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3Point Shader - Shader material editor and Quality Mode normalmaps for 3ds Max

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  • Norman3D
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    Norman3D polygon
    Yeah! any detail on how to implement this in Unreal 3 for example would be awesome! :)
  • CrazyButcher
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    CrazyButcher polycounter lvl 16
    tekmatic wrote: »
    I read on the 3point studio site about the 3point shader working on Max9 and above, but has anyone has it working on Max 2011?

    Use the oldstyle material editor (compact mode), and create a "3Point Shader Lite" material with it.
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 9
    per said it was possible here.
    http://boards.polycount.net/showpost.php?p=1132395&postcount=40
    dont mistake me for someone who knows about this stuff :)
  • BradMyers82
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    BradMyers82 interpolator
    Wow, This shader kicks some serious ass! Just tried it on my German Shepherd and I was able to replicate the same quality or better as I got with Xoliul! But the best thing about this, are all the options make using this shader easy, and most of all the perfected normal map preview. Great job guys this is so awesome!

    As you will see, Everything is working properly, Shadows, Normals, Alpha, Alpha test etc.

    ***NOTE: One little bug I did notice is, if I brought in my normals with the green channel flipped (flipped from the way max outputs normals by default that is), and used the "Flip Normals Y" to flip the green channel. This DOES NOT fix my normals. I had to go into photoshop and manually flip my green channel on my normal map. So if anyone is having problems with normals try this first.

    Here is my German Shepherd with the 3point shader, and Xoluil Scene Effects (Unsharp mask, colorcorrect, and post bloom Real-Time Scene Effect used).
    3PointShaderTest01.jpg

    Probably need to tweak this further, and down the unsharp mask, but you get the picture. :)
  • Firebert
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    Firebert polycounter lvl 12
  • BradMyers82
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    BradMyers82 interpolator
    Oh, to anyone having shadow problems make sure you have these things checked.
    if you right click on "[Smooth + Highlights]" in the top left hand corner of the veiwport. Make sure under "lighting and shadows" you have "Illuminate with Scene Effect" / "Enable Hardware shading" & " Enable Shadows" All Checked.
    Make sure your actual lights have Shadows: "On" Checked.

    Also Try going to Views>Viewport Configuration>"Lighting and Shadows" Tab> And make sure under "Global Settings" you have "Best" Checked (SM3.0 Option).

    Lastly, the shadows do not support "Soft Shadows", so under "Shadow Options: make sure (first you should have "Enable Shadows" Checked now) you have "Hard Shadows" Chosen.

    I think that's everything you need to get the shadows working properly. Anything beyond that might be a graphic card issue. I know Nvidia cards play nice with 3ds max real-time so if you have Ati, you might run into trouble. Hope this helps!
  • Xoliul
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    Xoliul polycounter lvl 12
    Hey dudes, cool stuff. At first I thought it was a bit strange that you rolled everything into a shader, but I see there's a C++ coded modifier at work also.

    few questions/remarks;

    I'm not sure if adapting to max's tangent space is the best solution. I still think Max is sort of broken in the way it renders the normalmaps, but this modifier and shader patches it. However, expecting that all engines and companies apply this Max-specific patch to their engine seems a bit much? If Epic were to do this, they'd have to leave it as an option, since bakes from Maya or Xnormal use a different tangent basis. Seems confusing to have option for application specific bakes.
    I'm just not really convinced if having everything adapt to the odd one out (Max baking) is a better solution than having the odd one out adapt to more regular practices.

    I read the shadercode; the "Quality normals" implementation isn't very difficult. Would you mind if I add this as an option to my shader? That way the modifier will also work.

    On your site, you mention anisotropic filtering as a feature. isn't that a Max-specific setting over which shaders have no control? Or do you have control over this through the C++ plugin?


