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I have many extrudes in VWX which I have applied a Renderworks Texture with Mirror Reflectivity to them.  That texture is not showing up in Vision, and instead I just see grey.  Whats going wrong here?


This would also have implications to things like high gloss marley or water or other textures...

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@bbudzon You shared with me a good explanation about the current state of textures in Vision. Could you share that here as well?



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Bad news first:
- Vision does not support procedurally generated shaders. The only kind of textures/shaders Vision supports are in the form of images.

- There also seems to be a bug in the MVR/3DS exporter in VW. Even if you do add Image Shaders to all of your various Renderworks Textures, they are not exporting into the MVR.

- Vision does not support transparency. It only supports alpha masks which render parts of a mesh as fully transparent and other parts as fully opaque


Good news!

- We want to get procedurally generated shaders working in Vision, hopefully sooner than later. We also believe that there is a way we can back some of the procedurally generated information in the MVR at export time from VW such that Vision will pick up on at least some of those changes.

- We are working towards fixing the bug in VW when Image Shaders are selected as these will work in Vision without issue.

- While it may be some time before Vision gets real transparency/translucency in it's rendering engine, Alpha Masks allow you to make some REALLY cool high-quality performance-friendly meshes. The examples I always use are sticks of truss, plants/foliage, and a chain linked fence. Normally you would model these out in their entirety and they would take up hundreds of thousands of polys. But something like a chain link fence could be a simple rectangle with an alpha mask applied such that light passes through it in a chain-link-shaped fashion. Not only does our primary renderer abide by alpha masks, but are shadow map renderer does as well! This means you can use this effect to cast chain-link-shadows onto, say, a curtain. Very cool!


When it comes to detailed texturing in Vision, I highly recommend everyone dig down deep into the Sponza Demo file. Look at the textures that are being applied and find those textures on your computer and open them up. Take a look at the bump map images, the normal map images, the reflectivity/specular images, and the alpha mask images. Also, play around with the "Render Normals" and "Render Specular" options in Vision and navigate a little bit around the Sponza scene. This will give you a much better idea as to how image shaders work in Vision and how you can leverage them in your workflow!


(Note: I realized I made a detailed post about this with images for examples but it was in the BETA section of our forums. I'll look into posting that here as a follow up to this comment)

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Let me explain a few limitations of Vision 2019 and a few limitations of the Export MVR command in VW.




First and foremost, Vision 2019 does not support "transparency" as you might think of it. Things either either fully opaque (i.e. rendered) or fully transparent (i.e. not rendered at all). Things that are fully opaque cast shadows and things that are transparent do not. The best use case of this is Vision's Alpha Texture (somewhat related to VW transparency shader). Let me provide a good example...


You could model a leaf or a truss with each and every little poly modeled out. This increases quality but severely decreases performance. If you want to get clever with it, you can model out a stick of truss as a plain extrude and apply an "Alpha Texture" to get the "sticks" of truss to appear. The same can be done with foliage, as seen in our Sponsa Demo file (note: Texture Quality must be set to Very High for a lot of the advanced materials to take effect).



No Alpha Texture applied!



Alpha Texture in action!


If you look closely, you can see that even the shadows are cast properly and they respect the Alpha Texture. Very cool!! 😎 I stated earlier, this Alpha Texture can be used to create very "performance friendly" sticks of truss or even a chain link fence. I've even wanted to create an example of a rectangle with an Alpha Texture applied to create a performance friendly industrial fan!




Next on the list, let's discuss a bug in Vectorworks. Vectorworks currently is not exporting anything other than the Color shader in MVR. If a color is applied in the Color shader, it should come over. If an image is applied in the Color shader it should come over. It skips over the Reflectivity, Transparency, and Bump shaders. We are working to address this as soon as possible. In the meantime, any reflectivity/transparency/bump shader images that you may have in VW can be manually applied in Vision via the Properties Palette (note: Vision does not support procedurally generated textures yet, only images). We are very sorry for the inconvenience and are hoping to get this export issue resolved quickly.

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An Alpha texture is like a Transparency image shader in VW. It is a black and white image where black is transparent and white is opaque. Here are a few examples from the Sponza file to give you an idea of what's going on:



Regular Image Texture Shader



Alpha Texture for the Regular Image



Another example of a regular image texture/shader



Another example of a alpha texture for the regular image above



I would HIGHLY recommend taking a look in the Sponza Demo file's texture folder. Some REALLY cool examples in there 😉 That file uses bump textures, specular textures, the whole 9 yards! 😎

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Thank you for your detailed post.  I will dig into this.


I understand there are technical limitations to what Vision is capable of at this moment, and then textures behave differently between the two software platforms.  Totally understandable.  


The big HOWEVER though is this is honestly too much data and rules and if/thens for the lay person to remember.  Both software platforms extol the virtues of being able to go between VWX and Vision to be relatively seamless, which I would mostly agree with.  But textures are a major and important part of both pieces of software, and to have such a discrepancy between the two is a big PITA, which you know, and are working on.


Now, what I think would "work" is when you bring in something during a MVR, there's a pop up that says "Hey dude, this sweet texture you made in VWX, I can't render this the way you want to.  So for every instance of this texture you have in your file, do you want me to replace it with something else that I can render?  Okay sweet, here's the name of the new texture and here's how you edit its properties globally for every instance of it inside Vision, just like you do with a Renderworks texture.  It's now just called a Vision texture and there is a browser to edit your textures just like in VWX. Copy? Thanks!  Sorry about this."  Editing textures on a per object instance is a PITA, as you already know.


Transparency is kind of an app killer until its working.  I'd say 50% of the shows we do are using video walls with lights behind that need to be able to blow through...


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