THE DIFFUSE MENU:
When enabled (default) the shader does its best to try and conserve energy.
Energy conservation is an important part of the shader. The light that comes off from the surface cannot be larger than the light that reaches it (except when the material itself emits light, from emission for example).
Turn it off for a more artistic control.
Note the examples bellow:
The first image shows a material without energy conservation. Notice that its too bright on the edges. That`s because there is reflection and diffuse color adding on top of each other, letting more light come out than it comes in.
CONSERVE fixes this by not allowing more light to come out than it comes in.
When enabled, it will use the texture plugged into the DIFFUSE_MAP slot
The diffuse color, notice that when USE_DIFFUSE_MAP is enabled, it will continue to affect the look of the shader.
When not using a texture, it will be the overall color of your material, when using a texture it will tint your texture. So you can darken it, tint the texture color or even boost its lightness by using white values higher then 1.
THE EMISSIVE MENU:
When enabled it will use the texture plugged in the EMISSIVE_MAP slot.
The color emission. Notice that it will continue to affect the shader even when using a texture.
Also notice that it will not make your object "glow". It is not possible to make screen effects with ShaderFX.
THE ENVIRONMENT MENU:
All that your environment map controls are here, everything between reflections and Image Based Lighting (IBL) or indirect lighting.
When enabled, it will use your reflection map as the source of the IBL, when disabled the IBL will be calculated from the SKY_GROUND_COLOR and SKY_COLOR.
When using a normal map on your material, this will alter how much it affects the IBL.
Suggested values are between 0 and 1.
0 will have no effect.
1 will have full effect.
>1 will boost the effect.
Controls the blurriness of the IBL map.
This is an arbitrary value, it depends on the resolution of the texture you are using, larger texture will require a larger value to blur. Can be pretty much any value.
Larger values will blur it more.
Values too low will look like a second texture on your object and look very off, values too high will lose lighting detail.
Example: No lights, IBL only.
Value of 0:
Value of 6:
The intensity of the indirect lighting
When enabled, the specular texture plugged in the specular slot inside the specular menu and color, will control, mask and tint the reflections.
When enabled, will use the texture plugged in the REFLECTION_MAP slot as reflection and IBL when needed.
When enabled it will use the alpha channel of the texture plugged in the SPECULAR_MAP slot under SPECULAR MENU to control the blurriness of the reflections.
Whites will blur the amount set in the REFL_BLUR, Blacks will have no blur. Will also affect Roughness in the SPECULAR MENU.
Slot for the texture used for reflections and IBL.
Only Latitude/Longitude maps are supported for now.
The blurriness of reflections. 0 = no blur, Higher values will blur the reflections.
This is an arbitrary value. Larger textures needs larger values to blur.
Minimum value of fresnel effect, higher values pushes reflections to the border.
Maximum value of fresnel, lower values pushes reflections to the center.
Weights the fresnel effect, 1 is total effect, 0 is no effect, you may use higher or lower values, but its not recommended.
Exposure of the texture plugged in the REFLECTION_MAP slot.
An arbitrary positive or negative value. Specially useful when using HDR textures.
THE NORMAL MENU:
Controls the normal map effect to add detail. This menu is hidden when USE_NORMAL_MAP is turned off in the settings.
The intensity of the normal map plugged in the NORMAL_MAP slot.
Can be any positive or negative value.
The slot used to plug your normal map.
Tangent space textures only.
THE SHADOWS MENU:
Bias of the shadow map, you may need to increase this value for very blurry shadows or lights casting shadows too close from the horizon line.
Also you may need do decrease this value when you have a large scene and increasingly low ShadowMap resolution due to scene size as shadows will start to disconnect from its caster and receiver.
Unfortunately, ShadowMap is generated by maya and passed to ShaderFX, there is no way that I know of to increase its resolution past 4096, or generate cascades, or PSSM. This will result in increased low ShadowMap resolution the more your scene size grows in space, as this 4096 shadow map will have to cover your entire scene.
WARNING: This is a VERY sensitive slider. Increasing this value will start to disconnect the shadows too close from its caster. Lowering the value will create shadow artifacts and put shadows in wrong places.
