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Poser F.A.Q (Updated: 2016 Nov 29 4:50 pm)


 Subject: Iridescence in P6?

RedHawk opened this issue on Sep 09, 2006 · 36 posts

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  RedHawk    ( ) ( posted at 8:41PM Sat, 09 September 2006 

Any of you node gurus ever have any success with Iridescence? You know, like soap bubbles, mother-of-pearl, oil slicks....

<-insert words of wisdom here->


  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 8:01AM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2777761


Here's how I fake it.

Decide on a node to drive the contours of the iridescence - it can be a diffuse, a specular, a phong, a clouds, or a combination of those.

Plug that into a math node with a multiplier of 6 to 10. Set the math function to Mod and Value_2 to 1.

Take that node and plug into a color ramp. Set the colors roughly to RED, YELLOW-GREEN, CYAN-BLUE, MAGENTA.

The color ramp is your iridescence - use it however you'd like. I'll give a few examples, but you usually want to lightly mix it with something else. There is a lot of tweaking involved too. I'll leave that to you!

First some simple bubbles, not using refraction here, just simple transparency. However, they need reflection on the edges to look right.


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  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 8:20AM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2777767


Here's something like mother of pearl.

I'm using the specular node with very high roughness to pick up the main light direction. The iridescence is then driven strongly by your lights.


Renderosity forum reply notifications have been wonky in the past. I'm testing the waters to see if it's working now. If you ask me something and I don't come back, it probably isn't. (Updated January 17, 2017)

  RedHawk    ( ) ( posted at 8:27AM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2777769

Awesome work. Thanks! That gives me a great head start on my goal.

<-insert words of wisdom here->


  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 8:29AM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2777774


Oil - very similar to the pearl. Needs work but it's a start.


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  Acadia    ( ) ( posted at 8:37AM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2777783

I have to ask this!

I keep seeing snake pits of nodes to make all kinds of cool and interesting effects.

How on earth do you know to use those particular nodes and plug them in in that way to achieve that kind of effect?

All I can do is change a texture or colour in the material room.   If I had to add more nodes and connect them to other types of nodes, I wouldn't have a freaking clue which nodes to pick, or why, or where to connect them.

"It is good to see ourselves as others see us. Try as we may, we are never
able to know ourselves fully as we are, especially the evil side of us.
This we can do only if we are not angry with our critics but will take in good
heart whatever they might have to say." - Ghandi



  RedHawk    ( ) ( posted at 9:26AM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2777803

Personally, I experiment. Create a new node, plug it in to various places, see what it does. Try copying something like bagginsbill's setup and play with various parameters. Try disconnecting and reconnecting various parts of the setup and watch what effect it has on the texture preview...

<-insert words of wisdom here->


  Acadia    ( ) ( posted at 10:05AM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2777828

Unfortunately, trial and error type learning doesn't seem to work for me.  I chalk it up to being dyslexic and not able to process the mixed up information garnered from trial and error in order to put it in an orderly fashion that makes sense.  I need structured learning so if the only way to learn how to do that node stuff is trial and error, then I'll never be able to do it.

"It is good to see ourselves as others see us. Try as we may, we are never
able to know ourselves fully as we are, especially the evil side of us.
This we can do only if we are not angry with our critics but will take in good
heart whatever they might have to say." - Ghandi



  Gareee    ( ) ( posted at 11:51AM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2777894

Something I don't understand.. zipping up a p6 material is very small, but no one seems to do it, but they'll post 30 screen shots of a uber tangled snakpit material.

Just seems kinda funny...

 

Way too many people take way too many things way too seriously.

  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 12:24PM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2777920

Acadia, experimenting is just one way of learning it. There are many modes of learning. Self directed experimentation works for me and quite a few others, but should not necessarily be the best way for someone else. So don't despair.

Let's use some analogies to explore the subject of mat-room skill.

Let's talk about music - this is familiar to everybody. There are four fundamental musical activities, all interwined and dependent on each other.  I'm listing them in a specific order. The first is easiest to learn/teach - many people teach themselves without any concious effort. The last is very difficult to learn/teach - special training is needed unless you are a savant.

