Everything related to Studio
By Andreas Hopf
1. No explanation in the MS documentation what "Linked Camera" icon in the Interactive Preview means

2. When using Interactive Preview and adjusting Lights in the Viewport default Perspective, FIRE renders the Perspective, not the selected camera. Starting FIRE switches immediately to Perspective, not the selected camera, which is impractical

3. Selecting a planar view in the Viewport and then the perspective view does not return to the currently selected camera but the Perspective view

4. Setting an absolute grid does not affect the grid in the planar views, there the grid changes as one zooms in and out. Also one cannot snap to the grid, which is very inconvenient when arranging scenes. The grid in the Viewport is too faint and one cannot change its colour

5. Using the Override Map function, which is very practical, the textures do not change in the Textured Decal mode in the Viewport, which is quite inconvenient

6. When adjusting values, especially those fields from 0.0 to 1.0 like in procedurals, the up and down arrows are very much useless, as they always only increment or decrement in steps of 1.0

7. With FIRE running, the trackpad pointer is very laggy whereas a connected mouse has the pointer moving across the screen controllably

8. In Multilight the comma does not work for entering decimal values, only the point

9. Enabling or disabling a HDR image emitter light while FIRE is on sometimes crashes MR

10. Procedural textures for objects that are "carved out" of an anisotropic material like styrofoam, for example. Now, one has to do that in Maya or Blender, bake the displacement, and then render with SSS, etc. in MS


11. The documentation has no tutorials how to apply subtle imperfections to break up the visual monotony, for example dust and scratches, to objects without UV unwrapping; industrial, product, packaging and transportation designers often not having the time to dive into the intricacies of UV unwrapping


12. "Reset Viewport will reset the viewport to a default perspective view." only triggers "Shaded" mode, but no reset to a default takes place

13. "Clicking any of the other letters will change the viewport to a 3D perspective or an orthographic view" is not available, one has to click the rather obscure icons that also feature no tool-tip hint as to what they are; Maya's space bar view toggle (2D and 3D views) is far more useful

14. "Assigning materials to objects ... Just drag the material name over the object in the Objects List, over the object itself in the viewport" rarely works, meaning only rarely the red bounding box of the object one drags a material over is shown, and instead the material is dropped on the background, if one is present
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By Matteo Villa
11. The documentation has no tutorials how to apply subtle imperfections to break up the visual monotony, for example dust and scratches, to objects without UV unwrapping; industrial, product, packaging and transportation designers often not having the time to dive into the intricacies of UV unwrapping

Completelly agree.

Some rendering software give the opportunity to just add a simple material/shader and then just moving some specific SLIDER you can add noise, scratches, variations to a simple material.

Thats would help a lot not only for Industrial / packaging design, but even for interior design close up.
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By Forester
Which applications (software) give the opportunity to add dust and scratches to objects that have no uv maps?

This question has made me curious. In searching the web for any such application, I see that Cinema4D and Blender do have tools to add dust and scratches and control their density via sliders, but the 3d objects always have uv map projections to start with. Can either of you give me an example of an application that somehow allows map projections of something like scratches on an object with no uv mapping?

I've only been working in this business for 20 years or so, and it is very hard to keep up with every technological development in the 3d world, but I'm not aware of a way in a which this is technically possible.
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By Matteo Villa
With Enscape you could just drag and drop a simple image texture on the floor, use the texture itself to create a sort of bump effect.

And even add a simple texture with imperfection above the one you’re using to create specific material that looks like “used” , aged.

It’s something I can’t recreate so easily with Maxwell Render.

But maybe with your 20 years experience you can help us :mrgreen:

Probably even Lumion could do something similar easily, but I don’t own a Lumion License.

Even Twinmotion can’t do something like that.

If I remember right maybe, but I’m not 100% sure, Artlantis give you the chance to do something similar to Enscape
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By Forester
Thank you Matteo. I have downloaded Enscape and am looking at it now to learn how it works. It is always good to learn about other applications.

Perhaps my question seems to be more deceptive or of bad intent than I meant it to be. Nobody I know likes UV mapping. In my 20-plus years I have not yet developed a fondness for it myself. But I have benefitted many times from having acquired an understanding of the basic technology . :?

Maybe it would help if I "backed up" and explain why I find a request for tutorials for applying dust and scratches to un-mapped objects to be a little bit puzzling.

