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MATs are TouchDesigner’s material system for texturing Geometry for real time rendering. This family of operators is yellow, and has lots of exciting use cases.
The Constant MAT applies a color or texture to a Geometry COMP without any lighting calculations. For this reason, the Constant MAT is an excellent tool for projection mapping tools, for flat-lit objects, for render-picking based user interfaces, and more.
The Phong MAT has many uses in TouchDesigner, and is a material that is simply affected by lights that you’ll see in many tutorials and networks created by the community. The Phong MAT requires that you have a light in your scene. For reflections, the Phong MAT uses environment maps that are provided to the material as textures.
The Line MAT is similar to the Wireframe Material, but with many additional super powers. This can be used for creating simple instances, point clouds, or for outlines and arrows. The Line MAT does not require a Light COMP in the scene to work, and has several parameters for controlling how color is applied to geometry based on its distance from the camera. Additionally, the Line MAT can use point weights to varying line thicknesses.