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3D Impressions Help - Material Context Ribbon

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Material Context Ribbon Category

The Material Context Ribbon is shown when you select either a scene objects or light object.  For light objects, those actions not suitable are not shown.


Selection Box

Most objects are comprised of a number of sub-parts or sides.  New objects typically draw each sub-part based on how the 'Base' material is defined, making it easy to change its overall appearance.  If you wish to give a particular part a difference appearance, you can select it here.  Doing so for the first time will create its own material definition for you to define and thus disassociating it from the Base material.

Delete Material

If you have created a material for a sub-part, deleting it will re-associate it with the Base material.  This feature will delete the selected material.

Material Mechanic

This will analyze all the materials of the object and make recommendations for fixing or improving the objects material appearance.



This sets the material's primary color and can also be used to recolor any picture the material is showing.


This sets how transparent the material's primary color is shown.


This allows you to place a picture or texture on the material's surface. 

The picture can be obtained from a number of sources, such as a file, a web site or as a changing picture from a Picture Album.  For more information see 'Picture Sources'.

» Tip › Pictures can also be tinted a different hue by use of its Material Color properties.  To show the picture normally, set the Color to true-bright.  Whereas using a shade of grey will reduce the picture's brightness and choosing a color will apply that tint to the picture.

Fill Type

This describes how the material is colored and has the following options:

Solid The material is uniformly given its single 'Color'.
Linear Gradient The material is graduated between 2 colors in a straight line fashion.
Spherical Gradient The material is graduated radiating from the 'Color' at its center out to the 'Color 2'.
Random Color 1 or 2 When the object is created, the material is randomly given 'Color' or 'Color 2'.
Random Between Colors When the object is created, the material is randomly given a color somewhere between 'Color' or 'Color 2'.
Random Between RGBs When the object is created, the material is given a color based on separately randomly chosen red, green and blue components based on the 2 colors.

Fill Angle

When using a Linear Gradient Fill Type, you can enter here the number of degrees for the direction of the gradient.  A value of zero means a vertical gradient.

Color 2 & Alpha 2

These set the material's secondary Color and Alpha level of transparency for those fill types that require 2 colors.

Lighting & Reflection

Use Lighting

This specifies whether light objects affect the appearance of the material.  For more information see 'Lighting'.


For objects affected by light, this value determines how shiny the object appears.  For more information see 'Lighting'.

Specular Color

For objects affected by specular light, this affects the color of its shiny reflection.


This determines how reflective or metallic the object's material is.  A value of 0% means that the material is non-reflective, and a value of 100% means the material is like a mirror and the object's color and picture has no effect on its appearance.

To choose the scene's surroundings that appear in reflections, use the 'Reflections' option on the 'Home' Ribbon.

For more information about these settings see the 'Reflections' topic.


These are a collection of styles for animating an object's material surface and are available in 3 stages:

Intro Material Effect How the material appears into view.
Main Material Effect How the material behaves between any Intro and Outro Effect.
Outro Material Effect How the material disappears from view.

For more information see the 'Material Effects' topic.

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