  1. Listen
  2. Perform
  3. Arrange
  4. Compose

By listen, I don't mean "hear" - anybody can do that. By listen, I mean to be able to tell the difference between good and bad performance, appreciate nuances, recognize patterns, and identify similarities to other listening experiences.

When you hear Jazz, you know it is Jazz right? You can recognize it. Little children don't, though. They have not been "ear trained" enough to distinguish one style of music from another. Most adults can do it easily, without formal training. When you hear a recording of a high school rock band playing Rolling Stones, you can tell the song is by the Rolling Stones, but not being performed by the Rolling Stones. It's not authentic and you know it. How do you know it? Think about that. When you look at a badly done water render, you never mistake it for a photo of water. But WHY? If you stopped to think about why, you might start to recognize a little better what to do in the mat room.

Included in listening, is the ability to decompose the music into constituent parts, which have some established relationship to each other. I was nearly a professional musician, trained for years and years. I practiced the piano 4 to 11 hours a day from age 10 to 17. When I hear music, I I instantly perceive the chord progression, the major rhythmic elements, the actual instruments involved, the style of music, and quite often I can identify the composer even if I've never heard the piece.

I'm starting to be able to do the same for the Poser mat room. For example, I can almost always identify a Face_Off product being used in a gallery image, without reading the credits. I can also instantly tell if somebody has rendered glass or metal or ceramic incorrectly and I can tell you WHY.

After listening, comes performance. Quite apart from the ability to listen, performing is it's own activity. Part of it is purely mechanical. For piano, you need to know which keys go with which notes, how hard to hit them, when to push the pedals, etc. Organs, harpsichords, and accordians share some mechanics with the piano, but are otherwise quite different and have other mechanics you need to learn. In the case of the mat room, you need to know how to operate the mouse, how to create nodes, connect them, and set the parameters. If I give you a recipe, such as above, you are able to perform it perfectly, unless the recipe is really complicated. If I give you 85 nodes to connect, you probably couldn't do it from memory, but you could read my drawing and reproduce it. When you perform incorrectly, you're ability to listen should confirm for you that you did it wrong. Similarly, your ability to see the render and know what to expect versus what you see, would let you know if you performed the material construction correctly.

Next comes arranging. In music, this is the conversion of an idea (a particular song) into a series of instructions for the different performers in an ensemble. Some arrangers are only good at certain types of music. For example, I've known musicians who can arrange brass, strings, guitars, and drums for stage bands and do a fine job with rock or classical, but be clueless for jazz or blues. Being able to arrange well requires that you understand the role of the different instruments, how they sound when played together, and a thorough understanding of the underlying style of the song.

For the mat-room, I've seen people do a great job with arranging skin, but be totally clueless at arraning metals or water. I've seen the opposite as well. To be able to map an idea, like gold, into a bunch of nodes is just like arranging. To do it, you need to learn a lot more about what it is you're trying to realize. For example, shiny glossy finishes (cars, pearls, porcelain) have a consistent behavior, which is that the amount of reflection from them should increase as the surface points away from the camera. If you don't know this, and don't arrange for this to happen, then the surface will never look like porcelain, it will look like metal instead. Once you understand that, it's a simple matter of choosing the right nodes, which would be Edge_Blend, and maybe some Bias, to plug into the Reflection_Value.

Finally there is composing. This is the ability to invent, from sheer nothingness, a song, or if you are really a pioneer, an entirely new musical style. This is difficult to teach. Most extraordinary composers, especially pioneers, are born with the ability. But many people can be taught to become ordinary composers to some degree. When it is taught, however, it is AFTER the person has already acquired considerable skill at listening, performing, and arranging.

 

When you see me "compose" a new material, it is not a mystery that I can and you can't. I've spent thousands of hours reading about different styles of materials, staring at photos and renders, and experimenting with different arrangements of Poser nodes, some I made up, but many I got from others. Only recently have I become sufficiently skilled to invent new materials from scratch on demand. Meaning, I'm not just coming up with stuff by accident, but rather someone suggests an effect they want, and I can find a way to achieve the effect.

When I try to do these things with software other than Poser, I fail because I don't know how to perform or arrange, even though my composing and listening skills are still fine.

The more I do it, the faster i become at it.

