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General => Terragen Discussion => Topic started by: archonforest on August 08, 2019, 12:15:50 pm

Title: Functions Academy
Post by: archonforest on August 08, 2019, 12:15:50 pm
The first one is ADD-ADD COLOR. I read the Wiki description 3 times and got nothing out of it.  :-\

Why we need this? When we would use it? Examples pls.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: cyphyr on August 08, 2019, 12:50:55 pm
Is this helpful ...ADD_COLOUR.JPG
Title: Re: Functions Academy for ALL
Post by: archonforest on August 08, 2019, 01:48:29 pm
I think it is a great start! Thanks for your initiative.
Can u show how to put this into the TG default scene. I tried but nothing showed up. LOL.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: cyphyr on August 08, 2019, 02:49:07 pm
You could connect the output of the Add colour 01 node to the colour input of a surface layer if you wanted to.

The thing is that the image above illustrates what the node dose but in-fact that is not very helpful.
It add colour to whatever is coming in on the left hand input.
So what?
Well actually you have to think a bit deeper about it.
Where can you get some colour from and why would you want to do this in the first place.

See what happens if you replace the constant colour node with a power fractal with some colours selected in its colour slots.
See if you get the same or similar results as when using a merge node set to ADD.
(by the way ADD, MULTIPLY, DIVIDE and SUBTRACT are doing the same thing as they do in Photoshop and gimp or any image editing software that has layers)

Often (but not by any means exclusively) blue node networks are used to set up masks through which power fractals or images are filtered.

The point I'm trying to make here is that it is very difficult to helpfully say what a node does or is for in any meaningful way but you can figure out a bunch of stuff by experimentation.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: archonforest on August 08, 2019, 03:42:37 pm
Thanks cyphyr, I got it. What u show here is enough. I do not want to go very complicated here just to show users the basic stuff so they can think with it and use it in their network. Thank you for your help!!

I think we nailed the first node people. I would like to get into the next one which I think work in a similar way like ADD COLOR.

ADD-ADD SCALAR: Per Wiki A scalar is a single number. 1, 200.45, -45, -0.2 are all examples of scalar values.

Okay can anyone elaborate on how to use this and what it can do? If you can do a screenshot that would be great. Of course if this node can be used a million way just mention some. 

 
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 08, 2019, 04:18:16 pm
Quote from: cyphyr on August 08, 2019, 02:49:07 pmYou could connect the output of the Add colour 01 node to the colour input of a surface layer if you wanted to.

The thing is that the image above illustrates what the node dose but in-fact that is not very helpful.
It add colour to whatever is coming in on the left hand input.
So what?
Well actually you have to think a bit deeper about it.
Where can you get some colour from and why would you want to do this in the first place.

See what happens if you replace the constant colour node with a power fractal with some colours selected in its colour slots.
See if you get the same or similar results as when using a merge node set to ADD.
(by the way ADD, MULTIPLY, DIVIDE and SUBTRACT are doing the same thing as they do in Photoshop and gimp or any image editing software that has layers)

Often (but not by any means exclusively) blue node networks are used to set up masks through which power fractals or images are filtered.

The point I'm trying to make here is that it is very difficult to helpfully say what a node does or is for in any meaningful way but you can figure out a bunch of stuff by experimentation.


I entirely disagree. They are basic functions, that take either colour, scalar, or vector input. What you do with them is besides the point of what they do themselves.

Blue nodes may be often used for masks but that most certainly is not really the intended use. They are raw operators and functions which you can build whole mathematic formulas from such as Hetzen's Manhattan Voronoi noise. That's where a lot of the misconceptions of blue nodes come about because the concept is pretty advanced algebra, etc.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: N-drju on August 08, 2019, 04:36:04 pm
I don't think explaining functions in a single post is a good idea - everything will eventually get buried in between hundreds or replies...
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: archonforest on August 08, 2019, 08:44:00 pm
Quote from: N-drju on August 08, 2019, 04:36:04 pmI don't think explaining functions in a single post is a good idea - everything will eventually get buried in between hundreds or replies...

I think it is way better than we have now which is nothing.  Otherwise I intended to collect the data up per node.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Dune on August 09, 2019, 01:53:37 am
Well, I'll add a little. First of all I use add color/scalar and multiply or multiply inverse a lot for masks. Very handy and (in my believe, but I may be wrong) faster as a single simple blue node than using a merge shader, where the computation might have to read more while only add color is used. Don't know about that.
But it's also interesting to realize that say a multiply color/scalar or add color/scalar gives interesting effects when using negative colors (or scalars for that matter, I often mix them up). Negative*negative=positive.
So e.g. when doing a cliff with whites for lateral outcrops, masked/multiplied by a white to black PF or whatever to get them only at specific places, you can blue node add a PF with -1 and -2 for high and low color to the inverse of that mask, and variably dent the remaining rock (off the outcrops) inwards. If using -1 and -1.1 it'll be less variable, that's how it works. And the sizes speak for themselves.
And it's easy to just go experimenting on the flat surface with those blue nodes and some pf's or simple shapes and add the last color output into a displacement shader, and see what moves up. Get to know the principle. 
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: N-drju on August 09, 2019, 02:11:49 am
Quote from: Dune on August 09, 2019, 01:53:37 amSo e.g. when doing a cliff with whites for lateral outcrops, masked/multiplied by a white to black PF or whatever to get them only at specific places, you can blue node add a PF with -1 and -2 for high and low color to the inverse of that mask, and variably dent the remaining rock (off the outcrops) inwards. If using -1 and -1.1 it'll be less variable, that's how it works. And the sizes speak for themselves.

Example, pretty please? ;)

Quote from: archonforest on August 08, 2019, 08:44:00 pm
Quote from: N-drju on August 08, 2019, 04:36:04 pmI don't think explaining functions in a single post is a good idea - everything will eventually get buried in between hundreds or replies...

I think it is way better than we have now which is nothing.  Otherwise I intended to collect the data up per node.

It will actually get worse the more items land in here. I'm sure you know that there is no way of benchmarking posts on this forum. With that being said - how am I supposed to find "get position in geometry" node in ten years or so...?

The better idea, would be to create a webpage or a separate forum to cover these topics. Then, we could create a post per each node instead of all of them clustered up together...

Also, I'm afraid we didn't "nail" anything. The example that cyphyr gave (no offense) does not convince me at all - almost identical transformations can be done by just merging regular PFs or modifying a PF internal values, why would I need a function to play with color then?!

Just because we've listed one example of the "ADD COLOUR" usage, does not mean that the subject is closed! WAS is the only one who actually "nailed" anything:

Quote from: WASasquatch on August 08, 2019, 04:18:16 pm
Quote from: cyphyr on August 08, 2019, 02:49:07 pmWhat you do with them is besides the point of what they do themselves.

::)
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 09, 2019, 03:15:10 am
Quote from: Dune on August 09, 2019, 01:53:37 amWell, I'll add a little. First of all I use add color/scalar and multiply or multiply inverse a lot for masks. Very handy and (in my believe, but I may be wrong) faster as a single simple blue node than using a merge shader, where the computation might have to read more while only add color is used. Don't know about that.
But it's also interesting to realize that say a multiply color/scalar or add color/scalar gives interesting effects when using negative colors (or scalars for that matter, I often mix them up). Negative*negative=positive.
So e.g. when doing a cliff with whites for lateral outcrops, masked/multiplied by a white to black PF or whatever to get them only at specific places, you can blue node add a PF with -1 and -2 for high and low color to the inverse of that mask, and variably dent the remaining rock (off the outcrops) inwards. If using -1 and -1.1 it'll be less variable, that's how it works. And the sizes speak for themselves.
And it's easy to just go experimenting on the flat surface with those blue nodes and some pf's or simple shapes and add the last color output into a displacement shader, and see what moves up. Get to know the principle. 

