The Apply Material tool is used to:
Load, create, and save material tables.
Add, remove, or modify material definitions that have been assigned by color/level.
Add or remove material definitions that have been attached to elements in a model.
Query elements for material assignments.
Preview the display of materials on elements in the model.
Set or clear environment maps.
Icons along the top of the tool settings window let you select the required task. A preview window displays the currently selected material. Other icons let you open and save material tables, load/unload palette files, view and edit material assignments.
Material definitions are stored in palette files. With this tool you can load material palettes and apply materials from them to elements in the DGN file. Material tables apply to all models in the DGN file. When more than one palette file is loaded, the Palette setting becomes an option menu, from which you select the required material palette. Finally, you can save the assignments in a material assignment table file.
When a material palette file has been loaded, you can apply materials from it to elements in your models. There are two methods by which material assignments can be applied to design elements. You can assign materials by level and color, or attach materials to elements as attributes. The latter method is particularly useful for attaching different materials to various faces of a SmartSolid. When a material is attached as an attribute, this setting overrides the assignments by level and color. When using Bentley Building products, you can attach, or remove, materials from the faces of forms.
You can assign materials by level and color, either by identifying the required element, or by selecting the level and color manually. Before actually applying a material to an element, you can preview the result.
By default, when the Apply Material tool is first selected for a DGN, a search is made to find a material table having the same name as the DGN file, but with a “.mat” extension. If this file is not found in MicroStation's default directory, or the directory pointed to by the MS_MTBL configuration variable, then the DGN file's name appears on the Table button, ready for a new table to be created.
You can make any material table the default for a DGN. To do this you load the required material table and then select File > Save Settings. The current material table then becomes the default and it will be loaded when you next open the DGN and select the Apply Material tool.
|Assign by Level/Color icon|
Used to assign materials to elements in the model by level and color.
|Remove Assignment icon|
Used to remove an assignment of a material by level and color.
Used to attach a material as an attribute to an element in your model. This includes the ability to attach materials to individual faces of SmartSolids and Feature solids. Materials attached in this manner override material assignments by level and color.
|Remove Attachment icon|
Used to remove a material that has been attached as an attribute to an element, a face of a SmartSolid, or a face of a Feature solid, in a model.
Used to query elements in a model for materials associated with them, either by assignment or attachment (or by part assignment when using Bentley Building products).
Used to preview a material on one or more elements in a model.
|Environment Maps icon|
Opens the Environment Maps dialog box that lets you set or clear environment maps. These are image files that are associated with the faces of the environment cube. In a rendered image, they take the place of the background color of the screen/view when reflected by, or viewed through materials in the model.
|Material preview area|
This area, at lower left in the tool settings, displays an example of the currently selected material. You can use the right-click menu for this area to Edit (open the Material Editor dialog box), or to choose the preview object, from Sphere, Rectangle, Cylinder, or Cube. Additionally, double-clicking on the preview window opens the Material Editor dialog box.
You can change the image file used for the material preview background for this tool, and for the Material Editor dialog box, by setting the configuration variable MS_MATERIAL_PREVIEW_BACKGROUND. If the full path to the image file is not specified, then it is expected to be in one of the locations defined by the configuration variable MS_IMAGE. The file “checker.tif” is used by default, or if that is not found, “mslogo.tif”.
Displays the name of the open material table (.mat) file. When the pointer is held over the name, it displays the full path name of the material table file in a tool tip.
|Open Material Table icon|
Opens the Open Table File dialog box, which is used to open a different material table (.mat) file.
|Save Material Table icon|
Becomes enabled whenever a change is made to the material assignments in the DGN file. Saves the modified material assignment table.
|Save Table As icon|
Opens the Save Table As dialog box, which lets you save the open material assignment table to a file with a new name.
Sets the active material palette (.pal) file whose member material definitions are options in the Material option menu. Where more than one material palette file is loaded, becomes a combo box with a drop-down list from which you may select the required palette.
Palettes shown in bold type currently have materials from them used in the DGN file.
When the pointer is held over the palette name, it displays the full path name of the material palette file in a tool tip.
|Open Palette icon|
Opens the Open Palette dialog box, which lets you select a material palette file to load.
|Unload Palette icon|
Removes the current palette file from memory. To remove it permanently from the material assignment table (.mat), you must save the table (by clicking the Save Material Table icon.)
Sets the material definition. Material definitions displayed in bold type are currently applied to elements in the DGN file either as level/color assignments or attached to elements.
When the pointer is held over the material name, it displays the color and level assignments for the material in a tool tip.
|Material Assignments icon|
Opens the Material Assignments dialog box, which is used to apply a material manually to elements by color and level.
To open a material palette(s)
To apply a material to elements (automatically) by color and level
To open the Material Assignments dialog box for manually assigning materials
To assign a material (manually) via the Material Assignments dialog box
To add assignments of a material via the Material Assignments dialog box
To add extra levels or colors to a material assignment via the Material Assignments dialog box
To attach a material as an attribute to an element in the design
To attach a material as an attribute to a face(s) of a solid
To edit a material's level and color assignments
To delete a material assignment manually
To save the material table to disk
To save the material table to disk with a different name
To remove a material from an element(s)
Alternative Method — To remove a material from an element(s)
To load a different material table
To modify a material definition
To preview the application of a material to an element(s)
Alternative Method — To preview the application of a material to an element(s)