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Development – Rewriting the material system - 03 Final

Posted by SolarPortal 23/01/2018 0 Comment(s)

Well, i have finally managed to get around to writing this blog of the final installation on rewriting the material system for skyline which there is much too talk about from texture drag and drop to baking or sharing materials and quite a bit more.

To get started, there are a number of features i would like to cover with you that have been implemented into the system or written from scratch.

Drag & Drop Textures


we have rebuilt the texture drag and drop system due to the increased number of scenes loaded back having a material error as they have not save the texture to a material. This is now conpulsory in order to use textures straight away.

You do have the option of creating high quality which engages the Uber shader allowing normal / specular / Reflection maps with IBL(Image based lighting), or choose the low quality to create a basic fixed function material that does nothing but display a diffuse texture.

Through these tweaks, there will no longer be errors when dragging textures and the materials created from the drags can be reused.


I hear you saying to yourself, thats a spoken video, Yes the first one i seem very nervous in but i do improve as i go along, so please bear with me and we will get these feature moving.

Editing and Saving Materials


With the textures being turned into materials, it now makes sense to be able to edit them. This has changed due to the materials being in single files, so we have changed the way you save, the way it opens files. But this video will show you it:

Baking and Resetting materials


Certain meshes are a pain because their material either doesn't exist or is broken and leaves a nasty Red + white texture all across the mesh thumbnail.
We have added the ability to bake materials back into the mesh so the next time the mesh is dragged out or thumbnail is taken, it looks good and works correctly without needing to create a preset that always needs dragged out.

Converting multi-material files to single files


Skyline's material system now does not support saving back to multi-material files, so there is now a way of converting this back into a usable form for the current system.
This means that no older materials or meshes are broken and will continue to work but once they are saved or converted inside the asset manager; they will be seperated into their own files.

Renaming Materials


We have never been able to rename materials and keep working files. Since the system has changed, renaming materials has become very accessible and now you can fix certain materials that would have required a note editor to open the file and replace all the occurences of the old material name. There are 3 types of material file inside skyline:

  • Singular material: These are the materials that show the thumbnails of the materials
  • Singular materials with different internal material name: This is because of the old system requiring material names to be the same as the mesh name, but are no longer required this way in skyline anymore. So the system can rename these files and fix the problems.
  • Multi Materials: These materials are formed from the older versions of skyline and 1 file can contain many different materials. This format will load in and work but cannot be saved back to any more. These files will be converted into several Singular material files.

LOD Stages and Materials

This is a very important topic and is now better than ever as materials can be shared across different lod stages and across different meshes entirely.

Creating new meshes with materials

Ever wanted to create a new mesh and create new materials to go with it, well now you can.


With all that covered, this concludes this blog post and i hope this has made you excited for the next version of skyline. So thanks for reading and enjoy making games with skyline :)

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