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Was there ever a non-beta Shader Mixer for DS3A?
Posted: 11 September 2012 11:47 PM   [ Ignore ]
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And I am talking Shader Mixer, not Shader Builder.
I’ve got DS3A 3.1.2.32 installed - I think this was the last version of DS3 released?

I know DS4Pro has a non-beta shader mixer but I haven’t used it, although it looks very similar.
So secondary question - are shaders produced from the DS4 shader mixer backwards compatible?

Is there any way to control which parameters appear on the users Surfaces tab, and the order they appear? I’ve managed to create a couple of half-way decent (in my view!) patchy-worn-goldleaf-on-stone textures, but I want to ensure that I have a sensible set of parameters on the Surfaces tab (thinking specifically of users who are limited to DS3 free, if any such exist!).

TIA


P.S. I have searched around for documentation, but got a bit confused - Shader Mixer and Shader Builder seem to be muddled up (at least in my mind!). Can somebody point me in the right direction, for both Shader Mixer and Shader Builder.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 01:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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3dcheapskate - 11 September 2012 11:47 PM

And I am talking Shader Mixer, not Shader Builder.
I’ve got DS3A 3.1.2.32 installed - I think this was the last version of DS3 released?

I know DS4Pro has a non-beta shader mixer but I haven’t used it, although it looks very similar.
So secondary question - are shaders produced from the DS4 shader mixer backwards compatible?

Is there any way to control which parameters appear on the users Surfaces tab, and the order they appear? I’ve managed to create a couple of half-way decent (in my view!) patchy-worn-goldleaf-on-stone textures, but I want to ensure that I have a sensible set of parameters on the Surfaces tab (thinking specifically of users who are limited to DS3 free, if any such exist!).

TIA


P.S. I have searched around for documentation, but got a bit confused - Shader Mixer and Shader Builder seem to be muddled up (at least in my mind!). Can somebody point me in the right direction, for both Shader Mixer and Shader Builder.

Hi,
Look in my sig for more info on ShaderMixer.

It never ever came out of beta on ds3a but iirc it was launched as a preview of ds4 and what was to come.

Im not sure that everything will be backward compatible…I can tell you that some of the bricks changed if you check out the link in my sig I think the first post contains a list of what the changes were when it came out of beta ...

Hope this helps,

Pen

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Posted: 12 September 2012 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks Pen, that makes sense. So I guess that the comments in the archived Change to shadermixer thread are related to DS4, since Rob talks about removing the Beta tag.

I’d already found your “Shadermixer tutorials and recipes” thread and got lots of useful onward links there, so thanks very much for that - without it I wouldn’t have got anywhere! But is there any official documentation for the DS4 Shader Mixer, or is your thread still the best option? (I’m using my old laptop at the moment, so the DS4 documentation’s not to hand to check).

Another thought - is anybody actually using the DS3A Shader Mixer Beta to develop shaders, or has everybody hopped over to DS4 and the non-beta Shader Mixer? (I think I can guess the answer, but I’d be amused to be proven wrong!)

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Posted: 12 September 2012 04:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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3dcheapskate - 12 September 2012 09:17 AM

Thanks Pen, that makes sense. So I guess that the comments in the archived Change to shadermixer thread are related to DS4, since Rob talks about removing the Beta tag.

I’d already found your “Shadermixer tutorials and recipes” thread and got lots of useful onward links there, so thanks very much for that - without it I wouldn’t have got anywhere! But is there any official documentation for the DS4 Shader Mixer, or is your thread still the best option? (I’m using my old laptop at the moment, so the DS4 documentation’s not to hand to check).

Another thought - is anybody actually using the DS3A Shader Mixer Beta to develop shaders, or has everybody hopped over to DS4 and the non-beta Shader Mixer? (I think I can guess the answer, but I’d be amused to be proven wrong!)

Hi, glad you found the thread useful….yes yhe changes refer to ds4.

There should be some documents in the document center on ShaderMixer. I’m not sure how much has been done…I do know that they were working on adding to it. Sorry I don’t have a link I’m posting from my iPad. 