I could make the same sort of alagous descriptions about food activities:

  1. Customer (blindfolded, I know I'm eating Alfredo and have an opinion about how good it is)
  2. Cook (from a recipe - made Alfredo sauce, didn't come out right first time)
  3. Chef (from an idea only - ate Alfredo once, and figured out how to make it, improved it)
  4. Head Chef (invented Alfredo sauce)

Quantitatively, you may or may not be able to do the same. But qualitatively, there is no reason why my mat-room spaghetti should remain a mystery to you, or that you can't make your own variations. With enough 1,2,3, you will start to do 4.

 


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  RedHawk    ( ) ( posted at 12:37PM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2777925

:thumbupboth:

Very well said! Me, I play the guitar the same way I work with materials. Try different combinations of notes until something sounds good!

<-insert words of wisdom here->


  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 12:39PM Sun, 10 September 2006 · edited on 12:39PM Sun, 10 September 2006 · @2777927

Gareee,

To me those were not tangled at all. I only post screen shots of simple materials. These were really, really simple. I also wanted to post the render - posting the render and mat room together saved me time.

When I post something with more than about 12 nodes, I don't post the screen shot at all. It is at that point that I feel the mat room becomes useless, and you should use Matmatic for composing and arranging. But for those who don't use Matmatic, I give them the .mt5 file.

 

 


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  Gareee    ( ) ( posted at 2:52PM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2777989

It's not just the number of nodes, or the clarity, but also going into each node, and making sure the dial settings are also correct.

Even in a simple setup like the one you posted above, there are 47 parameters to try to duplicate, or double check.

 

Don't get me wrong.. it's great everyone is helping everyone else out, but just last week, I was duplicating a metallic paint material, and I think just double checking the nodes, and settings on one material took 30-60 minutes. I'd check, test render, find it wasn;t working right, double check again, test render again, double check again, ect.

For those of us used to the material room, it's no biggie, but is time consuming. For those NOT familair with th ematerial room, it must be quite daunting.

I was hoping Shader Spider would be adopted as a standard way or distributing partial material settings, but very few people have really used that method at all, good as it is.

 

Way too many people take way too many things way too seriously.

  pokeydots    ( ) ( posted at 3:00PM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2777996

Gareee, you would only have to duplicate it once and save it in the material library, and then you can maee with it when ever you want to experiment a little ;o)

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=================
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2.80GHz, 4000MHz System Bus, 2MB L2 Cache + 6MB Shared L3 Cache
Hard Drive Size:  1TB
Processor - Clock Speed:  2.8 GHz
Operating System:  Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 
Graphics Type:  ATI Radeon HD 4200
•ATI Radeon HD 4200 integrated graphics 
System Ram:  8GB 


  Acadia    ( ) ( posted at 3:20PM Sun, 10 September 2006 · edited on 3:29PM Sun, 10 September 2006 · @2778010

Quote - In the case of the mat room, you need to know how to operate the mouse, how to create nodes, connect them, and set the parameters.

That's about as much as I do know.

I have looked at the material room settings of everything I ever open in Poser, but that hasn't helped me.

Maybe I'm explaining my problem incorrectly.  Let me try again.

In the Material Room there are the following Nodes (well most, I haven't listed all):

Math nodes:

  • Blender
  • Edge Blend
  • Component
  • Math Functions
  • Color Math
  • User Defined
  • Simple Color
  • Colorramp
  • hsv

Lighting:

  • Specular
  • anisotropic
  • phong
  • glossy
  • blinn
  • specular
  • Difuse
  • clay
  • diffuse
  • probe light
  • toon
  • Special
  • skin
  • velvet
  • hair
  • fastscatter
  • Ray Trace
  • reflect
  • refract
  • ambient occulsion
  • gather
  • fresnel
  • Enviornment Map
  • sphere map

3D Textures:

  • Fractal Sum
  • fBm
  • turbulance
  • noise
  • cellular
  • clouds
  • spots
  • marble
  • granite
  • wood
  • wave3d

2D Textures:

  • Wave 2d
  • image map
  • brick
  • tile
  • weave
  • movie

My problem is that I look at those "node names" and all I see are "node names". They mean absolutely nothing to me. I know that if I go to 2D Textures and pick "Image map", I can use it to browse to a texture and then connect that node to the 1st and 3rd node of the "Poser Surface" panel.

