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

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  • perna
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    perna quad damage
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    womanz.jpg

    really starting to like this shader ^_^
  • raul
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    raul polycounter lvl 11
    Would it be too much to ask for a mini tutorial on how to set up such renders? Please?! :)
    vahl wrote: »
    some pictures made using this shader, max 2009, straight viewport grabs.

    Grimoire_3ps.png
    HD image can be downloaded on the 3PointShader site

    AaylaSecuraPosed_3ps.png
    HD image can be downloaded on the 3PointShader site

    DW2Vahl_3ps.png

    Comicbook effect
    Donovan_3ps.png
    Donovan_Collagesm.png
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Raul: Those are standard viewport grabs of the shader in use. Is there anything in particular you'd like to know? I suggest playing around with the shader and getting familiar with all the maps for starters.
  • vahl
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    vahl polycounter lvl 14
    yeah to say a bit more about these, Grimoire, the jedi and the metal chick only have standard maps and settings, nothing fancy at all, just that, lots of experimenting and decent lighting, there's no magic in this, the UI we have for the commercial version allowed me to quickly get all the settings I needed, then I just applied the lighting basics anyone would apply to offline rendering (vray, mental ray, etc). That's the great power of this UI, you can really get great results with a minimal amount of time fucking around trying to get basic stuff to work, then you have all the time you want and need to focus on experimentation and tweaks, which is awesome

    When you've been in the industry for some time, you know that everything is trick to approximate offline rendering results, just transpose those tricks to the max viewports and you should get pretty good results.

    the Darkstalker dude render is a bit more complex but exactly the same thing no fancy trick or anything, just experimentations.

    also, echoing my work thread in the P&P section, here is another screen done with the shader, also check out the article on the main page, all the renders were done using the 3point shader too, and were captured directly in the viewport.

    5sm.png

    and a new screenie from ibuki, experimenting with another kind of cell shader.
    Ibuki_3pointshader02.png
  • raul
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    raul polycounter lvl 11
    ive been playing around with it. I was just curious if maybe you could show a) ligthing set ups b) the settings on the shader.

    So far i understand the shader needs 3 lights. So for me, a movie guy who is now doing games, this whole real time shader stuff is like voodoo. ( mind you my rendering skills are decent, but still noobish )

    That last image looks pretty pimp by the way!
  • vahl
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    vahl polycounter lvl 14
    The shader doesn't "need" 3 lights, it allows for a maximum of 3 lights at once per material, which is a huge difference.
    On the setups, really it won't help you, because :

    on the lighting : the cell shaded assets only have one light, it's just placed to get good lighing depending on the camera view
    the others have a basic "main, fill, rim" setup nothing more, nothing less, then it's all about experimenting with all of this and the 3 lights MAX per material rule.

    on the shaders setup : same here, each setup depends primarily on two things, like in movies, and like in a full feature game engine : lighting and maps.I could give you the exact gloss, spec, reflection, etc values, but would that help ? no, simply because there are 99% chances that your maps are totally different than what i do, so what would look fine to me could be overexposed/oversaturated/overpowered to you or the opposite way.

    Understand that it's not at all that I don't want to show you my setups, it's just that it won't help you in any way, there's no recipe. Treat the Shader as you would treat an offline renderer, just..that you get instant results ! the basic rules are the same :) for good lighting, photography rules are key :) for shader settings, observation of material properties will give you all the answers you need !

    edit : setup uploaded
    aayla_setup.png
  • BradMyers82
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    BradMyers82 interpolator
    Xoliul has some great video tutorials that transfer wonderfully to 3 point shader. After watching them and fiddling around with 3 point or Xoluil shader, there is absolutely no reason anyone should have trouble with setting up lights and stuff. Check it out here: http://www.laurenscorijn.com/articles

    Vahl: I love the p22 and you did an amazing job with the model/texture. Congrats on that! :)
  • moose
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    moose Polycount Sponsor
    I'm late to the party... but this is badass!! few comments in using it!

    When i assign a texture to a slot, it should check that box "Use [xxxx]..." Feels too laborious and box-checking & error-prone to not have that automatic when someone assigns a texture.

