Atom - that’s an awesome node setup… I don’t have a lot of time to play around with all these options together, hopefully next week.
Here’s how it’s setup in Max:
(almost everything in Max is animatable, so maybe 2.5 will be better suited for this project).
In Max, when you load an image texture, you can specify a crop rectangle around the image. That cropping rectangle is animated. It’s a b&w image, black half on left, white on left half, with a very tight/narrow gradient fade between in the middle. The cropping rectangle is animated from one side to the other. This b&w image with animated location of gradient is what controls the blend/visibility of one material to the other. (think mask)
All objects that are parametrically built in Max (IE the teapot) have implicit mapping, which is very handy for procedural and other textures. The Pipe, in the example on youtube, is simply a spline (bezier curve) set as renderable, with a thickness. Then the implicit mapping is as if it was a straight piece of pipe. So far, basically similar to the UV Orco button pointed out. Then the blend material setup is applied to the pipe, and animated as needed over time.
So basically with all of these examples you guys have given, we’ve got the framework to repeat the system. Now, if only 3D curves (aka paths) didn’t have that twist problem - an obvious thing once a texture is applied. For doing tight 90deg bends like in pipe, it definitely presents a common problem.
Like I said, this will be expanded upon next week.