PDA

View Full Version : What if LW Next material editor is all nodes.



Snosrap
05-08-2017, 12:58 PM
I saw the LW Next surface editor from the hair demo and just had a thought. Currently there are several ways to build your materials/surfaces. You can either build them completely with layers, with nodes or a combination of the two, plus you can throw in a shader or two. What if LW Next took the building of surfaces to the next level by building every surface with nodes! The layers would just be an exposed portion of the node tree. As the user was creating his or her layered surface a node tree would be created in the background and then when the user clicked on the Edit Node Graph button those layer nodes would be in place with connections made ready for additional tweaks, additional nodes and/or connections. I think this could really make nodes more "accessible" to everyone.

136748

pinkmouse
05-08-2017, 02:15 PM
Nodes are simple and accessible. Users just can't be bothered to learn something new, even though it's much more powerful, they prefer to stick with what they know.

probiner
05-08-2017, 03:56 PM
Snosrap you'll really have to wait for it. But at the moment you have already layer nodes in the node editor that work like the old layer system, it's just that you plug the result into the attribute you're "layering" about.

jasonwestmas
05-08-2017, 04:53 PM
Nodes are simple and accessible. Users just can't be bothered to learn something new, even though it's much more powerful, they prefer to stick with what they know.

I'm not a user then. ;) I wish all software used nodal networks. There are good ones are really bad ones.

Actually I really don't care for layers at all. They make me feel like I'm playing dig-dug all the time trying to get myself out of an endless pit of misdirection. I like seeing the entire network in front of me without having to open a thousand doors. When people start treating nodes like layers it might be half a mess, but still confuscating the network.

When people talk about layers I'm reminded of photoshop and modo's render stack more than anything. When the project gets huge layers are a night mare!

gamedesign1
05-08-2017, 06:22 PM
I'm not a user then. ;) I wish all software used nodal networks. There are good ones are really bad ones.

Actually I really don't care for layers at all. They make me feel like I'm playing dig-dug all the time trying to get myself out of an endless pit of misdirection. I like seeing the entire network in front of me without having to open a thousand doors. When people start treating nodes like layers it might be half a mess, but still confuscating the network.

When people talk about layers I'm reminded of photoshop and modo's render stack more than anything. When the project gets huge layers are a night mare!

Totally agree. I find nodes easier to look at in a hurry. Especially with grouping on complex networks.

shrox
05-08-2017, 07:04 PM
I am a node virgin...

Schwyhart
05-08-2017, 07:58 PM
I wouldn't mind if LW3DG went 100% nodes with texturing. I think it'd make things easier to understand.

probiner
05-08-2017, 09:15 PM
I am a node virgin...

Shrox, the layers' priest.

shrox
05-08-2017, 10:37 PM
Shrox, the layers' priest.

No, just never could quite get it, and I am not the only one.

CaptainMarlowe
05-08-2017, 10:58 PM
Well, I am for nodes also, much more powerful than layers. But it comes short when you create content for other apps and need your fbx or obj to export with proper textures at the proper place. Currently, export of .obj only works with layers. So if texturing went 100% nodal, it would require soem trick to export at least diffuse/albedo, metal, roughness and normal maps correctly applied to the mesh (provided next pbr engine is roughness/metal based).

pming
05-09-2017, 12:32 AM
Hiya!

Love nodes! Totally suck at them, sure, but love them! :)

What would make me better? A good, solid "advanced beginner" or "newly intermediate" series of tutorials (video with PDF DL option for those who prefer to read) that go over every single Node and why/how someone would use it. ...e.g....a VERY tall order!

I mean, I can take a half-dozen textures, slap them on an object one at a time, adjust sliders for transparency, bump, etc. and get a good texture in a matter of minutes (awesome?..no...but "good enough" is usually, well, good enough for a LOT of objects in a scene). But with Nodes? I can't seem to just "slap down" an "Angular" Node and connect it to anything to get something even remotely like I was aiming for. I can't easily read "Angular" and think "Oh, if I just add this, that and the other thing, I can use Angular to get what I want". I can easily read "Bump" and think "Oh, if I just add a texture I can slide this thingie to get bumps".

That's why Nodes are having a hard time 'breaking in' to non-Texture-Focused artists....imho.

inkpen3d
05-09-2017, 02:24 AM
Shrox, the layers' priest.