I'm currently rebuilding a new planetoid crater shader that covers larger and small craters, outputting RGB, where R is displacement map, B is crater floors map, and C is ejecta map. It didn't take long to see that all the merge shaders were slower than add/mix scalars. Though I may have missed some check marks for displacement making it redundantly slow but I do try to turn that off for just color/scalar input. Also just seemed easier to manage than merges
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Dune on August 09, 2019, 03:24:08 am
Good to hear that.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: cyphyr on August 09, 2019, 03:45:10 am
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 08, 2019, 04:18:16 pmI entirely disagree. They are basic functions, that take either colour, scalar, or vector input. What you do with them is besides the point of what they do themselves.

Blue nodes may be often used for masks but that most certainly is not really the intended use. They are raw operators and functions which you can build whole mathematic formulas from such as Hetzen's Manhattan Voronoi noise. That's where a lot of the misconceptions of blue nodes come about because the concept is pretty advanced algebra, etc.

Well I'll entirely disagree back at ya!
"What you do with them is besides the point of what they do themselves."
No, actually the exact opposite.
The point is what I can achieve using a node. In isolation the nodes don't "do" much at all. They have to be plugged into a scene before they become useful.

It may be useful from a purely intellectual exercise perspective to know what each note does independently but that is without context. We are artists (for the most part) and the nodes are our brushes and in most cases we have a visual goal in mind when we fire up Terragen, a sunset, rolling hills, an alien planet, whatever.

Quote from: N-drjuAlso, I'm afraid we didn't "nail" anything. The example that cyphyr gave (no offense) does not convince me at all - almost identical transformations can be done by just merging regular PFs or modifying a PF internal values, why would I need a function to play with color then?!

No offence taken.
The point of my example was that simply knowing what an ADD COLOUR node is doing is not very helpful without context. However knowing that you can achieve the same result with a merge node actually IS helpful. That is the beginning of a META understanding of how the nodes work. We have learnt that the ADD COLOUR node is part of the internal make-up of the merge node. (So is the MULTIPLY_COLOUR, MIX_COLOUR, SUBTRACT_COLOUR, DIVIDE_COLOUR and the scalar equivalents).

"why would I need a function to play with color then?" Because you could create a lighter weight scene than using the more complex (albeit more user-friendly)red nodes.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: cyphyr on August 09, 2019, 03:47:27 am
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 09, 2019, 03:15:10 am...
 It didn't take long to see that all the merge shaders were slower than add/mix scalars. Though I may have missed some check marks for displacement making it redundantly slow but I do try to turn that off for just color/scalar input. Also just seemed easier to manage than merges
You have just proven my point nicely.
knowing what the node is doing IN CONTEXT is far more helpful than knowing what it is doing in isolation :)
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Matt on August 09, 2019, 03:59:23 am
I think it's a good idea to have a separate topic for each node or node family. Add Colour, Add Scalar and Add Vector are part of the "Add" family of function nodes.

I can see some logic to the Multiply nodes being part of the same topic, but as more and more nodes are discussed we will need some criteria to separate them.

So I'd recommend one topic for Add Scalar/Colour/Vector, another topic for Multiply, another for Trigonometry functions, and so on.

If it helps, we can create a new forum section to provide a home for these. And since this topic has already started to become a discussion about more than just Add nodes, we could split this topic so that the Add nodes can be discussed on their own.

Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: N-drju on August 09, 2019, 04:01:39 am
Quote from: cyphyr on August 09, 2019, 03:45:10 am...knowing that you can achieve the same result with a merge node actually IS helpful. That is the beginning of a META understanding of how the nodes work. We have learnt that the ADD COLOUR node is part of the internal make-up of the merge node. (So is the MULTIPLY_COLOUR, MIX_COLOUR, SUBTRACT_COLOUR, DIVIDE_COLOUR and the scalar equivalents).

"why would I need a function to play with color then?" Because you could create a lighter weight scene than using the more complex (albeit more user-friendly)red nodes.
Oh, wait... I see now. So the functions you mention can be, in PF-related circumstances at least, used just like the merge shader options! Right...?

Like, I would have a specialized node that subtracts, screens etc. instead of a red node that contains all of them (and, by that fact alone, is heavy?)



Quote from: Matt on August 09, 2019, 03:59:23 amI think it's a good idea to have a separate topic for each node or node family. Add Colour, Add Scalar and Add Vector are part of the "Add" family of function nodes.

(...)

If it helps, we can create a new forum section to provide a home for these. And since this topic has already started to become a discussion about more than just Add nodes, we could split this topic so that the Add nodes can be discussed on their own.

I wholeheartedly agree, and yes! Let's do it - another forum section, one topic per node.

However, I would rather like to see someone making a brief description of a node (like cyphyr did) and only then allow discussion.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: cyphyr on August 09, 2019, 04:10:13 am
Yes, exactly.
The red nodes that we use every day are complex combinations of the blue nodes all rolled together into a simplified user understandable interface.
(There's probably a bit more to it than that but true in essence).
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: N-drju on August 09, 2019, 04:16:06 am
Ok... I reconsider - we did nail something. :P

@Matt - Thank you for considering this. Suggest creating a new board, name it like Attila did - "Function Academy" or anything along these lines.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: CredePendrel on August 09, 2019, 08:03:44 am
"That is the beginning of a META understanding of how the nodes work. We have learnt that the ADD COLOUR node is part of the internal make-up of the merge node. (So is the MULTIPLY_COLOUR, MIX_COLOUR, SUBTRACT_COLOUR, DIVIDE_COLOUR and the scalar equivalents)."

This is great! Thank you cyphyr! I learned something new today too that will actually prove useful and makes me feel like I am actually making headway!
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: N-drju on August 09, 2019, 08:11:42 am
Right now, it makes me wonder which function translates into "Screen A" or something like that... Divide, multiply, subtract - understood. But "Screen"...?

(Which I frequently employ in "merge shader", mind you, and find extremely useful.)
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Dune on August 09, 2019, 08:39:55 am
Screen: I believe something then masked by the color input, as you can't mask by a displacement. But I must admit I never use(d) it (I use more simple blue nodes for masks and color additions and such nowadays).
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: cyphyr on August 09, 2019, 08:55:31 am
I did a quick google of Photoshop Screen math and it came back with this (see attached)

photoshop-blend-modes-explained (https://photoblogstop.com/photoshop/photoshop-blend-modes-explained)

All of this is possible with blue nodes although it's a little more complex than just ADD_COLOUR, but as a mental exercise it may yield helpful results.

Just tested it and it works :D
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 09, 2019, 01:04:33 pm
Quote from: Matt on August 09, 2019, 03:59:23 amI think it's a good idea to have a separate topic for each node or node family. Add Colour, Add Scalar and Add Vector are part of the "Add" family of function nodes.

I can see some logic to the Multiply nodes being part of the same topic, but as more and more nodes are discussed we will need some criteria to separate them.

So I'd recommend one topic for Add Scalar/Colour/Vector, another topic for Multiply, another for Trigonometry functions, and so on.

If it helps, we can create a new forum section to provide a home for these. And since this topic has already started to become a discussion about more than just Add nodes, we could split this topic so that the Add nodes can be discussed on their own.




This is actually a pretty good idea with the lack of documentation. We could have a forum, where posts should only pertain to nodes, and than discussed in those topics. Like you said a "Add Functions" topic, which can discuss what the functions do in a basic manner, and than elaborate with community discussion of uses.

Is that sort of what you meant @Matt ?

Maybe the forum could be called Node Reference so it can encompass more than just functions.

Not to cut anyone out though, maybe the forum should encompass a new user group, where only users added this usergroup (Tutors?) can create topics, to keep things as categorized as possible and on point. Anyone can reply though.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 09, 2019, 01:25:19 pm
Quote from: cyphyr on August 09, 2019, 08:55:31 amI did a quick google of Photoshop Screen math and it came back with this (see attached)

photoshop-blend-modes-explained (https://photoblogstop.com/photoshop/photoshop-blend-modes-explained)

All of this is possible with blue nodes although it's a little more complex than just ADD_COLOUR, but as a mental exercise it may yield helpful results.