This will control the quality of the shadow map (the actual resolution is still controlled by maya lights).
Use values between 10 and 64.
Softer shadows will require higher values.
Values <10 will produce wrong results.
Values >10 will start to impact performance (HEAVLY). Specially when using multiple lights.
Values > 64 will produce a shader error and your object will turn red.
Here is the effect with the slider ranging from 1-64:
The blurriness of the shadow map.
This is an arbitrary value, must be higher than 0. This will vary depending on your scene size and shadow map resolution.
The closer to 0 the harder the shadows, larger values will start to blur the shadow map. Too close to 0 will produce wrong results and aliased shadows. Values too large will start putting shadows in wrong places and just look wrong.
Here is the effect, slider varying from 1 - 10:
THE SPECULAR MENU:
1 is a completely rough material, 0 is perfectly reflective.
Here is the effect from 1 to 0 with ggx specular method.
Enabling it will add flakes to the specular, simulating a car paint.
Arbitrary value >0. Increasing it will decrease the size of the flakes.
Arbitrary value >0. Increasing it will increase flakes intensity and spread.
Only activate it when using specular methods other then GGX and Skin, as they already use fresnel inside its calculations.
When enabled the texture plugged in the SPECULAR_MAP will control the specular color.
The color of the specular, notice that even when using a specular texture, this color will continue to affect and tint the reflections.
A map to control the roughness and reflection blur when using triplanar specular, as it will be impossible to use alpha.
THE SSS MENU:
This will control the SSS effect of your material.
ALL TRANSLUCENCY OPTIONS ARE HIDDEN IF USE_THICKNESS_MAP IS TURNED OFF IN THE SETTINGS MENU.
Lower values will make the transluceny effect reach further.
Works similarly to TranslucencyDistortion.
This will add the translucency effect regardless of lights.
The color when light reaches shallow parts of the skin.
The color when light reaches the middle parts of the skin.
The color when light reaches the deeper parts of the skin.
The overall effect of the blended normal when selected in the settings menu as the diffuse method.
1 is full effect.
0 is lambert.
The map used to tell the shader where light can go through.
This is ABSOLUTELY necessary when using translucency. It will be hidden when USE_THICKNESS_MAP option is turned off in the settings menu.
TIP: This map can be generated by baking ambient occlusion with your object normals inverted then inverting the map in an image edit software.
THE UV MENU:
Controls UV tiling and triplanar effect.
Triplanar is a way to project your texture in three different axis and use it without a UV map.
THE TEXTURES MUST BE SEAMLESS!
The method used here is the one described by The Game Assemblys “TGA Digital” .
Almost all textures here have a triplanar checkbox.
Larger values will increase the texture repeat.
Lower it and it will repeat less.
Lower values will increase the blending between the three axis, set it too high and it will create seams on your objects.
Number of times the texture will repeat in the horizontal.
1 is no tiling.
Number of times the texture will repeat in the vertical.
1 is no tiling.
THE TRANSPARENCY MENU:
This menu will be hidden if either the USE_OPACITY_MAP or USE_CUTOUT_MAP are disabled in the settings menu.
When you enable either of those options, the alpha channel of your diffuse map will be used for those effects.
Only used when triplanar diffuse is enabled, as there will be impossible to use the alpha channel.
USE_CUTOUT_MAP enables transparent objects to cast shadows.
But different then opacity, cutout can not be semi-transparent, its either opaque or completely transparent.
It is used, for example, for leaves textures on a tree, applied to a plane.
CUTOFF_VALUE is used to tell which part of the gray is black, and which is white, as there cannot be semi-transparent parts.
0 will tell that blacks are white, so there will be no cutout.
Increasing this value will start to "cut" your object based on your diffuse map alpha channel.
TIP: Both opacity and cutout can be used together. For example, on a cloud texture, using only cutout will cause it to have a very sharp edge, using both cutout and opacity will enable you to cast correct shadows and still have soft border on the edges of your texture.
THE DISPLACEMENT MENU:
Still fixing some bugs, triplanar displacement is not working yet.
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