Noise Layer Interaction
Posted: 20 November 2022 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Joined  2021-08-07

I’ve been working with procedural materials for a while and I can now succinctly describe an integration between noises I believe would be super useful but cannot seem to get to work.

In the referenced file I am working on a procedural wood material as explained by Jonas Pliz, here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf7JaGaeDP4

The noises in the Color Layer node do layer on top of one another and use the set blending mode but, afaik, this blending is pixel-by-pixel. By this I mean the the underlying layering algorithm takes a pixel and the looks at that pixel in each layer and computes the blend mode (mult, add, etc.).

However this approach does not allow one layer to ‘influence’ the _structure_ of the other layers.

In real wood the irregularities typically follow and move the grain lines. Take a knot, the remnant of where a branch came out of the tree, the grain layers flow around the knot. The know doesn’t simply exist on its own.

So, it would be great if I could figure out how to cause the imperfections of the layers of noise in the example file below to follow and modify the grain lines.

There is a little bit of this in the example file in the two noises, mul, and mod, that create the grain. The leftmost noise manipulates the ‘Offset’ of the second noise and thus irregularities occur along the gain lines. However, I would like to, say, insert a single knot at some point in a grain line and do two things, push the grain lines around the knot so it looks like the branch grew and pushed the grain/wood as it grew, and to only occur once.

I hope this can be done!

Here is the link to the file.

https://www.icloud.com/iclouddrive/0bc6Ql6CMtvgiu-xKMWR2fFYA#ForCineversity-20Nov22

Thanks,
Greg

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Posted: 20 November 2022 11:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Hi Greg,

I have explored some RS Wood Materials; the ones from the Asset Browser rely on images, as others I found in Materials kits do so as well.

You mention real-world appearance. This sets the bar high.

I presume you like the long curvy lines on the side and the circular patterns on the “top” while the little details change accordingly.

Even after more extended research today, I have not found something that would pass the real-world test. I assume you have photorealistic in mind, and there I have nothing to share that would allow for curvy lines, ring shapes, and patterns that flow along knot holes.

What is needed is an offset-rotational-scale option that can follow an RGB-raw map (like a normal map) while allowing for a flow of the main lines, which you might request as a “Share Your Ideas” here:
https://www.maxon.net/en/support-center

I assume just to combine longer lines (parallel ramps with short line textures, while combined offset by noise), is not what you are looking for

All the best

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Dr. Sassi V. Sassmannshausen Ph.D.
Cinema 4D Mentor since 2004
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Posted: 21 November 2022 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Thanks Dr. Sassi!

Here’s a link to a video series using Substance Designer creating procedural wood. In this case old, old wood planks but the knots are interesting. If you start looking at the video around 9 minutes in you can see how he integrates the knots into the grain. Actually, quite fascinating.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI1ONNJXuVw

Of course, the output from Substance Designer is a texture with all the limitations of using textures so although the process is interesting the use case isn’t what I would like.

I hope to get the time soon to make a suggestion for these kinds of functions in the RS/C4D node systems.

Have a good holiday!

Cheers,
Greg

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Posted: 21 November 2022 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Hi Greg,

Yes, I think in the late ‘90s, I used “Noise” and Reactive Shader to do those things, and I got the idea. Was it perfect back then? Nope.

But I have no clue how to move patterns in a bow around knot holes while keeping the neighbor structure intact with the Nodes we have in RS.

The argument will be that textures deliver superb results, while I advocate keeping nodal systems small and efficient. Otherwise, the advantages of a super-fast rendering system are in question. It is a balancing act.

The way it needs to work, if photorealism is required, it has to contain Voxel-like information down to a tiny Voxel size, which will slow down anything. A formula might be too complex.
Another option would be the Remesh with Spline guided polygon flow, to use UVs to create. (Just brainstorming.)

The older (standard node system comes to mind, with its “Context” option, which could be a starting point here.)

Please use the suggestion link above. Thanks for considering and making a suggestion. If I can support anything of that, I will do it.

All the best

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Dr. Sassi V. Sassmannshausen Ph.D.
Cinema 4D Mentor since 2004
Maxon Master Trainer, VES member

Photography For C4D Artists: 200 Free Tutorials. Texture, Panorama, HDRI, Camera Projection, etc.
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Posted: 22 November 2022 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Joined  2021-08-07

Dr. Sassi,
Thanks for your response.

I watched the SD tutorial, referenced above, to the end and, ultimately, even ignoring that the output is simply a set of texture maps, the result wasn’t very realistic. Up close, it wasn’t even close…

Can I assume that natural wood pieces may be among the most difficult to create in 3d?

Two situations that give me pause, 1., large-scale scenes (like the velodrome surface I did for a piece a while back) and 2., shots for pieces of wood that include a surface that should be ‘end grain’.

Greg

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Posted: 22 November 2022 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Getting close, I think… I like the grain lines and I like the end grain.

https://www.icloud.com/iclouddrive/0ccNKL5_uN0VBBErcTq-zKdeg#ForCineversity-22Nov22

Greg

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Posted: 22 November 2022 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Thanks for the update, Greg.

The deeper you go into detail, the more you will find—either way, what is working and what is not. I made an observation around two decades ago. I called it the 1600% view (Illustrator). It never really gets perfect in that magnification, and so it became a short-hand for some people in my network, being on the 1600% view.

The key is to find the balance between what is needed and what is recognized by the audience. As a filmmaker, I decided long ago that I do not work for pixel-peeper. My art is for people who want to follow a story, and my vision is for people who love to get the emotion and ideas about something. I assume we all have at one point to set a limit; otherwise, too much energy is lost in only a part, which means other parts might suffer.

Wood can go really deep; if that is the story to tell, go for it. Your current project is undoubtedly also a huge learning experience on many levels. Have you had your eyes on “printed” wood floors (laminate)? They look good if it melts with anything in the room; if you have an eye on them, it falls apart and looks fake. There is in many wood types some light scattering that an image can’t provide. It has depth and light changes in it. Once you look for that, your perception will change again, what is really needed. How about knot holes? I haven’t seen them in the example. You pointed it out, and now I am looking for it. Did it help that I just sanded my desk over several weekends and used an oil-based coating? Nope, I got more into the details. Hence my perception is a little bit weighted here.

I rendered your project on two machines: an old iMac (2015) and a newer M1 max. The iMac (CPU-only rendering) needed for a 512x512 size 18:14 min: sec! I did not even try 4K square. The M1 is faster, but also, here, I would want to render an animation with it. I took Wood material from the asset browser to see time and quality. Huge difference.

What I like about your work is that it has a lot of random details; that is how wood should look. When I go closer (6k monitor), some details look not organic. 1600% View, well, I was on 1:1 here, but the term speaks for itself.

Enjoy your exploration; it will pay off in many projects to come.

Cheers

Anyway, the context is important

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Dr. Sassi V. Sassmannshausen Ph.D.
Cinema 4D Mentor since 2004
Maxon Master Trainer, VES member

Photography For C4D Artists: 200 Free Tutorials. Texture, Panorama, HDRI, Camera Projection, etc.
https://www.youtube.com/user/DrSassiLA/playlists

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