Tutorials > Sharing Materials

If you have worked with big scenes in XSI, you know how managing materials can become troublesome. In a scene which requires multiple objects to share a material, it can be frustrating to copy/paste the material or save/load it onto the objects every time you make modifications. Thanks to the grouping feature of XSI, changes made to a material can be applied and visualized over a serie of objects in only a few seconds. Here's how you do it :

1.
For this tutorial, create 6 spheres and scatter them across your scene. Select one of the spheres then click on Group. This creates a group containing the sphere with no properties assigned to it. Give the group a name if you wish, then close the panel.
2.

Let's assign the group a basic material by first pressing 3 to go into Render mode, selecting the group in an Explorer view (8 on the keyboard), and clicking Material > Phong. Move the Color slider to a nice red.

3.

In a shaded view, you can notice that the sphere you selected earlier adopted the material that you assigned to the group. Since the sphere is under its influence, any changes made to the material will automatically affect the sphere.

4.

Now all you have to do is drag and drop the other spheres onto the group in the Explorer. Try expanding the group's node by clicking the + next to it and double-clicking on the material. Modify it and you will see the spheres change colors immediately.

Note that when you select the group, the objects that are affected are highlighted in a light gray so you can clearly see their affiliation. In the case below, sphere1, 2, 3 and 5 are in group Red_Material_Group.

I hope this short tutorial helped you understand how grouping works. If you have any questions, contact me!

-GIRAFFE