    Oh and, I love the entire plugin / GUI thing you have. That's what I always wanted to do with my shader, but lacked the time and understanding for. I'm wondering if all those options (like the planet, sun and procedural mask) fit into a single shader; you've got to be hitting some SM3.0 limits with that sort of functionality.
    Wish I could've contributed a bit to this, too bad you 3 Point guys never got back on my application ;)
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    trying to install to max 2010 x64, tried dropping the zip file, the mzip.run file within the zip file, the various other files all into max like it says to on the page, but none of them do anything.
  • CrazyButcher
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    CrazyButcher polycounter lvl 16
    You drop the entire "mzp" file or as an alternative just "Maxscript -> Run Script" and select the .mzp file. You don't need to unzip nor mess with files manually, it's all automatic as mentioned on the website.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    my point, is that there is no mzp file...

    on my desktop, i have:
    3psshaderlite_installer.zip

    and inside that i have:
    sadpandaj.jpg
  • Tom Ellis
    [html][/html]
    Xoliul wrote: »
    Wish I could've contributed a bit to this, too bad you 3 Point guys never got back on my application ;)

    Oh man don't even go there... the world isn't ready for a Xoliul/3Point collab.
  • EarthQuake
    The link points to: 3psshaderlite_installer.mzp
    Maybe you've renamed the file or something else?
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    i'll rename the file on my end, but downloading from the link downloads a .zip file for me =[

    could be explorer doing some crazy shit on it's own though.
  • Kimono
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    Kimono polycounter lvl 10
    Some browsers tend to have difficulty with downloading .mzp files directly, I remember a similar problem whilst using Opera a while ago. I'd suggest trying to download using another browser, as Joe says the link points directly to "3psshaderlite_installer.mzp" there should be no messing with .zip files :)
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    it's cool, i just renamed the file and it worked.

    now the difficulty i'm having is that i don't get to use the GUI, if i make a material a 3 point shader material, i get all the options, but no GUI as seen on the website.

    QQ =[
  • BradMyers82
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    BradMyers82 interpolator
    Xoliul: I'm not sure if adapting to max's tangent space is the best solution. I still think Max is sort of broken in the way it renders the normalmaps, but this modifier and shader patches it. However, expecting that all engines and companies apply this Max-specific patch to their engine seems a bit much? If Epic were to do this, they'd have to leave it as an option, since bakes from Maya or Xnormal use a different tangent basis. Seems confusing to have option for application specific bakes.
    I'm just not really convinced if having everything adapt to the odd one out (Max baking) is a better solution than having the odd one out adapt to more regular practices.

    Yeah man, I totally agree with you about fixing normals via max viewport shader. Because honestly, if it works well in 3ds max, but not in any game engine, there is a serious problem for production. However, it is great to have this option if your just working on personal art. It can save you a lot of headaches, and you can focus more on the art itself, and not on the technical garbage that comes when dealing with normal maps.

    Personally, I still always use Marmoset tool bag to view my bakes. I have found that Marmoset is pretty well rounded in terms of how it handels the normals, and the results you see there carry over well to other game engines. Once I get more in depth with the texturing, and want to make a REALLY nice real-time render; its bake to 3ds max. I'll be using both 3 point Shader and Xoluil from now on.

    One thing I didn't mention is, I actually detached the eyes and used the Xoluilshader on the eyes. So actually, you can mix and match these shaders to get some cool effects as well. :)
  • Yozora
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    Yozora polycounter lvl 11
    Yup, some browsers add or rename .mzp files into .zip files. I use chrome and it adds a .zip after the .mzp. All you need to is delete the .zip bit and/or rename it to.mzp.

    I just tried playing around with it and the GUI is just the standard shader gui. Is this because I'm using max 2009 and you need 2010+ for the fancy GUI?
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 13
    Seems i am having some issues as there are write permissions set on our damn pcs here at work.

    -- Compile error: Unable to create copy/move destination directory:
    C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2010\scripts\3PointShader\plugins

    -- In line: copy *
    -- In file: mzp.run in package
    C:\users\jmoody\Downloads\3psshaderlite_installer.mzp


    Gonna just try and creating everything manually and adding in the paths and files.

    *** Fixed... Had to apply admin rights to folders.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    Yozora wrote: »
    Yup, some browsers add or rename .mzp files into .zip files. I use chrome and it adds a .zip after the .mzp. All you need to is delete the .zip bit and/or rename it to.mzp.

