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Topic: "MatCaps" Materials  (Read 1559 times)

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  • Posts: 492
  • Triangle
February 27, 2013, 12:22:06 AM
I see more and more apps implementing a material system sometimes referred to as matcaps (material captures). ZBrush uses it, Sculptris has it and the new 2.66 version of Blender has implmented in an early stage. To quikcly show what it's about:
http://youtu.be/P6q_cFtV1dU
It's some kind of environment mapping/projection, but it doesn't use cubemaps. Instead it uses these simple png images, that display a sphere that is a little bit capped on the top, bottom and sides. I don't know how the pixels of the image are mapped to the normals, but I read that it's just a few lines of GLSL. Should be possible in DX, too. But I couldn't find specific information or don't know where to look for it. Well, Blender is open source, but I guess its code of this is only usable under an GNU license.
The advantage is, that you can quickly test your model in different lighting scenarios, because the lighting stems from the image. And if the matcap image is done well, you get some really nice looking material. There are alraedy tools and plugins for the creation of the matcap images.

It could be a nice diversion for some stressed developer, who's looking to once code something that is fun. ;)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 01:12:31 PM by Vaquero »

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  • Spline
February 27, 2013, 04:18:58 PM
I support this wish and would even go further:
Matcaps in my opinion were the the only required materials for Nvil.

A simple concept - instant cool effect.
There's tons of free matcaps available - overlaying a diffuse colour over
the Matcap to influence its colour as done in Zbrush, controlling the alpha value
(transparency) - more was not required. No dealing with specularity and lights and
such - that all could happen after export, when actually rendering.

Yeah, sure, one needed to be able to display a simple diffuse texture or a Checker,
but I don't see the need for anything more complex.

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  • Polygon
February 27, 2013, 10:06:39 PM
I would love this for subd work since there are some nice matcaps from zb that are really good at showing off the edges on high poly work.

  • Posts: 89
  • Edge
April 25, 2013, 05:12:40 PM
the only downside to matcaps when compared to cubemaps is that on lowpoly meshes the illusion falls apart. A matcap on a hard-edged cube will show only a single picture per face, which gets really distracting and noisy.

Mind you, no reason not to have both I suppose.

  • Posts: 492
  • Triangle
May 02, 2013, 07:17:25 PM
I took another look at Matcaps in Blender. I don't know if I've seen the stuff, that you were talking about, mightypea, but I can now tell some disadvantages, too. Thus, it would be a really nice addition for the sake of its advantages, but another easy material system shouldn't be abandoned.

Matcaps can make really good looking materials with Subdivision Surfaces. The light rig, so to speak, is attached to the camera. That means, if you deal with a lowpoly mesh that is flat shaded and you change the camera position, the shading on the individual faces can change a lot. Or I guess it feels a bit unexpected in comparison to a static light setup. That's maybe what you meant by noisy? If I have a smooth shaded lowpoly mesh on the other hand, I get kind of like artifacts.
And yes, if you have a rather detailed Matcap, it feels strange that the environment is moving with the camera.

Still, smooth and rather homogeneous Matcaps with slight gradients look great on lowpoly meshes, too. Like Bob Ross used to say: "Just a little."

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  • Polygon
February 02, 2014, 06:49:58 PM
Any chance this will happen?

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  • Polygon
November 30, 2017, 09:45:08 AM
Try this
http://www.digitalfossils.com/Download/NVil-Nov-30-17.rar


  * View > Windows > MatCap Window.
  * Edit > Preference > General > Cube MatCap resolution.
  * View > Object Shading > Freeze MatCap Angle.
  * View > Object Shading > Object Individual Shading > Enable MatCap.

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  • Polygon
November 30, 2017, 03:09:20 PM
Nice! Thanks a lot!
Two problems that I noticed:
  • Object-level scaling affect MatCap scale on the transformed object. Scaling object's components doesn't cause this issue.
  • There's a visible MatCap pinching on the negative Z (world space) side of each object in the scene.
Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/110xq8994toCIg0HCRql6OPw6wjzA5IRU/view?usp=sharing

  • Posts: 440
  • Triangle
December 01, 2017, 08:28:32 AM

  * View > Windows > MatCap Window.

