Understanding Shaders#

Materials in Blender always have at least one Shader.


Shader Exercises#

- All of the blend files in the table below are in /homework/week_04_materials/

Exercise .blend file
Explore basic material properties like color, roughness, metalness and transmission. basic_materials.blend
Practice connecting nodes in the Shader Editor. connections_in_the_node_editor.blend
Start to think about the power of combining shaders. mixing_shaders.blend
Save image textures into an appropriate folder and load them into Blender. image_textures.blend
Design your own abstract art still life. glossy_textures.blend
Add bumpiness to surfaces with displacement. displacement.blend
Bend light with refraction. refraction.blend

Understanding Textures#

Imagine what this beach sand might feel like on your feet. Can you feel how dry it is? Can you feel how it is mostly soft, but a little bit rough? The image of the sand texture is giving your eye information about the feel of an object.

Imagine what this leaf feels like. Imagine how different it feels from the beach sand. Image textures can be extreme close-ups of a surface so as to focus on those details that tell us how a surface feels. But they don’t have to be...

Alpha Mapping Images to Define Transparency#

Explanation Image
This image of an oak leaf gives your eye much more information about the edge of the leaf, than it does about the microscopic surface details. And you can use that edge information directly in Blender.
Here I’ve mapped the leaf onto a plane in Blender. Notice how it looks like I printed the leaf on a sheet of paper to lay on the table.
And here I’ve used that edge information (the alpha map) to digitally cut out the leaf from the background. Here it looks more like a real leaf lying on the table.
After I’ve made one leaf, it’s trivial (shift-d to duplicate) to make many leaves. Notice how I can see through the edges of one leaf to see leaves beneath.
And finally I’ve curled the leaf (simple deform modifier), added a light and processed the color. All of this is possible using just one image texture.


Texturing Interior Spaces#

Texturing 3D Objects#


Materials and Textures Project#

Work with your buddy to design a composition where you Model and Texture at least 3 props each for a total of 6 props. Each of you should create:

If your materials and texturing needs extend beyond the topics covered in this overview, please be sure to discuss these textures with me or with the TA so as to devise a solution that fits your needs.

And if you have any questions about any of these design specifications, please make sure to ask me or your TA.