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9. The Properties Window

You now know almost everything you need to about how to use the procedure editor. There are just a few features left to describe. These features are accessed by clicking the "Properties..." button at the top left corner of the window. This brings up a window in which you can edit various global properties of your procedural texture or material. Actually, the "Antialiasing" property is the only one which applies to textures. The others are only available for materials.


Textures and materials created with the procedure editor are automatically antialiased: sharp edges and transitions are smoothed based on the image resolution, the texture scale, and the distance of the object from the viewpoint, so as to avoid aliasing artifacts. In most cases, it does a good job of figuring out how much smoothing to do, but occasionally you may want either more or less smoothing than the default amount. In addition, the antialiasing algorithm can occassionally create artifacts of its own which you would like to avoid. That is what this parameter is for.

The default value is 1.0, which tells the renderer to do exactly as much smoothing as it thinks is necessary. Values greater than 1.0 tell it to smooth it more, while values less than 1.0 tell it to use less smoothing. You can turn off antialiasing altogether by setting this parameter to 0. In this case, you will need to use supersampling in the renderer to avoid aliasing effects.

Index of Refracton

The index of refraction for the material, which determines how light is bent when entering or leaving it. The default value is 1.0, which corresponds to empty space. Here are the indices of refraction for some common materials:

Glass1.6 to 1.9

Integration Step Size

Materials are rendered by calculating the material properties at a series of points along the path of any light ray passing through it. This parameter sets the spacing between these points. You should generally set this to be equal to (or slightly less than) the size of the smallest features in your material which need to be resolved. The default value is 0.1.

Casts Shadows

This option determines whether the material casts shadows. It is on by default.

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