mask layer part 2: appearance problems

Started by Aenea, October 30, 2007, 09:39:48 am

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Hi guys (again *lol*)

After solving the previous problem, I wanted to put the mask layer on this first surface layer now.
I´m not quite sure if I am right by adding the black/white mask as child-layer (image map shader).
I did that, and put it on top before all other child surface layers follow.
So I have:
Surface Layer 1
    Image map shader
    Surface Layer 2
    Surface layer 3

but I couldn´t convince it to appear anywhere???

Do you have any ideas what I can try? Or did I do something completely wrong?

I really appreciate any advice...really....sometimes I feel lost in the try to get everything in the right order to make it appear....

If I have the mask layer, and I want to make another image (let´s see a floor) appear, I only have to use the blend by shader option, right? That´s what seem to work always.....

Thanks so much



Any chance of seeing a TGD or a clip of the part you're having problems with. The image map aren't needed as long as we know which bits are for rendering and which bits are for masking.


I am not great on the masks but should the mask be plugged into blending shader and not into child layer??
"His blood-terragen level is 99.99%...he is definitely drunk on Terragen!"


It partly depends on how many nodes make up your mask, although in this case it sounds odd.


´Lemme explain:

I have a Surface Layer (Layer 1) connected to the Base color.
Then I do have more surface layers as Child of this Surface Layer (Layer 1)
A part of these child surface layers are also Fake stone shaders (as child layers of the last child surface layer in this row).
What I want is an image mask on all of them so I have a space where none of the properties of all these layers appear (I want a ground for my abbey object). No colour of these layers, not the stones.

How do I do that? I posted the node network in the previous thread (mask layer).

Maybe it´s more clear now what I intend to do.



I'll go and have a look at the other post, but a quick answer to what I think you're doing....

If you want to mask all of the child surfaces with the same mask, simply set up your mask image and then connect it to the fractal breakup of the parent surface shader. Set the coverage to 0.5 and fractal breakup to 1.  If the masking is the wrong way around, just tick the invert breakup box.

Should you find that the fake stones are still popping up outside of the masked area, connect your mask to the bland shader of the fake stones layer as well, checking Blend by shader and invert blendshader if you inverted your breakup above.


I think part of the problem we've had deciphering your node network image is that it appears to be stacked upside down... ie. the outputs have to go up to the next input. This makes it a little hard to see which nodes are connected to which inputs. I think my previous answer should do what you want


November 06, 2007, 04:04:39 am #7 Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 04:40:20 am by Aenea

Thanks for your answers and I tried to do exactly that, but nothing appears yet, I try to explain what I have done:

I used the Fractal Breakup of my parent surface layer.
There I added an image map shader under
Scale: Blend by shader (blend by shader is checked)

The image shader is my mask: all black with a white spot where my stone plaster should appear later.

Then I again checked the blend by shader option and used another image map shader on this mask. An image with a pattern of my plaster stones. (blend by shader is checked again.)
To see it appear I used a pure pink picture.

Well, nothing appears....
I attached this to every fake stone shader as well....nothing.

I attached a node network with some explanations..... maybe this helps a bit...but I fear that I might have forgotten to check any box out the last time.



If you want to email me the tgd I can have a look at it for you. There may be something minor that is stopping this from working. My email address is in my profile.


ohh...that´s nice...I´ll do that......

Thanks a lot



November 06, 2007, 07:13:31 am #10 Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 07:22:04 am by Aenea
I detected a first mistake maybe:

I placed the image wrong.

Now I used the mask layer under the parent surface layer under fractal breakup. coverage and breakup).

Going to the image shader I used the invert shader option it now appeared grey in my picture....but not the pattern I wanted to get on it with another image shader...(I used pink for it....).

If I delete the image map shader with the pattern it also works.

soooo close.....



Looking at your pic above, it appears that you have only one surface layer (Surface layer 05), of which everything else must be a child of this surface. All of those lines going off the edge of the image must eventually connect back to the child input of this layer. Unfortunately we can only track back one node to the first child layer (Surface layer 03). If you can post just the tgd we can at least follow the rest of the connections and probably locate the problem fairly quickly.


The tgd is in the attachment.