    Maybe i missed it in the thread, but is the difference between lite & the full version; pretty UI vs ugly UI? WTB the UI from the 1st post & vahl's post :)

    "Quality Mode" rules, even smooths out great over unwelded uvw seams! *\o/*
  • raul
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    raul polycounter lvl 11
    @ vahl - this is more info that i need it! thanx bro! :)
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 9
    Im a bit confused as to why there is a gloss scalar value and a colour. The scalar i understand but the colour is a mystery to me.

    I've never seen gloss colour in a shader before. whats it for?

    Cheers.
  • CrazyButcher
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    CrazyButcher polycounter lvl 16
    depending on the "use map" settings, you either use the texturemap value or the color value for a given effect.

    Whether you just want to keep the values "greyscale" or colorful is up to you.
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 9
    CB I get this, but whats is the idea of making it colourable?, does this do something special. I can see the result of colouring it, I just dont get why I would want to, I mean in every other shader I've used (online and offline) Gloss is grey value describing the Glossyness of the specular highlight. Specular colour comes from the spec map, so what does glossy colour do?

    Im not saying it should do something or that its wrong I just want to know if im missing something neat :)
  • Spicypixel
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    Spicypixel polycounter lvl 6
    Dunno if this a stupid question or anything so I'm gonna shoot anyway.
    Would it possible to export a shader from this that would be openable in say unreal/unity3d engine?

    thanks
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    r_fletch_r: We'll be showing more comprehensive documentation on feature usage soon. For now, suffice to say, yes you are missing something VERY neat :D Experiment :) We're being tight-lipped about a good deal of the features to see what you guys will come up with. Then again we realize the Lite version isn't as easy to play around with as the full UI, so doesn't really encourage experimentation.
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 9
    oh your such a tease, jesus christ! :D

    Cheers Perna, Ill take a deeper look.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    ok, so i tried to export the low poly of this model to get a nice AO bake. and the bake came out all fucked. like the normals are fried or something.

    turns out they are. check this out:
    womanz.jpg
    womanzg.jpg

    ur shader broked my shit lol.
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    gir: Not sure what we're looking at or what the problem is there. The shader doesn't touch object normals, however the modifier does and you have it disabled in the screenshot with the broken normals.

    Would need more information about the problem in order to help, preferably a link to a simple scene that demonstrates it.

    If the problem simply is that the external AO generation program (which you didn't specify) is giving you garbage output, I'd hear with the devs of that program, not 3Point.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    i think i've found out something along the lines of how it "broke".

    essentially i've done the following over the last couple of days:
    altered high poly for the gloves
    the boots
    the robes etc.

    after detatching those objects from the main mesh, baking the normals, and reataching (my pc is on a go slow atm, so hiding as much as possible = win). then reapplying the modifier every time, i've had to collapse the modifier stack here or there to keep it looking neat (rather than 100 different 3 point modifiers...).

    in doing so, somehow the normals of the mesh itself have been screwed up. the way i've "fixed" the problem, is to detach EVERYTHING into seperate objects, they don't have any modifiers in their individual stacks, and the shader works no problem, as if the modifiers are still there on the meshes. it's also allowed me to export with no problems.

    so no, it's not a problem with the external baking ap, it's a problem with either your shader, or your modifier. i'm guessing it doesn't like to be collapsed and/or atached to other objects.
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    gir: You still haven't described what the actual problem is. If you collapse a mesh with the Quality Mode modifier applied, the new data will be collapsed down as well, just like with any other modifier. That's not a problem or a bug of any kind.

    If you believe there is an actual problem, not just user error, and wish for us to fix said problem, we'll need to know what the problem actually is, in detail.
  • pior
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    pior veteran polycounter
    Gir, I dont get it. Why dont you just do your normalmap bakes in max, and once they are done, simply use the 3point shader, and the modifier. It seems like you are trying very hard to do weird things with it ?

    The way I see it is that, the purpose of the 3point solutions is to display clean stuff in max. If you have engine exports to do, thats a whole other subject ...
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    i wasn't trying to bake my normals in max, i already did that bit. but the problem lies in the fact that my pc can't handle a lot of things at once, so i had to disect it and re attach everything afterwards and all that jazz.

    i wanted to export it to get a good AO map, and that's when i noticed the problem.

