, not take all the time managing assets.
You are not being a pain, workflow is essential to any title having success. Skyline is meant to be easy to use and take care of the hard work for you.

Glad we agree on this :) It will take a little while as it is a bit of a material system rewrite but even we are looking forward to this being done. The current system has not changed since the start and its time it was advanced to the standards of other features inside skyline.
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Re: Materials

Postby lordalmighty1 » 16 May 2015, 19:40

this sounds great, I think :S not really know much about it haha :oops:

but if it makes things easier its got to be worth it :)
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Re: Materials

Postby StarFire » 17 May 2015, 14:02

Its is going to make swapping out sub object materials a breeze especially when we get the new character designer tools made ;)
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Re: Materials

Postby TattieBoJangle » 23 Jun 2015, 21:47

Hi guys i read the blog and that great news with the vr i also will be getting one when it comes out but can i ask that the material/file name be done in time for this as i know you will need to take time out to integrate it so i would like to finally get started building if possible :D
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Re: Materials

Postby SolarPortal » 24 Jun 2015, 08:50

Hi tattie. This is still the plan. The OSVR was integrated a couple of month back. That was just the official partner release.Getting the materials and plugins are the current priorities to get you making games and shando making plugins and scripts as seen on the forums. :D
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Re: Materials

Postby TattieBoJangle » 24 Jun 2015, 11:13

The OSVR was integrated a couple of month back


Thanks guys i just wasn't sure if you were working on it or not ;)
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Re: Materials

Postby SolarPortal » 26 Jun 2015, 16:06

ok, we have brought ourselves back up to speed with the material system rewrite and are beginning work on it again :)
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Re: Materials

Postby TattieBoJangle » 26 Jun 2015, 19:47

just as i was giving up hope :lol:
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Re: Materials

Postby SolarPortal » 26 Jun 2015, 20:01

lol, i hope not hehe :P.
Another update: i have now rewrote the FBX Converter to spit materials out separately instead of one large file.
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Re: Materials

Postby SolarPortal » 30 Jun 2015, 15:54

I have been working on the ability to edit the submesh materials and have managed to have a success. I can drag any singular material file onto a submesh and alter the entities material displayed only on that submesh.

The next set of jobs will be to be able save/load a scene with the submesh materials and be able to save/load a preset and apply all necessary materials to the right slot.

If i have the time, i will write up a blog and create a video on the development :)

Edit: I have moved this into the Skyline users forum to make it public. I am not worried about the top post as it is very constructive. I think letting other users see this thread will generate more interest :)
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Re: Materials

Postby SolarPortal » 01 Jul 2015, 17:10

We believe we have come up with a system/idea where the older material files are still usable and function just as they did. This means backwards compatibility on all already setup materials and meshes and you will be able to edit their sub materials also ;)
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Re: Materials

Postby TattieBoJangle » 01 Jul 2015, 17:37

Nice for others i guess as i don't have a single model converted for skyline i would rather wait for the update.
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Re: Materials

Postby StarFire » 01 Jul 2015, 17:50

The update will come Tatty, SP is now focused working on this material system, I have chained him to his chair in the studio dungeon and feeding him stale bread and curdled milk to keep his strength up lol :lol:

Nice for others i guess

Some of us had to spend much time in the wee hours converting our library for tech demos and I personally dont want to have to do them again. :? But seriously the old single material containing all sub materials still has its place all depends what your project requires, this keeps Skyline opens to many work flows.
The new material system will speed up and automate both styles of workflow, so I personally can not wait too ;)
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Re: Materials

Postby TattieBoJangle » 01 Jul 2015, 17:59

I have chained him to his chair in the studio dungeon and feeding him stale bread and curdled milk to keep his strength up lol :lol:


May i suggest cutting his rations down and perhaps propping his eyes open :lol:

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Re: Materials

Postby StarFire » 01 Jul 2015, 18:01

lmao :lol:
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Re: Materials

Postby SolarPortal » 01 Jul 2015, 18:07

lol :P after 24hrs(or is it just 12hrs .... :shock: ) the code will become a dyslexic mess hehe :P I swear i was hitting all the right keys apart from one letter over on the keyboard 8-)
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Re: Materials

Postby TattieBoJangle » 01 Jul 2015, 18:23

you are probs right 12hrs but i am sure it will be great when its done :D
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Re: Materials

Postby SolarPortal » 10 Jul 2015, 21:09

quick update: Material Editor upgrade is going well. The selection, editing of multiple materials attached to a single entity is complete. The Saving code for the material editor is now mostly done but i have run out of time for tonight to test this new featureset. But once i know that is working; a video will most likely be made showing the next few features since the last update ;)
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