Using Textures and Materials

Textures and materials are the files and settings you use to define the surfaces of an object.

Textures are the files that define the detail, texture and color of an effect, while materials are the settings that control how a texture is used. For example, a material might determine how reflective or opaque a texture is.

Textures

A texture is an image file that is used to help define the visual appearance of an object in an effect. One or more textures are combined into materials, and materials are applied to objects in the scene.

Image files may be a maximum of 1024x1024 pixels in size. In PVR and ETC compression schemes, exported images are resized to a square with edge length equal to the smallest power of 2 larger than the larger dimension of the texture. For example:

  • A texture of size 1024x1024 or 512x512 will remain unchanged.
  • A texture of size 512x400 will become 512x512.
  • A 400x400 texture will become 512x512. The image is scaled up, but the extra pixels don't add any extra detail. This could be an opportunity to either save space and scale the image down to 256x256 or to improve quality without adding to the export size, by scaling the original image up to 512x512.

For animated textures, consider using a sprite sheet that contains all of the frames of the animation.

Materials

A material defines the optical properties of the associated texture. A texture can appear opaque or reflective depending on the settings of the applied material. You can set the shader properties of a material to diffuse, reflect, or multiply the colors in a texture. You can also set the Blend mode, Cull mode and Opacity of a Material in the Render options.

Because the opacity of a material affects the underlying layers, if you're creating a face effect you should test your materials and textures on a variety of skin tones to ensure that you get the intended effect. Spark AR Studio contains several videos so you can test how your effect works on different skin tones.

To change the video, click Video in the middle of the toolbar, then click on a skin tone.

Learn more about the textures and materials that come with Spark AR Studio.

Improving Performance

The size of the textures you use influences the quality and performance of your effect. A high quality texture file gives your effect a lot of detail. However, a high quality file also slows the performance of your effect by using a lot of memory and increases download times for people using your effect.

To use high quality texture files while maintaining the performance of your effect, you can reduce the size of your texture files. To be sure you're using the smallest texture files, you can compress them when you export your effect prior to submission. You can also compress the texture files using the compression schemes in Spark AR Studio. Learn how to compress textures