First, you, of course, know that a UV "map projection" is a description of how the pixels of a 2D image (a texture file) are applied (are "mapped") onto the vertices of a 3D mesh. When a 3D object is UV mapped, a piece of code - a data set - is attached (embedded into) to the object that says which pixels of an image are assigned to which vertices of the 3d object.

3D objects don't have to have this additional piece of code. A 3d object can have color , glossiness and a bunch of other features of light reflection applied to the faces or to the vertices of the object. But if there is no additional code that provides information about the mapping, these colors and bumps will be applied in a uniform manner to all the faces or vertices. Maxwell shaders can easily be applied to unmapped objects when all we ask of the shader is that it display color, glossiness, uniform bumps and the like.

However, for a 2d image to be applied to a 3d object, there must be a some additional set of information that tells the application how the 2D map is expected to be mapped onto the vertices of the 3d object.

Normally, a scratch is a basically just a picture of a long line of one or more colors. It is typically made as an image if it is to be applied to a 3d object. If that line has to have a certain direction on the face of any object, then we have to have a way of telling the computer about the required direction, typically by providing a set of UV map coordinates for the object. This is a good, computationally efficient way of doing this.

OK, that is old technology. Now, there is developing technology in the form of "procedural shaders".

Here, instead of making a picture of a "scratch", now we can provide a piece of arithmetic that when executed generates a "line" and we can use that code to generate a "line" across a polygon's face. But, we still require information about the direction of the polygon's "face" so that we know the "direction" the line should take. (Well, to be completely accurate, we need to know whether the arithmetic code should use existing information about the direction of the face, or can it ignore the direction of the face when generate a "line" of given length.) For procedural shaders, in most of the applications that can use them, this information continues to be provided most efficiently to the computer in the form of a UV map coordinate data set for the entire object.

You asked, why can some applications provide the capability to apply and control dust and scratches on an object through the use of sliders, but Maxwell Render cannot.

What may be difficult to remember for long-time modellers like yourself is that almost every 3d application has a set of predefined "primative" objects that it can create. And when it creates these primatives, the application typically provides an initial "UV map" for the object as well. For example, here's the simple "cube" that Maya offers as a primative. It comes with this UV map.


As another example, when Lumion is asked to create a "surface", it creates a more or less flat mesh, and it automatically assigns a plannar projected UV coordinate set onto the mesh where the metrics of the UV "map" exactly correspond to the metrics of the mesh. I'm over-simplifying this a bit, by saying that primative objects come with an initial "UV map" - it is really a relatively simple data set, but the point I'm trying to make is that it is not strange or unusual that a program like Lumion (or Enscape) can allow for easy application of something like a "dust or scratch" map - to objects it creates.

The problem here is that most of us 3d modellers need to change the initial UV maps that were automatically created for our primatives - mostly because, in the act of building a model, we changed the primative meshes themselves. For some applications, when we change the meshes of the 3d applications, the initial UV map coordinate data set is destroyed or becomes corrupted and can no longer be read. For advanced applications, such as Maya, Max, Cinema4D, etc., the model-builder can delete the UV map altogether. (Which is a good thing!) For a few, old 3d applications, they did not automatically create a UV map for their primatives to begin with. (Mostly these were programs made in the 1980's - now long obsolete.)

So, for a variety of reasons, when a person builds an object out of a set of primative objects, most of us need to create one or more new UV maps for that object, ... IF we intend to apply either an image (a "texture" file) to the object, or need to apply one of the new procedural shaders that requires information about the "direction" of the faces on the object. If you are going to deconstruct and rebuild a set of primative objects into a new, more complex object, then you probably need to deconstruct and rebuild a UV map for that object. I'm not sure how to make sense of "designers" who are too busy to learn the basics of UV mapping - at least on the most simple level. It is kind of like learning to do just half of the job.

But Mr. Hopf said" the intricacies of UV mapping." It is true that UV mapping can become intricate, but for most people - I would think industrial designers of packaging, for example, you only need to learn the basics. That is, you probably need to understand what a UV map and a UV "projection" are at the conceptual level. You should know and have some practice with the most common projections made by your application, and you should know how to edit an existing UV map at an elementary level. If you want to apply "scratches" to the bottom of your coffee cup model, but not to the top of the cup, you need to know how to orient a UV map image with scratches on one side of it to fit the coffee cup. To my knowledge, only character-builders need to know the "intricacies" of UV mapping.


But, this takes away from the main puzzlement of the question.

