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Matcap / Sphere Textures

Matcaps, or sphere textures, are textures that are mapped to an object based on the relative angle of the view direction and the material's normal direction. This means that areas that are pointing up will be mapped to the top center of the matcap texture, areas pointing down and right will be mapped to the bottom right of the texture, and so on.

The word Matcap is a portmanteau of Material Capture. The technique was originally designed as a fast, low-overhead way to approximate the look of specific materials, baking in many details. With modern GPU performance and physically based shading techniques, matcaps are not as necessary for performance as they used to be.

There are a total of 4 Matcap sections (0, 1, 2, 3) available to you, each being independent of each other.

Changes in 9.0

To accommodate the deprecation of Iridescence, we have ported over many features from Iridescence into Matcap. This includes the introduction of the new Gradient UV Mode, which functions the same way as Iridescence.

In addition, we have buffed the total amount of Matcap slots to 4.

Poiyomi Matcaps

Example of various Matcaps used on two Material Spheres.

UV Mode

  • Type: Dropdown, Options: UTS Style/Top Pinch/Double Sided/Gradient

Defines how to apply the UV to the normals of the model.

UTS Style

UTS Style maps the texture based on the view normals, with no correction for the angle of view. This results in slightly more distortion in the top and bottom of the texture, but is generally acceptable. In VR, however, moving your head results in a rotation and distortion of the matcap.

Top Pinch

Top Pinch maps the texture based on the view normals, with a correction for the angle of view. This prevents rotation of the matcap when the head is tilted in VR. This results in a more uniform projection, but has artifacts in the top and bottom of the texture.

Double Sided

Double Sided uses the object's orientation and the reflection vectors to determine the matcap projection. This results in a consistent, unique matcap effect.

Gradient

Allows you to configure a radial gradient to be used as your matcap texture. Click the rectangle to the right of the Matcap texture slot to open the gradient editor.

Iridescence Users

Gradient replaces the previously seen Iridescence module.

Color

  • Type: Color

Tint color applied to the matcap texture. This color is multiplied with the matcap texture.

Matcap

  • Type: Color Texture (sRGB ON)

Texture used for the matcap. This can be any color texture, but is typically a sphere texture.

Matcap Slot Options

UV To Blend

  • Type: Dropdown, Options: UV0/UV1/UV2/UV3/Panosphere/World Pos/Local Pos/Polar UV/Distorted UV

Choice of UV to use for the Matcap.

Blend UV X

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 1.0

How much to blend on the UV's X-axis.

Blend UV Y

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 1.0

How much to blend on the UV's Y-axis.

Panning

  • Type: Vector2

How much to continuously pan the Matcap on the UV's X-axis and Y-axis.

AxisFunction
XHow fast it pans on the X-axis in your UV
YHow fast it pans on the Y-axis in your UV

Border

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 0.5

How far toward the edge the matcap texture should be applied. At 0.0, it would only project the very center. At 0.5, it would project all the way to the edge. This option defaults to 0.43.

Rotation

  • Type: Float, Range: -1.0 - 1.0

How much to rotate the Matcap texture.

Intensity

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 5.0

A scaling factor for the matcap texture. This is useful for making the matcap texture more or less visible, and defaults to 1.0. Values above 1.0 will make the matcap brighter.

Emission Strength

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 20.0

How much emission to apply to the matcap.

Base Color Mix

How much to blend with the Base Color or Main Texture.

Normal Strength

How much to blend with the Normals of your Material.

Masking

Mask

  • Type: Data Texture (sRGB OFF)

Mask that defines where to apply the Matcap effect. Black indicates where the matcap should not be applied, and white indicates where it should be applied.

Hide in Shadow

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 1.0

How much to hide the matcap effect in shadowed areas of the mesh.

Global Mask

Use a Global Mask to define where to apply the Matcap effect.

Blending

Replace

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 1.0

Replaces the base color with the matcap. At 1.0, the base color is completely replaced with the matcap. At 0.0, the base color is completely unaffected. Values in between will blend the base color with the matcap.