Just tested it and it works :D

I didn't catch this! I knew that our functions didn't act exactly like Photoshops filters (like Multiply in TG is an actualy multiplication where Photoshop is more of a subtract/darken) where darks are applied multiplied, and white isn't effecting the layer (in photoshop)

Also about your comment on disagreeing right back, you don't really provide a justified response to my claim. What is your scene? What is it plugging in it? Does it need to be part of the scene entirely or is part of something else built and than applied to the scene? Just like Photoshops documentation on it's filters, they do not show you redundancy, they explain the filters, and leave it to you, because now with a understanding of the filters, you should be able to use them in any means you like.

When what you do with it entirely depends on your end-goal, and the use of it so open it can be used for almost anything, you most certainly do not go into detail about that. You cover it's in and outs, and leave it at that. No anyone can use it any way they like with that understanding. If they still don't understand, THAT's where How To books and Tutorials come into play.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: cyphyr on August 09, 2019, 01:40:28 pm
The problem with Photoshop is that it has been our base line "goto" for so many years. It is our standard reference point, images are said to be shopped etc. Trouble is it's not very up to date. you have to jump through hoops to get it into a linear work-flow and than half the plugins don't work lol.

Quote from: WASasquatch on August 09, 2019, 01:25:19 pm...
I didn't catch this! I knew that our functions didn't act exactly like Photoshops filters (like Multiply in TG is an actualy multiplication where Photoshop is more of a subtract/darken) where darks are applied multiplied, and white isn't effecting the layer (in photoshop)

The functions in Terragen are linear and work in a relatively simple mathematical way (so multiply works as you would expect it to for example).

Also we have to remember that in Photoshop colours have values of combinations of three channels (RGB) of 0 - 255 each channel.
In Terragen (and Nuke and I guess most linear work-flow software) the colour channels can have any positive or negative value. The maths still works.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 09, 2019, 01:48:46 pm
Quote from: cyphyr on August 09, 2019, 01:40:28 pmThe problem with Photoshop is that it has been our base line "goto" for so many years. It is our standard reference point, images are said to be shopped etc. Trouble is it's not very up to date. you have to jump through hoops to get it into a linear work-flow and than half the plugins don't work lol.

Quote from: WASasquatch on August 09, 2019, 01:25:19 pm...
I didn't catch this! I knew that our functions didn't act exactly like Photoshops filters (like Multiply in TG is an actualy multiplication where Photoshop is more of a subtract/darken) where darks are applied multiplied, and white isn't effecting the layer (in photoshop)

The functions in Terragen are linear and work in a relatively simple mathematical way (so multiply works as you would expect it to for example).

Also we have to remember that in Photoshop colours have values of combinations of three channels (RGB) of 0 - 255 each channel.
In Terragen (and Nuke and I guess most linear work-flow software) the colour channels can have any positive or negative value. The maths still works.

Huh, when I do multiply in Photoshop there is a lot more colour burning going on, especially for a 0-255 range compared to TG where I can multiply and get consistent colour results where the colour is multiplied in it's hue range without saturating/de-saturating the colour.

If they're entirely similar, I wonder why we don't have more filter modes in TG considering the use of them in PS.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Matt on August 09, 2019, 02:34:02 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 09, 2019, 01:48:46 pmHuh, when I do multiply in Photoshop there is a lot more colour burning going on, especially for a 0-255 range compared to TG where I can multiply and get consistent colour results where the colour is multiplied in it's hue range without saturating/de-saturating the colour.

Photoshop doesn't work in linear colour space by default, it works in gamma space. That causes hue, saturation and value to react a bit differently than they should.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Matt on August 09, 2019, 02:42:59 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 09, 2019, 01:04:33 pmThis is actually a pretty good idea with the lack of documentation. We could have a forum, where posts should only pertain to nodes, and than discussed in those topics. Like you said a "Add Functions" topic, which can discuss what the functions do in a basic manner, and than elaborate with community discussion of uses.

Is that sort of what you meant @Matt ?

Yes, that's kind of what I meant. I wouldn't want to dictate how the discussion occurs, but just keep each topic focused on a particular node or node family so that it's easy to find. Then we could draw useful information from that to add to the Wiki.

Quote from: undefinedMaybe the forum could be called Node Reference so it can encompass more than just functions.

That name isn't ideal because it we already have a Node Reference in the Wiki: http://www.planetside.co.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Terragen_Node_Reference

I think the two sources can complement each other, but need different names.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 09, 2019, 02:52:22 pm
Quote from: Matt on August 09, 2019, 02:42:59 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 09, 2019, 01:04:33 pmThis is actually a pretty good idea with the lack of documentation. We could have a forum, where posts should only pertain to nodes, and than discussed in those topics. Like you said a "Add Functions" topic, which can discuss what the functions do in a basic manner, and than elaborate with community discussion of uses.

Is that sort of what you meant @Matt ?

Yes, that's kind of what I meant. I wouldn't want to dictate how the discussion occurs, but just keep each topic focused on a particular node or node family so that it's easy to find. Then we could draw useful information from that to add to the Wiki.

Quote from: undefinedMaybe the forum could be called Node Reference so it can encompass more than just functions.

That name isn't ideal because it we already have a Node Reference in the Wiki: http://www.planetside.co.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Terragen_Node_Reference

I think the two sources can complement each other, but need different names.

My concern here is the Wiki does need serious updating, and isn't user accessible like tutorial forum and other threads tell users, so I was thinking this forum, and why it's named as such, is it's a placeholder for this content to be added to a revised wiki, like you said.

There is already misconception of uses/where to go, and this one would be at least new, current, and community driven (and inherently shouldnt be confused with official sources).

I'm also concerned with users just posting help topics there or starting discussions in a weird non-focused manner where the topic is hard to distinguish it's goal as a node doc/ref and why I feel users that will stick to this goal should be allowed to start topics. Anyone can reply and contribute. It would save moderation and topic moving imo
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 09, 2019, 03:00:41 pm
Quote from: Matt on August 09, 2019, 02:34:02 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 09, 2019, 01:48:46 pmHuh, when I do multiply in Photoshop there is a lot more colour burning going on, especially for a 0-255 range compared to TG where I can multiply and get consistent colour results where the colour is multiplied in it's hue range without saturating/de-saturating the colour.

Photoshop doesn't work in linear colour space by default, it works in gamma space. That causes hue, saturation and value to react a bit differently than they should.

This makes sense, thanks for the explanation.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: archonforest on August 10, 2019, 03:05:21 am
Yes lets separate the nodes by topic under a main location here Matt. I think it is a great idea and will make the search easier for everybody. Perhaps all the good data/examples/screenshots later can go to the Wiki page to enrich the dry lol stuff that is there.

I would like to ask everybody who decides to help on this to make small examples, screenshots of the node network they explaining as they help A LOT for those who are not that good in math. A dry explanation combined with pictures can bring more understanding for many. Thanx!
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Dune on August 10, 2019, 03:12:20 am
Though I understand the initiative, I honestly don't know what you're expecting of this; there's only a handful of users posting stuff... so 'everybody who decides to help'; who would they all be? And for whom?
Sorry for my doomful reply  :P 
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: archonforest on August 10, 2019, 03:30:32 am
Well I am expecting data that can help people to understand better the blue nodes. I am sure we have people around who are TG users but not posting. But if we manage to gather up useful information that can open the eyes of others...well you never know...the community might get bigger and I am sure more people will contribute here also. People have a tendency to help back when they receive help.

And from who I am expecting help and write ups? I could name some users but I won't. Enforced help is not a good thing. I know users here who are very capable to pitch in here but it is up to the individuals to decide. I am great-full for all usable data we can have here.

Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: cyphyr on August 10, 2019, 03:40:41 am
I think it needs to be done and is long overdue.
The SideFX Houdini node descriptions keep being mentioned and they do have a very good format. I think we should aim for something along those lines.
One issue is that colour nodes are much easier to show how they work than scalar or vector (see my illustrations above) but I think that is surmountable.