How do I go about learning:

  1. What each of those nodes are;
  2. When would I use each one of those nodes;
  3. What do each of those nodes "do"; what is their purpose in the node world so to speak.
  4. How do I learn to know what node to connect to what node and in what order like you have done with those 7 in your second image?

Basically, looking at your second image posted in this thread, I want to know how you knew to:

  • make a cloud node
  • connect that cloud node to a specular node
  • connect that specular node to a math functions node AND to another edge blend node that to me seems to be already part of the string of interconnecting nodes  that is connected to the diffuse color
  • connect that math functions node to a colorramp node
  • connect that colorramp node to a blender node and then to connect that blender node to the diffuse color node in the poser surface panel AND go onto connect it to a math fuctions node
  • connect that math function node to the edge blend node which you already have connected to the specular node

How do you learn to look at that list  of dozens of nodes and know which ones to pick to achieve what you want and how to connect them all together in a proper order to get what you want to achieve?

I keep seeing "simple" and "easy" when it comes to describing those set ups above, but they aren't simple or easy to those of us who are "node dummies".

"It is good to see ourselves as others see us. Try as we may, we are never
able to know ourselves fully as we are, especially the evil side of us.
This we can do only if we are not angry with our critics but will take in good
heart whatever they might have to say." - Ghandi



  Gareee    ( ) ( posted at 9:15PM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2778150

True pokey, but if the material was posted, that work would not have to be duplicated by everyone.

 

Way too many people take way too many things way too seriously.

  pokeydots    ( ) ( posted at 9:26PM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2778156

I see your point Gareee, I copied the nodes from the pic, but mine doesn't look like the ones shown above :( 

Poser 9 SR3  and 8 sr3
=================
Processor Type:  AMD Phenom II 830 Quad-Core
2.80GHz, 4000MHz System Bus, 2MB L2 Cache + 6MB Shared L3 Cache
Hard Drive Size:  1TB
Processor - Clock Speed:  2.8 GHz
Operating System:  Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 
Graphics Type:  ATI Radeon HD 4200
•ATI Radeon HD 4200 integrated graphics 
System Ram:  8GB 


  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 9:56PM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2778165

Ah Acadia,

You demand to know how the chef knows that to sweeten she can use corn syrup, maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar or white sugar. How did Boston baked beans get invented - who would think to sweeten the beans? And how did they know to use molasses, of all things, instead of good old sugar?

You want to know how and when to use cayenne peppar, black peppar, white peppar. What is peppar used for? Somebody came up with peppar jelly, AND THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO LIKE IT!?! How did they know that would happen?

How on earth did anybody ever discover that if you whip egg whites for 10 minutes, they turn super fluffy? And that if you add corn starch and sugar and bake them you get meringue? And what brilliant mind decided to put meringue on top of sweetened (sugar this time) thickened lemon juice and put it in a pie? How did they know not to use peppar in that pie?

Why, THEY TASTED THEM. They studied the flavors. They studied them alone, they studied them in simple combinations, they studied them hot, they studied them cold, they studied them wet, they studied them dry. They studied them baked, broiled, grilled, boiled, microwaved, poached, toasted, and fried.

You must do the same. I can tell you that all the lighting ones interact with light - but that's like telling you they are all sweet. If you want sweet, look here, if you want interaction with lights in a scene, look there. Does that help you? Only a little. You're not going to come up with a great dessert by me just telling you which ingredients are useful for making desserts, right? I mean, you might, but it would be an accident.

So which lighting nodes, and when? Why use clay instead of diffuse, or a specular with roughness set really high?

My dear, if you want all that laid out for you, I'm afraid you'll have to buy a few dozen books. Nevertheless, if you don't TASTE the ingredients, you'll never be a good chef. If you don't experience each ingredient, you can't foresee what you'll produce at all. This seems to be your complaint. You can't predict the outcome of using this node or that one, so you certainly can't work backwards from a set of requirements to a node-based implementation of a shader.

