The Impact of Updating Materials Database - Robert McDonald

Discussion created by Guest on May 24, 2005
on 2005 24 14:56 Marlon Banta wrote:
> In order to improve the quality of our materials, add new materials and improve
> the User Interface, SolidWorks may have to create a new database of materials
> using new shaders and an updated UI. In this scenario, SolidWorks would support
> the previous release’s materials, but without improvements and continuing to use
> the current User Interface. All ongoing efforts will be geared towards
> improving the User Interface and functionality of the new library of materials.
> How would this impact you? In particular consider the following:
> 1. What percentage of the materials you use are custom materials? How many are .

Most of them, I actually have been saving them with my project and I feel that leaves a lot to be desired. I have read in one of the threads maybe a way to save the material with the part, I am not sure if this is creating a solution by adding a problem. One thing I do not like and this is mostly in the decal section. It saves the decal and material in some folder under solidworkd/data/pworks... etc. and it defaults to that no matter what. If therewas a way to maybe create an archive of materials that is easily traced and kept up to date.
> 2-D images imported to create a textural material using an illumination setting?
Rarely it seems to hard to control the outcome
> How many are simply a settings change to existing procedural or textural
> materials?
I have used the wood ones to create some enfironment like a table and had to tweak them a bit but that is maybe 5% of the time, if it is on a model I woul ceate my own (5%of the time, it is sometimes hard to get rid of a seem).
> 2. How often do you rerender models at a later date, i.e. Use PhotoWorks to
> product a final rendering and then rerender that same model a month or a year
> later?

That happens more than I would like but I would say 30 percent of the time (client requests). A lot of times I rerender them for my portfolio and I have done that two years later, because of improvents that have been made to the end result.
> 3. How would you feel about having to modify your existing materials library if
> the end result were materials that looked more realistic in the rendering?

I would gladly start over if the end result was worth it. I spend a lot of time tweaking materials to make them look like what they are called (eg brushed aluminum) Even though I save all my materials becasue sometimes I have to rerender or apply a different color of the same shader I would chuck them all in a second if I see it is worth it.

> 4. In your experience how do other rendering packages handle the transition
> from one set of materials in one release to another? For example, if you used a
> material in one release of another rendering package and viewed that material in
> the next release does it always look the same? Is it always supported?
My experience with Alias was that for my work that did not seem to be an issue at the time (this was on a O2 SGI). The end result was just a rendering and I rarely was asked to hand over the database becasue the engineers would start from scratch anyway (one of the reasons I switched to SW) but once a material was saved or stage was saved everything seemed to work in the updated versions. I only went one update before I got tired of the whole package and the sgi interface.

David Adam

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