By umdrehung

I have a similar question in another forum but was wondering, if the solution lies within the sketchup plugin...

I'd like to define the default material by selecting a mxm-file in the sketchup plugin panel 'Output/Materials/Default'.
The problem is, that it does not work with network rendering.
Network rendering is ignoring this setting, even if 'send dependencies' is selected.

Does anybody have a hint?

By umdrehung
We did some new render jobs and the problem still exists.
I don't know, if it's an issue of the plugin or the Maxwell Suite.
But maybe it's possible to solve the problem with the plugin:

Short info about the problem:
Let's say I'd like to start a rendering from within the Sketchup plugin.
And maybe I'd like to define an mxm-file as a replacement for the standard default material in the plugin control panel.
This works fine, if I start a single rendering using the Maxwell app.
However it doesn't work if I choose to start a network rendering.
The reason why is, because while exporting with the plugin the chosen mxm-file for the default material is neither embedded in the mxs nor the mxm file is flagged as some sort of dependency.

Wouldn't it be possible, to embed the chosen mxm-file in the mxs file or to flag it as dependency (together with it's textures)?
Or - as an alternative: Maybe it's possible to handle the default material in the plugin just the same as every other material? So that you can define it together with the other materials in the first panel of the plugin settings?

Kind regards
By JDHill
I think I understand what you're requesting, but I think it is incompatible with the way the default material feature has been conceived and implemented. The feature works by assigning, during pre-processing in the render engine, the specified MXM file, to any geometry that has no material assigned. Therefore, if instead of the plugin letting unassigned geometry remain unassigned, it assigned some default material, this would defeat the purpose of the feature. You could approximate this scenario by grouping your whole model (in SketchUp) and assigning some material to the group.

I can think of one way of perhaps accomplishing basically what you want, but without affecting anything else: when the engine is pre-processing the scene, if it finds that instead of an MXM file path, the default material field contains the name of a material already existing in the scene, it could assign that material to unassigned geometry. This would accomplish your wish of embedding the default material, while still allowing it to be changed after the fact. Please let me know your thoughts on this idea.
By umdrehung
I get it. Maybe not the plugin should deal with the issue but the Maxwell Suite.
Why doesn't the Maxwell Render Suite handle the replacement for the default material as dependency like the background image?
If it was a dependency it would be sent to the render nodes and everything would be fine.
By JDHill
I can bring that up with other developers, but my guess is that it has to do with the default MXM concept being similar to the referenced MXM one -- that materials used when rendering an MXS can be controlled by someone other than the author of the MXS. In other words, in a team scenario, you can have any number of modelers working on scenes, with materials being managed centrally by a single "materials administrator". There is some conflict between that and the "send dependencies" concept, in the case of network rendering. This is part of what my above proposal aims to circumvent, since if you explicitly enter the name of a material in the scene, rather than an MXM, we avoid any ambiguities.
By umdrehung
I understand the concept of the referenced mxm but I still see an issue.
That's because if I use the software as it seems to be intended by using the 'override default material checkbox' and then starting a network rendering, it won't work as expected. So for the meantime I will use a workaround (i.e. not using the default material in Sketchup) but on the long track I am hoping for some other option.

Thank you very much for the help and the insight,
kind regards
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Thanks Luis, it's great to see progress with MW!

Thanks Fernando!