I keep coming back to my point about gaining a META understanding of how the nodes work. As shown above when we learn that the ADD_COLOUR node is the same as (and an internal component of) the Add colour element of a merge node we learn very much more than when we simply describe what the ADD_COLOUR does.
I think this needs to be reinforced across the node descriptions. Show how blue nodes are the building blocks of the red nodes at every opportunity. Integrating new knowledge with old knowledge is the key to successful learning.

I also believe that a foundation "chapter" needs to be laid out talking about:
1: the three types of node input/output (Colour, Scalar, Vector), what they are and how they are used
2: the two types of space (texture space and world space).(please correct me on this :) )
3: the difference between linear colour space and (photoshops) Gamma colour space.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: N-drju on August 10, 2019, 10:14:36 am
Quote from: cyphyr on August 10, 2019, 03:40:41 amI also believe that a foundation "chapter" needs to be laid out talking about:
1: the three types of node input/output (Colour, Scalar, Vector), what they are and how they are used
2: the two types of space (texture space and world space).(please correct me on this :) )
3: the difference between linear colour space and (photoshops) Gamma colour space.

Not too much time for me today, but just came by to say - good thinking.

Segregating nodes into some basic categories first, is an excellent entry point.

Otherwise, it's just a myriad of menu items that you look at and are unable to group up in your mind.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 10, 2019, 01:27:34 pm
Quote from: Dune on August 10, 2019, 03:12:20 amThough I understand the initiative, I honestly don't know what you're expecting of this; there's only a handful of users posting stuff... so 'everybody who decides to help'; who would they all be? And for whom?
Sorry for my doomful reply  :P 

I will always help where I can. May not be able to do much in regards to functions beyond super basic stuff. I can help with some texturing and surface shader example stuff or descriptions. I can breakdown some of my past stuff for method demonstration which people seem to want more than documentation. Lol
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 10, 2019, 04:39:08 pm
Quote from: Matt on August 09, 2019, 02:42:59 pm
Quote from: undefinedMaybe the forum could be called Node Reference so it can encompass more than just functions.

That name isn't ideal because it we already have a Node Reference in the Wiki: http://www.planetside.co.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Terragen_Node_Reference

What about Node Demonstration or Node Tutoring, as I think we can all agree from peoples positions, these topics will quickly turn to demonstrations.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Oshyan on August 10, 2019, 05:24:13 pm
The initiative and interest here is really great! If this is going to be really useful I think it needs to be done in a way that we can link to and/or integrate with the existing main documentation. So we'd like to formalize this effort to some degree, not in terms of who contributes or when, etc., but as far as structure and a few other overall guidelines. Matt and I will come up with our requested structure and help set it up or otherwise facilitate as-needed (e.g. create a new forum if necessary, etc.). We'll update here soon with specifics. So I'd suggest holding off on additional specific planning until you hear what we are recommending, and then we can discuss and refine if necessary.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Matt on August 10, 2019, 05:26:02 pm
But keep posting helpful info on functions, because we can always migrate posts to the new structure :)
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 10, 2019, 06:06:26 pm
Quote from: Oshyan on August 10, 2019, 05:24:13 pmThe initiative and interest here is really great! If this is going to be really useful I think it needs to be done in a way that we can link to and/or integrate with the existing main documentation. So we'd like to formalize this effort to some degree, not in terms of who contributes or when, etc., but as far as structure and a few other overall guidelines. Matt and I will come up with our requested structure and help set it up or otherwise facilitate as-needed (e.g. create a new forum if necessary, etc.). We'll update here soon with specifics. So I'd suggest holding off on additional specific planning until you hear what we are recommending, and then we can discuss and refine if necessary.

- Oshyan

It probably shouldn't have been brought up by @Matt than in community discussion. xD And it most certainly should be a new forum. Don't create more clutter and confusion, please. Lol Forums already don't have enough sections to facilitate the posts and things end up condensed and generalized.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Matt on August 10, 2019, 06:42:06 pm
Are you trying to be unhelpful? Please think before you post. We have a plan, it will be a new forum and it won't add clutter.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 10, 2019, 06:47:08 pm
Quote from: Matt on August 10, 2019, 06:42:06 pmAre you trying to unhelpful? Please think before you post. We have a plan, it will be a new forum and and it won't add clutter.

Could be perceived as helpful. I have almost 22 years of community forum management, some of which incredibly large communities.

I'm just saying you brought it up with us, discussing, and especially about it being a forum. Oshyan was kind of disrespectful, and unhelpful to the discussion, regardless of what you are doing behind the doors, we can talk, and have ideas...
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Oshyan on August 10, 2019, 06:50:36 pm
In what way was I disrespectful or unhelpful?

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 10, 2019, 07:02:09 pm
Quote from: Oshyan on August 10, 2019, 06:50:36 pmIn what way was I disrespectful or unhelpful?

- Oshyan

Specifically targeting points I've made in contradiction "So we'd like to formalize this effort to some degree, not in terms of who contributes or when, etc., but as far as structure and a few other overall guidelines." And about "if" it requires a forum. It's not very supportive regardless of introductory phrasing, and also singles out my ideas specifically.

It seems obvious to me, and wasn't even brought to my attention by me (I was told about it while working).

Not trying to get into an argument about it here, but Matt brought up the discussion with us, it seemed perfectly open to discussion, and you post is more of a shutdown. Why I believe Matt felt the need to add his follow-up post.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Oshyan on August 10, 2019, 07:25:21 pm
You yourself brought up concern that the effort could be disorganized if not structured right. You suggested a separate forum as a solution but I don't think that entirely solves the range of potential problems on its own. So what we are doing is providing structure and systems to help facilitate this work. That is a positive goal, as far as I can see, and not a negative or even direct comment against you or anyone else.

What I am referring to in my post above is simply formalizing more fully Matt's suggestions and ideas, not negating them. In discussion with him we realized that there was good reason to provide not only a place to put content, but some guidelines about how best to post it to try to maintain good structure and easily referenced content. So that's what we're aiming to do.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: DannyG on August 10, 2019, 08:46:45 pm
Boy this derailed quickly, Great work guys !  :'(
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 03:05:39 am
Lets put things back on the rail lol. First of all I would like to keep the name if possible. Unless its triggers a huge debate in between users. We were in the ADD SCALAR part and I think we are not done with that one. Can we get more data guys? Especially the usage of it?

I had an idea what this node can do but when I opened the node I saw that I was wrong...again...lol. I thought this node actually add a number/scalar to another node that will use the number to do something...

Can we have some examples of the usage pls?
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 11, 2019, 03:46:58 am
Quote from: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 03:05:39 amLets put things back on the rail lol. First of all I would like to keep the name if possible. Unless its triggers a huge debate in between users. We were in the ADD SCALAR part and I think we are not done with that one. Can we get more data guys? Especially the usage of it?

I had an idea what this node can do but when I opened the node I saw that I was wrong...again...lol. I thought this node actually add a number/scalar to another node that will use the number to do something...

Can we have some examples of the usage pls?

I'm fine with "Function Academy" for a forum name, it's actually clever and fun.

Also I'm confused about your interpretation of the Add Scalar function. If I take an Add Scalar, feed it a Scalar of 1, and another Scalar of 1, I have a scalar of 2. You could in fact think of the scalar as a number.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Dune on August 11, 2019, 03:52:24 am
And color and scalar can be intermixed. Like a pf color values also work as scalars or numbers.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 11, 2019, 04:06:42 am
Quote from: Dune on August 11, 2019, 03:52:24 amAnd color and scalar can be intermixed. Like a pf color values also work as scalars or numbers.

Which is handy dandy. You can turn off clamping, and exceed the slider for positive and negative values beyond the sliders.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 04:48:36 am
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 11, 2019, 03:46:58 am
Quote from: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 03:05:39 amLets put things back on the rail lol. First of all I would like to keep the name if possible. Unless its triggers a huge debate in between users. We were in the ADD SCALAR part and I think we are not done with that one. Can we get more data guys? Especially the usage of it?