No he's just a closet ogre - just change the last two letters of his name and what do you get?!

jwiede
05-09-2017, 03:18 AM
It's a fair point, though, not all formats can accept DAG-based surfacing. If LW3DG wants to do nodes only, that's up to them, but they'll need to find a solution for export situations that can express those nodal surfaces in a layered-manner where needed. I suspect the answer would need to be similar to MODO's, or kind of how LW supports old-style layered surfacing in nodes today, namely a special dedicated "layered PBR" node (or algorithmic equivalent) which approximates various "common"/well-known layers' contents in a manner exporters can extract/use.

As long as such a solution exists, it also provides an easy way for NodeNoobs(tm) to ease into nodal surfacing by first using the layered node, while being able to then slowly incorporate further nodal aspects.

Of course, this is all moot speculation until LW3DG actually RELEASE something. :rolleyes:

Danner
05-09-2017, 05:32 AM
If it goes node based we should have a "layers node" basically having a shader that is the legacy shader system in a node.

Snosrap
05-09-2017, 08:13 AM
Snosrap you'll really have to wait for it. But at the moment you have already layer nodes in the node editor that work like the old layer system, it's just that you plug the result into the attribute you're "layering" about.

And waiting patiently I am. :) What I am suggesting is that the basic attributes are presented in layers but behind the scenes there is a node tree that is being built. In LW 9.5 thru 2015 it's kind of been a bastardized two part system that can be somewhat blended together. I'm suggesting to join the two into one but present some of the basic attributes in the way that a lot of LWavers have been accustom to while all the time generating a node system in the background that can be opened up and really exploited by the user.

shrox
05-09-2017, 09:00 AM
No he's just a closet ogre - just change the last two letters of his name and what do you get?!

Excuse me? You want reconsider what you posted?

bazsa73
05-09-2017, 11:45 AM
Excuse me? You want reconsider what you posted?

Exactly! That was very rude!

inkpen3d
05-09-2017, 12:01 PM
Please accept my humble apologies. I was not intending to be rude at all. I was simply thinking that the spelling of Shrox looked a like Shrek and that in the Shrek movie the Shrek character says that ogres are like onions in that they have layers. Looks like my feeble attempt at a joke fell flat on its face! :o

Kind regards,
Peter

shrox
05-09-2017, 12:18 PM
Please accept my humble apologies. I was not intending to be rude at all. I was simply thinking that the spelling of Shrox looked a like Shrek and that in the Shrek movie the Shrek character says that ogres are like onions in that they have layers. Looks like my feeble attempt at a joke fell flat on its face! :o

Kind regards,
Peter

I really don't like Shrek...never saw it.

hrgiger
05-09-2017, 12:25 PM
I really don't like Shrek...never saw it.

so how can you know you dont like it?

shrox
05-09-2017, 02:35 PM
so how can you know you dont like it?

I don't like the character design, and after 10 minutes of watching it I ejected the disc.

I just didn't care for it. My not watching it did lead to the previous misunderstanding about nodes...

probiner
05-09-2017, 02:45 PM
I really don't like Shrek...never saw it.

Lots of new things to try before you die. Nodes, Shrek and... Software subscriptions! :D

shrox
05-09-2017, 03:09 PM
Lot of new things to try before you die. Nodes, Shrek and... Software subscriptions! :D

I did try watching Shrek, I didn't like it. I never said I didn't want to use nodes, I just haven't figured them out yet...

RebelHill
05-10-2017, 01:49 AM
What would make me better? A good, solid "advanced beginner" or "newly intermediate" series of tutorials (video with PDF DL option for those who prefer to read) that go over every single Node and why/how someone would use it. ...e.g....a VERY tall order!

Only been around a few years...

http://rebelhill.net/html/rhn.html

hrgiger
05-10-2017, 02:39 AM
I did try watching Shrek, I didn't like it. I never said I didn't want to use nodes, I just haven't figured them out yet...

i didnt use nodes for a long time and only did minimal work with them for surfacing in lw but now after learning unreal, using substance designer, and some for particles/dynamics in Modo, i appreciate them a lot more.

Oedo 808
05-10-2017, 06:54 AM
i didnt use nodes for a long time and only did minimal work with them for surfacing in lw but now after learning unreal, using substance designer, and some for particles/dynamics in Modo, i appreciate them a lot more.

