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Chapter 5. Applying Textures > Assigning Materials

Assigning Materials

Remember that a material or shader is the vessel that carries your actual bitmap texture. The material provides the surface quality, reflectivity, and so on. But the texture is what really gives your model its appearance. Let’s take a look at how a material and texture are assigned to a model. Then we’ll move on to the process of choosing how and where that texture appears. To keep things simple, our goal will be to assign a circuitry texture to a simple plane. Figure 5.1 shows the circuitry texture we want to assign.

Maya’s Hypershade

Each 3D package has its own way of organizing and applying materials. In Maya, it’s called the Hypershade (Window>Rendering Editors> Hypershade). Figure 5.2 shows Maya’s Hypershade.

The Hypershade is unique because not only does it display all the materials in your scene, but it also gives you access to lights, utilities, cameras, and even a project window that lets you browse files. As you texture polygons, you’ll find you tend to stay focused on the material window, which gives you the control you need to assign and manage all the materials in your scene. When starting a new scene, the Hypershade always starts with a default material called lambert1. This is the basic material that is automatically assigned to any new object you create. So, to keep things simple, I always leave that default material alone. Figure 5.2 not only shows the Hypershade, but also shows the default lambert1 material.


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