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UNIGINE materials are organized in a hierarchy and managed via the Materials Hierarchy window.
The Materials Hierarchy window provides access to all materials of the project and allows filtering them, collapsing materials hierarchy (i.e., showing only the base materials and hiding the user ones), inheriting, cloning, renaming, and deleting materials.
All materials in the hierarchy are linked to the .basemat, .mat and .mgraph material files stored in the assets folder of the project and available via the Asset Browser. So, any operation on a material via the UnigineEditor interface updates the corresponding asset.
To open the Materials Hierarchy window, choose Windows -> Toggle Materials Hierarchy in the Menu Bar or press M.
Creating a Material#
A material can be created via UnigineEditor in one of the following ways:
- By inheriting or cloning the existing material via the Materials Hierarchy window.
- By creating or importing a material via the Asset Browser. Usually, materials are imported together with a 3D model or a scene of one of the supported formats.
The new material is automatically added to the materials hierarchy and displayed in the Materials Hierarchy window. The asset, to which the new material links, is also created and becomes available via the Asset Browser.
Basic Operations on a Material#
The Materials Hierarchy window allows the following basic operations on a material.
Renaming a Material#
To rename a material, right-click it and choose Rename in the drop-down list.
You can also rename a material via the Parameters window by editing the Name field.
If you rename a material asset via the Asset Browser, the material that links to it will be renamed as well.
Cloning a Material#
To clone a material, right-click it and choose Clone in the drop-down list.
Another way to clone a material is to select it and click to the left of the material name filter.
The new material will be created at the same hierarchy level as the original one. Note that the child materials won't be cloned.
If you copy a material file via the Asset Browser, the material that links to it will be cloned.
Deleting a Material#
To delete a material, right-click it, choose Delete in the drop-down list and confirm deletion in the dialog window that opens:
Another way to delete a material is to select it and click to the left of the material name filter. If you delete a parent material, all its child materials will be deleted as well.
If you delete a material file via the Asset Browser, the material that links to it will be deleted as well.
Setting Up Materials Inheritance#
In UNIGINE, materials are organized in a hierarchy, like nodes, but are completely independent of the nodes hierarchy. Each material (parent material) can have multiple children (child materials). The parent material can be both the base or user material; the child material is always a user material.
To collapse or expand the list of child materials, click the arrow to the left of the parent material. You can also collapse all child materials in the Materials Hierarchy window by clicking .
Inheriting a Material#
Inheriting one material from another allows forming the materials hierarchy. To inherit a new material from the existing one, right-click the desired parent material and choose Create Child in the drop-down list.
Another way to inherit a material is to select a material and click to the right of the material name filter.
You can also inherit a new material via the Parameters window: select a surface, go to the Material section and click right to the field with the material name. The inherited material will be assigned to the currently selected surface automatically.
Inheriting via Asset Browser#
To inherit a material via the Asset Browser, select the material asset, right-click it and choose Create Child in the drop-down list. The new material will be added to the Materials Hierarchy window and linked to the created asset.
Reparenting a Material#
To change the parent material (reparent), select the target material in the hierarchy and drag it with the left mouse button pressed to the desired parent.
The parent material, to which the child material will be added, is highlighted with the white frame:
You can also move the material to a position alongside the child materials of the desired parent: the material will be added as a child to this parent material in alphabetical order. The position in the hierarchy is highlighted with the white line during moving.
Assigning a Material#
A material can be assigned to the entire node (i.e., to all its surfaces), several surfaces or a single surface of the node.
To assign a material to a surface (or surfaces) of a node, select the node, select the target surface (surfaces) and perform one of the following:
Drag the material from the Materials Hierarchy window or the icon of the material asset from the Asset Browser to the target surface in the Editor Viewport.
Type the name of the material asset to the field with the material asset name in the Parameters window (the Node tab) manually. If an asset with the specified name exists in the project, it will be shown in the drop-down list while typing.
Filtering helps to reduce the number of materials viewed in the hierarchy, and, therefore, simplifies its management.
To filter materials by name, start typing a material name in the corresponding field of the Materials Hierarchy window:
Materials in the hierarchy can also be displayed depending on the specified filters: click in the Materials Hierarchy window and choose the required filters. By default, all materials are shown (Enable All is toggled on).
The filters are divided into several groups, so you can:
- Filter the materials by types of objects, to which they can be applied. For example, you can toggle on the Grass filter to show materials that can cover the Grass object.
- Display or hide the materials implemented programmatically (the Code-Based filter) and/or created via Materials Editor (the Material Graph filter).
- Display or hide the Built-In Engine Base Materials and/or Users Created Base Materials.
- Filter the materials by their properties. For example, you can show all materials with Emission.
- Filter by Detail rendering parameters.
- Filter by UV mapping parameters.
To filter the materials, toggle checkboxes in the Visibility column. Each filter can have one of the following values:
- enabled - all materials that match the filter are displayed in the hierarchy.
- NOT enabled - all materials that don't match the filter are displayed.
- disabled - the filter isn't taken into account.
Filters can be combined using logical OR or logical AND operations. For example, to display the opaque materials with detail rendering disabled that can be applied to a mesh, you should use the following combination of filters with logical AND:
You can also display filter states in the materials hierarchy: toggle on the corresponding checkboxes in the States column. The materials hierarchy will switch to a table view. If the displayed material matches the filter, it will have a mark in the corresponding column.
You can sort the materials by state by clicking the column header.