    I just tried playing around with it and the GUI is just the standard shader gui. Is this because I'm using max 2009 and you need 2010+ for the fancy GUI?

    can't be that cos i'm using 2010 and don't get the fancy GUI

    could be x86 version only?
  • SpeCter
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    SpeCter polycounter lvl 11
    As stated before you should add the Modifier to get the fancy gui if i´m not mistaken
  • MRico
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    MRico polycounter lvl 10
    The lite version doesn't include the fancy GUI
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    ah ok, that's a shame...
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 13
    Fixed my issue... It was admin rights for some reason were not applied.
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Xoliul wrote: »
    Hey dudes, cool stuff. At first I thought it was a bit strange that you rolled everything into a shader, but I see there's a C++ coded modifier at work also.

    few questions/remarks;

    I'm not sure if adapting to max's tangent space is the best solution. I still think Max is sort of broken in the way it renders the normalmaps, but this modifier and shader patches it. However, expecting that all engines and companies apply this Max-specific patch to their engine seems a bit much? If Epic were to do this, they'd have to leave it as an option, since bakes from Maya or Xnormal use a different tangent basis. Seems confusing to have option for application specific bakes.
    I'm just not really convinced if having everything adapt to the odd one out (Max baking) is a better solution than having the odd one out adapt to more regular practices.

    I read the shadercode; the "Quality normals" implementation isn't very difficult. Would you mind if I add this as an option to my shader? That way the modifier will also work.

    On your site, you mention anisotropic filtering as a feature. isn't that a Max-specific setting over which shaders have no control? Or do you have control over this through the C++ plugin?


    Oh and, I love the entire plugin / GUI thing you have. That's what I always wanted to do with my shader, but lacked the time and understanding for. I'm wondering if all those options (like the planet, sun and procedural mask) fit into a single shader; you've got to be hitting some SM3.0 limits with that sort of functionality.
    Wish I could've contributed a bit to this, too bad you 3 Point guys never got back on my application ;)



    Xoliul, all software that already supports 3ds Max normal map bakes will benefit greatly from the tangent space fix.
  • etb342
    Seems i am having some issues as there are write permissions set on our damn pcs here at work.

    -- Compile error: Unable to create copy/move destination directory:
    C:Program FilesAutodesk3ds Max 2010scripts3PointShaderplugins

    -- In line: copy *
    -- In file: mzp.run in package
    C:usersjmoodyDownloads3psshaderlite_installer.mzp


    Gonna just try and creating everything manually and adding in the paths and files.

    *** Fixed... Had to apply admin rights to folders.

    Perhaps you could elaborate on this fix Jesse? I'm getting the same error and I'm not sure what to do to allow the write permissions (I'm the administrator of my PC so I don't know why there's anything being blocked to begin with).

    I'm also running Vista which may be a fail in and of itself...
  • etb342
    Nevermind, I got it.

    For those experiencing this issue in Vista, you'll need to navigate to the Autodesk/3dsMax folder on your C drive to enable full privileges in the security. I, myself, had to go as far as to add my own account the Owners list.
  • EarthQuake
    Another quick example image
    eotechcompare.jpg
  • Eric Chadwick
  • cman2k
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    cman2k polycounter lvl 15
    DAMN that is nice! Any chance we can see wires of that?

    I haven't gotten this to work at home, when I dropped the mzp into max, nothing would happen. I tried running max as administrator (in 64-bit vista), and then I couldn't even drop the mzp into max.

    I'm thinking something is up with my privileges...?
  • Xoliul
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    Xoliul polycounter lvl 12
    Just turn off all that UAC crap and it should work fine ?
  • cman2k
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    cman2k polycounter lvl 15
    Yeah I'll have to mess with that crap and try again. I just tried it here at work and it worked without a hitch. :P
  • Andreas
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    Andreas polycounter lvl 11
    EarthQuake wrote: »
    Another quick example image
    eotechcompare.jpg

    Ah the good old days. Thats almost a year ago now. We need another hard surface workshoppe!!
  • Michael Knubben
    cman2k: run as admin and then 'run script'. For some reason you can't drag it in as an admin, but you can just run it.
  • Norman3D
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    Norman3D polygon
    Hey there a bit of advice, if you install your stuff in your $userscripts folder you will be able to install it without running it as admin. After copying all the files there you can use the "rename" expression in maxscript to move the files from one folder to the other.
    It works very well with my gomax script ;)
  • CJE
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    CJE polycounter lvl 11
    Works great on Max 2011 x64 on W7 x64.
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 9
    holy crap, i hadnt considered how this would improve the fidelity of the reflections. that noise nearly makes it look ray traced ;)
  • Sandbag
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    Sandbag polycounter lvl 16
    so wait...how exactly does this shader fix normal rendering in anything but max + the shader?