First you must study the simpler materials, examine what they have in common. When does somebody use a clay node? Why did they use it? If they didn't say why, ask them!

Or do like I do. Make two spheres. Put one infinite light in your scene. Turn off shadows. Turn off the diffuse value and specular value on both spheres, so they render black. Put a Diffuse node on both spheres, plugged into the Alternate_Diffuse input. Render. Now change the parameters on one. Render - since they're side by side you can see what difference, if any, the parameter change has made. Move the light and try again.

Put a Clay node on one sphere's Alternate_Diffuse input , and  a Diffuse node on the other. Leave the parameters at their defaults. Render. See any difference? Look really closely. Render big, render small. Can you adjust one to look like the other? Can you adjust one to look so different from the other that the other can't match it regardless of settings?

The answer is clay can do all that diffuse can, so why is diffuse there? 1) It's simpler - fewer parameters. 2) It emulates a large part of what 75% of all everyday materials do. 3) It probably was added first, then clay was added later with more options when people hit the limits of what the diffuse node could do. How do I know when to use Diffuse? I go their first because it usually works. When I see that my material falls into shadow too quickly, I think about using Clay instead, because it can produce lower variation of response to light based on angle. I know this because I rendered Clay and Diffuse side by side about 70 times, using different parameter values, and moving my single light around to all different directions. After a while I began to know what I'd see before I rendered.

Now remove all nodes from both. Do the same experiments with the Specular node on both spheres, plugged into Alternate_Specular. Play with the Highlight_Size. How big can you make it. If you make it really big, what does it look like. (Diffuse?!?) Why is that? Have you ever seen anybody use Specular instead of Diffuse? Why? Ask them why?

Now use Specular on one sphere, Blinn on the other. Observe the differences. Move the lights. Render again. Be sure to try the light from almost directly behind the spheres. See anything interesting about the Blinn here? (It really lights up the edges of things that are lit from behind, with the light pointing towards the camera.) What surfaces have you observed in the real world that behave more like what the Blinn is doing. (Answer - human skin.) What surfaces behave more like what the Specular is doing. (Answer - hard things like polished wood, plastic, glass, metals, teeth.) Why would you want to use both Specular and Blinn? How would you combine them? Look around your house. Light them from in front. Light them from behind. How do they behave. Which node would you use.

Now go back and ask yourself when you should change the specular color and why!?!?!

Do you have gold and silver flatware? If you do, this is a great thing to try. Lay out a gold spoon or fork beside a silver one. Look carefully at the reflections. What do you notice? Look at reflections in colored glass and clear glass. What do you notice? (Answer, metals color their specular reflections, glasses don't.) So you learn when to change the specular or blinn color and why.

Those four nodes account for an awfully large number of materials. Given where you're starting from, you should expect to devote at least 100 hours to them alone before you fully understand all that they can do in all the different lighting situations you can create.

And then, after the 100 hours experimenting, you should have at least 5 more interesting questions about diffuse and specular that you will need to come back and ask me about.

I wasn't kidding when I said I've spent thousands of hours on this. I've been playing with computer generated images using math-only (no photos) shaders and textures since 1985. I've also done the same with sound, only longer. I've been making synthetic audio since 1972. In 1978 I had the priviledge to study computer music synthesis under Barry Vercoe at MIT. Professor Vercoe was a pioneer. Way back then when most bands were playing with truly primitive sound generators, we were producing 8-channel audio of hundreds of orchestral instruments (strings, horns, woodwinds, percussion, everything), without benefit of a single actual audio sample. It was an amazing time. We also learned how to make computers pronounce words from first principles - no audio recordings. That was really fun. But it never fooled anybody. Even today, we don't know enough about how we can tell a real human voice from a fake one to be able to fix the algorithms. Close, but not exactly the same.