I’m not sure who is using ShaderMixer at the moment but given the changes I would strongly suggest using ds4 in particular from the point that ShaderMixer stopped being beta and all the changes were made. Simply because there is no guarantee that shaders created in ds3 will work in ds4 due to the changes made.

Cheers


Pen

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Posted: 13 September 2012 02:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks again Pen. Seems like I’ve finally found a good reason to get to grips with DS4 - probably a good thing.

Regarding Shader Mixer in the documentation centre, it seems to be split 50/50 between the Old Artzone Wiki pages and the new DS4 pages, so there’s still lots of references to it being in beta, and the documentation’s still in draft. But combined with your thread it’s enough to keep me going (I hope)

(After finding the Shader Builder documentation I’ve decided to put that one into the ‘for later’ category. )

So that only leaves one of my original questions (can’t see the answer in the documentation):

- In Shader Mixer is there any way to control which parameters appear on the end users Surfaces tab, and the order they appear in?

P.S. Renderman? I’d always visualized him as a supervillain who turned his victims to lard! (and I’m sure that’s been said many times before!)

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Posted: 13 September 2012 03:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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3dcheapskate - 13 September 2012 02:18 AM

Thanks again Pen. Seems like I’ve finally found a good reason to get to grips with DS4 - probably a good thing.

Regarding Shader Mixer in the documentation centre, it seems to be split 50/50 between the Old Artzone Wiki pages and the new DS4 pages, so there’s still lots of references to it being in beta, and the documentation’s still in draft. But combined with your thread it’s enough to keep me going (I hope)

(After finding the Shader Builder documentation I’ve decided to put that one into the ‘for later’ category. )

So that only leaves one of my original questions (can’t see the answer in the documentation):

- In Shader Mixer is there any way to control which parameters appear on the end users Surfaces tab, and the order they appear in?

P.S. Renderman? I’d always visualized him as a supervillain who turned his victims to lard! (and I’m sure that’s been said many times before!)

I’m not sure I have all the answers for you…it is my understanding that for a parameter to appear in the surface tab the brick needs to be connected to the network even if there are no changes to its settings. The names of bricks can be changed…sorry still using the iPad so I can’t go into DS to check on the exact process.

In regard to the order I have no idea how the program decides what goes where.

Sorry

Pen

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Posted: 13 September 2012 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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No worries Pen, you’ve been a great help already - I didn’t expect one person to have all the answers!
Anybody else want to chip in?

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Posted: 16 September 2012 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’ve had a play with DS4.5, and things are looking okay(ish).
- I can apply my DS3A-Shader-Mixer-Beta generated shaders in DS4.5 and they seem to more-or-less work, except for reflections (don’t know why yet).
- I can use DS4.5 Shader Mixer’s ‘Import from Scene’ to open and edit these shaders, and then save DS4.5 Shader presets which seem to be binary .DUF ‘daz user file’ files. (DS4.5 doesn’t seem to be able to export .DSA files - I recall reading somewhere that the DSA format was deprecated in DS4 [Edit: see Rob’s comment below - DSA format NOT deprecated, just the save filters], so that sort-of makes sense)
- I can also save my shaders from DS4.5 as XML-style text .DBM daz brick material files

So if I want my Shader Mixer generated shaders useable in DS3, I can’t do it in DS4.5 - I have to use the DS3A Shader Mixer Beta (nimbly sidestepping any beta-bugs!), and then import/rework in DS4.5

Well, at least this got me started using DS4.5!

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Posted: 16 September 2012 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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File>Save as>Deprecated should give you access to the .dsa format. Whether it will work seamlessly in DS3 is another matter, given that Shader Mixer has changed a few bricks.

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Posted: 16 September 2012 10:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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DAZ Script 2 (dsa, dsb, dsb) is not deprecated, the save filters that produce script based presets are deprecated.

-Rob

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Posted: 16 September 2012 10:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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There are some ray tracing bugs in DAZ Studio 4.5.0.114 that resulted from updating the 3Delight renderer to coincide with the most recent publicly available stand-alone version of 10.0.50 (see the 4.5.0.x RC3 Change Log for more information - scroll down to 4.5.0.77).  This does impact reflection and refraction. That being said, we’ve worked with dna research (the developers of 3Delight) to resolve several issues and have incorporated the fixes (which were required on both sides) into the next public beta/release of DAZ Studio (see the change log for more detail).

