Understanding Materials

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This page provides basic information on the concept of Materials. We recommend you read the "More Info" links for a deeper understanding.



Materials are a concept in 3D rendering that describes how to render a particular surface. Each render chunk is comprised of a single material, a vertex buffer, and an index buffer. Each material is defined with a material type, one or more texture files (eg. a Diffuse map, Normal map, etc.) and some number of other parameters (strength, scale, color, etc.)

More Info: Material

Legacy Material Types

Materials describe how a modelled surface will appear in the game. They specify a range of configurations and resources including classic material properties, textures and shaders. Each Material is an instance of a particular preset Material Type, from the selection described on this page.

More Info: Material_Types#Legacy_Material_Types

Physically Based Rendering

Physically Based Rendering (PBR) is a collection of guiding principles under which a fragment shading pipeline should operate to provide current-generation lighting results.

More Info: Physically_Based_Rendering

PBR Material Types

Trainz uses a Metallic/Roughness style PBR workflow. All materials are expressed in these terms, or (in the case of legacy materials) are converted into these terms using a best-effort approximation. PBR and the Metallic/Roughness workflow are discussed in great detail online, with a number of freely available presentations and demonstrations ranging from beginner material to advanced math. It is recommended that content creators read up on the subject before attempting to configure Trainz materials.

More Info: Material_Types#PBR_Material_Types

Texture atlas

A texture atlas is a single larger texture which combines what would normally be several distinct smaller textures. This technique can be a significant performance optimisation.

More info: Texture_atlas

Texture.txt Files

Trainz Texture files are ASCII text format specification files describing a single texture. Texture files (*.texture.txt) should be distinguished from image files (*.tga, etc.) and materials.

More info: .texture.txt_Files

See Also

Understanding Rendering

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