For an intro to some of the more obscure nodes, which I suggest you play with as a diversion so you don't go bonkers studying just the diffuse and specular nodes, go to:

http://www.castleposer.co.uk/my_tutorials.html

These are made by JohnRickardJR over at RuntimeDNA. He hasn't covered them all, but he does a good job of showing you what the node basically does, and then give you some idea of how it is typically used, as well as a few interesting special ways to do things. By no means are these exhaustive and he himself is still learning a lot of things, but its just the right kind of info for you starting out. For example, about the Math:Add node, he wrote "A frequent use for the add node is to provide a constant - a fixed number that can be plugged into other nodes. This constant can be used to control a series of related values in other nodes, allowing you to change one number instead of several." Brilliant! This is chef stuff he's giving you. Despite my gigantic over-experienced brain, that did not occur to me before I read his tut. In your basic everyday material it doesn't come up that often, but when it does, this is a nice thing to know about.

So remember:

Taste

Experiment with flavors (nodes) and ways of combining them (blend? works for cooking and it's a node too!)

Read things that are specifically written to teach you the basics.

Then when you get that far that you are "listening and performing" well, or "eating and cooking" well, then look at how more complex shaders were done by experts. By then you won't be wondering how did you know to do that? You'll be asking questions more like, "How does glass work? I know to use an edge blend on the reflection value, but what falloff? Is falloff really what I want, or should is there some tricky combination of Bias and Gain that works better? Is 20% reflection on the front-side realistic or too high? What about this beer bottle here - I can't seem to imitate it. What do you see in it that I don't?"

 


Renderosity forum reply notifications have been wonky in the past. I'm testing the waters to see if it's working now. If you ask me something and I don't come back, it probably isn't. (Updated January 17, 2017)

  R_Hatch    ( ) ( posted at 10:59PM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2778189

Quote -
...How did Boston baked beans get invented - who would think to sweeten the beans? And how did they know to use molasses, of all things, instead of good old sugar? AND THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO LIKE IT!?! -These people should be shot! -editor

I fixed your post ;p Sorry, I just hate baked beans.

The rest of your post needs no fixing; I totally agree. I don't know what all of the nodes do myself, but I know what enough of them do to turn out renders that don't look like they were done in Poser. I got there by trying out nodes in different places, and seeing what rendered as a result.

As for reproducing node screenshots, the easiest way I've found is this:

First off, see which nodes are used, then how many of each. Go into Poser, and add these nodes, and arrange them in a similar layout yo the picture.

Next, check the settings for nodes of the same type, and compare them to the ones just loaded. Change them as needed, and move on to the next node type/group.

Finally, connect them, in the same manner as above: a few at a time.


  Acadia    ( ) ( posted at 11:33PM Sun, 10 September 2006  · @2778212

bagginsbill thank you for giving me a logical starting point!

While I understand your use of food to explain the learning process, I must tell you that I'm quite a good cook :)  and I can tell what something will taste like just from the smell of it. I rarely taste things when I'm cooking because I have such a keen sense of smell that I can pick up the subtle notes of flavour and know from that. You can also put out a host of baking related products in front of me and I can whip up a fabulous dessert :)  How do I know how to do that?  I can't really say because I don't know myself. I've never "studied" cooking.  It's something that has always been natural to me and because I know how things taste individually I know how they will taste when combined with other things.  Which I believe is what you are trying to say about the individual nodes.  See how each one works alone and learn all that I can about how they work alone, before trying them in combination with another node.

Don't run far because I'm not finished picking your brain about this yet,  LOL My 2006 New Years resolution regarding Poser 6 was to learn lights and I managed to fulfill that one and have been making my own lights. I'll make 2007 the year I learn the material room more fully...only I'll start earlier than the end of the year because I think it's going to take longer than 12 months,  LOL

"It is good to see ourselves as others see us. Try as we may, we are never
able to know ourselves fully as we are, especially the evil side of us.
This we can do only if we are not angry with our critics but will take in good
heart whatever they might have to say." - Ghandi



  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 8:33AM Mon, 11 September 2006  · @2778458

Acadia, I'm so glad that helped.

With regard to "don't run far, I'm not finished picking your brain yet", you better hurry. Tomorrow I'm going away for nearly two weeks to Paris and Spain. I won't have internet access, and even if I did, my wife would probably have issues with me spending hours messing with Poser. It's our 20th anniversary.

