Quick Insert ideas
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    • #34208

      Pixla
      Participant
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      Hey! First of all: thanks a bunch for making this! Excellent contribution to the community.

      Suggestion 1: MAP RANGE (shortcut M):
      For Quick Inserts I would really like to see MapRange (defaulting to value (float), not Vector). While the color ramp is what you see used a lot, I find MapRange really useful for roughness maps. Bonus if quick inserting MapRange sets the color space to Non-Color for the preceding image texture.

      Longer explanation because text is free follows. What I’d ACTUALLY want is a quick insert that you add after an image texture (grayscale roughness map, for example) that looks at the input and NORMALISES the image texture so that:

      From Min: becomes the darkest value in the texture
      From Max: becomes the lightest value in the texture.

      That means that you “reset” the roughness texture that might only have values from 0.13 to 0.88. Once you have the From Min = black and From Max = white, we can now use the To Min and To Max to define the “Blender compensated range of values” that we want to see from the texture.

      The issue is this: PBR materials are everywhere and shared between software (GREAT!), but the actual values in Specular, Glossiness and Roughness maps are bound to be “tied” to the software that created them. A certain map may be perfect for Corona, but might need to be tweaked for Blender Cycles. We can do this ‘by eye’ with a color ramp, but the truth of the matter is that once you gain experience you’ll know what the exact roughness values are that you are looking for, for different materials and looks (Plastic, metal and so on….). If we can calibrate pre-made grayscale maps to make sure they go from black to white, we can then make presets that can safely assume that they are being fed black to white values in order to look consistent.

      My workflow today:

      Selecting image node. Set colorspace to Non-Color. Drag out from Socket and type MapRange. Switch from Vector to Float. Preview MapRange in Cycles render view. Scrub From Min to eyeball that some values are black. Scrub From Max to eyeball some values are white. Define To Min and To Max to suit my needs.

      In a perfect world, pre-made roughness maps shouldn’t contain black and white values, but values in between, and they’d look perfect in Cycles. But I often find I need to tweak them and normalising them first makes it easier and more predictable.

      Suggestion 2: NOISE NORMALISATION:
      Blenders Noise Texture comes in with values from -1 to +1. When used in materials we often want to normalise the noise to the 0-1 range. This takes the simple node setup: Math Add: 1 followed by Math Divide by 2 (or Multiply by 0.5)

      In my mind these are two general use-cases that could benefit “everyone”. Feedback welcome.

    • #34211

      Blender Sensei
      Keymaster
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      These are great ideas. Do you think you could post a couple of before and after shots of some node setups and the results? This might help me understand the utility a little better. I’m not sure M will work since we use M to mute nodes (and that is useful). I have no problem with overriding the default hotkey behavior of Blender for R and S to rotate and scale nodes because the need for a ramp node hotkey is so much greater than the need to quickly be able to rotate a selection of nodes in an interesting way.

    • #34212

      Blender Sensei
      Keymaster
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      I think your suggestions sound like good candidates for stuff that can get added and adjusted automatically based on context (and disabled if desired via options), but we’ll see!

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