L3DT documentation
Large 3D terrain generator

The material editor

The Material editor window, shown below, is opened using the 'Edit' button in the material manager window, or by selecting a material name in L3DT's 'Resources→Materials' menu.

The various settings and controls in this dialog box are explaied below:

Material name

A unique string that identifies this material.

Material filename

The file name of the material file (.mat.xml). Materials should be placed in the following directory or in subdirectories thereof:

Win 8/7/Vista C:\Users\[username]\L3DT\Resources\[version]\Climates\
Win XP C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\L3DT\Resources\[version]\Climates\

Texture/bump-map layers

The texture and bump-map for each material is built up from a number of layers. A material only needs to have one layer, but more can be added to provide detail at high texture / light-map resolutions. Typical materials in L3DT climates might have three to four texture layers.

The layer list shows the texture / bump-map layers used by this material.

Copy / Create

Create a new layer, or create a copy of an existing layer if a layer is selected in the list. This option will open the layer editor dialog box, in which you may edit the new layer's settings.


Edit the selected material using the layer editor dialog box.


Remove the selected layer from the material's layer list.

Enable bump mapping

Enables or disables bump-mapping for this material in the normal map and light map calculations. If disabled, this will override the bump map settings of each texture/bump-map layer.

Bump mapping strength

The weighting of the bump map as a fraction of the final terrain normal vector. Values of 0.5-1 are typical, but larger values may be used for 'extreme' bump-mapping.

Enable strata overlay

Enables or disables the strata texture overlay for this material (what's a strata overlay?)

Strata file name

The name of the image file to be used as the strata profile. This image should be a 1-dimensional 'vertical' image (i.e. long y-axis, example at left), the colour values of which are used to modulate the texture colour. The behavour is as follows:

  • For no colour change, an RGB value of {128, 128, 128} should be used.
  • To blacken a band in the strata map, set the colour to {0, 0, 0}.
  • To double the intensity of red, green or blue in a strata band, set the colour to r = 255, b = 255 or g = 255.

Strata scale

The physical 'height' of a pixel in the strata profile. A value larger than the heightfield resolution is recommended to avoid dodginess on sloped terrain.

Strata strength

The weighting of the strata effect. A value of 0 gives no strata effect (just the regular texture), and a value of 1 gives the full strata effect.

Enable colour balancing

If you would like to modify the colour balance of the material's texture, check the Enable colour balancing box and set the colour scaling factors in the edit boxes. For example, a Red value of 1.5 will make the red channel in the texture 50% brighter (i.e. more red), and a value of 0.5 will make it 50% darker (i.e. less red).


If you would like a preview of what the material's texture and bump-maps will look like after blending, press the preview button on the lower-left corner of the material editor dialog box. When you press this button, L3DT will generate a 1024×512 preview image of the texture and the bump-map side-by-side, such as the examples shown below:

Material preview for 'std_cliffs'.
Material preview for 'std_grass_lush'.

There are some things to note about the preview option:

  • The preview does not apply light-mapping to the texture, so it will look as if it was lit from directly overhead without bump-mapping.
  • The preview textures and bump-maps are generated with texture and normals resolution of 4x (for L3DT standard) and 16x (for L3DT Professional).
l3dt/userguide/climates/matedit.txt · Last modified: 2017/08/31 06:25 (external edit)
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