Maxwell Render is a rendering engine. Marvelous as it is, most of us have never requested that it take on the task of creating UV map projections for the many objects a person imports into the program for purposes of rendering a scene. Quite a lot of additional apparatus would be needed inside Maxwell to allow a person to create UV maps for imported 3D objects. As you know, programs like Autodesk have complicated sub-sections, both for automatic UV map projections for UV mapping, and for editing and building UV maps from scratch. They are never enough! and they are always under development. Plus, there are lots of stand-alone programs dedicated to just UV mapping. Many of these are of substantial size and complexity.

It is certainly possible to build some rudimentary apparatus into Maxwell with which to create simple projections (the common "plannar", "cylindrical", etc.) for imported objects, but these will look bad when applied to complex objects, and people will complain. (In fact, there is this capability right now, and I think we can "simulate" something that is uniformly distibuted - like "dust on an object" easily enough in the current Material Editor. Nothing wrong with a tutorial on three ways to get something that kind of looks like dust in a shader.) But trying to build a decent set of UV mapping tools into Maxwell will never be a worthwhile or rewarding task for the Maxwell development team. They will never be able to satisfy most users. (Heck! Most of us Autodesk users continually write complaints about the UV tools to the Autodesk guys and we have been doing so for my twenty years.) And, it will take away from the effort needed to continually advance and polish the rendering engine.
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By Forester
Not a tutorial, but as close as I can come to a quick explanation of how to build a Maxwell shader that breaks up the surface of an object that has no UV mapping.


Three points to be made here:

#1 - Maxwell's own primatives do have UV mapping automatically applied. Just like almost all 3d applications.

If you look closely at the image, you will see the raised bumps on the surface of the first three primatives. These bumps are created by a simple grey-scale grunge map I added to the height "slot" of a standard diffuse yellow Maxwell shader.

#2 - You cannot successfully put any kind of an image (texture image) in any texture map slot of a Maxwell shader and apply it to an object without a UV map.
If you attempt this, you will receive an error message that looks something like this. "UVW channels ( 0 ) on object "pCube_NoUV" not enough for material "Diffuse_1016_Sulfur yellow_GrungeHeightOnly" This is an error message telling you that there is no UVW map (or channel) information.

#3 - But, you can use a layered material that you create that looks something like the one shown in the screen capture of the Material Editor to the left.
Here, the standard Yellow shader material is on the lower layer (so I did not show the contents of this layer).
But on the upper (higher priority layer), I've created some brown "flakes."
.......... And this material can be successfully applied to an object with no UV mapping.

It is not the most wonderful thing in the world, but it does work - sort of.....

(Apologies for the poor screen capture labeling.)
By Andreas Hopf
Forester wrote:
Sun Aug 15, 2021 2:30 am
Which applications (software) give the opportunity to add dust and scratches to objects that have no uv maps?
I was referring to UV unwrapping, not UV mapping.

A procedural texture still has to be applied to the polygon mesh by cubic, triplanar, cylindrical or any other kind of UV mapping (projection or unwrapped UVs). What is missing in MS is triplanar mapping with seam blending, which works very well with tiny imperfections and even small and dense industrial textures. Basically, in industrial, product or FMCG packaging design, there's usually no time for UV unwrapping, as each rendering must be done yesterday ; )

Try UV unwrapping a Braun Dampfbügeleisen TexStyle 9 or a similar formal aesthetic. There is often no time for it when you only have a few minutes to set up a high quality render that must not look old-style "airbrushed perfect".

For UV unwrapping, when it must be done, I use Maya because it integrates well with other Autodesk products and can retopologise CAD output from Alias, SolidWorks, Catia, Fusion 360, etc. fairly well.
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By Forester
To clarify, Andreas, you meant to imply that some third person or party creates the model of the Braun Dampfbügeleisen TexStyle 9 ( a steam iron) and has uv mapped it. And all that your want your industrial designers to be able to do is to be able to subsitute the triplanar projection for the existing UV maps? As can be done in Substance Painter?

So, you really want more than a tutorial - you want triplaner re-projection capabilites to be added to Maxwell Render?