I just get a blank dialog box with a blank input field.

What steps do you follow to show MatCap materials in the dialog box ?

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  • Polygon
December 01, 2017, 08:40:55 AM
Nice! Thanks a lot!
Two problems that I noticed:
  • Object-level scaling affect MatCap scale on the transformed object. Scaling object's components doesn't cause this issue.
  • There's a visible MatCap pinching on the negative Z (world space) side of each object in the scene.
Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/110xq8994toCIg0HCRql6OPw6wjzA5IRU/view?usp=sharing


Try this
http://www.digitalfossils.com/Download/NVil-Dec-01-17.rar

01. Fixed.
02. Cant fix it. You can use cube style matcap, or check the Freeze MatCap Angle option.




  * View > Windows > MatCap Window.

I just get a blank dialog box with a blank input field.
What steps do you follow to show MatCap materials in the dialog box ?

It has a right click context menu. Create a group first. Then populate the group.

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  • Polygon
December 01, 2017, 01:01:56 PM
Nice! Thanks a lot!
Two problems that I noticed:
  • Object-level scaling affect MatCap scale on the transformed object. Scaling object's components doesn't cause this issue.
  • There's a visible MatCap pinching on the negative Z (world space) side of each object in the scene.
Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/110xq8994toCIg0HCRql6OPw6wjzA5IRU/view?usp=sharing


Try this
http://www.digitalfossils.com/Download/NVil-Dec-01-17.rar

01. Fixed.
02. Cant fix it. You can use cube style matcap, or check the Freeze MatCap Angle option.
  • Thanks.
  • Okay, freezing fixes this problem. I think it should be enabled by default when using MatCap spherical maps.
Another problem is that MatCaps do not fully overwrite a material that the object currently uses, so if for example the object has a dark red material applied to it, MatCap will be tinted red and darkened. Can you perhaps add an option to ignore material settings when MatCap shading is enabled?

Also, would it be possible to enable drag-and-drop for MatCap window? So that we could simply drag our files there, directly from the file browser?

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  • Polygon
December 01, 2017, 05:37:52 PM
I can't stress it enough how I like this feature. Finally we can see how environment reflections look like on our objects which makes it even easier to find surface imperfections like bumps and pinching.

By the way, it would be awesome if it was possible to assign different MatCaps to different objects.
Considering the fact that the spherical MatCaps are very easy to create, using the same lighting conditions we could create the whole library of different MatCap materials for nice model representation in the viewport.

  • Posts: 440
  • Triangle
December 01, 2017, 08:37:17 PM
Hey RubberDuck

Can you describe how to create the matcap materials.

I don't understand how to do it.

I've created a group in the Matcap window, then what ?

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  • Polygon
December 01, 2017, 09:02:07 PM
Hey RubberDuck

Can you describe how to create the matcap materials.

I don't understand how to do it.

I've created a group in the Matcap window, then what ?
Hi Kevjon.
After creating a group, right click in the MatCap window again, choose New Sphere Map and select an image file containing a render of a lit sphere. Something like this for example:
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=matcap&iax=images&ia=images&iai=https%3A%2F%2Fs-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com%2Foriginals%2F45%2F08%2Fcb%2F4508cbe6f026e5b7329ee2462216543a.jpg

Double-click the newly added MatCap to apply it to the scene or to selected object. Make sure you enabled MatCaps and that they are frozen using:
Quote
* View > Object Shading > Freeze MatCap Angle.
 * View > Object Shading > Object Individual Shading > Enable MatCap.

You can create your own MatCaps very easily in any DCC program by rendering a sphere. Just set up a camera, frame the sphere, add some material, lights and optionally a background.

  • Posts: 440
  • Triangle
December 01, 2017, 09:22:25 PM
Thanks,

What size would you typically render the sphere at 512 ? 1024 ? 2048 ?