-Rob

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Posted: 16 September 2012 11:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Richard Haseltine - 16 September 2012 12:20 PM

File>Save as>Deprecated should give you access to the .dsa format. Whether it will work seamlessly in DS3 is another matter, given that Shader Mixer has changed a few bricks.

:facepalm: Sneaky, hidden in plain sight! Thanks Richard. Somebody’s obviously trying to provide limited backwards compatibility - that was pleasantly unexpected! (probably why I missed it)

Pen’s already mentioned that some bricks changed, so possible problems there are expected.
Thinks: did the ‘Trace’ brick (reflection ray-tracing etc) change? Maybe that’s why reflections aren’t working when I load my DS3A shader into DS4.5 ?

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Posted: 16 September 2012 11:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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rbtwhiz - 16 September 2012 10:05 PM

DAZ Script 2 (dsa, dsb, dsb) is not deprecated, the save filters that produce script based presets are deprecated.

-Rob

Thanks Rob, you snuck that answer in while I was collecting my thoughts!
Re DAZ Script 2 and save filters - distinction noted.
Also nice to know I don’t need to track down the reflection issue.

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Posted: 17 September 2012 12:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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In DAZ Studio 4.5… modifying the properties of a brick material, while building in Shader Mixer, has been made more consistent with all of the other views that display user facing parameters for a given scene element (i.e. Parameters, Posing, Shaping, Surfaces, Lights, Cameras, Etc).  In the Shader Mixer Pane, next to the Brickyard page is the Properties page. On the Properties page is a listview that displays all properties of the active shader that will be shown to the user in the respective pane for a given type of shader.

The property widgets in this listview now behave the same way they do in various other places in the interface - which means you now have access to the Parameter Settings dialog (via the menu displayed by clicking the gear icon in the top right corner of a property). You can also get to the Parameter Settings dialog for a given property by double-clicking the label of that property within a given brick (not the input parameter that expands/collapses, but the actual property within it).

By default, the group a property is in (i.e. its path) is determined by the title of the brick the property belongs to. Unless you specifically customize individual property paths, you can change the group a property is in by changing the title of the brick (option menu, in the top right corner of the brick).

Which properties are available to the user is determined by the non-connected input parameters of a given brick - assuming it is in some way connected to a Root brick, either directly or through a connection. You can change names, labels, groups (paths), hidden state, limits, default, etc of those properties or you can use a Value brick, a File String brick, an Image String brick or the like to change how certain user inputs are represented.

The order the properties appear in is related to the order that the first connection to a brick is made, and then the order of the parameters of that brick.

-Rob

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Posted: 17 September 2012 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Thanks again Rob, that last post answers many questions I was saving for later. But here’s something that’s puzzling me a bit:
File > New Shader creates two bricks - Surface (1), and DS Default Material (2). If you Apply this, the groups on the Surface tab for the selected material change to this: UV Maps, Smoothing, Diffuse, Specular, Ambient, Opacity

- UV Maps and Smoothing aren’t on either the Surface or DS Default Material Brick, so where do they come from? (I’ve checked that they’re not under Show Advanced on either brick)

- Lighting Model is on the DS Default Material Brick. Why isn’t it on the Surfaces tab? (it’s not hidden - I’ve checked)

TIA!

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Posted: 17 September 2012 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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UV and Smoothing don’t come from a shader, they come from the base definition of a Material for DAZ Studio (the DzMaterial class, which DzBrickMaterial inherits). They are presented in the UI within the context of a Surface (Material) because of how they are used, but they actually represent data that belongs to the mesh/shape.

The Lighting Model property on the default material (DzDefaultMaterial) is used to switch between complete shaders under the hood - conditionals are expensive in a shader, because they are evaluated at every point on the surface, so we use the value of this property to swap out the entire shader rather than use conditionals, to improve performance. The DS Default Material brick uses the value of the brick’s settings (notice that it is neither input nor output parameter) to determine how the terms are added/multiplied together. The goal being to produce more efficient shaders.

-Rob

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