Getting Started Tutorial

Material Fundamentals Using the Classic Shader

15 minutes

Posted on: October 6, 2017

Learn Sumerian
Material Fundamentals Using the Classic Shader


adding texture

In this tutorial you will learn about:

Adding textures
understanding Diffuse
Specular color and shininess
Texture mode
Emissive color
and Ambient

In this tutorial, you learn the basics of adding Textures and optimizing Material, using the Classic Shader by working with sphere Primitives.

You’ll learn about:

  • Adding light
  • Diffuse color
  • Adding texture
  • Specular color and shininess
  • Texture mode
  • Emissive color
  • Ambient

This is the scene we will build in this tutorial. For best results, be sure you are using the latest version of your browser.


Before you begin, you should have completed the following tasks and tutorials:

Background on Materials

Make sure the Shader is set to Classic.

To get more life into your scenes it is important to know the fundamentals of the Material component. For this tutorial, we focus on material basics: Diffuse, Specular, Emissive, and Ambient by working with a primitive sphere.

The following is a common layout for many properties in the Material component: a Color Channel and the Texture input, where we can add 2D images to wrap our 3D Sumerian models.

The default color varies between the properties but changing the color input will tint the Texture with the selected color. We will explain more about Textures in a little bit.

Step 1: Create a New Scene

  1. From the Dashboard, create a scene using the Empty Scene template.

  2. Once you’re in the new scene, open the Create Entity menu, and then select Sphere.

  3. Adjust all the properties in the Material component’s Color Channels. Make sure they are set to black.

The Sphere should be completely black and without any lights in the scene.

Step 2: Add a New Light

Material component properties uniquely react to the lights in your scene.

  1. Place a Directional Light over the Sphere.
  2. Change the X Rotation value to -25 degrees. Because everything is set to black, the light should not affect the Sphere. It will still be completely black with a small specular light reflection.

Step 3: Color (Diffuse)

  1. Select the Sphere.
  2. Change the Color (Diffuse) to white.

Color (Diffuse) defines the how the object reflects brightness on the surface of an object as well as the color of the object. It’s completely dependent on the lights in your scene and appears where it’s facing the light source, with its strongest value perpendicular to the source. Rotating the light will show you this effect.

Step 4: Add a Texture

Adding a Texture to a Material component wraps the image around the Sphere. For a Color (Diffuse) Texture, only the area of the Texture that reflects light will be visible. There are a few different ways to add Textures. The most useful and common way is to drag and drop.

  1. Drag and drop the diffuse.jpg file you downloaded onto the Texture input.

  2. Your sphere should now look like this: