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Using shaders

From: Blender 2.48 Essential Training

Video: Using shaders

When you ask Blender to make a render of an image, it uses what's called the shaders to compute what every surface should look like. So let's go ahead and press F12, for those of you on the PC, or for those of you on the Mac, if F12 is remapped to a widget, then come over here to the Scene Context and click the Render button and that generates a render and places the resulting image over here in this UV/Image Editor. And in this sample setup we have the sphere, which is lit by two lamps.

Using shaders

When you ask Blender to make a render of an image, it uses what's called the shaders to compute what every surface should look like. So let's go ahead and press F12, for those of you on the PC, or for those of you on the Mac, if F12 is remapped to a widget, then come over here to the Scene Context and click the Render button and that generates a render and places the resulting image over here in this UV/Image Editor. And in this sample setup we have the sphere, which is lit by two lamps.

A soft Hemi lamp which is shining on the globe here which you can kind of see through this white color and then a very bright piercing light above it which is an omnidirectional light. As you can see, the surface of the sphere goes from a purple color to this white color here and this white color and purple color is set over here in your diffuse and your specular colors in the Material panel, under the Shading Material context. Now the amount of the color and where this specular starts and where it ends is all setup in the Shaders panel, which is the main purpose of this tutorial.

We have five different shaders to choose from and each of these is usually generated by a different guy or a different person that was working on this math to come up with different algorithm for computing the surface and we are going to run through them. For the Lambert Shader, which is the normal shader that's used, the one control you have is the amount of reflection of the color that occurs when the object is hit by light. So a lesser reflection means that the sphere up here is darker or deeper or richer kind of a color.

The Specularity refers to the amount of specular color that is reflected as the light hits a sphere. So now, a little bit of light hitting the sphere results in a lot of specular color being blended in. The Hardness refers to the diameter of this specular reflection. A larger number increases the hardness, which actually diminishes the size of that spherical reflection. Usually, things have very little specularity and very little hardness.

Usually things are like cardboard or soundproofing or paper. They really spread the light over a very broad area and if all of your stuff is looking like plastic, it's because you have the specularity and the hardness up way too high. Also it could be depend on the kind of lamp you are using too. This Hemi lamp provides a nice base, even amount of lighting. The omnidirectional is very hard point source of light. The other shader is the Oren-Nayar shader. That algorithm is designed to reflect some roughness in the surface.

At the microscopic level, the lamplight is diffused. So I'm going to go ahead and change the lamp, to be a Spot lamp to better illustrate this point. Now even though the Spot lamp is shining directly on the sphere, you are not getting a very hard, crisp, specular reflection. You are instead getting a very rough surface as though this was made out of rough sandpaper. The Toon shader goes with the toon specular shader and we are just going to go ahead and jump into the different specular shader here.

And this Toon shader was developed to enable Blender to provide cartoon style renderings from 3D objects that look as though they were cel-shaded. The Toon shader has a couple of different other controls. One of which is how much color is reflected, which is common pretty much throughout of all of the different shaders. The size of the diffuse area and the smoothness of the transition from the diffuse to the specular. So just making those few changes, you can see that the specular and the diffuse settings and appearance is very different.

By increasing the Specularity, increasing the Smoothness, we are now getting this very odd kind of color. Most cel-shading uses a very sharp line between the diffuse and specular and so you get this kind of an effect. This provides a smaller smoothness setting on the diffuse. It says that there is less of a shading gradient among the different areas of the sphere that are getting the different light amounts.

The Fresnel effect is a pretty wild effect. I'll go ahead and switch this back to the CookTorrance. The Fresnel effect is used a lot on glass materials and that provides a very neat, magnifying kind of effect. As the light hits the surface, it's spread out and reflected back. The Minnaert shader is very good for metal type of surfaces. If you want something to look like it's a painted metal, then you can use the Minnaert. The Tangent Vector, sort of flips the effect so that instead of getting a normal shading, you get a tangent shading and the closest way I can explain this is Christmas balls that are wrapped with very fine like metal string when they are hung on the tree, you get this kind of banding kind of effect going on.

Shadows, we have talked about, is that this material can have shadows cast on to it and if it does receive shadows from a transparent object, then the coloring and the effect on this object from that shadow is based on the Alpha channel. We can have this object render its shadow on a material as an Alpha value and that helps us when we are blending shadows together. Cubic uses a faster fall-off, so if we are using a Lambert shader, and no Tangent, then this Cubic helps ease this fall-off that occurs when one light source blends in with another one.

Down here under Translucency if we increase the Translucency and we make the material slightly transparent, then as the light goes through the front part of the material, it's going to hit the backside of the material and then reflect back out through the front side of the material. So the Translucency helps simulate what happens with a real globe. Let's say as light enters into the globe, it gets bounced around on the backside. Here you can see this purple and then comes back out though the front side for us to see.

Ambient light we have talked about before is the amount that this material as effected by the ambient light and Emitting is used with radiosity to say that this almost is lit up. So now we have a glass globe that is lit and actually cast soft light out into the rest of the environment. I'm going to turn this down. And lastly but not least, the LBias helps with the shadow buffer lamps and makes them darker. A lot of times a shadow buffer lamp will cast kind of a general gray kind of a shadow and not really a crisp dark shadow and LBias helps define this shadow better from a shadow buffer lamp.

So that's real brief overview of the five different kinds of diffuse shaders, a little bit on the specular shaders. The Phong shader is used for like the surface of pitches and fuzzy things. Faces are good for Phong shading and things like that. Wardiso is a specular shader that also is good for metal as well. So play with the different shaders and experiment to see what kind of effect they give under the various different kind of lighting conditions so that you come up with a great combination that gives the shading across the surface of the material that you want to use.

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This video is part of

Image for Blender 2.48 Essential Training
Blender 2.48 Essential Training

131 video lessons · 25877 viewers

Roger Wickes

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 12m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. Using Blender's full capabilities
      4m 16s
    4. Getting and installing Blender
      3m 8s
    5. Mouse and keyboard differences on the Mac
      2m 27s
  2. 1h 6m
    1. Blender oddities
      7m 38s
    2. Introducing the User Interface, Console, and Render windows
      3m 8s
    3. Configuring the desktop for an efficient workflow
      6m 27s
    4. Using the mouse and tablet on a PC or a Mac
      5m 7s
    5. Acquiring keyboard skills
      7m 38s
    6. Window panes and types
      7m 53s
    7. Exploring the default scene
      5m 53s
    8. Setting themes, UI colors, and user preferences
      4m 0s
    9. Understanding how to safeguard your data with autosave and backups
      6m 52s
    10. Appending and linking assets
      7m 27s
    11. Using the open-source movies and assets
      4m 18s
  3. 2h 7m
    1. Working with objects in 3D space
      6m 24s
    2. Navigating 3D views
      4m 23s
    3. Understanding Blender modes
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding meshes
      2m 8s
    5. Editing a mesh
      3m 28s
    6. Using the Mirror modifier
      2m 55s
    7. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 35s
    8. Using Bézier curves
      3m 52s
    9. Working with text objects
      5m 23s
    10. Using reference images
      3m 38s
    11. Modeling boots by extruding circles and joining meshes
      8m 59s
    12. Applying the Mirror modifier to duplicate the boot and rotate
      1m 58s
    13. Modeling a helmet with NURBS and the Boolean modifier
      7m 14s
    14. Modeling a belt and pants by making a compound object from multiple primitive objects
      3m 51s
    15. Modeling legs by using edge loops and the Knife tool
      6m 9s
    16. Modeling a chest and arms using edge loops
      5m 30s
    17. Stitching the shoulders and neck
      5m 13s
    18. Modeling hands with the Proportional Editing tool
      9m 4s
    19. Linking vertices to create knuckle joints
      4m 7s
    20. Reinforcing modeling basics to create the face, eyes, nose, and ears
      13m 6s
    21. Appending and linking assets
      3m 54s
    22. Sculpting basics
      3m 3s
    23. Using the Subsurf modifier to smooth
      2m 34s
    24. Parenting
      2m 7s
    25. Working with groups
      2m 1s
    26. Understanding the endless possibilities for editing mesh with modifiers
      2m 37s
    27. Duplicating objects using the Array modifier
      1m 54s
    28. Modeling a set
      7m 52s
  4. 39m 41s
    1. Lighting overview
      4m 25s
    2. Using the Omni lamp
      4m 50s
    3. Working with the Area lamp
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Spot lamp
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Sun, Sky, and Atmosphere lamps
      4m 51s
    6. Using the Hemisphere lamp
      2m 3s
    7. Working with Ambient and Radiosity lighting
      7m 34s
    8. Lighting with three-point and other multipoint lighting rigs
      5m 30s
    9. Understanding shadows
      3m 22s
  5. 1h 21m
    1. Realism overview
      2m 56s
    2. Creating a world in less than seven days
      6m 36s
    3. Applying ambient occlusion
      3m 47s
    4. Working with basic materials
      3m 24s
    5. Working with node materials
      4m 27s
    6. Applying Pipeline options
      2m 51s
    7. Painting vertices
      3m 13s
    8. Using shaders
      7m 59s
    9. Using mirrors
      4m 41s
    10. Working with transparency
      4m 28s
    11. Using halos
      2m 40s
    12. Simulating with Subsurface Scattering (SSS)
      4m 26s
    13. Applying textures
      9m 34s
    14. Mapping image textures to an object to create a decal
      4m 19s
    15. UV unwrapping
      4m 54s
    16. Applying multiple materials to a single object
      3m 31s
    17. Painting in 3D
      4m 14s
    18. Using bump maps
      3m 14s
  6. 1h 25m
    1. Understanding animation
      4m 14s
    2. Keyframing objects
      6m 15s
    3. Keyframing materials
      3m 14s
    4. Creating Shape keys
      2m 28s
    5. Creating Facial Shape key animation using reference video
      2m 12s
    6. Animating by combining Shape keys
      2m 53s
    7. Working with lattices
      3m 37s
    8. Using hooks
      1m 30s
    9. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 33s
    10. Creating armature objects
      3m 44s
    11. Mirroring armatures for bilateral creatures
      3m 43s
    12. Attaching mesh to the armature by way of skinning
      5m 7s
    13. Posing a character
      4m 43s
    14. Using inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    15. Creating a walk cycle with inverse kinematics
      6m 34s
    16. Completing the walk cycle
      3m 49s
    17. Limiting range of motion and degrees of freedom
      3m 47s
    18. Managing actions using the Action Editor
      3m 52s
    19. Blending actions together using the Non-Linear Animation Editor
      4m 34s
    20. Tracking
      3m 2s
    21. Following a path
      2m 21s
    22. Mimicking an existing animation
      3m 47s
    23. Using the grease pencil
      2m 56s
  7. 50m 43s
    1. Understanding particle systems
      2m 20s
    2. Working with game engine physics
      3m 52s
    3. Spewing particles
      7m 25s
    4. Guiding particles
      3m 43s
    5. Creating reactions and collisions with particle systems
      3m 15s
    6. Creating hair and fur
      4m 25s
    7. Grooming hair and fur
      3m 26s
    8. Jiggling and squishing soft bodies
      3m 43s
    9. Simulating cloth
      6m 10s
    10. Simulating fluids
      5m 47s
    11. Using boids to simulate swarms, schools, and flocks
      6m 37s
  8. 21m 29s
    1. Using Render controls
      6m 18s
    2. Radiosity
      3m 31s
    3. Stamping text on video
      2m 32s
    4. Setting up test renders
      4m 43s
    5. Rendering image sequences
      4m 25s
  9. 1h 5m
    1. Viewing node thumbnail images on certain Macs
      1m 31s
    2. Overview and integration
      2m 12s
    3. Render passes and layers
      4m 27s
    4. Using Input nodes
      6m 22s
    5. Using Output nodes
      3m 54s
    6. Working with Color nodes
      4m 29s
    7. Color mixing and layering
      3m 27s
    8. Using Distort nodes individually and in combination
      7m 15s
    9. Using Vector nodes
      6m 46s
    10. Creating effects with Filter nodes
      8m 49s
    11. Using Converter nodes
      6m 7s
    12. Chroma keying with Matte nodes
      6m 15s
    13. Understanding node groups and reuse
      4m 17s
  10. 38m 43s
    1. The Video Sequence Editor (VSE)
      11m 47s
    2. Integrating audio
      3m 31s
    3. Using VSE Greenscreen and other plug-ins
      5m 40s
    4. Integrating the Compositor with the VSE
      7m 50s
    5. Layering and splicing video
      6m 18s
    6. Speeding up and slowing down sequences
      3m 37s
  11. 5m 26s
    1. Putting it all together: Captain Knowledge visits lynda.com
      5m 12s
    2. Goodbye

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