Normal shader for Softimage ?

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Adrian Lopez

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Jan 19, 2012, 1:18:34 AM1/19/12
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Been experimenting with Eric's emPolygonizer 3, and I want to fake refraction using a normal map pass.. as done here, for comping in ae using the Normality plugin.  The problem is, I cant find a straightforward Normals Shader for softimage.  Everything I find is some convoluted process involving ultimapper or some reatime shader..   Is there really no such shader available for our beloved Soft?
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Adrian Lopez
CEO.Producer.Director
Liquid Light Digital

Meng-Yang Lu

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Jan 19, 2012, 1:34:33 AM1/19/12
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Is it this? 

In the XSIAmbientOcclusion shader, set the output mode to bent normals (and you can pick between world or object space). 

It'll give you your vanilla normals map.

Hope it helps,

-Lu

Steven Caron

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Jan 19, 2012, 1:56:03 AM1/19/12
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can't you just recreate the shader he makes in the tutorial?

i watched the tutorial up until he goes into nuke. we dont have a 'samplerInfo' node but we have the components necessary..

vector state node set to normal vector
vector coordinate converter, set to normal, and to camera
vector to scalars
use some scalar change range nodes like he does, one for x and one for y
then combine them using rgba combine node
also an incidence node for the 'facing ratio'. make sure you invert it.

took me almost the same amount of time it took me to watch the tutorial :0

s

On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 10:18 PM, Adrian Lopez <vfx...@gmail.com> wrote:
camera_space_normals.JPG

Adrian Lopez

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Jan 19, 2012, 2:10:49 AM1/19/12
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Steven,

If only I was as comfortable as you are with the render tree ;)    I was going to give it a stab anyway, but it probably would have to taken me significantly longer to find the appropriate nodes.  Andreas Bystrom recommended just plugging the bumpmap node into the surface of the material - and it worked.  I'm rendering a test now.  I suspect Lu's suggestion will work similarly.  Thanks for the rendertree capture though, I'm sure its far more flexible.

Steven Caron

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Jan 19, 2012, 2:20:43 AM1/19/12
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thats a clever to use the bump map node to get the normals in camera space, but its not the same thing as his tutorial. you still need incidence node to do facing ratio in the blue channel, you still need to change the range of the x and y. you can take my tree exactly and exchange the vector state and coordinate converter for a single bump map node, and you will get exactly what that tutorial shows.

s

Adrian Lopez

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Jan 19, 2012, 3:21:25 AM1/19/12
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Yes.. my composite tests prove you correct.. it aint workin'.  I'll whip up your rendertree and see where that takes me.

Thanks again

pet...@skynet.be

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Jan 19, 2012, 5:44:59 AM1/19/12
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I’m probably missing something,
(didnt look at the video tutorial)
 
but have you looked at the default renderchannel called Normal?
if you want to do it as a shader, just plug a vector state (set to Normal) into any color input, it then adds a vector_to_color in which you select normal map.
We used this to do extensive relighting and environment reflections on nuke wihtout any problem.

Adam Seeley

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Jan 19, 2012, 5:54:37 AM1/19/12
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Hi,

Thought I'd flag this as you're on the subject.


Nice little (free!) After Effects plugin that will give you lighting, specular highlights, rim lighting, refractions, reflections etc. all using a normal map.

It may not be the most accurate, but when you just need an extra kick of something without rending another pass it's very handy.

Adam.
 

From: Steven Caron <car...@gmail.com>
To: soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Sent: Thursday, 19 January 2012, 7:20
Subject: Re: Normal shader for Softimage ?

Adrian Lopez

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Jan 19, 2012, 12:59:55 PM1/19/12
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Hey Adam,

Thats the plugin I plan on testing.. it needs a normal pass.

Adrian

Alan Fregtman

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Jan 19, 2012, 2:28:56 PM1/19/12
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Did you try the Normals framebuffer? Might do the trick.

