I wanted to show an example of a wood that is popularly used, but has different characteristics than Red Oak.  I decided on Maple as I’ve worked on a Maple shader before and it’s different enough, yet there are enough similarities that the Oak shader is helpful.  I was going to start at an earlier point, but unfortunately due to the way I wrote the parts of the Oak tutorial, it’s much much easier to start from the finished Oak shader.   If you didn’t follow it, I’d suggest going through the tutorial for the educational value, but you can always download the Oak shader from blendswap here.

First of all, let’s see what we’re dealing with.  Remember the Red Oak end grain looks like this close up:

Maple, on the other hand, looks like THIS close up:

Notice that the rings aren’t made up of big holes, but are rather thin lines with some darkness around them.  There are still rays all over it (the vertical lines) but they are a lot closer together.  Also note that the entire surface is covered with tiny holes, and the overall pattern isn’t as complex, so we can remove some of the complexity of the Oak shader.

So let’s do it.  Switch the connection of “Vessel Color” from the bottom connection of the Mix node to the top:

Then, connect the output of the Rings Color Ramp to the Fac of the Mix Node:

This cuts the Summerwood part out:

Our rings are still made of the holes, and if you recall from the Oak shader, we did some fancy stuff with the Grain section to get those.   We won’t need that, so let’s delete it.  Go to the Grain section, and delete the Divide, Mix, and Subtract nodes:

Now connect the Voronoi output directly to the Power node, and the output of the Power node to the Vessel Color  input:

This is looking more like the reference already, but we have a little way to go.

Note that the light colored holes are really tightly bunched together.  This is because the Color Ramp is covering the whole range of the Voronoi output, and also if you remember, the Power node controls how dense the grain is.  To get something more like the Maple pattern, let’s crank that right-hand value of the Color Ramp way down, like 0.55, which has the effect of reducing the size of the holes:

Also change the gradient type of the Color Ramp to Constant, which makes theholes have hard edges instead of soft.  So now it looks like this, which is much more like the reference:

The colors are terrible, however, so let’s make at least this part a bit more like Maple.  Change the left color of the ramp to FFE2CA, and the right color to E6C4AC:

The colors seem subtle, but they’re enough to make the holes stand out a little:

You can go ahead and delete the entire Summerwood section now because we won’t need it:

Ok, another thing you may have noticed in the references above is that Maple has tighter rings.  Go back to the main Mapping node, and change the scale to <180, 1, 180>:

Scaling it larger makes more rings fit into the same space. At this point, your wood should look like this:

We still have to work on the rays and the rings, so let’s stop here for now and next time we’ll finish it out! See you soon!