Multiply

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 1.0

Multiplies the base color with the matcap. This generally darkens the base color. Black areas of the matcap will always darken, white areas will not affect the base color, and colored areas will darken if the base color doesn't match the matcap color in that area.

Add

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 1.0

Adds the matcap to the base color. This generally brightens the base color. Black areas will be unaffected, while white areas will brighten. Colors are simply added on top of the base color.

Mixed

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 1.0

Mixes the Matcap to the base color. This generally changes certain areas of the base color by mixing colors together.

Screen

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 1.0

Blends the Matcap with the base color by looking at each channel's color information and multiplies the inverse of the blend and base color. This results in always a lighter color, although areas with black leaves the color unchanged and white will produce white.

This is in a similar way to how various Photo Editing programs does it, such as Photoshop.

Unlit Add

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 1.0

Same as Add, but instead blends an unlit/unshaded version of the Texture.

Custom Normal Map

  • Type: Checkbox

Enables the ability to use a bump Normal Map with your Matcap.

Normal Map

  • Type: Normal Map Texture (sRGB OFF)

Normal map texture to apply when Custom Normal is enabled.

Intensity

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 10.0

How much to scale the normal map. This option is visible in the Normal Map dropdown.

Hue Shift

  • Type: Checkbox

Enables hue shifting of the matcap texture.

Shift Speed

  • Type: Float

How much to constantly shift the hue with time. A value of 1 will result in a full hue shift cycle every 20 seconds.

Hue Shift

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 1.0

How much to shift the base color around the hue circle.

This value is circular, and will have the same result at 0 and 1.

Blur / Smoothness

Smoothness

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 1.0

How much to smooth the Matcap.

Apply Mask for Smoothness

  • Type: Checkbox

Allows you to apply a Mask for your Smoothness value.

Mask Channel for Smoothness

  • Type: Dropdown, Options: R/G/B/A

Which Channel to use for the Smoothness Mask.

Alpha Options

Override Alpha

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 1.0

How much to override the alpha channel of the base color. At 1.0, this will fully replace the base alpha with the matcap mask.

Intensity to Alpha

  • Type: Checkbox

Enables a section that allows you to Blend the intensity of your Matcap to the Alpha.

Intensity to Alpha Options

Source Blend

  • Type: Dropdown, Options: Greyscale/Max

Which Source to use when blending to Alpha.

Blend Type

  • Type: Dropdown, Options: Add/Multiply

Which Blending style to use for the Alpha.

Blending

  • Type: Float, Range: 0.0 - 1.0

How much to Blend the result.

  • Type: Checkbox

Enables AudioLink to influence the Matcap.

Requires AudioLink

This section allows control of the Matcap through AudioLink. It will only be exposed when AudioLink is activated on the Material.

Alpha Band

  • Type: Dropdown, Options: Bass/Low Mid/High Mid/Treble/Volume

Which band to use to change the Alpha modifier of this Matcap.

Alpha Mod

  • Type: Vector2

How much to add to or subtract from the Alpha Modifier with Audio.

ModifierFunction
MinAmount changed to Alpha with No Audio in Size Band
MaxAmount changed to Alpha with Max Audio in Size Band

Emission Band

  • Type: Dropdown, Options: Bass/Low Mid/High Mid/Treble/Volume

Which band to use to change the Emisison modifier of this Matcap.

Emission Mod

  • Type: Vector2

How much to add to or subtract from the Matcap Emission with Audio.

ModifierFunction
MinAmount changed to Matcap Emission with No Audio in Size Band
MaxAmount changed to Matcap Emission with Max Audio in Size Band

Intensity Band

  • Type: Dropdown, Options: Bass/Low Mid/High Mid/Treble/Volume

Which band to use to change the Intensity modifier with Audio.

Intensity Mod

  • Type: Vector2

How much to add to or subtract from the Intensity with Audio.

ModifierFunction
MinAmount changed to Intensity with No Audio in Size Band
MaxAmount changed to Intensity with Max Audio in Size Band