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The Basic and Advanced Sub-tabs

Two sub-tabs appear on the left side of the Surfaces tab: the Basic sub-tab and the Advanced sub-tab:

  • The Basic Surfaces sub-tab allows you to change the most common types of surface channels, which include Color (or Diffuse), Highlight (or Specular), Shadow (or Ambient), and Opacity. If you are new to DAZ Studio, you might want to experiment with these basic channels until you learn more about how surfaces work.
  • The Advanced Surfaces sub-tab takes advantage of the features included with DAZ Studio’s powerful rendering engine. It allows you to fine-tune the properties of each surface for breathtakingly realistic results. In addition to the four basic surface channels mentioned above, the Advanced tab allows you to configure many additional types of surface channels and properties.

Below, the basic descriptions for each option are provided. Refer to the sections following for additional details and usage instructions.

Basic Usage

  • If there are double arrows to the right of the tabs, click on the arrows to scroll through the tabs until the one you need is visible.
  • Click on the arrows to the left of each channel name to expand or collapse the channel.
  • Click on the Color Selector fields to access the Select Color dialog.
  • To assign a texture if none are already assigned, click on the down arrow to the right of the Color Selector or slider to select a texture from the list or browse for a new texture.

    surftab_seltexture.jpg
  • To change a texture to a different one, click on the name of the current texture on the Texture Selector field to select a texture from the list or browse for a new texture.
  • If multiple textures are assigned or multiple material zones are selected, the Texture Selector field will display “<Multiple> instead of the name of the texture.
  • To remove a texture, click on the name of the current texture to select “None” from the list.
  • Drag sliders left to decrease value settings and right to increase them.
  • If a down arrow is inside the field box, click on the field to access a drop-down list and select an option from the list.

    surftab_dropdown.jpg
  • On/off buttons can be clicked on to change the selected option.

Basic Tab

The Basic sub-tab allows the new user to configure basic surface channels without becoming overwhelmed.

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The four types of channels that you can assign in the Basic sub-tab are listed below. You’ll learn more specifics about each type of channel, and how to configure them, later in this section.

  • Common
    • Color|Diffuse: This channel defines the main color of currently selected material(s). You can assign a solid color only or add a texture map that is affected by the assigned color.
    • Highlight|Specular: This channel defines the color of the highlights in the currently selected material(s). The Basic sub-tab only allows a solid color for this option.
    • Shadow|Ambient: This channel defines the shadow color of the currently selected material(s). The Basic sub-tab only allows a solid color for this option.
    • Opacity: This channel defines the opacity or transparency of the currently selected material. When the setting is at 0%, the material is fully transparent. When the setting is at 100%, the material is fully opaque. If a texture is assigned as a transparency map, the map varies the transparency based on the levels of black or white in the image.
  • Smoothing: Sets the smoothing angle between polygons.
    • Smooth: This channel determines whether smoothing is turned on or off.
    • Angle: Sets the angle of smoothing. Drag the slider left to decrease the angle and right to increase it. The default level is set at 89.90.

Advanced

The Advanced sub-tab is designed for use by more experienced artists who want to be able to control every aspect of a surface’s appearance. You have full access to every function available in the Basic tab and much more.

07-04.jpg

The list of configurable channels is much more extensive in the Advanced tab. The first four channel types are also found in the Basic tab, but the Advanced tab presents some additional options.

  • Diffuse: This channel defines the main color of currently selected material(s). You can assign a solid color or a texture map in a similar way as in the Basic sub-tab. However, you can also adjust the strength of the diffuse color, either based on a fixed percentage or with a texture map.
  • Specular: While the Basic sub-tab allows you to choose a Specular color, the Advanced sub-tab furnishes a few additional controls. You can control the amount of glossiness, either by percentage or with an image map. You can choose a Specular color, but also obtain Specular colors from an image map. Specular strength can also be set with a percentage slider, or with an image map. You also have the option to use an opacity map to turn off specularity in areas that are invisible.
  • Ambient: This channel defines the shadow color of the currently selected material(s). While the Basic sub-tab only allows a solid color for this option, you can also use an image map in the Advanced sub-tab. In addition, you can assign the strength of the ambient property through a percentage slider or through an image map.
  • Opacity: Opacity settings are similar in the Basic and Advanced sub-tabs. When the setting is at 0%, the material is fully transparent. When the setting is at 100%, the material is fully opaque. Assigning a texture as a transparency map varies the transparency based on the levels of black or white in the image.

The following additional channels are presented in the Advanced sub-tab. These options go a long way toward making your materials far more realistic:

  • Bump: This option adds a bumpy appearance to the portions of the object that are facing the camera. The amount of bumpiness is controlled by an image map that is usually grayscale. Negative Bump and Positive Bump sliders also provide additional control over the appearance of the material.
  • Displacement: Displacement is similar to a bump map with one exception. It actually displaces the geometry during render time. You’ll be able to see the effects of the displacement along the sides of the object in addition to the portions that directly face the camera. Displacement maps help you to create materials that make the geometry look far more intricate than it really is. The amount of displacement can be controlled through a slider, and/or through an image map (usually grayscale). There are also sliders to keep the amount of displacement within a minimum and maximum range.
  • Normal Mapping: Normal maps are a type of bump map which simulates surface normals on a surface. Surface normals dictate how light is reflected off of a polygon which affects self shading. A normal map changes the reflection properties of the light bouncing off of a surface as if each pixel on the surface is a separate polygon with its own surface normal direction. Currently, DAZ Studio cannot generate normal maps but it can use them if applied to a surface.
  • Reflection: This channel controls how the surface of the material reflects light. You can assign a solid color or an image map to control the color of the reflections. In addition, the strength of the reflection can be controlled through a slider, or through an image map.
  • Refraction: Light bends when it shines through surfaces like glass or water. This channel controls the color of the light as it bends and shines through a surface. You can use a solid color or an image map to define the color or strength of the refraction.
  • Lighting Model: The lighting model option calculates the effects of different shader channels in response to light. You can make your material respond to light as if had a matte finish, or if were made of plastic, metal, glossy plastic, glossy metal, or skin.
  • UV Maps: Allows selection of a UV Map to be applied to the material zone. The Default UVs are selected by default. Refer to ”Multiple UVs“ for information on loading and selecting a UV set.
  • Smoothing: Blends the shading of the surfaces together so that you don't see the edges between polygons that aren't in the same plane by setting the smoothing angle between any two polygons. With smoothing on, you can set the maximum angle between any two polygons that the smoothing will have its affect on. So, if you have the maximum angle set at 89.9, then any angle of 90 degrees or higher will not be affected by the smoothing and will remain sharp. If you want a 45 degree angle to stay sharp, the angle would be set to 44.9 so that any angle over that would remain sharp.

    Smoothing is also used for displacement to set where the displacement edge breaks occur.