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Rendering-Related Classes

billboards_base

The billboards_base material is used to create coverings for multiple Billboards.

Prior Knowledge
This article assumes that you have prior knowledge of the following topics. Please read them before proceeding:

States#

States

States tab

Default#

Deferred Buffer If enabled, the material is rendered to the deferred buffers.
Auxiliary Rendering Toggles the auxiliary rendering pass for the material on and off. This pass can be used for custom post effects. Enabling the pass activates the auxiliary texture and the auxiliary color parameter.
Lock Axis X

If enabled, locks billboards orientation along the X axis (by default billboards always face the camera).

Lock Axis Z

If enabled, locks billboards orientation along the Z axis (by default billboards always face the camera).

Billboards can be also locked along both X and Z axes, so they will be oriented perpendicularly to Y axis.

Screen Aligned

If enabled, sets billboards parallel to each other. If they are not axis-locked, they are oriented strictly towards to the screen plane.

Angular Size

If enabled, sets billboards to always be of the same size regardless of the camera position.

Options#

Emission Toggles on and off rendering of the emission effect and an additional emission texture.
Emission Texture The option allows selecting the texture to be used for the emission effect: Albedo or Emission.
Angle Visibility Enables the parameters that set limits for visibility of the billboards at a certain horizontal and/or vertical angle. Can be used to simulate directional light based on billboards.
Angle Visibility Fade Toggles on and off the Angle Fade parameter for the Angle Visibility option. If enabled, allows creating an effect of gradual fading at a certain range.
Geometry Inflation Toggles on and off limiting the minimum billboard screen size (in pixels) to a fixed value set in the Inflation Scale parameter in order to provide visibility from far distances.
Soft Interaction Toggles on and off soft depth interaction of billboards with objects. This option can be used to avoid visual artefacts in the areas where billboards and objects overlap. Enabling this option activates the Soft Interaction parameter.
Notice
This state is available for all transparent materials except materials with the Alpha test transparency preset enabled.
Haze If enabled, billboards are overlapped by the haze.
Notice
This state is available for all transparent materials except materials with the Alpha test transparency preset enabled.

Light Passes#

States tab, Light Passes section
Notice
The states are available for all transparent materials except materials with the Alpha test transparency preset enabled.
Environment Enables rendering of the material illuminated by the ambient light.
Light Omni Enables rendering of the material illuminated by an omni light.
Light Proj Enables rendering of the material illuminated by a projected light.
Light World Enables rendering of the material illuminated by a world light.

Shadows#

Material window, States tab.

These options control rendering of shadows cast on transparent objects.

Notice

This group of settings is available for transparent materials only.

Enabling/disabling shadows options via Rendering -> Shadows menu does not affect transparent materials, as they are controlled per-material via the group of options listed below.

Lerp Cascades#

Lerp Cascades enables linear interpolation for shadows cascades. When enabled, transitions between cascades become smoother. However, the option drops performance, as in the transition parts 2 shadow maps are rendered.

Filter Mode#

Filtering mode to be used for shadows from all light sources cast on the material. This mode determines the quality of soft shadows reducing the stair-step effect. Higher quality produces smoother shadows. Available values:

  • Disabled - filtering for shadows is disabled, the stair-step effect is clearly seen at the edges of shadows.
  • Low — low quality
  • Medium — medium quality
  • High — high quality
  • Ultra — ultra quality
Notice
This parameter is similar to the global shadow filtering mode (Settings -> Render -> Shadows), but is used for transparent objects on a per-material basis.

Penumbra Mode#

Quality mode to be used for rendering penumbra from all light sources cast on the material. This mode enables simulation of real-world shadows by keeping sharp contact shadows closer to the base and softening the farther the shadow stretches away. Higher quality produces softer shadows. Available values:

  • Disabled - penumbra rendering is disabled, shadow edges are crisp and sharp (no shadow softness at all).
  • Low — low quality
  • Medium — medium quality
  • High — high quality
  • Ultra — ultra quality
Notice
This parameter is similar to the global shadow penumbra mode (Settings -> Render -> Shadows), but is used for transparent objects on a per-material basis.

Filter Noise#

Toggles the use of noise for shadow filtering on and off. This noise is used for smoothing shadows cast on the material and reducing the stair-step effect at the edges of shadows.

Notice
This parameter is similar to the global shadow filter noise (Settings -> Render -> Shadows), but is used for transparent objects on a per-material basis.

Penumbra Noise#

Toggles the use of noise for penumbra rendering on and off. This noise is used for smoothing soft shadows cast on the material.

Notice
This parameter is similar to the global shadow penumbra noise (Settings -> Render -> Shadows), but is used for transparent objects on a per-material basis.

Post Processing#

Post Processing options activate post processing effects for the material.

