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Material Information In 3D Files?

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I am looking for a 3d model format that upon scene export from 3DS Max, contains the extensive parameters from each standard 3DS Max material or Vray material in scene.


Then, as this 3d file is read by my real time engine, I query the existance and value of specular, anisotropy, fresnel index of refraction, normal maps, and etc. parameters. Then I programatically choose a shader from my shader library that best matches it.

Is the above a reasonable approach to support authored materials in games?

Or, is it possible to export just a max material or Vray material into a text/binary file?

In either case, what's the best I can get without resorting to max scripts, invent a custom 3d file format?

I have experience only in .3ds. It does not contain a chunk for fresnel for example.

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I am looking for a 3d model format that upon scene export from 3DS Max, contains the extensive parameters from each standard 3DS Max material or Vray material in scene.

Take a look at the fbx format and check if your needed parameters are exported.


Then, as this 3d file is read by my real time engine, I query the existance and value of specular, anisotropy, fresnel index of refraction, normal maps, and etc. parameters. Then I programatically choose a shader from my shader library that best matches it.

Is the above a reasonable approach to support authored materials in games?
[/quote]
I don't think so. Trying to map max materials to your own materials could be a nasty task with unsatisfying results. Your best bet would be an own material editor (like UDK) or a plugin which simulates your shader abilities in max.


In either case, what's the best I can get without resorting to max scripts, invent a custom 3d file format?
[/quote]
A custom 3d file format is a often seen pratice in game development. My advice would be to export your models to a common file format like collada/fbx and write a converter to your own custom (binary) format. In my opinion a converter is better than an exporter, because an exporter is written for one tool (version) whereas a converter is written for one file format (version).

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The artist has architectural background and is used to using Max and V-ray to create convincingly real material renders much better than those from real time game engines. This is great because wonderful texture bakes can be created.

For the parts that can't be baked, i.e., specular/reflection/refraction, I need real-time shaders that reproduce these V-ray materials to a reasonably good degree. This should be doable especially if the shader does not support global illumination effects.

Thus given this situation, can you recommend an asset pipeline/flow, preferably just in Max, exporting materials to HLSL/GLSL? And a 3D model format that works well with the materials?

I will play with fbx and check out UDK. I was also looking at the .mtl files referenced from .obj files. Since the materials are in their own files, it would be easy to manually add some attributes not exported by Max, in case I cannot find a format that includes most Max material information.

Thanks





[quote name='rumble' timestamp='1294672718' post='4756675']
I am looking for a 3d model format that upon scene export from 3DS Max, contains the extensive parameters from each standard 3DS Max material or Vray material in scene.

Take a look at the fbx format and check if your needed parameters are exported.


Then, as this 3d file is read by my real time engine, I query the existance and value of specular, anisotropy, fresnel index of refraction, normal maps, and etc. parameters. Then I programatically choose a shader from my shader library that best matches it.

Is the above a reasonable approach to support authored materials in games?
[/quote]
I don't think so. Trying to map max materials to your own materials could be a nasty task with unsatisfying results. Your best bet would be an own material editor (like UDK) or a plugin which simulates your shader abilities in max.


In either case, what's the best I can get without resorting to max scripts, invent a custom 3d file format?
[/quote]
A custom 3d file format is a often seen pratice in game development. My advice would be to export your models to a common file format like collada/fbx and write a converter to your own custom (binary) format. In my opinion a converter is better than an exporter, because an exporter is written for one tool (version) whereas a converter is written for one file format (version).
[/quote]

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