And by the term "UV-Unwrapping" you meant that you wanted the ability to substitue triplaner projections for the UV maps on imported objects?
By Andreas Hopf
What I meant was this:

11. The documentation has no tutorials how to apply subtle imperfections to break up the visual monotony, for example dust and scratches, to objects without UV unwrapping; industrial, product, packaging and transportation designers often not having the time to dive into the intricacies of UV unwrapping

With cubic, cylindric, etc. UV projection mapping (thus overriding existing UV co-ordinates, if at all present), you can easily apply the aforementioned by applying textures using the real scale method, without at all having to resort to UV unwrapping software and dealing with texture co-ordinates. Triplanar UV projection mapping with edge/seam blending would be even better, if it were available in MS.

With "UV unwrapping" I'm referring to, well, UV unwrapping, which is what you want to avoid as much as possible... CAD > MS > TopazDeNoise/PS > done.
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By Forester
OK, a language confusion problem, I think.
In some 3d disciplines, a distinction is made between "UV mapping" and "UV unwrapping." (The Maxwell documention shows a difference like this.) In other discipline, we just use the term "UV mapping" to describe the processes of building and editing UV maps, with an emphasis on the latter process.

For anyone who has become increasingly confused by the above discussion --

Several kinds of problems can confront a person attempting to apply materials to and render an imported object with an existing UV map.

For example, a common problem is that the seam of a UV map on an object might be unavoidbly facing the camera, and if a the material applied is not a seamless texture, the seam of the UV map will "show." Illustrated here by this cylinder.


Another common problem can occur when a procedural texture is applied to a complex object, such as a terrain. Note the distortion in the vertical direction of the mountain peak.


These kinds of problems should be resolved by adjusting the UV map of the object in some way.

Maxwell Render provides one traditional method for adjusting the existing UV map of an object. This is called "cubic mapping". It is explained and illustrated pretty well in the documentation here. (https://nextlimitsupport.atlassian.net/ ... d+textures

Adjusting an existing UV map via cubic mapping is simple and easy, because the user is only moving, rotating or re-scaling the existing UV map. As Andreas says, this is quick, and it does not require the user to learn "the intricacies of UV unwrapping" or the intricacies of building a new UV set.

A more sophisticated way of making an adjustment is called "triplaner mapping" - technique invented by nVidia chipmakers for game engine software some years ago.

In this technique, a new UV set is created for an object by projecting three maps onto an object positioned into the center of the scene- using the world space coordinates as the point of origin. The three projected maps are then blended together, typically based on the angle of the polygons most closly facing the camera, to create a new UV map for the object.


One advantage of this method is that there are no visible seams in the resulting UV map. Another advantage is that this whole procedure is done automatically by the rendering engine - meeting Andreas' objectives of requiring no time and no technical knowledge of UV mapping. A third advantage is that the original method developed by nVidia did not depend upon the object's original UV map, and therefore, could create a map for an ostensibly unmapped object. Today, there are four or five different ways of coding a program to create a triplanar map projection, with Ben Golus, probably as the leading authority on the subject, and all his code in the public domain. The application Substance Painter probably has the most sophisticated code for this, although that code is proprietary.

Of course, there are some disadvantages and limitations to triplaner mapping, just as there are to any fast method of creating new UV sets. The most well known of these is that normals and diffuse texture map features can become visibly mashed together where the object has a 45-degree bend. Some seams of some original UV maps will show under any circumstance. And, if you are experimenting with a lot of render settings or posssibilities, ... trying to find that perfect render, ... well-made UV maps for complex objects perform better under a wide array of rendering circumstances than the fast UV set that is created by triplanar mapping. But, of course, making good or "permanent" UV maps, perhaps for other users, does require time and knowledge of "the intricacies of UV unwrapping."

I honestly don't have an opinion as to whether or not triplanar mapping provides a superior way for displaying dust, scratches and small imperfections on an object. I can't think of a reason that this would be so, but I'll defer to Andreas's expertise in this matter.

Hope this provides a little clarity amid the language confusion in the discussion between Andreas and myself.
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By Forester
Matteo, you asked about how to add dust, sratches and slight surface imperfections to a material.
My apologies for losing track of your important question, while trying to understand the omission Andreas cited about lack of a tutorial for dust and scratches in the Maxwell documentation.

But I have not forgotten your question, and have been thinking of you - so I made something for you.

The short answer to your question is that there is a simple way to add slight imperfections to a material. The most common method is to add a "dust overlay map" or a "scratch overlay map" - a black and white texture map to the Height Slot of the the material you are making in the Material Editor.