    Perna, i'm going to try to reproduce the bug in the next couple of days, and if i can i'll give you guys a detailed writeup. but i'm 99% sure it's caused by the shader/modifier, and not by external software, as reimporting into max gives a messed up mesh too.
  • pior
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    pior veteran polycounter
    But how would you notice a problem when exporting for a AO map bake ... since AO baking is indeed the one step that does NOT require and accurate tangent basis!!

    I still dont understand what you are trying to do.

    Make your bakes. In pieces. Attach them back together. Apply the one normalmap. Use the material and the modifier by 3point. Done!
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    ok, picture the second image. imagine trying to bake an AO map, except it has all of those crazy artifacts all over it, in exactly the same place as the normals being out of whack on the mesh.

    it's not an export problem, since it happens to the mesh before exporting.
    it's not an import problem, since it happens before i've even exported.
    it MUST be something to do with the shader and/or the modifier, by sheer process of elimination.

    like i said, i'm not sure how/why it's happened, but it has. i've found a way to stop it happening for me, right now, but if it's a bug that's reproducable (which i intend to find out) then where's the problem with me bringing it up now?

    and since the problem was fixed by retracing my steps back, pretty much. and the only things i did up to that point were to detach/reattach and then reapply the modifier... you see where i'm going with this? the only thing it can possibly be, is the modifier or the shader.
  • pior
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    pior veteran polycounter
    But why on earth would AO baking have anything to do with the 3pointShader. I mean, they are two completely unrelated things. Its like saying that opening a word processor and typing your name in it screwed up your UVs!

    You dont need a single trace of anything 3point in your scene in order to bake an AO map, so WHY would you throw in something that is bond to modify some properties of your mesh in the first place? This is a fix made to be applied later in the pipeline, not something to play with and collapse or export with. Or at least thats how I would use it.

    I feel like you are missing something or assuming something wrong at some point of the pipeline but I cannot put my finger on it.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    well, if you read what i said, i exported the mesh after things had been collapsed down.
  • pior
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    pior veteran polycounter
    But why would you export a mesh with a 3point shader modifer slapped on top of it (collapsed or not) in order to make an AO map. Theres just no point in doing that and asking for trouble. Its all much, much more simple that you seem to think ...
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    Gir: If something you've done has caused normals to be messed up, try simply converting to emesh then back to epoly. The bug report is unclear, try to refrain from mentioning things like AO bakes, import and export unless they're actually part of the problem.

    We appreciate the feedback and are marking this as user error for now, until we receive further information that would show otherwise.

    The errors you show are inconsistent with anything I know the modifier to be technically capable of. One piece of advice though; don't collapse or export the Quality Mode data unless you know what you're doing. If you are on top of what the data does, however, it should be perfectly safe and 3ds max compliant to do those things, as well as compatible with external tools (for example as a shortcut to render Quality Mode in other graphics engines)
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 9
    Gir What mapping channel were you using for your bakes?

    Gotta say I've been merging/detaching/collapsing alot of objects with this modifier on them, seems very odd your having problems with normals when the modifier is working in the objects mapping channels. If your UV's went to shit it might make sense.
  • cw
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    cw polycounter lvl 15
    gir, could be a max bug?

    have you tried a scanline render with normal bump applied - if that comes out correct looking then the normal map is fine. Worth trying to eliminate anyway.

    There may be something funny with your object normals in max - I have had this happen before randomly and have had to snapshot the mesh or add edit normals modifier and reset the normals to make it go back to normal (no pun intended)

    Check your channel info for the mesh and remove unwanted channels in case something is messing with your uvs in a way you don't expect.

    Otherwise upload your scene and some folks can try it out - maybe the scene works fine for others and it's something in your max gone wonnky? Not sure what else to suggesy, but if you need a hand pm me. :)
  • Farfarer
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    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Anyone tried recreating Quality Normals mode in ShaderFX?

    I'm trying to get Quality Normals into a custom shader, but doing that straight from reading the .fx code's a little beyond my grasp.