    I've seen the question get asked a few times with no quantitative answer (I dont consider a single absolute "it does" quantitative, some reasons and examples would be really nice).

    What exactly is the shader doing that will allow this "fix" to work in any game engine or non max platform?
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 9
    I dont think you could go too wrong thinking of this as at the very least a proof of concept

    This may clarify.
    http://boards.polycount.net/showpost.php?p=1132395&postcount=40

    specifically
    Costs of implementation and performance are negligible.
    Tools and concrete information is now freely available, meaning developers have no reason not to render Quality Mode normal maps.
    Industry-wide adoption is just a matter of time and has already started in several studios.
  • jocose
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    jocose polycounter lvl 11
    I really want to have our coders put the shading fix in our engine at work. Is there some documentation as to what we would have to do, or would it be easy enough for then to deduce by looking at the code that comes with the shader?
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Sandbag, if a company that uses 3ds Max bakes chooses to continue supporting broken normal map rendering, at a cost of quality and performance, the only thing we can do is inform them that we can assist with a solution.

    As for the extent of upcoming industry support for Quality Mode I can only say it should be pretty obvious. In any case the main effort on our end is keeping the material UI powerful and user-friendly, also with old-style normal map rendering, which we fully support.

    Developers can write [email protected]
  • DEElekgolo
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    DEElekgolo interpolator
    vpgrabeliteperspuser0f.jpg
    Doin it right?
  • cman2k
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    cman2k polycounter lvl 15
    MightyPea wrote: »
    cman2k: run as admin and then 'run script'. For some reason you can't drag it in as an admin, but you can just run it.

    Thanks MightyPea, this worked great! :)
  • Rick Stirling
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    Rick Stirling polycounter lvl 14
    Is there any way that this shader can support composite/GSM specular maps? What about the full version?
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Rick, we've aimed to cover the material parameters that'll be needed in most cases. Anything pipeline-specific and/or performance related is avoided, as that can be handled on the client-side of things (or there'd be an infinite number of variations for us to support and lowered performance).
  • achmedthesnake
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    achmedthesnake polycounter lvl 11
    any approx release date on the commercial version huh?

    hint hint nudge nudge...

    great work guys
  • StefanH
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    StefanH polycounter lvl 12
    thx for the great shader. works like a charm. Is there a way to control the reflection intensity through the specular map like in XOLIULs shader? Doing a face and would like to have a quick way of filtering the reflection so it doesnt appear in dark creases or corners of the mouth and stuff like that.
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Achmed, to be announced :)

    Stefan: yes, there's a reflection mask map that is independent of spec/gloss.

    One advice I can give is look at the screenshots of the commercial version; they make it clearer which shader capabilities are supported.
  • StefanH
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    StefanH polycounter lvl 12
    yeah found that.. a quick way of controlling the reflection intensity by the specular map would still be handy.. thx for your help :)
  • mLichy
    Awesome awesome stuff guys :).

    On a side note, for the Access Denied stuff on Vista/Win 7 for the MZP.

    U guys could try using #MaxData. This will put the scripts into whatever folder is accessible and not give issues with installation.

    Keep up the great work!
  • Sandbag
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    Sandbag polycounter lvl 16
    Perna - So essentially you're asking all developers to buy the code to your normal rendering process?

    Also, does this introduce any of the problems/limitations that using tangent space maps normally would bring? Or is this melding the "ignore low poly surface normals/smoothing errors" of tangent maps with all of the usability of object space maps?

    It would be nice to hear some technical insight on the matter, (pros, cons, why/how's, etc) from either yourself, someone on the 3 Point Team, or some technical artists on the boards that are more familiar with these rendering methods.
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