Materials Panel

The Materials Panel allows you to change the materials of the currently selected object. At the top of the panel you see the list of materials, and below there is a list of properties of the selected material. Pick a material from the list then adjust its properties. It’s that easy.

Drag and drop all around

Note that you may drag and drop materials in the list, you may also drag a material from the list onto another object in the scene. Finally, you may drag materials to the desktop or other folder. Basically this means that you don’t need to repeat the same settings for similar materials: setup it once and then drag to copy.

Another way to copy materials is to use copy materials tool.

Basic Parameters

In most cases you simply drag a default material from the built-in list at the left and then probably put your own texture, or adjust the color. The common parameters are at the very top of the list.

  • Texture — the field allows you to put your own image to the object in the scene. You may click the “folder” button to browse your computer for the image. You may use the drop down list to pick an image from the list of already loaded images. You may drag and drop your image file to this field, as well. Finally, you may drag and drop the image file directly to the 3D scene. Here you can also adjust the tint color of the image;
  • Crop Texture — this is a very important feature for the shapes like books or DVD boxes. By default Boxshot assumes that you provide a “full cover” image that includes front, side and back parts of the book cover, for instance. So for some shapes you may notice that just a half of the image appears in the scene. In that case just click the Crop texture button to adjust the cropping frame so it uses the whole image instead;
  • Transformation — here you can flip or rotate the texture image;

Reflection

This section lets you control all the reflective parameters of the surface.

  • Metallic — lets you switch between metallic and fresnel refection models;
  • Saturated by artwork — tells reflection to pick up the diffuse color for rich metallic reflections;
  • Alpha channel is a mask — tells Boxshot to use the alpha channel of the diffuse texture as reflection mask. Good for rendering stickers, labels, etc where only the visible part reflects;
  • Level — controls the reflection level of metallic materials;
  • Level mask — lets you specify a grayscale image working as a mask for reflection level.

Read more about reflective materials here.

Surface

This section configures the surface itself: its index of refraction and roughness.

  • Index of refraction — the index controls how much the ray is distorted when entering the medium. It also controls the reflection of non-metallic materials and some other aspects. You can find the proper index values for various materials online;
  • Roughness — defines how smooth is the surface from 0% (absolutely smooth) to 100% (absolutely rough). This affects both reflection and refraction;
  • Roughness mask — lets you specify different roughness levels using mask.

Transparency

This section controls what happens to rays when they get into the material or medium.

  • Opacity — controls if the rays can go into the material;
  • Refraction enabled – if enabled, rays refract when go into the material, using the index of refraction specified in the surface section above. If disabled, rays go straight without changing their direction. The latter is useful for stickers where transparent areas shouldn’t affect the traced rays at all;
  • Attenuation and Transmittance — controls the color of thick translucent objects.

You can read more about refraction here and more about semi-transparent medium here.

Bump

Here you can setup surface relief by providing a grayscale height–map image.

  • Mode — lets you select the bump mode;
  • Texture — here you load the height–map;
  • Level — allows you to adjust the height of the bump.

Read more about bump here.

UV Mapping

Here you can adjust some of the texture mapping parameters.

  • Wrap UV coordinates — tells Boxshot to wrap or clamp the image if the texture coordinates overflow;
  • Repeat U/V — let you tile the image across the shape or scale it up;
  • Offset U/V — let you move the texture along the shape.