Society & Culture & Entertainment Visual Arts

Animated Materials in the 3D World

Fortunately for artists and animators, the realm of fiction is easy to create on the computer.
Maybe that's why there have been so many movies about space produced with computer animation software.
In your 3D application, you can plug just about any map into any Map channel and, just by animating it, create some wild effects.
Flexibility can often mean complexity.
The greatest thing about your 3D application's materials is that you can animate everything.
It also happens to be the worst quality about it too.
Use discretion when creating animated materials.
Due to so many possibilities, the material can quickly get away from you.
You could use the Ray trace material with various settings to give the plasma engines of a spaceship the appearance that they're actually working as the ship leaves Earth.
Procedural maps work great for animation.
Procedural maps often have at least the capability to animate the offset.
Others also have a Phase value.
By animating one or both of these values, you can create wonderful organic-looking materials.
Bitmaps are king for man-made materials.
Let's face it, the best way to recreate a man-made material in your 3D application is to just scan an image of it and use it as a bitmap.
There's certainly no shame in doing things the "easy" way.
Just remember that you also have the ability to animate many of the values of the bitmap-this includes the new Cropping/Placement function.
Fictional materials can use, well-anything.
There's no limit to how you can design a fictional material.
The Ray trace material, however, lends itself to creating great fictional materials because there are several new, special-effects parameters that you can use.
By working with items such as Translucency and Luminosity, you can design some superb fictional materials.
By animating just a few values, you can easily create some great fictional materials.
When you get the time, examine both the Ray trace material being used and the way the scene is set up.
There are actually several elements to this scene-not just the engines-that make it look good.

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