However, I did buy a new camera, and I'm going to be taking lots of photos with the intent of using them in Poser scenes or as reference pictures for shader nodes. Have you ever seen my render "Spanish Tourist Attraction" (warning nudity)? The background is the beautiful Plaza de España in Seville. I'll be going there and take a few hundred photos, as well as the Alhambra (pic below) in Grenada. That picture is such a fantastic reference. Look at the reflection in the water. How does it differ from the actual building and sky above. What would you do to make a one-sided square reflect the other objects that way? (Answer, EdgeBlend on the Reflection_Value, because the surface closer to the camera is reflecting less than the surface farther away. It's not because of distance, it's because of the glancing angle being lower at the back.) How would you get those tiny ripples? (Partial answer, a very slight 2d wave on the displacement input will make the ripples, but they fade out to nothing away from the middle of the pool - hmmm - maybe two waves of different frequencies multiplied together? )


Renderosity forum reply notifications have been wonky in the past. I'm testing the waters to see if it's working now. If you ask me something and I don't come back, it probably isn't. (Updated January 17, 2017)

  Acadia    ( ) ( posted at 8:58AM Mon, 11 September 2006  · @2778473

Quote - With regard to "don't run far, I'm not finished picking your brain yet", you better hurry. Tomorrow I'm going away for nearly two weeks to Paris and Spain. I won't have internet access, and even if I did, my wife would probably have issues with me spending hours messing with Poser. It's our 20th anniversary.

hehe,  I didn't mean that I'd be picking your brain so soon :)  I'm sure I'll have lots to keep me busy by trying the nodes out one at a time, but in a month or so I'm sure I'll have more questions,  lol

I hope you have a great time on your trip!  And take lots and lots of pictures.

Fly safely :)

"It is good to see ourselves as others see us. Try as we may, we are never
able to know ourselves fully as we are, especially the evil side of us.
This we can do only if we are not angry with our critics but will take in good
heart whatever they might have to say." - Ghandi



  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 9:23AM Mon, 11 September 2006  · @2778490


Thanks, Acadia.

Here are a few tips that can make your "taste tests" go faster.

  • For most tests, extreme detail is not needed. For super fast renders, turn off shadows, and set Min Shading Rate = 3, and Pixel Samples = 1. But do enable "Use displacement maps" and "Raytracing". These are free if the material doesn't use those features. But if it does use those features, you'll be glad you didn't forget to turn them on. When you want to study the details, then set Min Shading Rate=.5 and Pixel Samples=3. If you're studying bump maps or tiny displacements, then Min Shading Rate = 3 will fuzz them out, so lower that to 1.
  • Render directly from the material room - don't switch back to Pose mode unless you want a big render. I make a lot of small renders while I'm in the material room. I can often do a render in less than 3 seconds, so you can try 10 variations a minute.
  • The material room preview is your friend and your enemy. Many times it will let you see coloring effects just fine and rendering won't give you any more information than the preview did. But sometimes (especially with reflections, displacements, transparency, etc.)  the preview is not the whole story and you should do a render.
  • Make heavy use of the slider at the bottom of the render display. Two renders in a row can be very quickly compared by sliding that little widget back and forth. Your eye will then easily pick out the differences.
  • The nodes that have to do with lighting really need a shape in order to understand what's happening. The sphere is the simplest shape to work with. However, sometimes it helps to see the effects on flat surfaces as well as curves. What I suggest is to make your own test prop by combining a few simple primitives. Then you have only one material to set but you can see it on multiple objects.

Here's how to make a nice test prop.

  • Clear your scene.
  • As I've done in the attached picture, add a hi-res sphere, torus, cylinder, box, and cone.
  • Do the menu item File/Export/Wavefront Object
  • Select single frame from the dialog that pops up.
  • The next window is the hierarchy selection - check the ball, cone, box, torus, and cylinder.
  • Save to your desktop with the file name testprop.obj
  • Uncheck all the save options in the next dialog.
  • Now do File/Import/Wavefront Object.
  • Select the testprop.obj you just saved.
  • On the Import Options, choose Centered, Place on Floor. Turn off all the other checkboxes.
  • The new prop should show up.
  • If you're happy with it, delete all the old props, otherwise, delete the new prop, adjust your objects, and repeat the save steps above.
  • Now select your testprop and add it to your Props library with the plus-shaped button at the bottom of the library palette. Call it TestProp.

Now you have only one material zone for all five shapes.


