Materials Section


 
We want to change the viewport color of the boots assigned by the importer. Select the boots mesh (the rig is gone since the previous step). In the Colors section, change New Color to something black and press Change Colors. The boots are now black in the viewport.

One can of course edit the material colors directly in the material context. However, DAZ meshes often have several materials, and changing the diffuse color many times is tedious. The button in the Setup panel changes all materials of a given mesh at once.

Let us try to give Ana some green lizard skin. Select Ana_Mesh , change New Color to bright green, and press Change Skin Colors.

Ana now turns green, but eyes, lips and eyelashes are not affected since they have different materials. Note that this action changed the diffuse colors of more than ten skin materials at once, something that would have been quite tedious to do directly in the material editor. If we had pressed the Change Colors button rather than Change Skin Colors, all of Ana would have turned green, including eyes and lips.

The diffuse color only affects the appearance in the viewport. When we render the colors are controlled by textures, which are not affected. Materials that do not have diffuse color textures are ignored by the Change (Skin) Color buttons, so the rendered image is never changed.

Well, we decide that Ana looks better with skin-colored skin, so undo the last few steps until the skin color is back to normal.

A DAZ character has many materials, and sometimes several of them are identical. There is no reason to keep several copies of the same material. The button Merge Materials combine identical material into a single one. In this case, the Ears and Eyesocket materials turns out to be identical to the Face material, so these three materials are combined.

However, by combining materials you lose the option to modify them individually later. E.g., the Merge Material button sometimes combines the Lips and Face materials, which makes it impossible to later add makeup by changing the diffuse map of the lips only.

The DAZ Importer does not necessarily handle makeup very well, but it can be changed in Blender. Select the material that you want to change and press Load Makeup.

In the file selector, select an image file with the new makeup. The file names usually hints about which body part the texture applies to.

And here the Lips material has been changed by adding a new image texture in the diffuse channel.

Instead of using the Load Makeup button, in this case we could simply have replaced the image in the first, diffuse texture. However, makeup can also be things like tattoos and wounds, which may have specular and normal maps associated to them, and then it can be convenient to have a single button to press.

The DAZ Importer creates materials for the render engine that was active when the character was imported. However, what if you want to change the render engine later? One option is to import the character again, with a different setting for the render engine, but then you lose all work in Blender. Instead you can update the materials for the active render engine. The button is located at the bottom of the Materials group and is labelled Update for BLENDER_RENDER or Update for CYCLES, depending on which is the current render engine. Blender Game is treated like Blender Render

 Here is a comparison of renders in Blender Internal and Cycles. Ana was imported with Blender Internal as the active render engine, and the materials were later converted to Cycles.

Disclaimer: This button is of course not a general tool for converting between Blender Internal and Cycles materials. It only works for materials generated by the DAZ Importer. Some quality can be lost in translation, so it is generally a good idea to import the character using the render engine that you intend to use.

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