States tab, Post Processing section
SSAO Toggles screen space ambient occlusion on and off. Available for opaque and alpha test materials (materials with the Alpha test transparency preset enabled).
SSR Toggles screen space reflections on and off. Available for opaque and alpha test materials (materials with the Alpha test transparency preset enabled).
SSS Toggles subsurface scattering on and off. Available for opaque and alpha test materials (materials with the Alpha test transparency preset enabled).
DOF Toggles the depth of field effect on and off. Available for both opaque and transparent materials.
Motion Blur Toggles the motion blur effect on and off. Available for both opaque and transparent materials.
Sun Shafts Toggles sun shafts on and off. Available for both opaque and transparent materials.

Textures#

Textures tab

Base#

Diffuse The diffuse texture defines the color of the surface. The texture is 4-channeled (RGBA):
  • RGB values store color information.
  • The Alpha (A) value stores transparency information:
    • White color indicates the visible area.
    • Black color indicates the transparent area.
Normal The normal texture stores information about the surface's contours in order to create the illusion of depth and is used to add details without adding additional polygons. The texture is 2-channeled: RG values contain two components of a normal, and the third component's value is calculated from the given components at run time.
Specular The specular texture defines the surface's shininess and highlights color. The texture is 4-channeled (RGBA):
  • RGB values store reflection color and intensity (black color means no reflection).
  • The alpha (A) value specifies the specular power: 0 means specular highlights are very bright and intense, 256 — specular highlights are faded.
Notice
The base textures with the _d, _n and _s postfixes in the name respectively, located in a folder named uncompressed, are automatically compressed by the engine.

Options#

Emission Emission texture stores information about the light emission. This texture is available only if the Emission option is enabled. The texture is 4-channeled (RGBA):
  • RGB values store the glowing color.
  • The Alpha (A) value stores the glow mask: black is for non-glowing areas, white — for glowing ones.
Auxiliary Auxiliary texture is used for rendering into the Auxiliary buffer.

Parameters#

Parameters tab

Default#

Material Mask Specifies a material bit mask that is used for projecting the decal. If the material mask of the surface material matches the decal material mask, the decal is projected onto it.

Base#

Diffuse A color picker to choose the color of the diffuse map.
Specular A color picker to choose the color of the specular map.
Gloss A coefficient to modify size of the highlight of the specular map:
  • Low values imitate wider highlights, typically appropriate to create a diffuse reflection from the matte surface.
  • High values imitate pinpoint highlights, typically appropriate to create a uniform reflection of light rays from the glossy surface.
Normal Intensity A coefficient to scale the intensity of the normals (provided by a normal map). The higher the value, the more the normal texture effect is.
Translucency Scale of the translucency effect, which permits light to pass through the object, but diffuses it so objects on the opposite side are not clearly visible.
Notice
This parameter is operating with non-transparent materials only.
Microfiber Coefficient to scale the intensity of the microfiber effect. The higher the value, the more pronounced the microfiber effect is.
UV Transform Transformation of the base texture coordinates. The field contains a vector of four float components:
  • The first pair of coordinates scales the texture along the X and Y axes.
  • The second pair of coordinates offsets the texture respectively to its initial position along the X and Y axes.
Notice
For more details about the UV Transform parameter, see the Texture coordinates transformation chapter of the mesh_base article.

Emission#

Emission parameters are available at enabling the Emission option in the States tab.

Color A color picker to choose an ambient emission color for the emission texture.
Scale Visibility scale for the emission texture. Raising the value increases visibility of the emission texture: light areas become lighter and brighter.
Visibility Distance Distance from the camera up to which the emission from the billboard will be visible, in units.
Visibility Power Power multiplier to scale distant dependent visibility of the emission texture. It determines the way the intensity of the emission effect changes depending on the distance from the camera.

Geometry#

Billboard Scale A factor to manage the billboard size.
Inflation Scale Minimum permissible size for the billboard, in pixels. The parameter is available only if the Geometry Inflation option is enabled in the States tab.

Visibility#

Geometry parameters are available only if the corresponding item of the Angle Visibility option is enabled in the States tab.

Horizontal Angle Angle limit in the XY plane relative to the -Y direction, in degrees. The billboards are visible within the [-value; value] range of angles.
Vertical Angle Angle limit relative to the Z axis, in degrees. The billboards are visible within the [-value; value] range of angles.
Fade Angle A portion of the Horizontal and/or Vertical Angle within which fading occurs, in degrees. If equals to 0, the billboards disappear at the limit of a visibility angle without fading; if, for example, equals to 10, each billboard would fade gradually within the last 10 degrees of a visibility angle. The parameter is available only if the Angle Visibility Fade option is enabled in the States tab.

Other Parameters#

Auxiliary Color A color picker to choose an auxiliary color for the Auxiliary rendering pass. Available only if the Auxiliary option is enabled in the States tab.
Soft Interaction Depth factor that controls fading of the billboards depending on their position relative to the object. Available only if the Soft Interaction option is enabled in the States tab.
Last update: 2019-11-28