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Diffuse (Color) Channel

Let’s turn to a bit of theory about what the Color/Diffuse channel does …

When someone asks “What color is that?” they are referring to the diffuse color. A surface’s diffuse color is the base color that shows when pure white light strikes the surface. For human skin, this can range from a light yellowish pink to a deep brown. Most plant leaves are shades of green. Pine boards are usually a light golden brown. A mushroom is a light brown color with spatterings of a deeper brown.

In DAZ Studio, you can assign a solid color to an object but to achieve more realism, you can also assign a diffuse texture map. This map is a 2D representation of the colors in your 3D object. For example, there could be two diffuse/color maps for a mushroom, one for a light brown mushroom and another for a darker brown mushroom.

Diffuse maps for mushroom

Moving on to how you assign diffuse properties, let’s take a look at the Basic and Advanced sub-tabs in the Surfaces Tab.

Basic Tab

The following settings appear in the Basic sub-tab for the Color|Diffuse channel:

  • Color|Diffuse: Shown by a color bar selector that displays three numbers indicating the RGB value of the currently selected diffuse color. Click on the Color Selector to open a standard Color Picker and select any color to set as the diffuse color
  • Image menu: The texture selector field is displayed under the color selector if a texture map or layered image file has been assigned. Click on the field to display a menu where you can select a texture from the list or browse for a new texture. If no texture is assigned, an arrow will be available to the right of the color selector. A menu prompts you to browse for a new image and displays images that are already present in your scene.


Advanced Tab

The following settings appear in the Advanced sub-tab for the Color|Diffuse channel:

  • Color|Diffuse: Select a color as noted under the Basic sub-tab.
  • Image menu: Select an image as noted under the Basic sub-tab.
  • Strength: This slider controls how strongly the Diffuse Color reacts to light and works in the same manner as a Parameter slider. A setting of 0% creates no response while 100% means that the color is fully responsive to light.
  • Diffuse Strength Image Menu: Click on the small arrow icon to the right of the Diffuse Strength slider to select a Diffuse Strength image map. If a texture is already assigned, click on the name of the image to select a new image or to remove the image. For best results, use a grayscale texture map for finer control over how your material reacts to light. Black areas in the image will be equivalent to a setting of 0%, and white areas will be equivalent to a setting of 100%. Shades of gray will be in between 0 and 100%, depending on how dark or light they are.

    Advanced Diffuse properties