I had an idea what this node can do but when I opened the node I saw that I was wrong...again...lol. I thought this node actually add a number/scalar to another node that will use the number to do something...

Can we have some examples of the usage pls?

I'm fine with "Function Academy" for a forum name, it's actually clever and fun.

Also I'm confused about your interpretation of the Add Scalar function. If I take an Add Scalar, feed it a Scalar of 1, and another Scalar of 1, I have a scalar of 2. You could in fact think of the scalar as a number.
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 11, 2019, 03:46:58 am
Quote from: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 03:05:39 amLets put things back on the rail lol. First of all I would like to keep the name if possible. Unless its triggers a huge debate in between users. We were in the ADD SCALAR part and I think we are not done with that one. Can we get more data guys? Especially the usage of it?

I had an idea what this node can do but when I opened the node I saw that I was wrong...again...lol. I thought this node actually add a number/scalar to another node that will use the number to do something...

Can we have some examples of the usage pls?

I'm fine with "Function Academy" for a forum name, it's actually clever and fun.

Also I'm confused about your interpretation of the Add Scalar function. If I take an Add Scalar, feed it a Scalar of 1, and another Scalar of 1, I have a scalar of 2. You could in fact think of the scalar as a number.

Thanx WAS. Yes my def was completely wrong...I knew it when I opened the ADD SCALAR and saw that it is an empty node waiting for an input. Thx for the example! I have a question though. In your example you used the ADD SCALAR to mix two SCALARS and have a 20m high column. As far I can see the ADD SCALAR is not really needed in this case. I just have to plug the SCALAR into the Disp part of the surface shader. Can u show another example where the ADD SCALAR is really needed in the network? My only guess is when u want to mix color/scalar/vectors?
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Hetzen on August 11, 2019, 06:11:58 am
I'm sure this is what Oshyan and Matt have in mind.

I think it would be helpful to set up a sub forum called Functions Academy which would have topics named for each set of nodes. The first post in each topic, would be a summary of all subsequent messages which will need to be updated when additions and corrections are posted, so it becomes a one stop shop, rather than having to trawl through a whole bunch posts to get the gist of how the nodes work. Maybe with links to the relevant post in the discussion.

I'd be happy to help moderate that as time allows.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Hetzen on August 11, 2019, 06:41:02 am
Additionally we could set up some template scenes for examples. So we know the node preview window is good for illustration and we have spheres being used for some texturing and displacement shaders. A locked off camera on a sphere would help get some consistency between examples and some basic rules on naming shaders. So there is a consistent language being used between contributors.

For example a Constant Scaler of 10 is named "10".

A Constant Colour of RGB 0.5,0.5,0.5 is named "RGB 0.5,0.5,0.5"

A Constant Vector is named "V 100,1000,100"

Which will show static values being used without having to jump into the node to find it, as WAS has shown in his post above.

Notes Nodes should be used where ever relevant to describe what is happening at that branch of the network. Even if it's just a label to help your written explanation.

Nodes should be laid out tidily, with a clear view of the connections and broken into well spaced groups to separate processes. For example converting a scaler input into radians as one section, feeding a Sine function another, isolating the positive part of the curve another. So the flow is broken into easily digestible blocks that people can follow to learn and or problem solve a contribution.

These are just a few ideas.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: cyphyr on August 11, 2019, 07:05:57 am
I seriously think it should be a HEAVILY moderated forum. Possibly even with locked posts. Discussion can happen elsewhere in the main forum (link to node post being discussed) and will veer off and derail as always happens on all forums. If a discussion shows that a locked node reference post needs alteration or updating because of the discussion elsewhere then the author (and forum mods) will have the ability to make that change and then re-lock the post.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 07:31:19 am
Excellent ideas Hetzen and cyphyr. My original idea was to have a basic but well worded definition so everybody can understand it not just the math geniuses lol. This should go for all nodes. And yes examples/templates that clearly shows the nodes in action. Perhaps a small render also if possible so we visualize everything that can be visualized.

Hopefully Matt or Oshyan can do the setup quickly. Until that point we can continue here. Any more ideas that can show the usage of a ADD SCALAR?
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: N-drju on August 11, 2019, 12:11:46 pm
Yes, I agree this should be a heavily moderated forum where node examples and node description should only be performed by willing specialists / users. No chit-chat allowed.

At the same time, I believe it is neither Matt nor Oshyan (no offence) who should be the moderators. I suppose they have different priorities and goals and we need a "coalition of the willing" that is dedicated just to this goal...

Whatever we do, let's do it NOW. This thread has already four pages and you keep bringing up new nodes, cluttering down any possible knowledge...
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 11, 2019, 12:48:51 pm
Quote from: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 04:48:36 am
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 11, 2019, 03:46:58 am
Quote from: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 03:05:39 amLets put things back on the rail lol. First of all I would like to keep the name if possible. Unless its triggers a huge debate in between users. We were in the ADD SCALAR part and I think we are not done with that one. Can we get more data guys? Especially the usage of it?

I had an idea what this node can do but when I opened the node I saw that I was wrong...again...lol. I thought this node actually add a number/scalar to another node that will use the number to do something...

Can we have some examples of the usage pls?

I'm fine with "Function Academy" for a forum name, it's actually clever and fun.

Also I'm confused about your interpretation of the Add Scalar function. If I take an Add Scalar, feed it a Scalar of 1, and another Scalar of 1, I have a scalar of 2. You could in fact think of the scalar as a number.
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 11, 2019, 03:46:58 am
Quote from: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 03:05:39 amLets put things back on the rail lol. First of all I would like to keep the name if possible. Unless its triggers a huge debate in between users. We were in the ADD SCALAR part and I think we are not done with that one. Can we get more data guys? Especially the usage of it?

I had an idea what this node can do but when I opened the node I saw that I was wrong...again...lol. I thought this node actually add a number/scalar to another node that will use the number to do something...

Can we have some examples of the usage pls?

I'm fine with "Function Academy" for a forum name, it's actually clever and fun.

Also I'm confused about your interpretation of the Add Scalar function. If I take an Add Scalar, feed it a Scalar of 1, and another Scalar of 1, I have a scalar of 2. You could in fact think of the scalar as a number.

Thanx WAS. Yes my def was completely wrong...I knew it when I opened the ADD SCALAR and saw that it is an empty node waiting for an input. Thx for the example! I have a question though. In your example you used the ADD SCALAR to mix two SCALARS and have a 20m high column. As far I can see the ADD SCALAR is not really needed in this case. I just have to plug the SCALAR into the Disp part of the surface shader. Can u show another example where the ADD SCALAR is really needed in the network? My only guess is when u want to mix color/scalar/vectors?

Errr well what you do with it could be anything, now that you know how it works, being just addition of a scalar. The biggest one besides basic masks is actual mathematic formulas represented by scalar nodes and such like Hetzens Manhattan.

Let me get on my PC and I can show you something. Also nearing a point I may share the crater shader updates. Lots of add scalar in there lol
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Oshyan on August 11, 2019, 12:56:48 pm
Quote from: Hetzen on August 11, 2019, 06:11:58 amI think it would be helpful to set up a sub forum called Functions Academy which would have topics named for each set of nodes. The first post in each topic, would be a summary of all subsequent messages which will need to be updated when additions and corrections are posted, so it becomes a one stop shop, rather than having to trawl through a whole bunch posts to get the gist of how the nodes work. Maybe with links to the relevant post in the discussion.
Yes, *exactly*. You already understand a good part of what we're intending to do, probably because you've seen it work well on many, many other forums. :D

@N-drju don't worry too much about the posts happening in this thread that have useful info. We can split them out later and move them to the relevant area in the new location.


- Oshyan
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 11, 2019, 01:27:31 pm
Quote from: Hetzen on August 11, 2019, 06:41:02 amAdditionally we could set up some template scenes for examples. So we know the node preview window is good for illustration and we have spheres being used for some texturing and displacement shaders. A locked off camera on a sphere would help get some consistency between examples and some basic rules on naming shaders. So there is a consistent language being used between contributors.

