The Canal Factory image was a test on textures (from painting to material setup) And I’m still thinking about the subject ..
So here’s a long theoric rambling post about material/texturing tools..
Thanks to the developments of VrayBlender in last months , now i can play with an integrated modelling/painting/ shading system quite easily.
Vray standalone offers a lot of texture plugins (to make it work with apps like Max and Maya) enough to suit any shading workflow and UI style .
Even if i’m not a coder at all , i manage to make small tweaks to VrayBlender ( by Andrey M. Izrantsev ) like adding a new texture type UI and have the script write the corresponding vrscene text ( that is a description / parameters file that will setup the scene and features of vray).
So all these features are already in vray , but accessing them through scripting allows to make creative combinations and ‘tailor’ the UI .
Here’s something i’m working on now..
There are 3 material textures UI types , i know of:
— “Nodes” . it’s the best : total freedom and flexibility, but … it’s always demanding for the human brain to read and organize node graphs.. I guess that’s why the 2 other system still exist and are extensively used :
— “single slots” like Max , each material property (=’channel’) has 1 slot , To blend maps you need a special texture type (mix , stencil..) the result is a tree of textures ‘nested’ into that single slot. It can be quite messy and confusing and very hard to read at a glance. It’s also the least flexible since it needs lots of special textures to allow complex materials.
— “stacked ” like Blender , much better already: each texture can be assigned to multiple channels , and “stack” allows blending each texture with next. Stenciling using a control map is possible .. but can get messy.
Soo.. since Vraystandalone has all the special maps needed for “single slots” UIs .. can they still be useful for Blender’s stacked ui ? maybe yes , more than i thought..
I’m testing a “3 step blendmap” : you paint in Blender a b/w control map , then load it in the VB texture and assign 3 colors or textures to black/grey/white areas of the control map.
Then generally you assign that to color channel, and similar ones (same control map ) to other channels , and you can still add further layers with the usual blender stacking system.
This method seems to be easier and quicker than the stencil button of blender , i’m really liking the results.
Images : viewport with painted textures, ui of a 3 step blend texture and rendered result.
(i’ll test more and if the tex plugin works well i’ll propose it for VB.. )