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Edit Sculpt Layer Materials

Learn the basics of editing sculpt layer materials in Medium.

Materials define the inherent surface attributes for sculpt. They determine, for example, how rough or shiny the sculpt looks, how prominent the shadows appear, and how lights in the scene interact with it. Material attributes can be set individually for each layer in your sculpt.

Layer Material settings.

Edit Materials for a Layer

To select material attributes for a layer:

  1. Pull the Support hand thumbstick backward.

  2. Select the layer you want to work. Aim at either the layer’s name in the Scene Graph or directly at the layer in your scene, and squeeze your Tool hand trigger.

    Select the layer via the Scene Graph.

    Select the layer via your Scene.

  3. Select the Settings panel on the Actions menu.

    Select the Settings panel on the Action menu.

    Across the top of the menu, you’ll see the three basic material categories:

    • Default - basic attributes that would be used to describe a “clay” or “plastic” surface.
    • Metal - assign attributes that give the surface a more metallic appearance.
    • Emissive - assign attributes that give the surface a glowing appearance.

Default Material Attributes

Diffuse Light

Sets how strongly the lighting in the scene affects the layer’s surface. Setting the value all the way to zero negates any impact diffuse light might have on the clay’s color. So, the “base” paint color is shown at 100%.

Diffuse light 1.0

Diffuse light 0.0

Diffuse Color

Changes how strongly the diffuse color of the layer is rendered. You can use this option, for example, to set the Diffuse Color to zero, to temporarily “hide” any surface color detail (paint), and shows the underlying sculpt.

Diffuse color 0.0

Diffuse color 1.0


Changes how intensely directional lights (including the Medium spotlight) reflect off the surface of the layer. A higher value creates a more visible specular effect, and generally gives a more “metallic” or “shiny” appearance (depending on other attributes).

Specular 1.0

Specular 0.0


Changes the overall surface quality of the layer. Lower values give a shinier appearance to the layer, while higher values give it a more matte finish. This attribute goes hand-in-hand with the Specular setting, and is more apparent if you have at least some specular component in your surface attributes or when using the metal material.

Roughness 1.0

Roughness 0.0


Changes the relative darkness of the areas of the sculpt with surface direction change (crevices, bumps, and creases). Higher values make occluded surface areas darker. 


If your surface area is regular (such as a sphere), the attribute’s effect is not visible.

Low occlusion.

High occlusion.

Metal Material Attributes

Selecting the Metal material gives the layer a baseline metallic appearance. The Metal material is great for metal details (think armor, swords, or nuts and bolts).

  • Metal Roughness: Set the sculpt’s surface appearance to vary from smooth (like “chrome”) to rough (like “oxidized iron”).
  • Diffuse Light
  • Occlusion
Low metal roughness.

High metal roughness.

Emissive Material Attributes

The Emissive material gives the layer a glowing appearance. It’s useful for creating elements such as light bulbs, neon signs, and the like.

Emissive Strength

Sets how strongly the layer appears to glow. Objects using the Emissive material will appear black when emissive strength is turned down, while high values create a glow:

Low emissive strength.

High emissive strength.

Save Materials

To save the current selected layer’s material attributes, press Save Current Settings. On a different layer, select “Load Saved Settings” to copy the saved material attributes to that layer.

What's Next?

Now that you have learned about Editing Sculpting Layer Materials in Medium, check out how to manipulate Nodes in Medium next.

Have a Question or Idea?

If you have a question to ask or an idea to share, come and participate in Medium Discord Community. We would love to hear from you. 


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Adobe MAX 2024

Adobe MAX
The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

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The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online