For example a Constant Scaler of 10 is named "10".

A Constant Colour of RGB 0.5,0.5,0.5 is named "RGB 0.5,0.5,0.5"

A Constant Vector is named "V 100,1000,100"

Which will show static values being used without having to jump into the node to find it, as WAS has shown in his post above.

Notes Nodes should be used where ever relevant to describe what is happening at that branch of the network. Even if it's just a label to help your written explanation.

Nodes should be laid out tidily, with a clear view of the connections and broken into well spaced groups to separate processes. For example converting a scaler input into radians as one section, feeding a Sine function another, isolating the positive part of the curve another. So the flow is broken into easily digestible blocks that people can follow to learn and or problem solve a contribution.

These are just a few ideas.

No offense, but your naming convention will get very confusing fast. You may also quickly hit naming convention collision with two scalars being 10. It's best to name your shaders with what they are doing in that specific scenario.

Lets say you have a Scalar being Multiplied the scalar is for a "Crater" (or something). So we call the Multiply Shader "Multiply Crater Scalar" and than we name the constnat "Multiply Crater Scalar by 10" where 10 is it's numeric value.

This will literally say what the functions are doing to new and old users utilizing the content.

Often I also parenthesis on shaders that may be similar to other "Hazey Clouds (Cloud Layer v2)" than "Plumage Clouds (Cloud Layer v3)" sorta deal.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Hetzen on August 11, 2019, 02:17:04 pm
I was thinking that constants are only called this way. Multiply Scaler 01 stays being called Multiply Scaler 01. Sure you may have several values of 10 in a complex network but for the purposes of explaining something simple I doubt you would have multiple constants of the same value. Even if you do, nothing stopping you plumbing out of one a couple of times.

I'm not necessarily locked to the idea and certainly don't like the idea of renaming a function node anything other than what the function is doing ie +,-,/,* etc. That's what the Notes node or written explanation is for.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 12, 2019, 09:54:54 pm
Quote from: Hetzen on August 11, 2019, 02:17:04 pmI was thinking that constants are only called this way. Multiply Scaler 01 stays being called Multiply Scaler 01. Sure you may have several values of 10 in a complex network but for the purposes of explaining something simple I doubt you would have multiple constants of the same value. Even if you do, nothing stopping you plumbing out of one a couple of times.

I'm not necessarily locked to the idea and certainly don't like the idea of renaming a function node anything other than what the function is doing ie +,-,/,* etc. That's what the Notes node or written explanation is for.
No, that is a good point though.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: archonforest on August 13, 2019, 03:29:44 am
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 11, 2019, 12:48:51 pm
Quote from: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 04:48:36 am
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 11, 2019, 03:46:58 am
Quote from: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 03:05:39 amLets put things back on the rail lol. First of all I would like to keep the name if possible. Unless its triggers a huge debate in between users. We were in the ADD SCALAR part and I think we are not done with that one. Can we get more data guys? Especially the usage of it?

I had an idea what this node can do but when I opened the node I saw that I was wrong...again...lol. I thought this node actually add a number/scalar to another node that will use the number to do something...

Can we have some examples of the usage pls?

I'm fine with "Function Academy" for a forum name, it's actually clever and fun.

Also I'm confused about your interpretation of the Add Scalar function. If I take an Add Scalar, feed it a Scalar of 1, and another Scalar of 1, I have a scalar of 2. You could in fact think of the scalar as a number.
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 11, 2019, 03:46:58 am
Quote from: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 03:05:39 amLets put things back on the rail lol. First of all I would like to keep the name if possible. Unless its triggers a huge debate in between users. We were in the ADD SCALAR part and I think we are not done with that one. Can we get more data guys? Especially the usage of it?

I had an idea what this node can do but when I opened the node I saw that I was wrong...again...lol. I thought this node actually add a number/scalar to another node that will use the number to do something...

Can we have some examples of the usage pls?

I'm fine with "Function Academy" for a forum name, it's actually clever and fun.

Also I'm confused about your interpretation of the Add Scalar function. If I take an Add Scalar, feed it a Scalar of 1, and another Scalar of 1, I have a scalar of 2. You could in fact think of the scalar as a number.

Thanx WAS. Yes my def was completely wrong...I knew it when I opened the ADD SCALAR and saw that it is an empty node waiting for an input. Thx for the example! I have a question though. In your example you used the ADD SCALAR to mix two SCALARS and have a 20m high column. As far I can see the ADD SCALAR is not really needed in this case. I just have to plug the SCALAR into the Disp part of the surface shader. Can u show another example where the ADD SCALAR is really needed in the network? My only guess is when u want to mix color/scalar/vectors?

Errr well what you do with it could be anything, now that you know how it works, being just addition of a scalar. The biggest one besides basic masks is actual mathematic formulas represented by scalar nodes and such like Hetzens Manhattan.

Let me get on my PC and I can show you something. Also nearing a point I may share the crater shader updates. Lots of add scalar in there lol
Hey WAS,
Do you have this example by any chance ready for the ADD SCALAR?
I also want to encourage the rest of the Math-Pros to contribute please.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 13, 2019, 12:56:48 pm
Quote from: archonforest on August 13, 2019, 03:29:44 am
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 11, 2019, 12:48:51 pm
Quote from: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 04:48:36 am
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 11, 2019, 03:46:58 am
Quote from: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 03:05:39 amLets put things back on the rail lol. First of all I would like to keep the name if possible. Unless its triggers a huge debate in between users. We were in the ADD SCALAR part and I think we are not done with that one. Can we get more data guys? Especially the usage of it?

I had an idea what this node can do but when I opened the node I saw that I was wrong...again...lol. I thought this node actually add a number/scalar to another node that will use the number to do something...

Can we have some examples of the usage pls?

I'm fine with "Function Academy" for a forum name, it's actually clever and fun.

Also I'm confused about your interpretation of the Add Scalar function. If I take an Add Scalar, feed it a Scalar of 1, and another Scalar of 1, I have a scalar of 2. You could in fact think of the scalar as a number.
Quote from: WASasquatch on August 11, 2019, 03:46:58 am
Quote from: archonforest on August 11, 2019, 03:05:39 amLets put things back on the rail lol. First of all I would like to keep the name if possible. Unless its triggers a huge debate in between users. We were in the ADD SCALAR part and I think we are not done with that one. Can we get more data guys? Especially the usage of it?

I had an idea what this node can do but when I opened the node I saw that I was wrong...again...lol. I thought this node actually add a number/scalar to another node that will use the number to do something...

Can we have some examples of the usage pls?

I'm fine with "Function Academy" for a forum name, it's actually clever and fun.

Also I'm confused about your interpretation of the Add Scalar function. If I take an Add Scalar, feed it a Scalar of 1, and another Scalar of 1, I have a scalar of 2. You could in fact think of the scalar as a number.

Thanx WAS. Yes my def was completely wrong...I knew it when I opened the ADD SCALAR and saw that it is an empty node waiting for an input. Thx for the example! I have a question though. In your example you used the ADD SCALAR to mix two SCALARS and have a 20m high column. As far I can see the ADD SCALAR is not really needed in this case. I just have to plug the SCALAR into the Disp part of the surface shader. Can u show another example where the ADD SCALAR is really needed in the network? My only guess is when u want to mix color/scalar/vectors?

Errr well what you do with it could be anything, now that you know how it works, being just addition of a scalar. The biggest one besides basic masks is actual mathematic formulas represented by scalar nodes and such like Hetzens Manhattan.

Let me get on my PC and I can show you something. Also nearing a point I may share the crater shader updates. Lots of add scalar in there lol
Hey WAS,
Do you have this example by any chance ready for the ADD SCALAR?
I also want to encourage the rest of the Math-Pros to contribute please.

Nope! I spaced like usual. I didn't add it to my planner (yeah I use a planner! It helps!)


