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Learn how to enable more realistic representation for natural materials and pull off some cool x-ray and microscope effects ...
with rampshaders in Blender.
Tags:How to Use Rampshaders in Blender,animation,blender,colorband,rampshader,rendering,video
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Welcome to Blender VT and this is a Blender video tutorial for Ramp Shaders in Blender Version 2.34. The new Ramp Shaders in Blender allows you to set a range of colors for a materials diffuse in specular components. Define how that range will vary over a surface and how it blends with the actual or underlying material color. This is going to enable more realistic appearance for natural materials like skin, create cool carpet jobs where the color changes depending on the viewing angle of the surface and you can even pull also some cool x-ray and electron microscope effects. It is a really powerful feature that can add a lot of realism to your renderings with little additional rendering time. So let us illustrate this, let us add the Monkey mesh, so we can see how the Ramp Shaders will affect the complex model. So let us add the monkey and here is the default Blender scene. I am just kind of delete that box, shift+A add mesh monkey. Confirm, there we go, tab to get it out of view and I am going to do control+Z to go on to the shade of view so that way we can actually see the actual color of the mesh. So it is a good way to get a quick preview and it works pretty well with this Ramp Shaders.
Alright, so let us subdivide the mesh, smooth it, alright, there we go. So the new Ramp options in Blender can be accessed to the ramps panel, tab in the material panel. So let us click on the material context band and let us add a new material and then here you see that tab right there is the Ramps. Now to enable the Ramps, you click on the color band button right here. Now, you will see that there are two bands, these allow you to change the settings for the Diffuse Ramp and the Specular Ramp. So, two different options but they both work the same way except one uses diffuse and the other one uses specular. So we are just going to use diffuse for right now so you can see what is going on. I am going to click the color band on and there we have our options. And so you can really see if the interim -- easier I am going to turn the specular down so that we are only seeing the diffuse color.
So here we have the color band options. It diffuses procedural textures then you are familiar with this. Here we have a few settings. This is basically a gradient. The color band is Blender’s gradient editor. You have different points and the color and alphas interpolated between those points and you can slide the points with this button right here, just left and right, and when you select it you can left click and then drag to move the points on the gradient. And if you want to add one, you can press add. I am going to go back and then add and now I will add another color to the right. So let us start with, let us go back to color, let us turn all the alpha all the way up and that will make us a nice, ugly -- well let us say like a nice ugly blue color and then we will make this a nice ugly red color, just so you can see exactly what is going on. Alright.
Now also one thing you will notice with the color band is that you have these buttons right here and these allows you to set the interpolation between the points and you will not be able to see a tape placed here in the color band. You have to click on the material preview, like box preview, that is a good one. So you can see as I click on that it updates right here and that will give you the preview on how the different interpolation methods affect the gradient. The E stands for ease or quadratic, the L is for linear and S is for baseline. And you will just have to play with those and figure out which one will best suit your needs. And of course if you do not like a certain color you can just press the delete button after you have it selected and how to remove it. And here you have your RGB values so you can change the color. If you want to change the position manually you can use this number button right here and here you have your color and click on that, it pulls up the color palette thing, the colored tool box so that will, same functionality, and they are the offer.
So to change the way the wraps work, you have two different pop-up buttons. You have input and method. I will talk about the first one, it is called input. And we are going to rotate the monkey so we can update the same. So the first one is called shader. This is the value as delivered by the basic shedding formula like lamberts or a phone for example, and this defines the color. Here the amount of light does not matter for a color, only the direction of light. Alright so to better illustrate that, let us zoom out a little bit and see this scene. Now you see we have our light source right here and I am going to light it up and there you can see that right on the surface is dead on that is when you have that wonderful red color and then as it goes of to the sides you have a nice teal color.
And one thing you will notice is that this midpoint right here is like the 90-degree angle and everything on this under the color band is going to be the back facing surfaces so just keep that in mind when you start doing colors. Now the energy input, we will click on that one. This input option is as previous but now also lamp energy being the color and distance is taking into account. And this makes the material change in color when more light shines on it. So I am going to update and now you see that teal color. Well, what should happen when we increase the brightness of the lamp? So kick that up to say about like three and a half or so and then all you can see it is really nicely encompassed with thread. So that is because it is receiving more light and so the color on the ramp changes.
Now you have normal and this one is my favorite, you can see why. Here, the surface is normal, rather do the camera is used for the ramp. So, now you can see that I have that, I guess the light does not need to be that bright anymore so let us turn that back to normal. Okay, it is back down to where it should be. Alright, so here we go, but now you can see how as we are looking at it the edges or the teal color. And the nice thing you can do with this is that you can actually create like a fuzzy peach fuzz effect. Like right now when you look at the peach for the edges are brighter because you are seeing more of the fuzz where you can do that with the normal input. So, let us say we take this and make it completely white and then there you can see the edges, that kind of peach fuzz effect. And applied, looked better if we add a light source. There you go. So you can kind of see that effect that we are getting.
So then you can also do some nice car paint jobs of that as well where sharper angles will be like a, let us say like a purple or some. Yes, let us make that purple. So you can do some pretty cool stuff with this. And then you have one more input option it is called result. Now to really understand this you have to understand that all the three previous options that we have done like shader, energy and normal, these options works per lamp and here I will illustrate this. I am going to click back to shader and in the material preview panel you can turn lights versus on and off and you can see when I turn one on, and I turn the other one on where it just kind of adds those colors, well that is because those work or it is done per lamp and results is a complete opposite. This option only does it in the end of all shading calculus. This allows a full control over the entire shading including twin style results and using alpha values here is most useful for three kind finishing touch of material. And as you can see is we turn on Result. What makes this color black and the way it works now is that things that are in total darkness or that are not illuminated at all will be this black color or this end of the spectrum right here. So I am going to make that a red and then you can see that everything is in a complete shadow, shadows completely illuminated with red. And then as you go up to the brighter shades which we do not have any because those lamps are not bright enough.
So, in the way we can get a twin style results of this is that if you move this gradients close together, let us slip that one, Oh! I added one. Well let us split some of these colors. There we go, we have put that close together and then we get this twin style rendering. So again that does a calculus after all the lamps’ lighting is put together and one thing that you will notice is that the color of the lamp will not change the color of the material when you use the result input. The only thing it will do is that the brightness for different colors id different like a red light will be dimmer than a white light for example. So if I added the blue lamp in here that would still be white and things that are in shadowed will be red. So that about that is it for the inputs and then we go with the method and if you are familiar with Photoshop you will recognize this. Here is a bunch of options that denote the blending type. For example, add, it will take the colors that are on the actual material color and then add it with the colors on the ramp and mix will completely replace it, divide it negative or is it subtract. They are subtract and one thing you’ll notice subtract in real time preview is it does not work so you will just have to render the scene to see what it looks like, in fact I am going to take the camera and zoom it in so you can see what is going on. So there you go.
And for those you will have just really have to play with it just to see what is blending option will work the best and then there is one more thing the factor this is basically the overall transparency of the Ramp Shades. So if we put it down to zero we have what the material looks like without the Ramp Shaders and then when we bring it all the way up, it can completely replace the color. And that is one thing you need to remember with ramp shading is that the calculations are done after the texture calculations. The ramp should --can completely replace the texture or material color. So use this mixing options and use this Alpha value for different colors so you can add an additional layer of shading to your materials. So that is about it that is for Ramp Shaders. It is a really good feature. I have used it for some of my projects already and you can add a lot of realism and it does not add a lot of doesn’t a lot of rendering time at all. So take advantage of it. It is great and that it is for this part of the tutorial. So have a good day and happy blending.