Question about fake stones and color function

Started by dhenry2112, November 04, 2019, 02:28:00 pm

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dhenry2112

I was recently looking at an older fake stones clip file I bought from NWDA a while back and I noticed that in some cases the merged power fractals and image maps intended for color function are plugged into the color function node of the parent surface layer, and yet in other cases these are plugged in as child layers to the surface layer. (See attached image)
My question: Is one or the other better to use and what would be the reasoning behind having them set up differently in the same file?
NodeQuest_02.jpg

WAS

The Child Input would let through displacement, which would also pass to the Fake Stones Surface if there was any present.

The Colour Input is just colour, and would strip any displacement data.

The Colour Input allows you to adjust the colours diffuse through the Surface Layer, which is handy for adjusting without doing each part of the colour input.

dhenry2112

Ok, that makes sense I guess.
However, when I plug my image map into the child layer, it successfully shows up on my rocks but if I plug my image map into the color function nothing happens unless I click the apply color box in the surface shader. When I do this does it overwrite my image map with the surface layer color or does it act as an overlay color?
I ask this because when using the color function instead of the child layer function, the color of my stones is altered even with the apply color of the surface layer set to pure white.

dhenry2112

This also leads me to ask:
What is the purpose of using a power fractal shader to control color by plugging into the color function of a surface shader if the apply color box on the surface shader must be checked to get any result? It seems to simply ignore the power fractal and use whatever color chosen in the surface layer.

WAS

November 04, 2019, 06:48:33 pm #4 Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 07:50:45 pm by WAS
Because sometimes you use child inputs which, again, contain their own colour, displacement, etc and the colour input wouldn't be necessary, so you would uncheck it unless you wanted a colour to paint everything else that child inputs doesn't cover (like the child input is masked).

The colour checkbox inherently should be checked, if you want colour. Otherwise if you don't, you uncheck it. If you delete a node it won't automatically uncheck, but if you drag a input away from the colour input it will automatically be unchecked.

The colour input doesn't overwrite colour or input of the child. The child is essentially above the surface layer in rendering order.

Matt

Quote from: dhenry2112 on November 04, 2019, 05:41:05 pmThis also leads me to ask:
What is the purpose of using a power fractal shader to control color by plugging into the color function of a surface shader if the apply color box on the surface shader must be checked to get any result? It seems to simply ignore the power fractal and use whatever color chosen in the surface layer.

The chosen colour and the colour function are multplied together. The colour should tint the colour function (or the other way round, depending on how you think about it). If the colour is white then you'll simply get the colour function, but any other colour should change the appearance.
Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.

dhenry2112

Thanks for the info guys, I appreciate it greatly. I'm still learning but I'm making progress slowly but surely :)
My lay latest effort is attached. Working on my rocks and playing with fog effect. I haven't quite figured out sun rays just yet but that's where this is heading eventually I hope.
Twilight_01.jpg

WAS

Quote from: dhenry2112 on November 04, 2019, 08:30:41 pmThanks for the info guys, I appreciate it greatly. I'm still learning but I'm making progress slowly but surely :)
My lay latest effort is attached. Working on my rocks and playing with fog effect. I haven't quite figured out sun rays just yet but that's where this is heading eventually I hope.
Twilight_01.jpg

Looks great! And godrays are always a little funny to get right. Have you tried playing with the Sun Power and such in the lighting tab with diff densities?

Hannes

Fantastic image!!!!
If you want to have godrays you'll have to check "receive shadows from surfaces" in the quality tab of the cloud that works as fog, or even in the atmosphere's quality tab. Maybe you've done that already? If so, use the RTP and make very little adjustments to the sun's position until you'll see some godrays. They are less good to spot in the RTP, but you should see it.

dhenry2112

Thanks guys.

Yes I've been playing with various settings for sun power and the density of the ground level cloud etc. and have receive shadows checked for the cloud as well. I'll have to check to see if its on in the atmosphere. My biggest enemy here is render times lol. Just bumping up the density of the cloud a little can add hours to the render, but I still want to learn how for stills etc.

I'm working on a short animation but I've concluded that A:) Atmospheric effects like this are not going to be very practical when rendering hundreds of frames and B:) I probably don't need as much detail as I had previously thought for an animation. I just have to build my scenes in such a way that I can find an acceptable balance between graphic detail and render times. If every frame takes even a couple of hours to render then I'd be looking at months to finish rendering out all my scenes. I'm shooting for more like 10 minutes or less render time per frame. I may even opt to add in any clouds as post production to save more on render times.

The animation is a bit abstract and involves a clockwork dragonfly who uses a mystical orrery and a time portal to travel between various worlds.

There's still a ton of work to do but here are a few progress shots to give an idea what its looking like...
1025n.jpg
1022n.jpg
Screenshot_023.jpg
Tower_03.jpg
Tower-Orrery-Room_43.jpg

Dune

Ah, a Rivenesque animation. Cool. I hope you can work out something fast. Maybe cloud image(s) projected on the background would work...