Last updated 14 hours ago

Make your FormIt models pop with Materials that support reflection, gloss, and bump maps.

The Materials Panel

Create, Import, and Delete

Create a new Material by defining its color, texture, bump map, cutout map, transparency, and reflection/gloss.

Import a Material from the Autodesk Materials Library.

Delete selected Material(s)


Use the Eyedropper to sample a Material painted in the scene, and immediately start painting with it.

  • Click the Eyedropper tool, then click a face painted with a Material

  • The Material that's found on the face will be highlighted in the panel, and the Paintbrush tool will become active with that Material loaded.

Purge Unused

Unused Materials can accumulate naturally through the process of iteration, but they can add significantly to the file size if they use high-quality textures.

Click the Purge Unused tool to delete all unused Materials. You'll see a prompt first, so you can cancel if you have second thoughts.

List Management

Adjust the size of the thumbnails by adjusting the width of the column (click and drag the vertical line to the right of "Material").

Filter for specific Materials by typing in the "Filter..." bar.

Material Interactions

Paint a Material by single-clicking clicking the thumbnail. You'll be placed into the Paintbrush tool, where you can now hover over geometry in the FormIt canvas and click faces or Groups to paint them.

Once you're in the Paintbrush tool:

  • Paint faces and Groups by single clicking.

    • When painting Groups, the Material will cascade into the nested geometry and will cover any surface or Group painted with the Default Material.

  • Paint entire solids by double-clicking a face to select everything attached.

You can also select faces and Groups first, then single-click a Material thumbnail to paint the selection with that Material.

Edit a Material by double-clicking on the thumbnail, which will bring up the Material Editor (see below).

Rename a Material by double-clicking the name.

Identify a Material painted on geometry by selecting it, and looking for the highlight and icon indicating what Material(s) are painted on the selected geometry.

The Default Material can be used to effectively "clear" a face or a Group of any Materials. Any geometry not painted with a Material is implicitly painted with the Default Material.

Create and Edit Materials

When you create or edit a Material, you'll see the Material Editor dialog, where you can customize:

  • Color

  • Texture from an image file

    • JPG or PNG

  • Bump map from an image file

    • JPG recommended

    • Great for adding depth effects to Materials.

    • You can use freeware like Shaderforge to generate bump maps given a texture.

  • Cutout map from an image file

    • PNG

    • Great for Materials that have selective transparency, like chainlink fences or perforated panels.

  • Name

  • Horizontal and Vertical Scale

    • Stretch a Material by adjusting horizontal scale independently from vertical scale.

    • You can override the horizontal and vertical scale per-face using the Adjust Material Placement tool (see below).

  • Transparency, Reflection, and Gloss

Adjusting Material Placement

When painting a Material on a face, FormIt takes a best guess as to the best orientation:

  • Vertical faces will orient with the texture's top oriented along the Z axis.

  • Horizontal faces will orient the texture lengthwise along the longest side of the face.

Use the Adjust Material Placement tool to override the default Material placement, as well as the Material's scale on specific faces:

  • Select a face or faces painted with a Material

    • If the face is inheriting its Material from its parent Group, you'll need to paint the face directly first.

  • Access the Adjust Material Placement dialog through the shortcut MP or from the right-click context menu:

The Adjust Material Placement dialog will pop up, which can modify the orientation, placement, and scale of Materials on multiple faces simultaneously:

  • Horizontal and Vertical Scale can be used to stretch Materials, and the values override the scale factors defined in the Material.

  • Horizontal and Vertical Offset can be used to move the starting point of the tiled texture, and uses the current FormIt units.

  • Rotation can be used to quickly make horizontal and vertical applications of Materials, without creating separate Material definitions.

After the dialog appears, you can continue selecting or deselecting faces in the canvas, and the dialog will remain visible so you can easily apply Material overrides to a variety of faces.

Apply will add the values in the dialog to the current values, i.e. setting a 10-degree rotation, and clicking Apply twice will result in a 20 degree rotation.

Reset will clear any overrides for the selected faces, and will return the faces to their default Material orientation, scale, and position.

The FormIt team is working on creating an interactive Material Placement tool to replace this dialog in a future update. Stay tuned!

Material Translation to Revit

Materials will transfer to Revit when using the FormIt Add-In for Revit 2018 or later.