    I get that the modifier stores the new correct tangent/normal/binormal in vertex channels 3/4/5, but there seems to be more to it than that and I can't get my head around it.
  • Eric Chadwick
    I'm curious what 3Point's position is on people using the 3Point modifier along with their own FX shaders from Shader FX, mental mill, FX Composer, etc.?
  • Farfarer
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    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    Well, if we're told we've been given and are allowed to use the technique into game engines, I can't see there being an issue with recreating the normal map part of the shader for use in Max. The 3PS shader itself says it shouldn't be used in an actual engine as it's unoptimised, so we'd have to recreate it anyway.
  • Xoliul
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    Xoliul polycounter lvl 12
    I'm curious what 3Point's position is on people using the 3Point modifier along with their own FX shaders from Shader FX, mental mill, FX Composer, etc.?

    If you read the license, i think you can literally interpret that they don't really allow it: "You may not decompile, modify, reverse engineer, prepare derivative works based on the Software".
    I tried using the modifier in my shader, just to see how it would work, but couldn't get it done. Doesn't seem to be so easy.
  • Eric Chadwick
    If we purchase the full version, would it then be OK to use the 3Point modifier with our own custom shaders that we've optimized for in-game use?
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    dunno if anyone's talked about this yet, but alpha sorting for stuff like hair, is awful with this shader...
    any suggestions on how to stop it doing this?
    hairzw.jpg
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 9
    are they seperate objects or all 1 mesh?
    also you might try changing the viewports transparency mode (right click on the viewport drawing mode text at the top left)
  • Joao Sapiro
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    Joao Sapiro polycounter
    Gir , i believe that it is a recurring problem with max itself and most game engines that cant display proper alpha sorting with alphablend . Im sure if you use alphatest the issue will be "corrected" :)
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    transparrency is set to "best", they're all one mesh.

    and johnny, with alphatest it sorts it to 1 bit, and like half the hair dissapears in a bad way =[
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    [...]alpha sorting for stuff like hair, is awful with this shader...

    Gir, the issue you are describing has nothing to do with the 3Point Shader material and using that mesh you will get the same issue regardless of which shader you're using.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Only solution is to re-order the meshes by detaching and re-attaching, in the order you want them to draw. More here.
    http://wiki.polycount.com/Opacity%20Map#Sorting_Problems
  • vahl
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    vahl polycounter lvl 14
    Gir, as Eric says, you just have a sorting problem, which would happen with 99% of the shaders, just reorder your hair planes and you'll be set, it'll take you what...5 minutes :) grimoire has mostly alphablended stuff all over the place and as you can see on the render, it works perfectly well
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    perna wrote: »
    Gir, the issue you are describing has nothing to do with the 3Point Shader material and using that mesh you will get the same issue regardless of which shader you're using.

    my apologies then ^_^
  • frwanque
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    frwanque polycounter lvl 6
    i cant install it.

    i'm using 3ds max 2010 64-bit

    it says
    Untitled-1.jpg?w=0d8bbd50
  • Firebert
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    Firebert polycounter lvl 12
    frwanque wrote: »
    i cant install it.

    i'm using 3ds max 2010 64-bit

    it says
    Untitled-1.jpg?w=0d8bbd50

    if you are on Vista or 7, then you need to right click the program and run Max itself as Administrator, then drag and drop. just my guess as to the problem you are having.....
  • BlackulaDZ
    this is quite the nifty shader, i've been tinkering with it for the past couple of hours, so much fun!
    yaaaaay.png
  • WCdesign
    where can I find full ui screen. I cant find it enywhere. Thx
  • Pedro Amorim
    It's not released yet.
    And you will probably have to pay for it.
    In the meantime. enjoy the free version
  • cyborgguineapig
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    cyborgguineapig polycounter lvl 14
    Awesome work guys.

    Edit: Does it work for 3DS Max Design 2009? There doesn't appear to be any "3Point Quality Normals" in my modifier list. I know I installed because the shader shows up in the material list. Any ideas?
  • perna
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    perna quad damage
    cyborgguineapig: In scripts/3pointshader/plugins or in the installer mzp (open it as a zip file) you'll find the raw plugin files. Try copying the correct one into your plugins dir manually and watch what happens.

    The installer ought to handle it well though, do you have a custom plugin path perhaps?
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