Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Mini Material Editor

In version 1.4 of the Daz Importer, there were a few buttons at the bottom of the Materials section that allowed you to change the bump strength and distance. The original purpose of these buttons was to fix problems with 3Delight materials. Modern versions Daz Studio converts 3Delight materials to Iray before saving, and some information about the bump settings are lost in this process; in particular, AFAIU the bump distance is always 0.5 mm in Iray. The bump editing buttons could fix that problem in Blender.

However, these buttons could be used in another way: to edit the materials in Blender, either because the Daz Importer does not convert materials to Blender perfectly, or because you want to change the look and feel. For a single material, the simplest and most versatile way to do that is of course directly in the shader editor. However, Daz meshes often have many materials, and to apply the same change across multiple materials can be quite tedious and error prone.

To solver this problem, the bump buttons have been expanded into a Mini Material Editor. A few buttons allows you to quickly apply changes across multiple materials for the same mesh. The Material Editor is located at the bottom of the Materials section:

  • Active Channel: The channel affected by the change. The following channels are currently supported:
  • Factor/Value: Multiply the value of the active channel by this value, or set the value to this value. For scalar channels. For vector channels, e.g. Subsurface Radius, all components are multiplied with the same factor.
  • Color Factor/Value: Multiply the value of the active channel by this value, or set the value to this value. For color channels.
  • Absolute Values: Determines whether the channel should be multiplied with the factor or set to the value.
  • Material Type: Only change materials of the given type:
The Skin and Skin-Lips-Nails types depend on the material names, so if you rename the materials, the wrong materials may be affected. In contrast, the Opaque and Refractive types depend on the properties of the node tree.
Here is what happens to the bump node of the Face material if
  • Active Channel = Bump Strength
  • Factor/Value = 0.5
  • Absolute Values = False
  • Material Type = Skin
when we press the Change Channel button. The original bump strength is decreased from 3.0 to 1.5, i.e. multiplied by a factor 0.5.