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View Full Version : Override surface values in layout.



gamedesign1
10-10-2015, 01:36 PM
Hi All

Is there a way to control surface values from outside of the objects surface editor, so I can override values in layout?
I hope that makes sense :)

pinkmouse
10-10-2015, 01:44 PM
What exactly do you want to achieve? You can use nulls or time/frame to drive surfacing nodal networks.

gamedesign1
10-10-2015, 02:09 PM
As soon as you said about controlling using a null, I figured it out. Thanks so much :) I need to control the colour of a channel, so I am going to use three nodes one for each R G B :)

jeric_synergy
10-10-2015, 02:22 PM
As soon as you said about controlling using a null, I figured it out. Thanks so much :) I need to control the colour of a channel, so I am going to use three nodes one for each R G B :)
Cool. Post a screenshot of the network when you're done for the education of the newbs. :thumbsup:

gamedesign1
10-10-2015, 02:25 PM
Will do!!

pinkmouse
10-10-2015, 02:40 PM
As soon as you said about controlling using a null, I figured it out. Thanks so much :) I need to control the colour of a channel, so I am going to use three nodes one for each R G B :)


You can just use one null, RGB=XYZ or HPB... ;)

gamedesign1
10-10-2015, 02:46 PM
Good point! Thanks :)

jeric_synergy
10-10-2015, 03:01 PM
You can just use one null, RGB=XYZ or HPB... ;)
Nice. Clutter reduction.

Of course, there's 9 native channels for Objects, so one could tie, say, Diffuse/Spec/Lum to HPB , etc etc. I think ITEM COMMENT might be helpful to remind one what's what, but then the clutter is starting to build back up. One could also add comments in 1) the Surface Editor and 2) the Node Editor comment field 3) by renaming nodes extensively.

(I wish there were a DOC NODE that was just for Renaming to add explanations in the Node Editor. Although that's a bit hacky, a real node with a text field in it would be more elegant.)

gamedesign1
10-10-2015, 03:44 PM
Something that would be nice in layout is if you could add custom values to the object properties which you can then access in the surface node editor.

For example:

In the object properties panel you could add a 'Color Input' with a reference of 'my_colour'. Then in the Surface Editor using nodes you could add a 'Color Input' node and set its reference to 'my_colour'. I know this is similar to using nulls, but this could be cleaner and also you wouldn't have to clutter your scene with unnecessary nulls.

Here's an illustration to show what I mean. What do you think?

130281

Sensei
10-10-2015, 03:45 PM
Is there a way to control surface values from outside of the objects surface editor, so I can override values in layout?

Take a look at Global Materials.
http://globalmaterials.trueart.eu

gamedesign1
10-10-2015, 03:58 PM
Take a look at Global Materials.
http://globalmaterials.trueart.eu

That looks interesting

jeric_synergy
10-10-2015, 04:03 PM
I think you could actually do that, probably not as well as w/Sensei's plugin, if you used Instancing, even if for just ONE instance.

pinkmouse
10-10-2015, 04:17 PM
Something that would be nice in layout is if you could add custom values to the object properties which you can then access in the surface node editor.

I asked for that years ago, and was told it wasn't possible with the current code. But things may well have changed since then.

However, nulls do have an advantage. You could drive the colour change null with another nodal network, so, say, for instance, an object could change colour at a certain time, but only if another object is within a certain distance. Your imagination is really the only limit.

gamedesign1
10-10-2015, 04:23 PM
I asked for that years ago, and was told it wasn't possible with the current code. But things may well have changed since then.

However, nulls do have an advantage. You could drive the colour change null with another nodal network, so, say, for instance, an object could change colour at a certain time, but only if another object is within a certain distance. Your imagination is really the only limit.

Yeah totally agree that NULLs do give you a lot freedom. I just would love to have a way of controlling things without having to place NULLs in the scene, but still have the same flexibility.

pinkmouse
10-10-2015, 04:32 PM
Indeed. I also asked for "Global Constants", that could be plugged in to any nodal network in a scene, but didn't even get a reply to that one.

Have you seen my "Bullet Time" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P99EJ13KWL4) tutorial? It shows the way quite simple node networks are actually very powerful. It's a motion based tutorial, but the techniques are equally as applicable for texturing.

gamedesign1
10-10-2015, 04:42 PM
Indeed. I also asked for "Global Constants", that could be plugged in to any nodal network in a scene, but didn't even get a reply to that one.

Have you seen my "Bullet Time" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P99EJ13KWL4) tutorial? It shows the way quite simple node networks are actually very powerful. It's a motion based tutorial, but the techniques are equally as applicable for texturing.

Cool I will take a look later on today :)
One issue I have with linking surfaces values to NULLS is that the node links are based on the Object ID and not the name of it. So when I create a new scene reusing the same object and the NULL I want to control that surface value again, if the Object ID isn't the same, then I have to reset it in the node editor and then save that into the objects surface nodes. With then of course breaks the link for the other scene whe the same object is used. Does that make sense?

But if the nodal links were based on tag/reference names then the surface nodes were never need to be updated. Does that make sense? Or am I talking nonsense haha

pinkmouse
10-10-2015, 04:47 PM
Does that make sense?

Completely! :)

gamedesign1
10-10-2015, 04:52 PM
What would be useful then is to be able to access a particular surface of a particular object. So in the object properties you could add a color node and link it to the color channel of an object's surface. This way the object surface information that is saved with the object (.lwo) never has to be changed. So the scene essentially looks at the objects surface and does the changes that way round, rather than the surface having to look for an objects properties to change its values. I'm not sure if Global Materials works like that.

pinkmouse
10-10-2015, 04:54 PM
Pop over to your LW account and log a feature request. The more of us that ask, the more likely they are to take notice!

gamedesign1
10-10-2015, 04:58 PM
Pop over to your LW account and log a feature request. The more of us that ask, the more likely they are to take notice!

Ok cool, I will do that now

gamedesign1
10-10-2015, 06:09 PM
done :)