Materials System Preview

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update here because some things have been going on in RL and a few have been keeping me busy in SL as well.

I have had a chance to have a quick play with the Materials Project viewer. If you’ve not been following this it’s a new test viewer that has a much more advanced rendering system in it that allows specular maps and normal maps to be applied to prims and meshes. It’s definitely not ready for prime time yet – it’s pretty buggy right now, but it can’t be far away from release now.

Panel Dress with normals and specular

Panel Dress with normals and specular

As you can see, applying a normal map to a model can have some really nice effects – that’s not a pre-rendered texture there, the model has a plain red texture and all the shine and surface detail is done in real time. You can see the light skipping off the patterned panels and stitches.

What’s this going to mean for afficianados of latex? It’s probably going to get weird for a while – in the picture above if you were viewing it in a normal (non-Materials Project) viewer it wouldn’t look shiny, it’d just look a plain flat red. If I put a traditional texture with baked specular onto there then it’ll look very strange to people running the Materials system. This may drive a bit of a wedge between people who have machines powerful enough to run deferred rendering (Lighting and Shadows) and people who don’t. We’ll have to see how it pans out.

Hopefully I’ll be back with more updates on the Maid Dress soon – I have been working on it, I promise!

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