View Full Version : Using Nodes Surfaces to reveal inner layers

Ty Catt
05-20-2014, 10:41 AM
Hello all,

Here's my question / idea: I have a piece of wood modelled that is supposed to have an outer coating of a sealing material. The sealant is so thick that the wood texture pretty much disappears and is a smooth flat sheen. The client wants to have several areas "revealed" showing the protected inner wood. Almost like a sub-surface x-ray vision.

Is there a way to create like a candy shell on the outside of wood with nodes then "tunnel in" or reveal the inner wood (as a seperate surface) with a placed null?

I'm close, but it's not perfect yet. No candy shell look, just recoloring the wood texture. The client was OK with was just doing this, but I wanted to re-create it as accurate as possible.

I have several nulls set up to control the cutaway area, but I'm having a hard time getting the original wood color to poke through with the nodes.

I'm guessing I have a blend mode out of order, lots of combos possible.

I'd love to attach a scene, but it's a legal matter, not allowed to share this one.



05-20-2014, 12:27 PM
sounds like you have 90% of what you need already....

I would have a gradient as a multiplier on a blend node going from 0-1 with a stepped transition, and attach the null to it as a control and set the distance in your gradient you want....

this of course just would give you a circular effect.

05-20-2014, 01:28 PM
Is there a way to create like a candy shell on the outside of wood with nodes then "tunnel in" or reveal the inner wood (as a seperate surface) with a placed null?

Such reusing of already made surface is piece of cake in Global Materials http://globalmaterials.trueart.eu
That's whole point of this tool to not have to copy and paste nodes from one surface to other constantly after applying change.. Simply plug what you already have and blend with other.

05-20-2014, 04:57 PM
Sounds to me that what is really desired by the OP is that there is thickness that dissolves away to reveal the base material. Could this not be done with multiple nested object layers and blend/dissolve transparency between them to reveal the next inner layer until the wood layer is reached? As I see it, some distance traveled needs to be evident in order to sell the illusion.

05-20-2014, 05:34 PM
Layered surfaces, alpha channels, displaced textures: there's a lot of ways to do this.

As to posting stuff, just put your surface on a different, sample object. ::eyeroll::

Feeding different textures into the inputs of a gradient would give the effect, but w/o much control. I think alpha images are the way too go for precise control.

05-20-2014, 07:24 PM
http://i465.photobucket.com/albums/rr16/xXswampyXx/Wood_Block_zpsfdae87fe.jpg (http://s465.photobucket.com/user/xXswampyXx/media/Wood_Block_zpsfdae87fe.jpg.html)

You could use thicken or point normal move to make your gloss in a new layer and then a black and white image attached to a null as a clip map on the glossy layer. This you can move around and even rotate.... if you want/

It is SO much easier when you have a scene to play with....

Here's mine. :D

Ty Catt
05-21-2014, 01:40 PM
Thanks everyone. I really appreciate everyone's insight!

All great suggestions, I am giving all of them a whirl to see which works best.