1. #1
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    Default New Script: ZMATS (Lite) a Materials Manager

    ZMatsSplash.jpg

    WHAT IS ZMATS?

    Are you like me? Over the last few years I've been using ZBrush and I've collected and created hundreds of materials. Some have become real favorites.

    To manage these materials I depended on the wonderfully intuitive and versatile ZLIST, created by Pixolator for ZBrush 1.23 and 1.55. When ZBrush 2.0 came out I continued to use ZLIST but ran into chronic problems with the interface. (I suspected there were conflicts between old commands and new ones that were added to ZBrush 2.0)

    About two months ago I began looking at the source script for ZLIST with the idea that I might be able to find the conflicts and fix them. Fairly quickly, I abandoned that idea and decided it might be faster and more useful for me to simply write a "work-alike" version from scratch. I would try to apply the "KISS" design philosophy.

    The result is ZMATS, a very simple Materials Manager specifically for use with ZBrush 2. In a nutshell, ZMATS saves, loads and organizes your materials. Unlike ZLIST, ZMATS will only manage materials. Also, in ZMATS you can't delete - however you can overwrite materials. I managed to add a few new features...

    ADDED FUNCTIONALITY

    • Multiple Bank Storage: There are five BANK buttons (A,B,C,D and E) and each bank can store four hundred materials. Total material storage for ZMATS is 2,000 different materials.
    • Each material being stored is applied to a sphere. (The spheres are branded with a depressed "Z" to better display some characteristics of the stored material.)]
    • Many times the character of the material depends on lights and color. Besides the material, ZMATS also stores the lighting setup and the RGB color in use at the time the material was stored. You can separately reload the lights and/or color by clicking on the mini-icons in the lower left and right corners of the material's window.
    • An Undo button lets you recover a previous material if you accidently load a new material before saving the old. The Undo operation is one level only.
    • The Help button provides a complete explanation of ZMATS button functionality.
    • Material files from ZLIST can be copied directly into one of the ZMATS Bank directories. The file formats are exactly the same.



    INSTALLING ZMATS

    ZMATS comes in a .ZIP file. Unzip it into your Startup\Zplugs directory. When correctly installed you should restart ZBrush2 and you'll find a new button in the ZPlugin menu under the PSNAP group. It's called Zmats and it launches the ZMATS.zsc script. This button can be Control-dragged to one of the shelves on your interface and made a permanent part of your CustomUI by pressing Shift+Control+I. Then, anytime you need to load or save a material, just press the button.

    The subdirectories for the installed version of ZMATS should look like this:

    ZStartup\Zplugs subdirectory will contain:
    ZMATSLAUNCHER.ZSC
    Zmats subdirectory

    ZStartup\Zplugs\Zmats
    subdirectory will contain:
    Zmats.zsc
    Zmats.psd
    Empty.jpg
    Left1.jpg
    Left5.jpg
    LeftEnd.jpg
    Right1.jpg
    Right5.jpg
    RightEnd.jpg
    light2.jpg
    undo.zmt
    UnDoA.zmt
    UnDoB.zmt
    ztool.ztl
    matexample.psd
    bankA subdirectory
    bankB subdirectory
    bankC subdirectory
    bankD subdirectory
    bankE subdirectory

    ZStartup\Zplugs\Zmats\bankA subdirectory will contain:
    BankA folder.txt

    ZStartup\Zplugs\Zmats\bankB subdirectory will contain:
    BankB folder.txt

    ZStartup\Zplugs\Zmats\bankC subdirectory will contain:
    BankC folder.txt

    ZStartup\Zplugs\Zmats\bankD subdirectory will contain:
    BankD folder.txt

    ZStartup\Zplugs\Zmats\bankE subdirectory will contain:
    BankE folder.txt


    As always, if you have any questions or problems, please post them in this thread. I hope you find ZMATS useful!

    Sven
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
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    Default

    This is great Sven! I haven't downloaded it yet, but I will try it out as soon as possible.

    How easy, or hard, would it be to share materials using this script? I'd like to convert all of my materials that I have saved, to this, and share that when I get done.

    Thanks for making this available!

    Chad

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    Default Thanks friend Sven¡¡¡¡

    Bunchs of thanks¡¡¡
    Andreseloy

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    Default in what directory Sven?

    1.-ZB>ZData>ZPlug>Open the folder content in ZPlug?
    2.-You put in the post ZB>Startup>ZPlug ?

    I have the first configuration and if i remember i never has changed anything there.

    It work when i load from zscript panel but if i put in the startup ZB dont open anymore.
    Can you help me or just i have to save when it launch from zscript panel.

    Thx
    Andreseloy

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    Default You....are....my....