Steven Caron

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Jan 19, 2012, 2:36:36 PM1/19/12
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i dont know the plugin he is trying to use, and i also dont think the normals render channel matches the video tutorial adrian posted. lastly, i doubt the normals pass will work because otherwise he would have just done the same in maya?

Adrian Lopez

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Jan 19, 2012, 3:20:55 PM1/19/12
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The normals buffer only seems to write out to a Mental Ray .nt file, which I dont think AfterEffects understands.

Adrian

Ed Manning

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Jan 19, 2012, 3:31:19 PM1/19/12
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you can set all the stock framebuffer outputs to color in Preferences...

Alan Fregtman

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Jan 19, 2012, 3:44:07 PM1/19/12
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You just change the format in the framebuffer/renderchannel list. Same goes for the Motion pass, which defaults to *.mt files.

Adam Seeley

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Jan 19, 2012, 5:10:08 PM1/19/12
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Yup, I'm pretty sure that's all I did. Add a normal channel & change the output format.  I just used .pngs I think.

Nothing too fancy.

 A.


From: Alan Fregtman <alan.f...@gmail.com>
To: soft...@listproc.autodesk.com
Sent: Thursday, 19 January 2012, 19:28

Stephen Davidson

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Jan 24, 2012, 6:55:21 AM1/24/12
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I have found that the default render port for normals is not sufficient for the Normality After Effects
plug-in. There is a free tutorial on how to create a nice normal map using a vector state node.


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Adrian Lopez

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Jan 24, 2012, 2:06:23 PM1/24/12
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Good catch, Stephen.  Gives the same result (I think) as Steven's approach, but with a simpler shader tree.  

Thanks for that.

Adrian

Steven Caron

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Jan 24, 2012, 2:15:40 PM1/24/12
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i dont think it does, but it doesn't matter really. whatever works best for the normality plugin for after effects.

Adrian Lopez

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Jan 24, 2012, 2:43:23 PM1/24/12
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Actually, I duplicated your shader tree, Steven, and it seemed to work very well with Normality.  I havent tested the Digital Tutors approach, but I'd be interested in what you think the difference is.  It seemed like another way of remapping the ranges to me.  No?

Adrian

Steven Caron

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Jan 24, 2012, 2:59:31 PM1/24/12
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well yes, its another way of changing the range. but in that tutorial you linked, he isn't changing the range of the all the channels the same way.

again i dont use that plugin, i am just using common sense here. if the plugin just needs remapped values then i would have saved the normal channel as float and done the math in the compositor, doing what digital tutors is doing is trivial.

tell me adrian, are you getting the results you expect from the plugin?

s

Adrian Lopez

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Jan 24, 2012, 7:51:44 PM1/24/12
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Seem to, Steven.  Here are the sample renders I did to see if your shader was working to correctly with Normality.

Hope they attached.
normals-shaded.jpg
normals - refracted.jpg

Stephen Davidson

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Jan 25, 2012, 9:31:06 AM1/25/12
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Yes, after testing it in AfterEffects, you are correct. The normals are
not behaving very well for refraction. I guess the levels are messed up.
I will try your method. I will try and follow the tree you posted. :)

Stephen Davidson

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Jan 25, 2012, 10:34:50 AM1/25/12
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Hi Steven,

  I just tried your method and it is MUCH better. Thanks.
That tutorial, that I posted, is not very good, then.

Just curious, though.... Why do you put a constant material between
the RGBA_Combine and the Material Surface  port?
Couldn't I just hook the RGBA Combiner directly into 
the Material Surface port? I don't see any difference.
I obviously need to learn more about the render tree. :)



On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 1:56 AM, Steven Caron <car...@gmail.com> wrote:

Byron Nash

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Feb 1, 2013, 4:13:32 PM2/1/13
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Digging up an old thread here. What settings for the Scalar change range are needed in the Normal pass setup? I'm not getting correct results in Normality. 

I have :
Vector State(Normals) -> Vector Coordinate Conversion (Normals & Camera) -> Vector to Scalar ->
Scalar Change Range (feeding R and G channels)->
Incidence (inverted & feeding B channel) ->
RGBA Combine -> Constant Material
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