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Is there such a thing as "child materials"?

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Paulo Jan
Is there such a thing as "child materials"?
on Aug 12, 2013 at 12:03:36 pm

Hi all:

I have an animation where several objects that have the same material appear gradually out of thin air. I achieve this effect by adding an alpha channel to their material, putting in it a gradient and animating that gradient from black to white.

Now, my problem is that the different objects will appear on different moments, which means that I'll have to duplicate their materials and move each of their keyframes manually to its proper place; in other words, I'll end up having a lot of identical materials, different only in their animation timing. And of course, if I later need to change the look of the material, I'll have to make the same change in all of them.

Is there a way to make this workflow easier? I was thinking of something like "child materials", where one can change a parameter in a "master" material and have that change cascade to all its childs. Is there such a thing in C4D? Or if not, is there some other alternative that would make things easier?


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Adam Trachtenberg
Re: Is there such a thing as "child materials"?
on Aug 12, 2013 at 4:12:29 pm

You can create something like what you're talking about using Xpresso. Here's a quick example:





There are also plugins that make this easier, such as http://www.blackstar-solutions.de/index.php?id=15111


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Paulo Jan
Re: Is there such a thing as "child materials"?
on Aug 12, 2013 at 4:49:08 pm

Thanks. I had thought of this, but the way I see it, Xpresso is mostly useful in situations where there are many materials with different properties and one (or a few) common features; in that case, you can take those few common features and wire them up to a single control. (In your video, for example, there are 3 materials with different colors, but with Xpresso you can control the same noise map in all of them).

My case, OTOH, seems to be the opposite: all my materials are identical, with only one feature distinguishing them (the alpha channel), so if I had to control all of them with Xpresso, and since I don't know beforehand what I'll want to change, I'd have to wire up all their properties (diffuse color, specular, luminance...).


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Adam Trachtenberg
Re: Is there such a thing as "child materials"?
on Aug 12, 2013 at 5:46:33 pm

Yes, you'd be better off with something like the reference shader plugin.


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