So I’ve gone over why using matcaps can be an efficient way to get some good-looking materials in 3d graphics, but we also came across one of the main downsides of matcaps: they’re camera relative and that’s pretty limiting. So if we’re hell-bent on using matcaps we either live with this limitation – obviously unacceptable – or we hack the **** out of it!
Normally when we want to draw a surface we have to calculate how an environment fires light onto it and how that light interacts with the properties of that surface before bouncing into your eye or a camera – often using a lot of horsepower to do so.
Matcaps cut out the first few chunks of that process by allowing us to just tell the program what a sphere of some material would look like in some environment. Not only that, they’re dirt cheap!