Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm a Material Boy

Sorry for the long period with no tool show off. Blogging sure takes time :P

Here's the HPL Material Editor, our latest addition to the tool suite. This is what we use to create, edit and preview materials with. In a nutshell, a material is what's gonna determine how an object is going to look like in the engine. As of now, we have three basic types of materials:
- SolidDiffuse, which we use to model solid surfaces. Take a bit of a bump map, and another bit of a heightmap and you will have a more than convincing rock like material for example :)
- Translucent, to create a "glass like" look - Windows, ice... transparent stuff falls in this material type.
- Water, the most bleeding edge feature in the engine right now, used to simulate "liquid objects". Just like water in Penumbra, but now with more Reflection(tm).

Of course, it wouldn't be a HPL2 tool if it hadn't a realtime preview window, which is what really makes the tool worth it. In the good old Penumbra days, one would have to edit the material using the HPLHelper app, but then testing how the material looked meant having to start an independent viewer program, a bit of a pain if you ask me. The preview window features cubemapped and flat colored background, different preview models (ie cube, cylinder, sphere and plane), and lighting with customizable colors.

And last, but not least, here's a little video showing the Material Editor in action, in standalone mode (yeah it is also integrated in the other editors)

By the way, that "blackness" artifact at the edges of the water plane are caused by the current preview window setup. Looks like I'm gonna need to fix that... :P