Changing a Material Used on More Than One Surface | Twinmotion Documentation

Changing a Material Used on More Than One Surface

How to change a material that is used on more than one surface and apply it to one surface only.


You can apply a material from the Twinmotion Library to more than one object or surface in a scene. By default, if you apply the same material to several objects, and then change the properties of the material, the material on all these objects is also modified.

For example, in the scene below, the same material was applied to both deck chairs. If we were to modify this material, the changes would be applied to both deck chairs. To keep the same material on both deck chairs but change the properties of the material on one of them only, we can duplicate the material and modify it, then apply the duplicate material to the deck chair we want to change.

This tutorial explains how to select, duplicate, and rename a material applied to more than one object, and then modify the properties of the new material and apply it to an object.

Two objects using the same material

Prerequisites for Using this Method

Keep Hierarchy

To change the materials as described in this tutorial, your model must be imported into Twinmotion using the Keep hierarchy option (under Collapse in the Import window). With this import method, all assets in the model are imported separately, providing you with the means to change the properties of each asset individually.

Instances vs Copies

When you duplicate an object in Twinmotion, it is created as either an Instance or a Copy. If you modify the material on a duplicated object that was created as an Instance, the modification to the material will be applied to the duplicated object, to the original object, and to all Instances of that object.

To use the method in this tutorial on identical objects, the objects or surfaces on which you want to change the materials must be created as Copies.

1 - Select the Material

  1. In the Toolbar, select the Material Picker.

    The Material Picker

  2. Using the Material Picker, click the object in the Viewport that has the material you want to duplicate.

    Selecting a material with the Material Picker

    An image of the material and its properties appears in the Properties panel.

    Material properties

2 - Duplicate the Material

  1. Open the Material menu by clicking the ellipsis (...) to the right of the thumbnail.

    Ellipsis to open the Material Manager menu

  2. In the Material menu, select Duplicate.

    The Duplicate command

  3. To view the duplicated material in the Materials dock, in the Footer click Materials.

    Materials in the Footer

    The duplicated material appears at the start of the materials list as shown below.

    Duplicated material

3 - Rename the Duplicate Material

  1. In the Materials dock, open the Material menu by clicking the ellipsis (...) above the thumbnail.

    Ellipsis to open the Material Manager menu

  2. In the Material menu, select Rename.

    The Rename command

    The name of the duplicate is highlighted in light blue.

    Renaming a material

  3. Type a new name for the material.

    Renamed material

4 - Modify the Properties of the Duplicate Material

  1. In the Materials dock, select the duplicate material. For the purposes of this tutorial, we will change the color of the material.

    Select the duplicate material

  2. In the Properties panel, click Color.

    Open the Color properties

  3. Open the Color Picker by clicking the color swatch.

    Color swatch

  4. In the Color picker, select a new color and click OK.

    The Color Picker

5 - Apply the New Material to an Object

  1. Before applying the new material to the object, make sure Apply to object is selected in the Toolbar. This ensures the new material is applied only to the object on which you drag the material. If Replace material is selected, the material on all objects that use the same material will be replaced.

    Apply material to object option

  2. From the Materials dock, drag the new material to the object in the scene.

    In our example, the duplicate material is now applied to one of the deck chairs. The other deck chair uses the original material which is unchanged.

    Duplicate material applied to an object

    If you want to keep a copy of the new material for later use, or use it in another Twinmotion project, add it to the User Library.

    For more information about the User Library and instructions on how to save custom materials, refer to The User Library.