Slim Templates


Inside/Outside Shading


Translucency Shading


Point Clouds & Brick Maps


Custom Mental Ray Shaders


City Explosion


Slim Templates

The purpose of this assignment was to extend the functionality of an existing SLIM template. The original version allowed the user to select two colors and blend them together. I added additional options to create a few effects that can be used in conjunction with each other.
The neighboring image depicts the template's interface. I have created various sliders and menus so that the node is easy and straight-forward to use.
Color stepping is the first option available. A drop-down menu allows the user to specify if the stepping occurs in the S or T direction. The direction selected applies to all the template's options except for radial-based settings.
A gradient wedge can be applied linearly or radially. The intensity of the effect is controlled by a slider.
Three linear frequency settings are available. The frequency amount could easily be linked to a slider but if set too high, aliasing may occur. This effect can also be applied vertically like the color stepping and wedge above.
In addition, the frequency can be applied radially. Two sliders determine where the center of the effect will be. These sliders also affect the gradient wedge center.
This last example demonstrates how several of the options can be used together. In this case, color stepping and an offset radial frequency and radial wedge are used.
To test various shader network setups, I used this model of a teddy bear as test geometry. The UVs were unwrapped via pelt mapping. The shader network below is the general setup I used to achieve my results. By piping in various shaders into my SLIM template's color channels, many different effects can be created. I added "Adjust" nodes to have more control over the final color values. The examples below demonstrate the use of color stepping, radial frequencies, use of fractals, and also displacement mapping.

Cityscape Application

Throughout this course, I will build upon the MEL City Generator I scripted in Visual Effects Programming Concepts (VSFX705). As my shaders become more sophisticated, the resulting images of various cityscapes will also grow in complexity. For this first assignment, I kept the design very basic for testing purposes. An image map was used to create the layout of the city.
The texture on the far left was created by combining a fractal and marble pattern. Then I applied the shading network to all the geometry within my scene. Unfortunately, I ran into some curious problems soon after, but they were only local to a specific machine.
Each building is a basic cube with default UV mapping. The expected image should show the texture similarly stretched to fit on each side of the cube for every building. As you can see from the center and right images, this is not the case. Instead, some buildings show the fractal pattern and others don't. Also the pattern fades in relation to the viewing angle and distance from the camera. Although this was a strange problem, at least it wasn't reoccurring. The two images below rendered the linear and radial stepping fine.


Richard Sun / Rich Sun Productions 2007.