On the subject of Substance nodes, I very much like this network:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpsLg44gSg8


so how can you know you dont like it?

Also, I was pretty sure I was never going to experience gay sex before I'd read this.

hrgiger
05-10-2017, 07:23 AM
Also, I was pretty sure I was never going to experience gay sex before I'd read this.
Congratulations !

bazsa73
05-10-2017, 10:55 AM
I did try watching Shrek, I didn't like it. I never said I didn't want to use nodes, I just haven't figured them out yet...
Watch this instead. Animated feature from the cold war era.
Whitemareson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKRka0khvfM

shrox
05-10-2017, 11:46 AM
http://shrox.com/StayOnTopic.jpg

Oedo 808
05-10-2017, 03:19 PM
Congratulations !:D.

tburbage
05-10-2017, 07:37 PM
My SWAG is that the basic Surfacing presentation will still look a lot like the one we know in general, but recast to a PBR GGX Spec/Gloss and/or Roughness/Metallic model and away from the original render's Phong model. Of course, there could be a lot of changes to the channels outside of the most basic ones. What's on the Surface Editor Environment tab still seems relevant though much of the Advanced tab may not be, and the new renderer will likey have new properties. I'm guessing the old Shaders will go away.

The Surface Editor does also have some Surface organization functions, but those functions could be placed elsewhere.

I always kind of wished LW's "texturing" model was more Material-centric rather than Surface, since Surface is just a polygon selection set to which you apply a material. Seems like the entire existing Preset library will be obsoleted, so maybe in LW+NEXT, Presets will be revamped to store topology-neutral Materials, such as we see in 3D-Coat, ZBrush, or Substance tools.

I'm also OK with a full Nodal approach to defining Materials. And hopefully those "graphs" are what will be stored in your Presets library.

Now if we could just get the freaking product to start to evaluate...

djwaterman
05-11-2017, 04:42 AM
I certainly hope no one has been using those surface presets that come with LW, they are ancient and were quite the deal back in the late 1800s.

gar26lw
05-11-2017, 06:06 PM
I certainly hope no one has been using those surface presets that come with LW, they are ancient and were quite the deal back in the late 1800s.

do we have a better set some place on the net?

could we convert some of the modo ones ?

shrox
05-11-2017, 07:10 PM
do we have a better set some place on the net?

could we convert some of the modo ones ?

http://3dxyz.pro View presets, then use the menu on the left.

jwiede
05-14-2017, 01:07 PM
http://3dxyz.pro View presets, then use the menu on the left.

Unfortunately, lacking even thumbnails or descriptions of the collections' contents (not even how many presets each contains), what IS there almost discourages downloads.

gerry_g
05-14-2017, 05:37 PM
nodes, way to go, only not with vpr in its current state, take one example from the download set of presets mentioned above at 3dxyz 'Mango' it will render black with vpr but correctly with F9, usually if refraction is not above one this is the case but with nodes finding what is actually dictating the input can be byzantien

djwaterman
05-14-2017, 11:28 PM
http://3dxyz.pro is a dead link, the project was put to bed a while back.

Kaptive
05-15-2017, 01:08 AM
I actually rather like Snosraps idea. One thing about LW is that it is very accessible, with texturing using the old skool method being part of that... small learning curve... and fast (great for non technical artists, an important part of the userbase).
Nodes requires a bit more learning and it isn't immediately obvious what you are looking at when observing a node set up. There are no diffuse, spec, reflection (etc) pointers to say what you are working on (even if they are there on the output... it is a visual thing).

Creating a bridge between the two would be a nice way to help make a transition... to see what old skool texturing looks like in nodes. The real problem with it of course, is that you end up with lots of nodes just plugged in to the seperate inputs.. less of a network/process and more of an inefficient set up that might teach bad habits. Tricky. But still, it isn't a mad idea, but it would need some proper thought... maybe even a change to the layer texturing method to better reflect/make more compatible with nodes.

shrox
05-15-2017, 07:41 AM
http://3dxyz.pro is a dead link, the project was put to bed a while back.

