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Texture Management Question

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Ok... let's say you have 2 parts but both of them are on one texture.So, you UVW map them... then you create two materials, one for each. Now, in the first material, you set a "new" bitmap for the diffuse map, but in the second, should you select "From scene"? If you create another, are you making it use two copies?Related, I notice that when I look at all the materials in the scene, there are numerous "checkboard" maps that I used to UVW, and that if I go into the material editor, select them from the dropdown, and the select "Remove texture" I can get rid of them. Do I need to do so to maximize performance?Patrick

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The question(s) you ask assume things that are in error.Starting from the beginning, all parts that use the same texture should use the same FSX Material. There's no purpose served having a unique FSX Material for the same texture bitmap.The only exception would be in the case of needing to define two different sets of FSX Properties. For example: a "lighted FSX Material" and an "un-lighted FSX Material," or perhaps differing in reflective and specular settings.IOW, the Properties will be the determining factor in whether more than one FSX Material is necessary for the same texture bitmap.As far as the Material Library is concerned, any Material (FSX or Standard) which isn't assigned to a part will not be exported with the model, but......it does clutter up the MatLib and make things "messy"... ;)

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>The question(s) you ask assume things that are in error.>>Starting from the beginning, all parts that use the same>texture should use the same FSX Material. There's no purpose>served having a unique FSX Material for the same texture>bitmap.Right, I was confusing myself. For example, I have the nacelle (engine) and another part, it's pylon, on the same bitmap texture. They both share the same FSX material (as you are pointing out), because they both share the same properties and there is no need for a different material.>As far as the Material Library is concerned, any Material (FSX>or Standard) which isn't assigned to a part will not be>exported with the model, but...>>...it does clutter up the MatLib and make things "messy"...>;)So, I should think in terms of bitmaps as "materials" unless I need different effects and need them to be on the same bitmap for some reason.That said, then there would only be one copy of the diffuse and one of the night, etc. So, I think I"m unconfused so far.Thanks.

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>So, I should think in terms of bitmaps as "materials" unless I>need different effects and need them to be on the same bitmap>for some reason.>>That said, then there would only be one copy of the diffuse>and one of the night, etc. So, I think I"m unconfused so>far.That's not quite accurate, but closer for sure...For purposes of discussion think of an FSX Material as a handy name for a "set of related textures and properties." Let's simply call 'em "design elements" for short... ;)For example, an FSX Material can consist of this collection of "design elements":Diffuse Color - bitmapSpecular Color - bitmapBump - bitmapSelf-Illumination - bitmapReflection - bitmapFresnel Ramp - bitmapProperties (such as bloom, specular & reflection intensity, etc.)If you have two objects in your scene that require different combinations of the above, then you will need TWO FSX Materials, each of which contains only those combinations of design elements (where design element is a bitmap or property).However, if both objects will use the identical "combination" or "set" of design elements, then only ONE FSX Material is required.If the same object requires more than one FSX Material, then we would create a Multi-Material, which would then have as many FSX Materials as necessary as child elements of the Multi-Material.In terms of resource usage though, only one copy of each bitmap is loaded into FSX's cache memory, and the software combines them as needed dynamically.

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Better to create a single material, then assign it to both objects. If they require different gloss levels, you can control that with a specular map. As Bill says, the only time you would need two different materials is if they each required different material settings - for example, if one was glass and the other metal. The problem with making a different material for two objects that use the same bitmap is not that you're causing the bitmap to be called twice, but that you're creating two draw calls where only one is necessary. This taxes the CPU, which is a much bigger bottleneck than taxing the graphics card. So the fewer materials, the better. This is a concept that took most of us by surprise, until it showed up last Spring on this Aces blog. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it:http://blogs.technet.com/torgo3000/archive...rmance-art.aspx-Mick

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