Renderosity forum reply notifications have been wonky in the past. I'm testing the waters to see if it's working now. If you ask me something and I don't come back, it probably isn't. (Updated January 17, 2017)

  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 9:27AM Mon, 11 September 2006  · @2778495

Oh, forgot to mention, some nodes, such as fastscatter, just don't work right unless you are using shadows, specifically depth-mapped shadows. Read the manual on each node so you know these gotchas.


Renderosity forum reply notifications have been wonky in the past. I'm testing the waters to see if it's working now. If you ask me something and I don't come back, it probably isn't. (Updated January 17, 2017)

  barrowlass    ( ) ( posted at 10:34AM Mon, 11 September 2006  · @2778568

Although I don't slavishly follow tutorials to the letter (closet renegade), I do like to know why/how things work and what the outcome may be (all that dismantling of my dollies/toys when I was small, lol).  I've always found that seeing the structure laid out (node wise) makes some sense, rather than just pushing buttons and voila!!!!!

Then again, I can be dog lazy and just let others do it with python scripts of which I haven't a clue how to do!

😉 Sheila x

My aspiration: to make a decent Poser Render I'm an Oldie, a goldie, but not a miracle worker :-)

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  DrMCClark    ( ) ( posted at 11:02AM Mon, 11 September 2006  · @2778579

FWIW, Acadia, I consider myself a fairly skilled programmer and the material room still baffles me at times.  Thankfully, bagginsbill's matmatic freebie is starting to help by letting me "see the code" of what he does.   But I've had those same "How'd he know to do that?" moments.   The castleposer link he pointed you at is good indeed.  I learned a lot from there.


  kobaltkween    ( ) ( posted at 3:17AM Wed, 13 September 2006  · @2779966

i came across this thread again when searching for bagginsbill's porcelain advice. just to add,  castleposer is great for explaining nodes and giving examples that use just one node.  i learned about a lot of things i thought i understood on that site.



  FutureFantasyDesign    ( ) ( posted at 11:41AM Sat, 29 August 2009  · @3513106

First I want to say a big ThanX to bagginsbill, and second a Huge ThanX to Acadia for asking what I have been afraid to ask, and perhaps tip my hand to my own ignorance!!! This is by far the best thread I have "fallen" into and I am grateful for the info, screen shots and infinite care with the explainations.

bagginsbill Happy 20th, altho late I hope it was perfect!

Hugs

Ariana 

Is there water in your future or is it being shipped away to be resold to you?
Water, the ultimate weapon...

www.futurefantasydesign.com


  MistyLaraPrincess    ( ) ( posted at 10:16AM Wed, 07 July 2010  · @3669011

Kewl.  Thanks.

I'm trying to do so some of that pearl inlay stuff like on Japanese furniture imports.





  lesbentley    ( ) ( posted at 4:43PM Thu, 08 July 2010 · edited on 4:44PM Thu, 08 July 2010 · @3669702

I see I arrived late as usual! This thread started in 2006.

kobaltkween,

A very big thanks for pointing out "Castle Poser". The "Material Room" section of the Tutorials, gives exactly the sort of information, that I suspect will be invaluable to someone like me who is about to take their first steps in trying to understand nodes and shader trees.

In fact, in the absence of a resource such as this, I doubt I would ever attempt to decipher the mysteries of the shaderTree.


  kobaltkween    ( ) ( posted at 5:49PM Thu, 08 July 2010  · @3669740

a blast from the past!

yes, Castle Poser is a great, great site.  i learned so much about how certain nodes work there.  if you're into serious math, you might also check out some specific posts by bagginsbill where he describes the functions the nodes actually apply to input.  i know he has both Bias and Gain posted somewhere, and he's recently posted what he's figured out EdgeBlend does.

i script all of my materials with bagginsbill's Matmatic now, which enables me to whip out permutations of single materials and material collections quickly.  with one script, i can generate presets using different colors, textures, material types (velvet, suede, etc.) and rendering types in one fell swoop.  i highly recommend it for anyone who wants to make sets of materials or mat poses.  it's much easier than making materials color by color, texture by texture, bit by bit.  and you don't have to be heavy into materials to use it, just light into Python.



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