I downloaded from it the other day. Follow the directions above.

djwaterman
05-15-2017, 09:00 AM
Okay, for anyone else, when you get the OOPs that page can't be found page, on the left is a blue icon, if you click on it you gain access to the presets. But it is not the old interface and I don't think we can upload presets anymore. At least he has left the collection online but it's not a going concern anymore.

Revanto
05-16-2017, 04:58 AM
Just replying purely from the title, I would have to punch my brain repeatedly. I am not fond of nodes. I can do basic stuff but I feel that stuff is easier when layered. Imagine if Photoshop or even programs like MS Office were all nodes-only in some way??? Yuk....

Nodes overwhelm me. It's like when you look at a bag of cables and they are all tangled up, making you lose your s#!t because you have to spend time untangling them.

Newtek has never been the most sane or considerate bunch but nodes only would be the death knell for me.

Revanto :p

pinkmouse
05-16-2017, 05:10 AM
...Imagine if Photoshop or even programs like MS Office were all nodes-only in some way???

Yes please. That might actually make them usable! :D

gamedesign1
05-16-2017, 05:37 AM
To me I think nodes should be the main method, because of the flexibility of it. But I think they should keep the option of using layers within nodes because I agree that some people work better with layers.

Snosrap
05-16-2017, 06:52 AM
Just replying purely from the title, I would have to punch my brain repeatedly. I am not fond of nodes. I can do basic stuff but I feel that stuff is easier when layered. Nodes overwhelm me. It's like when you look at a bag of cables and they are all tangled up, making you lose your s#!t because you have to spend time untangling them.

I'm not a huge fan of nodes either but I don't like the current setup of a bastardized panel. The individual tabs for Advanced, Environment and Shaders is dated and those perimeters could be better controlled through a node graph IMO. From the screenshot it looks as if there is some dynamic building of the layers panel as indicated by the slide bar on the right side, but that could also be dependent on the Material dropdown (Hair in this case) as well as the Material or Shading Model used. It does look though as if the Surface Editor has received considerable attention as evident in the Cel-Shading animated GIF on their blog. I guess only time will tell. :)

ncr100
05-16-2017, 04:56 PM
Just replying purely from the title, I would have to punch my brain repeatedly. I am not fond of nodes. I can do basic stuff but I feel that stuff is easier when layered. Imagine if Photoshop or even programs like MS Office were all nodes-only in some way??? Yuk....

Nodes overwhelm me. It's like when you look at a bag of cables and they are all tangled up, making you lose your s#!t because you have to spend time untangling them.

Newtek has never been the most sane or considerate bunch but nodes only would be the death knell for me.

Revanto :p

If nodes could be viewed as a stack would that help? Automatically. I'm guessing "no" but I'm wondering what types of obscuration Nodes makes happen.

Like if you took the tangle and made it top-to-bottom.

136803

Or if it organized them left-to-right with easy spacing?

136805

How do these diagrams feel? Would either of these help? What are they missing - how are they misleading?

Revanto
05-16-2017, 10:28 PM
How do these diagrams feel? Would either of these help? What are they missing - how are they misleading?

Sorry, but I find these questions funny because it sounds very like how a psychologist would speak.

I think that the overwhelming part is trying to out find what is what and what plugs into where. This is especially the case when you see a node set up for the first time OR you return to a complex node set up of your own after having been away from it for a while.

But, yeah, having nodes organised linearly and colour-coded (or easily identifiable) makes the process easier. I would love to get into Substance Designer to make some cool shaders but watching a tutorial on something that looks simple but have a complex node set up is really off-putting. I use After Effects and I can usually figure out what does what after a while just but turning layers and effects on and off. So, I'm still on the side of a layering system rather than a node based one. Yeah, I suppose the surface editor can seem a bit outdated as it is but I'm used to it. I find that sometimes nodes have a roundabout way of doing things, adding unnecessary steps to SOME simple processes (not all, mind you).

Rev. :p

jasonwestmas
05-17-2017, 11:13 AM
Yes, there are good node systems and bad ones. In sound theory, the idea behind graphs is to allow you to see the entire system if not the major parts of it. It's way more easy to trace your steps than digging though collapsed layers constantly. Moving pieces of your networks around and experimenting is also far easier to do with a good nodal system. A good nodal system should not make simple ideas more difficult to do either.

Asticles
05-17-2017, 11:27 AM
A good nodal system, but with a proper material preview.