By Julien Confalonierie
#235779
Hi people!

First, thanks NL and all who contribute to such a great piece of software.
Many thanks also for all the valuable knowledge shared here in this forum by some users. (I'm not much a talker, but an assiduous reader!)

I'm an XSI user and love this software too. So, I'm really happy with the XSI plug which works really nicely (materials assigned to partition, layers, subdivision respected, etc, all work great).

But, nothing is perfection, and it would be great to have a maxwell node in the render tree a little more complete.
Having all the inputs of a maxwell material into one node would be really more efficient.
Actually, I texture all my models with a Mental Ray Lambert shader attached for being able to see in the XSI viewport the textures and their UV projections (which is not possible with the actual maxwell node).
And then I edit all the materials in Maxwell Studio. That works great, but the perpective of staying into XSI from the begining to the end of the work is great also.

Could it be possible to create a dummy (or dummies for multi-BSDF, coatings and SSS) Mental Ray shader with all the inputs of a maxwell material which then could be translated
(as are actually lambert, phong and blinn Mental Ray shaders) to a true Maxwell material, with the exact values and textures ?

Also, Mihai, could you tell us a little more about the material translations (i.e lambert, phong....), which inputs are mapped to which mxm values, etc....

Thanks in advance.
User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#235792
We wanted to integrate the Maxwell material into XSI as closely as possible, but the plug-in API is too limited. We have been talking to Softimage about this and hopefully the API will improve in a future version of XSI. This concerns both the ability to edit the materials inside XSI and see their textures in the viewport.

This is how native materials are translated:

Lambert - exported as a diffuse material:
  • "Lambertian" layer
    • XSI color -> reflectance 0
    • XSI transparency -> transmittance
    • white reflectance 90
    • roughness 100 (lambert)
    • XSI index of refraction -> Nd
    • bump map if the XSI material has one
Phong - exported using a template for a plastic material:
  • layer blend mode set to "additive"
  • "Lambertian" layer:
    • weight 100
    • roughness 100
    • XSI color -> reflectance 0
    • XSI transparency -> transmittance
    • white reflectance 90
    • XSI index of refraction -> Nd
    • bump map if the XSI material has one
  • "Glossy" layer
    • the luminance of the XSI specular color -> layer weight (scaled to the 0..100 range)
    • XSI color -> reflectance 0
    • XSI transparency -> transmittance
    • XSI specular decay -> clamped to 100, inverted and set as layer roughness
    • XSI index of refraction -> Nd
    • bump map if the XSI material has one
Blinn - exported using a template for a metal material:
  • layer blend mode set to "normal"
  • "Lambertian" layer:
    • weight 20
    • roughness 90
    • XSI color -> reflectance 0 and reflectance 90
    • XSI transparency -> transmittance
    • XSI index of refraction -> Nd
    • bump map if the XSI material has one
  • "Shiny" layer
    • the luminance of the XSI specular color -> layer weight (scaled to the 0..100 range)
    • XSI color -> reflectance 0 and reflectance 90
    • XSI transparency -> transmittance
    • XSI roughness -> layer roughness (scaled to the 0..100 interval)
    • XSI index of refraction -> Nd
    • bump map if the XSI material has one
The plug-in detects if the nodes use bump maps or normal maps and exports the materials accordingly.

If the index of refraction is left at the default of 1, the plug-in forces the value to 2.5, since 1 is used as a special value by the Maxwell engine.

When transparency maps are exported, the "invert" checkbox is taken into account.
By Julien Confalonierie
#235815
Ok, thanks a lot for the quick reply and the material translation reference.
And lets hope Softimage will update XSI's plug in API soon.

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