Adding some simple material attributes for rendering


I’m developing VR Sketch, a renderer (and editor) for SketchUp models. I’m thinking about adding a few extra attributes on the materials that would be used to control a few simple rendering parameters, in addition to what SketchUp stores (which is essentially just the texture, color, and alpha). Just a few numbers would help getting a little bit more realism, like metallic and roughness. My goal is not to get great realism, but just a little bit more may be good. I guess the cleanest would be to store these few numbers in an attribute dictionary on the SketchUp::Material objects.

My question is then: is there already a common extension that does the same? The idea would be that if a model has already got some of its materials tweaked for another common extension, then VR Sketch could just use that as well.

I think that other renderers like V-Ray have their own completely different set of materials, unrelated to the model, and you need to map SketchUp materials to their own materials. Is that right? This looks overkill here.

Thanks for comments!

The problem being is: a ‘common’ extension does not exist, neither a standard for naming attributes.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of render extensions.
Some ‘one button’ solutions use an algorithm to attach specific attributes (eg. Grass, metal, wood, stucco in the material name would set up certain attributes) the users have no influence on the specific materials other then naming the material differently.
If you want to go one step further (individual control of materials) you better have your own library, otherwise, you would mess things up for other extensions.

It would be nice if SketchUp could handle a few more material specific attributes, though. They could be used for Trimble’s own visualiser and viewers.