I now see the spot on the picture where I want it (well almost....). Only fact is that it is grey...and I know that I have to put another image shader somewhere to get it work...hmmmmm.

But suddenly the terrain is very flat, my fake stones are flatter than before. Does the image or the mask have an impact in it???
Also it appears to me that the mask is still just put over everything......I also attached the last Quick Render I made with the current changes.

Okay....I think I just wait for you to take a look at it before I change more and running somewhere I don´t want to....

Thanks a lot guys!!!


OK, now we can see what you're doing  ;)

The attached screengrab shows the same network with a bit of rearranging to see where things were going. The groups don't fo anything. I just used them to collect things together and move them around.  I transferred the image names to their respective node names. I find this easier to locate the right image when connecting it up and help to avoid adding the same image more than once (I reconnected and then removed the duplicates ;))

The lost group will have no impact on the render at all as their outputs do not join up with the path from Base Colours to the Planet.

Surface layer 05 is masked with your image, and as everything else is a child layer of that, nothing will appear in the masked rectangle other than the Base Colours.

Surface layer 03 has no colour applied and doesn't really do anything. I'm guessing you were using it to join the surfaces with the fake stones. Think of fake stones as just another surface layer. You could connect the output of Surface layer 06 to the top fake stones shader and then delete layer 03.

All of your image maps have Through Camera as their projection. This is probably not a good idea for the stones, and makes masking surfaces around an object harder because the mask will move with the camera. Try setting them to Plan Y. For the mask image you will need to specify its size and position. I included some dummy figures, but it has the same position as the abbey object so it should be a reasonable starting point. For the stones you already have the repeat options checked, so you may just need to adjust the size.  Keep the numbers in the same proportion as your texture image.

I have no idea why the mask image is masked by Pink.jpg but there may be a reason.

The TGD I've attached has all of the surfaces linked inline. Try changing the order first or think carefully about whether a surface layer really is a child of another layer before relinking it. Hope this provides you with a starting point to get this going.

A couple of tips/suggestions:
Try thinking of the node network as the order in which things are processed, rather than the order that you want them layered. The things that you want on top should be processed last, so they should be at the bottom of the list.

When adding a node in the network view, right click on the node that will be connected to its input and then choose the type of node from the popup menu. This will keep things a bit neater ;)  You can also right click on the input triangles to automatically add and connect a node to them in one step, although you will usually want to reposition this one.


November 07, 2007, 06:29:04 am #14 Last Edit: November 07, 2007, 07:07:36 am by Aenea
Wow, that´s a lot of information....


I think the best thing I can do is trying this from nearly the beginning. That´s what I have done now.

I sorted every kind of layer, shader etc like you have suggested (Thanks, this was the best idea ever!).

With that, I detected that some of my fake stone shaders weren´t truly connected and I changed that. I´m still fighting with some settings, as the nodes sometimes don´t go in the right place...*lol*.

I kept the fake stone shaders as child of layer 3, because I had those problems with the image maps placed on them. I read that in an older thread and it solved this problem with the misplaced image maps on it.... that´s the reason I haven´t put the fake stone shaders as normal child layers of my parent layer.

I succeeded that I now created the wanted gap between my fake stones by using the image mask not on the parent layer (Layer 5), but only on the fake stones.
The reason is, that by putting the image mask as part of the parental layer my stones went very flat and this effect troubled me a lot. I do not know how to change this effect, so I walked the easier way for me at the moment, by connecting the mask layer to every fake stone shader as blending shader.

Leaves me of course with the problem that the fake stones don´t appear in that spot, but my surface shader colours still do that. I think it must be possible to change that by connecting the image mask to them also, but my first tries weren´t very succesful. But I try on. And at last of course I need another image map with a plaster pattern (that´s what I used the pink.jpg for, to see it appear, but of course it doesn´t) to appear in the now empty spot.

At the moment I also kept the mask layer in the through camera´s really not the optimum, I think that some problems with the size correspond with that too. I figure that out....I just have to work a bit more with it.

The current tgd is in the attachment to get you an overview what I have changed to the previous versions.

Thanks a lot for your suggestions BigBen, it gave me a truly better insight on the node network.....and first of all: tidying up is more important than you ever think.... a good lection to learn!


So far so good.