I'll work on something when I wake up. I wrote it down this time.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Oshyan on August 13, 2019, 02:19:17 pm
A quick aside guys: not sure if you wanted to/needed to quote all the previous replies. The forums now have a "quote selected" function which can be quite handy for these kinds of situations though. Just select the text in the post you want to quote/reply to, then a new button should appear *at the bottom of that post* which is "Quote selected text". Press that and it shows up at the bottom in the Quick Reply editor. Hopefully that's helpful. Now back to the regular discussion. :D

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 13, 2019, 02:31:24 pm
Quote from: Oshyan on August 13, 2019, 02:19:17 pmJust select the text in the post you want to quote/reply to, then a new button should appear *at the bottom of that post* which is "Quote selected text"

Fantastic. Though it doesn't help with back reference as to what their conversation within the larger thread is about. That's the point of back quotes.

Perhaps block-quotes could even be on a toggle beyond a certain height. May be interesting to look into.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on August 14, 2019, 02:09:25 pm
Here is a basic Scalar Functions visualization project. We have two patterns, vertical lines, and horizontal lines. Let's take a look at what each basic scalar function is doing with these two patterns so we can distinguish their effects. This may be helpful for some that do not understand the math functions being applied here.

Hopefully this helps you understand in a simple way what each of these functions is doing with simple shapes that are easy to comprehend.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: archonforest on August 14, 2019, 02:28:57 pm
WAS you are a star. Big thanks for this in the name of all current and future TG users. Now its time to digest this data!

For all: people ask questions about these ADD functions. (if you feel like) I am sure I am not the only one who "suck on the blues" I started this for everybody. It is time to get all your questions answered.

Unless I am really the only one who suck...hehehe lol
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: N-drju on August 31, 2019, 05:53:35 am
I think it's time to get this topic going, so I'm gonna offer something for your consideration.

And by the way, Matt, Oshyan, how are we doing with the "Functions Academy" forum section?

Ad meritum. First of all, I'm sorry for a solely descriptive post. I do not have access to my computer right now. I will post a screen at earliest convenience.

I have started to play about with the "constant colour" node. Since blues are faster, I have this notion in my head that it would be great to have two colors and control them in a "power fractal" style. Albeit through other blue nodes.

What I have now:

1. Two constant colour nodes...
2. ...attached to a mix colour node, with...
3. ...a power fractal as a mix controller.

I think you will agree that having a power fractal as a mix controller actually defeats the purpose of building a fast, blue node network. However, for now, I can't figure out how I could achieve an adjustable, "blue noise" as a mix controller.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Oshyan on August 31, 2019, 06:14:34 pm
Hi N-drju, you are right to ask about a status update! Jon (Hetzen) volunteered to help us set it up and moderate it, and given his experience and ability with Function Nodes I think he's an ideal choice. So we've been talking behind the scenes with him to nail down the specifics of how to handle it. We've just about settled on how to implement and actual implementation will follow shortly!

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: N-drju on September 01, 2019, 06:15:13 am
Great news! Keep it up. It might be interesting to see what ideas and tips make their way in there.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon learning the theory of cross product and dot product and many of these mathematical notions are relatively easy to grasp. The problem however is how one can use them in a scene, after you learn the definition.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Oshyan on September 01, 2019, 03:37:41 pm
Yes, the foundational math knowledge is very important, it's step #1 which a lot of people - myself included - lack. Step #2 is how do those things work in computer graphics. From that one can often intuit how to use that capability in Terragen. But step #3 can also very reasonably be to want some education in practical applications of these tools. But I think the latter should ideally be built on steps #1 and #2. I'm glad you have been diving into that. :)

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: N-drju on September 02, 2019, 02:49:45 am
Oh really? Because I thought you are one of them John Nash types. ;)

You are right that steps 1 and 2 are fundamental. Step #3 may as well just come down to own experimentation, since one already has the theoretical knowledge to set a node network up.

Not sure if this example applies... But once you get to know what "feature scale", "noise variation" and colour sliders are, you don't usually need any education to use Power Fractal. You just jump right to it.

I strongly believe, that the new forum section should be focused on step #2 - how mathematical notions, enchanted in the blue nodes, correspond to CG features like terrain, colour control etc.

Certainly not #1, since nobody would be willing to teach us trigonometry and algebra here... Which I understand.

I am especially proud of the fact that I attempt to defeat my fears of going back to maths after I sucked at it in high school so much... I can seriously say that some of the basic algebraic / geometric notions can really be understood even by anti-talents like me. Terms like "scalar" or "vector" are a cakewalk.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: archonforest on September 02, 2019, 03:32:28 am
Thanx Andrew to restarting this topic. I was off for 2 weeks and I hoped that I will find lots of things here when I will be back. Hmm...
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: N-drju on September 02, 2019, 04:40:32 am
Quote from: archonforest on September 02, 2019, 03:32:28 amThanx Andrew to restarting this topic. I was off for 2 weeks and I hoped that I will find lots of things here when I will be back. Hmm...

My pleasure. Don't feel down for the seemingly slow developments on this topic. I think many people were simply away for vacation. Maybe things will start to pick up soon.

Besides, it is sort of natural for any topic to slowly die off. But, once the "Function Academy" is set, we will not be needing this topic anyway.

As you can see, the guys are in touch to make this project take shape. Thus, hopefully, we will not loose momentum. Meanwhile, we can do our share and learn some algebra. ;) It's not that tough as long as you stay focused and rested.

I just hope this project will take shape relatively soon without too much delay. Otherwise, I'm coming at you guys... and I swear I'll arccos your luminance to scalar.
:P
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: N-drju on September 02, 2019, 01:23:34 pm
Every step is important. No matter how small:

step1,5.jpg
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: archonforest on September 04, 2019, 01:30:03 pm
Quote from: Oshyan on August 31, 2019, 06:14:34 pmHi N-drju, you are right to ask about a status update! Jon (Hetzen) volunteered to help us set it up and moderate it, and given his experience and ability with Function Nodes I think he's an ideal choice. So we've been talking behind the scenes with him to nail down the specifics of how to handle it. We've just about settled on how to implement and actual implementation will follow shortly!

- Oshyan


GREAT! Thanks Hetzen for taking responsibility and for volunteering!!!!
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: N-drju on September 06, 2019, 05:16:37 am
Digging on...

I found a good resource that allows to visualize trigonometric functions on a coordinate chart. All you have to do is to enter a desired function, define arguments, values and you can start drawing. Here's what I got after pulling an "Infinite monkey theorem" of my own :P :

functions.png

And here is the link:

https://www.desmos.com/calculator/w9jrdpvsmk

Feel free to use and abuse it. It is recommended though that you get at least rudimentary understanding on what trigonometric functions are. Don't get me wrong - I'm not being cocky. I myself am not maths genius but I felt a lot more confident when I got myself acquainted with some definitions. Hence, the suggestion.

From example above, I think it is safe to say...

1. ...that trigonometric functions, when translated into 3D environment, may be used to easily and procedurally create certain types of terrains. Dunes or hills being most evident examples.

2. ...that making a trigonometric function basically means drafting an equation that describes it.
3. ...that each trigonometric function will take a different "path" depending on the function itself as well as arguments, values and axis it takes.
4. ...that trigonometric functions may take virtually unlimited number of arguments. However, not all will look coherent when visualized (and neither will the 3DCG that uses it.)

Hope this helps! If there is anything that needs to be corrected in this post, please point it out. Meanwhile, I'm diving back in to the crystal clear sine waves.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Oshyan on September 22, 2019, 03:20:35 pm
Just a quick post to say the function node discussion area is definitely still in active development. It takes a bit to nail down the specifics of how best to structure and organize it, but Jon (Hetzen) and I are getting close to finalizing and opening it up to all. I think it will be a really valuable resource in time, and a great place to discuss this stuff. More soon!

