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Creating and Using Project Templates

Creating and Using Project Templates

Before ShaderMap 3.0.4 if you wanted to reuse a complicated project setup for a different source map you had a couple of options available to you. First you would need to load the original project then do one of the following:

  1. Right Click the project source node then select “Replace Source”. Load an alternate source image / model from file.
  2. Drag / Drop an image from file over the project source node then click Yes on the popup dialog asking to replace the source.

As of ShaderMap 3.0.4 users now have a more intuitive way of reusing projects for various source files, Project Templates. In this tutorial you will learn to create and use Templates with the following steps:

  1. Create a ShaderMap project. (Lock any source map you want to persist in the Template.)
  2. Save the Project as a Template file.
  3. Load the Template from file.
  4. Click on each unlocked source node and load image or model from file.
  5. (Optional) Add to the Template Library.


Step 1: Create a ShaderMap Project

For this example I’ve created a complex project to create displacement and normals for a “Cracked Earth” style texture. It contains various maps, some with filters, that are blended to create the final displacement and normal map. See below:

Create Project File


Step 2: Save the Project as a Template File

Click the Save As button located at the top of the application window. This will bring up a Save As dialog. Enter a file name for the Template. In this case I have called it “Cracked Earth Template”. Next select the Type of file to save it as. Select “ShaderMap Template” from the drop down list. Once the Template is saved it will appear as a Blue Project Icon. Regular ShaderMap Project files are black.

Click Save As

Save as Template


Step 3: Load the Template from File

Click New Project and this will take you back to the Start screen. Once there, click the center folder button and navigate to the Cracked Earth template file. Load the file and you will see the following in the ShaderMap Project Grid:

Template Loaded


Step 4: Load a Source Map to the Blank Node

On the blank node (colored blue) click the folder button located at the center. This will bring up a load file dialog. Locate and load another source image of cracked earth and the maps will begin to render. Certain values such as the Threshold filter on the initial displacement map can now be adjusted as well as the Normal Intensity, Auto Edging, and Blending to get the desired output. Below are a couple of examples.

Photograph of Cracked Mud

Template Cracked Earth

Game Texture of Cracked Mud

Template Cracked Earth


Step 5: (Optional) Add Template to the Start Screen Template Library

If you find that you are using a Template file quite often then it might be a good idea to add it to the Start Screen for quick access. To do this simply copy the template file to the folder: “C:\Users\[USER]\Documents\ShaderMap\SM3\Libs\Template”. Once this is done restart ShaderMap and the it will appear in the Template Lib drop list on the Start Screen. The Template will remain in the library until it is deleted from the library folder.

Template Library




Download Resources

Download the project and source texture below.

The SM3 Project and Template Files can be downloaded here: Template Example



Posted on

October 1, 2015

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