You can change the materials on imported 3D assets or on your own mesh models by simply dragging materials from the library onto an object or group on the scene, and play with parameters to get more creative results.
1. Start by changing the color of your object
To do so:
- Click on the object.
- The Material window should appear in the side panel on the right.
- Pick a color from the color spectrum and tune it using the bar above.
2. Assign a new material to the object
- Click the Materials tab in the Object library.
- Pick any material you want and drop it on the object. The library includes a variety of materials such as wood, metal, gradients and many more.
3. Adjust UV mapping
If the material looks strange after you drop it on the object, it’s very likely that you need to adjust the UV mapping setting. You can find it on the bottom of the side panel.
This setting tells the material how it should project on your object, so you need to choose the correct one for the shape of the object. There are no strict rules for choosing the correct UV mapping setting, you have to try and see which fits best.
In Vectary, there are 4 different UV mapping settings that you can use:
- Planar mapping is cast on the model from only one direction. It is best for gradient textures as it projects a texture on both sides of the model, so you can create a mirroring effect or split an object into multiple layers to create contour lines.
- Box mapping is the most used setting and it projects a texture from 6 sides. With this mapping, you will get the best results for most situations.
- Spherical mapping wraps a texture evenly around a model. It is best used for circular shapes. The very top and bottom of the object may not always have the perfect result.
- Cylindrical mapping is quite similar to the Spherical one. It is projected around the object circularly. However, it does not cover the top and bottom of the object.
If you’re an advanced user, you can go even further with this and use the gizmo or Texture settings to manually transform every mapping setting. Scale the material on the object by adjusting the Global tiling settings, and reposition it with the Global offset settings. The UV mapping and scaling settings help you place the material on the object correctly.
4. Modify the surface of the material
This next group of settings allows you to modify the surface of the material and how it appears. Although they're simple tweaks, they can have a major effect.
- Roughness - use this slider to change the material from shiny to rough.
- Reflectivity - adjust this slider to add reflections to the object.
- Emission - rise this slider to make your object glow.
- Opacity - use it to change the transparency.
If you want to save the material that you've created, rename it and use on other objects. Now, if you change a parameter of your material, you will see the change on all the objects with this material. If you no longer want to change the material on all the linked objects, simply click on the object and hit the Unlink Material button.
BONUS PRO TIP: You can always upload your own texture to each field and use the same settings.
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