CategoryTutorials

IMPORTANT: I’m Still Learning Too!

It’s been a while since my last post, and I was thinking I really need to get back into this. Fortunately, the Universe responded with a swift kick in the pants in the form of an astute reader named Ethos. Ethos has experience in woodworking, and not only asked me some great questions about the Red Oak shader, but also pointed out some areas where it wasn’t quite realistic. One of these is the fact that the ring spacing decreases exponentially as the rings get farther from the core of the wood, but real wood rings are pretty uniformly spaced. […]

Corundum Conundrum

I started looking into how to create a realistic granite shader. While researching, I learned a lot of interesting things about gems and minerals and got distracted. For example, I didn’t know that rubies and sapphires are just variations of the same stone, called corundum. I thought it might be interesting to try to create a corundum-like shader, because it ought to be pretty simple. Let’s give it a whirl and see what we get. Create a new scene, and add a Plane. Scale it to about 1m x 1m in size. Use the Object->Apply->Scale function so that our texture […]

The Thing About Rings

It’s worth pointing out that I’m showing you one way that I’ve created wood shaders, but the Cycles nodes are so flexible that there are often many ways to accomplish the same thing.  For example, in the first post in the Procedural Wood series (The Beginning), I showed how to create rings based on the equation of a circle. However, there are definitely other ways to get something resembling rings. For example, there is even a “Ring” pattern for the Wave texture. If you just remove the Y-component of the Vector as we’ve done in previous posts: …you get a nice pattern […]

Procedural Wood Shaders in Cycles: Red Oak Finale

If you haven’t been following along, I recommend starting with part 1 and working through the parts. We’re going to pick up where we left off with the last post, and really take this wood up a level.  Part 1 is here: Procedural Wood Shaders in Cycles, the Beginning Before we start, disconnect the Displacement output of the Diffuse BSDF node; it’s distracting as we work on the wood pattern. Ok, the first thing we’ll add is a nice control for tweaking the intensity of the grain. Zoom in on the ‘Grain’ frame, and add a Math node. Set it […]

A Slight Diversion: Cleanup

It occurred to me that as our shader gets more complicated, we haven’t really been doing anything to make it neater. I’d like to take a few moments to clean it up a bit before we go any farther. As you make your own shaders this is a good habit, especially if you want to share them with others. We should’ve done this in the first post, but the first step is to name our material! It’s still “Material” and that’s a terrible name. So, first, rename it to “RedOak” or something similar (“red_oak”, “oak_wood_red”, etc.). I tend to name […]

Procedural Wood Shaders in Cycles, Part 4: Rays

If you haven’t read parts 1, 2, and 3, you ought to read them to get context on where we are on the wood journey! Last time we changed the grain pattern to match the little holes that run through the length of the wood. This time we’re going to add another important feature of wood, called “rays.” Rays help the tree to carry sap from the center to the outside of the trunk. In the picture we looked at last time, the rays are the vertical lines: And looking at a piece of red oak, the ends of the […]

Procedural Wood Shaders In Cycles, Part 3

Ok, if you’ve followed the last two posts, we have a start on a wood shader, but it’s not there yet. Check out the first two parts if you haven’t yet: Procedural Wood Shaders in Cycles, the Beginning. Procedural Wood Shaders in Cycles, part 2 To make it better, we have to look at some real wood. For this example I’m looking at red oak. The grain in red oak is actually tiny little tubes that run down the length of the trunk. In fact, you can blow air THROUGH the grain of oak with an air compressor! This is […]

Procedural Wood Shaders in Cycles, part 2

This post is the second in a series about procedural wood for Blender Cycles. I’m starting right where I left off last time, so if you haven’t read the last post, please do: Procedural Wood Shaders in Cycles, the Beginning. At the end of the last post, we finally reached a point that sort of kind of almost looked like wood. I promised we’d make it better, so I think a fun first step would be to add some color. We’re going to use a ColorRamp node to do it, though there are other possibilities. Make some space between the […]

Procedural Wood Shaders in Cycles, the Beginning

I’ve been interested in procedural wood shaders for years, ever since I first saw how some simple ideas could make pretty convincing wood. A little while ago I decided to see if I could make it work with Blender and Cycles, and I’ve gotten decent results. I’ve posted several examples on BlendSwap, and I thought it might be fun to do a couple of tutorials on how I make them. I hope you can improve on my ideas and make some awesome shaders. So with that, let’s jump in! I hope you won’t get board. Get it? I figured starting […]

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