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: bobbystahr on September 23, 2019, 12:44:32 pm
Quote from: Oshyan on September 22, 2019, 03:20:35 pmJust a quick post to say the function node discussion area is definitely still in active development. It takes a bit to nail down the specifics of how best to structure and organize it, but Jon (Hetzen) and I are getting close to finalizing and opening it up to all. I think it will be a really valuable resource in time, and a great place to discuss this stuff. More soon!

- Oshyan
Awesome...thanks very much you 2!
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Oshyan on October 09, 2019, 09:13:22 pm
Pssst, hey guys! Check this out: https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php#c7

Jon has put in a lot of work to make an outline of the nodes to be discussed, along with some initial examples for the Add category. Check it out, read the contribution guidelines (https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,27147.0.html), and dive in!

Thanks to all for your patience as we've taken the time to do this right. And big thanks to Jon for his collaboration, willingness to moderate, and all his work on it thus far.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: René on October 10, 2019, 01:21:06 am
This is a great initiative that will undoubtedly add value to Terragen for me.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Hannes on October 10, 2019, 07:52:01 am
Great! And a big thanks to Jon!
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Hetzen on October 10, 2019, 11:08:17 am
Thanks guys. I'm setting up scenes to go through the clamp functions next. Hopefully I'll get those out tomorrow.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Ariel DK on October 10, 2019, 11:37:07 am
I almost missed this! i can't say more than THANKS, this is how a user community should works, i mean, (without offend) this doesn't usually happen in other software forums so often.
Quote from: Dune on August 10, 2019, 03:12:20 amThough I understand the initiative, I honestly don't know what you're expecting of this; there's only a handful of users posting stuff... so 'everybody who decides to help'; who would they all be? And for whom?
Sorry for my doomful reply  :P 
Indeed Ulco, you will be surprise by the amount of new users in FB trying to overcome the learning curve (still myself too :) ) of TG, some with the free versions, and others working in smalls studios. the Terragen discussion thread is where many of this users post for 1st time, but many of them never stand here.
imho, i think that "clearing up" this base knowledge is a great (first) step to keep this users interested, basically because TG is a slow development software, but actually you can render almost EVERYTHING what you can imagine with him. hey, that you can't say the same about many other software out there...

Hope the new section grows up!
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: KlausK on October 10, 2019, 05:18:24 pm
It has begun! Thanks.
CHeers, Klaus
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: René on October 11, 2019, 03:41:07 am
This is going to be big, at least I hope so.
A small example: In the early days I wasn't able to use Voronoi(the blue nodes) until someone posted a clip file. Afterwards I found a warped Voronoi clipfile on the forum. And although I don't understand the underlying math I do know what it does and how to use it; I can't live without it anymore.
People who work in the film or games industry will undoubtedly all know math, but apart from that there is a large group of artists who don't; illustrators to name but one. If you could appeal to the latter group, that would be a gain for Terragen.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Hannes on October 11, 2019, 08:46:48 am
Quote from: René on October 11, 2019, 03:41:07 amPeople who work in the film or games industry will undoubtedly all know math
Really?
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on October 15, 2019, 10:39:03 pm
Quote from: René on October 11, 2019, 03:41:07 amPeople who work in the film or games industry will undoubtedly all know math, but apart from that there is a large group of artists who don't; illustrators to name but one. If you could appeal to the latter group, that would be a gain for Terragen.

That would probably be true for developing an engine and a lot of the scripting aspect, but even than engines like Unreal Development Kit are making that a visual thing and taking care of a lot of the scripting.

Heck, on that note, I've seen IDE's that as long as you know the naming convention, and of course a general idea what functions and operators and stuff do, you can program with very little actual writing with auto completion and built in templates/macros.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: René on October 17, 2019, 03:06:35 am
Quote from: WAS on October 15, 2019, 10:39:03 pm
Quote from: René on October 11, 2019, 03:41:07 amPeople who work in the film or games industry will undoubtedly all know math, but apart from that there is a large group of artists who don't; illustrators to name but one. If you could appeal to the latter group, that would be a gain for Terragen.

That would probably be true for developing an engine and a lot of the scripting aspect, but even than engines like Unreal Development Kit are making that a visual thing and taking care of a lot of the scripting.

Heck, on that note, I've seen IDE's that as long as you know the naming convention, and of course a general idea what functions and operators and stuff do, you can program with very little actual writing with auto completion and built in templates/macros.
Okay, then I was wrong about that. ;D But that raises the question for whom all those blue nodes are meant, if it isn't for artists who know math.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on October 17, 2019, 02:25:17 pm
Quote from: René on October 17, 2019, 03:06:35 amOkay, then I was wrong about that. (http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/Smileys/fugue/grin.png) But that raises the question for whom all those blue nodes are meant, if it isn't for artists who know math.

That it does. Inherently they are mathematic functions, handling data. You do need a fine grasp of maths to do anything specific with them beyond very basic noise alteration utilizing built in noises. This is why I have a issue with the current state of the functions forums. It was my understanding, that we, and users, wanted these functions explained very thoroughly, so we can start to grasp what they're doing on a mathematic, and technical scale. Especially the more complicated functions. It seems they want us to just ask the questions, and they explain them when this information is natively missing from TG wiki/docu and left so vague it's only useful to highly technical minds. This alone makes it so discouraging; they're likely not going to get any questions to begin with. Now if we had a better understanding to than start experimenting and achieving things on our own, to than get help on it might work, and just makes sense.

The only way I learn highly technical stuff like this is via appropriate explanation and technical specification. This is true of education too, whether a trade or something as basic as English.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: René on October 18, 2019, 03:09:11 am
Let's just wait and see how it evolves. In the course of time, new insights may emerge as to how this forum might work best.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: bcgreen24 on October 25, 2019, 01:27:06 pm
Quote from: Oshyan on September 22, 2019, 03:20:35 pmJust a quick post to say the function node discussion area is definitely still in active development. It takes a bit to nail down the specifics of how best to structure and organize it, but Jon (Hetzen) and I are getting close to finalizing and opening it up to all. I think it will be a really valuable resource in time, and a great place to discuss this stuff. More soon!

- Oshyan
As long as the most useful bits are also put into the Wiki (or created there in the first place). :)
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on October 26, 2019, 01:58:35 pm
Quote from: bcgreen24 on October 25, 2019, 01:27:06 pm
Quote from: Oshyan on September 22, 2019, 03:20:35 pmJust a quick post to say the function node discussion area is definitely still in active development. It takes a bit to nail down the specifics of how best to structure and organize it, but Jon (Hetzen) and I are getting close to finalizing and opening it up to all. I think it will be a really valuable resource in time, and a great place to discuss this stuff. More soon!

- Oshyan
As long as the most useful bits are also put into the Wiki (or created there in the first place). :)

Likely not going to happen. I honestly don't know why they fight the community to update their Wiki, let alone any community driven ideas, and put appropriate information there. As is we're creating forum topics with image examples and erroneous summaries which most certainly will give the wrong idea to anyone trying to learn functions from the beginning. And it shouldn't take someone posting about it to "have a discussion". Should have been in the original posts, and as I mentioned, probably best in the Wiki prior to some obscure forum post. How this is expected to help new users is beyond me, except forcing them to be active in your majority dying forums. And expecting them to just start questioning every post, because, inherently, they know nothing, to learn something, this is not excusable. And really this stuff should be sorted out ASAP.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: Matt on October 26, 2019, 09:09:19 pm
Quote from: bcgreen24 on October 25, 2019, 01:27:06 pmAs long as the most useful bits are also put into the Wiki (or created there in the first place). :)

That's the plan.
Title: Re: Functions Academy
Post by: WAS on October 27, 2019, 01:30:03 pm
Quote from: Matt on October 26, 2019, 09:09:19 pm
Quote from: bcgreen24 on October 25, 2019, 01:27:06 pmAs long as the most useful bits are also put into the Wiki (or created there in the first place). :)

That's the plan.


Lol. Hopefully not scraping user discussion for this. You'd think it would be from the get go before ever making a corresponding post on the forum.