    Ä***931;***9579;€©—***350;***948;***8356;***9563;***507;
    Aztec _ soljA
    WHEN YOU LOVE YOU SHOULD NOT SAY, GOD IS IN MY HEART, BUT REATHER, I AM IN THE HEART OF GOD. -kahlil gibran

  6. #6
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    Default

    Hi Andre,

    My apologies... By mistake I wrote the name of the subdirectory as Startup when it should be ZStartup, sorry. I have to edit that in the original post...


    OK, what you need to do first is read this post by Aurick where he explains how to create a new subdirectory for plugins.



    You might also want to read in this thread by Marcus-Civis, look at post #20 for a list of the only plugin files that should be in the ZData\ZPlugs subdirectory.

    All you actually have to do is go into the ZBrush\ZStartup subdirectory and create a new ZPlugs subdirectory in there.

    Then unzip ZMATS.ZIP into that ZPlugs subdirectory.

    When you restart Zbrush, you will find the new ZMats button in the Zplugin menu under PSnap.

    Sven

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    Default

    japa dapa doooh
    Svengali, my friend - you made my day! Thx for all the effort! I know I will love the ZMats, like I love MaskGroups, MapIt and PSnap!

    Agree... you are my hero


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    nosce te ipsum!

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    Default Zlist problems

    Hi Sven,
    This is just a great script! I love the interface, calming and soothing, easy to look at. I've been using ZList along time and have many materials (on my second ZList now). I tried to put files from it into the ZMat, bank A, and nothing shows up. There are 3 files to each material.. copied all 3. Is there something I am missing?

    Thanks for your time,
    wenna

  9. #9
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    Default

    I appreciate the kind words guys!

    Since Wenna has reported a problem with the ZList materials, I would be curious if anyone else has been successful in transferring their ZList data into ZMATS? If yes, let me know and if not, tell me what problem you are having?

    I would also be interested to have anyone confirm that they got ZMATS installed and working... able to store and load materials as advertised.

    Thanks!

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Hi Wenna,

    The files from ZList should work.

    The two types of files you need to copy over are those with prefixes of T and ZL. (The .dat files are not needed.)

    I just did a test and copied ZList files: T001.psd - T400.psd and ZL001.psd - ZL400.psd into the directory named BankB.

    They were immediately viewable in ZMATS as soon as I clicked the BankB button.

    Check that the prefixes you have are the same as those listed above. Other than that I don't know what to recommend unless...

    If you want, pick out a matched pair of files, one T and one ZL (pick a simple material so the ZL file is fairly small.) Zip them up and post the file here. I'll have a look and try to see why they won't load.

    On the other hand, if you have filename prefixes that are different, please let me know about that, too.

    Sven

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    Default Aha!

    There's my problem! I was actually trying the files from the MaterialList not the ZList. They have different file beginnings (ML....) I did at one time use the zlists to save tools in and kept my materials separate since I had so many LOL. Thanks and I have saved and used a few materials, works great! It would be a job to load and save between the two scripts, but the idea of have only one list of materials is so tempting! I will be saving new ones in this script as it works great!
    Thanks again for this!

    wenna

  11. #11

    Default

    Very cool Sven! Thank you so much!


    r
    UArtsy - the Online Art School

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    Default

    Wow, this is a cool plugin! One question though- is it possible to put a displayable name with each material thumbnail? Also, is it possible to have an option that only displays the name, and not the thumbnails (to save memory)?

    Awesome, otherwise.

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    Default Something to try

    Wenna,

    I thought that might be the problem. Try this experiment on COPIES of one pair your the ML files.

    Take ML001.psd and rename it to T001.psd

    Take ML001.zmt and rename it to ZL001.psd (yes, these must also be renamed to .psd even though they contain the material's data.)

    drop these into one of the empty Tool directories and see if it loads. If so, then all you have to do is COPY all of the ML- - -.psd and ML- - -.zmt files to one of the Bank subdirectories. Then, if you have a group-renaming utility, rename the entire set like those above and you will have converted them to work in ZMATS.

    I emphasize that you should work with copies ONLY! Keep your original materials safe.

    Let everyone know if this works. (I tried this on some ML files I've had and it worked - no problem.)

    Sven

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    Default

    GREEEEAAAAT

    cameyo

  15. #15
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    Default Success!

    Yes! It worked!!!! I was trying to save a few of my favorites and it was taking forever... now all I need is a group converting tool... any suggetions? Seems like I had something like this somewhere but can't remember which program did it... memory is the first to go! (Hair is second LOL)

    Thanks ever so much for doing this!! I may even start going beyond the skinning part!

    wenna

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