Raylectron Materials and Google Sketchup

Raylectron (http://Raylectron.com) is a 3D rendering engine for Trimble Sketchup (http://sketchup.com)
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Re: Raylectron Materials and Google Sketchup

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It is very easy to apply some styles to your materials. First, bring up the "Raylectron Material Editor" (if not already opened) from the Sketchup "View / Raylectron Render" menu. Next, select a material from the "Sketchup Materials" window, or use the Sketchup "Sample paint" picker to directly select a material from your model. The selected material name will be displayed in the "Raylectron Material Editor" window. Now you can make changes to the selected material using one or more combination of the following...

Material type:
This has 2 settings. "User Defined" and "Light/Emitter" as described below...

Light/Emitter:
If you want the selected material to be a light source other than the sun and sky, select this option and select "On", then set the power of the light source along with the coverage angle. If you leave it in the "Off" position, this selected material will not emit any light when rendering your model.

User Defined:
This is the option you will most likely use. For example, to make a mirror, set the Reflection to 1 for 100% reflective. 0.5 for 50% reflective. Below is a description of each one...

Glossiness:
Set the texture irregularity of the material. Like how smooth the surface is. The higher the number, the less polish the surface will be.

Shininess:
Set how shiny a material is by using its IOR (index of reflection). This is not like pure reflection but similar. It works on different principals to produce real shininess rather than being reflective. Such object are bathtubs and wood floors for example. They are not directly reflective, but they are shinny.

Transparency:
Sets the amount of light that can go through the object when using refraction such as in glasses and plastics. It can also be used without refraction, but in real life, any transparent material do produce some refraction.

Reflection:
Sets the amount of light that is reflected off the surface. Like mirrors for example.

Refraction:
Sets the IOR (index of refraction) of the material, such as glass, water and plastic. Click on the icon next to it to select a predefine value, or enter one for other types not listed. Refraction is the effect of light entering an object and bending, possibly reflecting and bending again before exiting the object. Such phenomenon can be observed by looking at a glass of water with a straw in it. Depending on the angle you view it, the straw will appear broken in half, or even shorter than its actual length.

Bump level:
When using an image for a material (without normal map), such as bricks, and setting a value for Bump level, only the color of the material will be used, but, the actual image will be used to produce a bumpy surface. The dark spot will appear caved in while brighter spots will appear more elevated from the surface. More like an emboss effect. If you use a Normal map (see below) the image is used, not the color.

Environment, pwr:
Currently not used.

Background image:
Set the material as a background image, where it receives no light, nor does it emit light. Great for outdoor scenes.

Normal map:
This is similar to Bump maps, but much better. You need two images of the same size. One is the diffused image, the other one is the normal map of the first image. You may have already noticed such images, they are mostly blue. You can find many of them on the http://filterforge.com web site, and such an example can be found here http://www.filterforge.com/filters/5803.html At the bottom of the page, you will see a Diffuse Map and a Normal Map, those are the two you need. Your material image in Sketchup needs to be the Diffuse image, and clicking on this settings will ask you to select the Normal Map image. Don't forget to also set the Bump Level.

Do not forget to click on "Apply changes" or your settings will revert back to what it was before you made changes.
Your support team.
http://SoftByteLabs.com
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