Here is an illustration of the method:

Changing the value that you would use for the "Bump Amount" is not quite as easy as using a slider - but it is near to that simplicity. Larger values make the "dust particles" more prominent, and smaller values make the "dust particles" less prominent. You also can "invert" the black and white colors of any map to create a more dense dust effect, of course.

If you are working on an interior setting for an architectural render, this will make the "bumps" on an object prominent enough to maybe achieve the desired effect.

If you are working on a product shot where the camera is close to an object, and the object has metal parts, it is better to put one of these dust or scratch overlays in the "Anisotrophy" slot. These will be shown as more subtle scratches .

Assuming that you need some Dust and Scratch texture files to use, I made a little package for you to download.
Inside the package, there are two folders - one for "dust" and one for "scratches." And, there is a folder that contains all the Maxwell Diffuse RAL Color materials, along with a little sample Maxwell material with "dust" just like in the illustration above.

For the "scratches," I have shifted to using a Substance *.sbsar file that I made a while ago. It generates 100 different scratch patterns. The use of the Substance *.sbsar file allows me (and now, you) to make these scratch patterns in any size that you might need, and to make random variations of those first 100 patterns. (This is called "OneHundredScratchPatterns.sbsar")

You may not be familiar with the Substance suite of applications, so I also included a copy of the "Substance Player" application in this little package. If you are not familiar with this - you'll need to install the Substance Player application first. Once it is installed, you can just click on the "OneHundredScratchPatterns.sbsar" for anywhere in your computer, and it will open to let you play with the settings. Then, when you have a pattern that you like, you can "export" that pattern as a texture file. I recommend using the *.png file format for your export.

I'll probably create an *.sbsar file in the future for making "dust", and maybe one for making "splotches." It is much easier to use a generator - than to keep a bunch of dust and scratch overlay maps around. However, there are 41 dust overlay maps in the package - these are those I've made the most use of in the last few years.

Two comments . First, I've given you the 40-plus dust maps I've made the most use of over the last several years. But, these generally are big images. They take up a lot of the space reserved for texture files in your computer's memory. Lately, I've found that smaller images - maybe 1024 x 1024 pixels work just as well when they are multiplied in the Maxwell Material Editor. Second, in experimenting with all of this, I've found that black and white maps work better than grey-scale maps, unless you are working with glass or other translucent materials. Black and white maps don't take up as much computer memory as grey-scale maps.

Anyhow, you can download this package at http://www.expandingwave.com/clientdown ... rester.zip
Anyone is free to download these dust and scratch map items - but please do so by October 2021. (I'll be closing down my website and moving everything to Artstation Marketplace sometime in October.)
By Andreas Hopf
Forester wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 10:43 pm
OK, a language confusion problem, I think.
UV unwrapping = the creation of UV coordinates by unfolding a mesh to minimise distortion, what one does in Maya, for example
UV mapping = the method by which the texture map is applied to a mesh, via projected UVs or, better, those created by UV unwrapping

A CAD mesh typically has no UV co-ordinates or normalised UV co-ordinates, and this is where, for speed and ease of use, triplanar, cubic, cylindrical, etc. UV mapping methods are handy, so the designer can forgo UV unwrapping
Forester wrote:
Mon Aug 16, 2021 10:43 pm
I honestly don't have an opinion as to whether or not triplanar mapping provides a superior way for displaying dust, scratches and small imperfections on an object.
I would say so. Compare cubic UV mapping versus triplanar UV mapping as available in Keyshot, for example, on a product like the iron I mentioned earlier. When scratches or dust are microscopic, for example to obtain anisotropic reflections of light sources, cubic is often ok and you can hardly see the seam - one must remember that non-desingers and non-render specialists don't look for such errors as they believe they are looking at a photo, something we 3D people cannot do, because we cannot trick our brains into forgetting that we look at a rendering. However, the triplanar UV mapping with edge blending, like in Keyshot, minimises this issue even further. Of course, 3D people will nearly always find things that aren't quite right.

With exaggerated scratches on a typical product with many non-cartesian surfaces, one can see the seam resultant from cubic UV mapping


Because even good old Alias already featured the triplanar method in 1991, and the algorithms are in the public domain, I was therefore wondering why this most useful UV mapping method is not present in MS.

In any case, as triplanar is unfortunately not present, I make beginner tutorials based on the cubic method using the real-scale method for global bump, BSDF bump or BSDF anisotropy, as that requires no other software than CAD plus MS, and of course some good dust and scratch maps from one of the well-known online providers of textures.
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