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In this tutorial I will use the Morphing Fantasy Dress from DAZ to demonstrate the creation of a velvet effect. You can download the maps I used and try it yourself. The same principle can be applied to all other clothes and objects, too. The maps included with this tutorial, however, will work only for the MFD (for V3, V4, Aiko3, Laura).
Load the MFD, select it and switch to the material room. If you see the “Simple” tab, please switch to the advanced tab.
Set a darker color for diffuse and a lighter one for specular color.
To get some subtle shades into the color: Right click anywhere into the striped space and select New node - 3D Textures - Clouds.
Link this node to diffuse and specular color. Choose appropriate colors for sky_color and cloud_color (see screenshot below).
Note: This cloud node is not absolutely necessary to create a velvet effect, but it makes the fabric look more interesting.
Create another node: Lighting - Special - Velvet. Link this node to “Alternate_Diffuse”. Adjust the colors for velvet color and velvet sheen. Link the velvet color to the cloud node as shown in the screenshot.
The typical fuzzy look is created by adding some bump: Create a new node: 3D Textures - Noise. Link it to “Bump”. I normally use the value 4 for xyz_Index and a bump strength of about 0.07.
Now your material settings should look similar to this screenshot:
The MFD has several material zones. There is an easy way to apply the material to all zones:
Right-click into the material window. Choose “Select all”. Right click again and select “Apply to all”. Poser will tell you that it will replace the material settings of all mat zones. Click OK.
Hint: Poser will overwrite the old material settings of the other mat zones, but it will not delete the old unused nodes. Hold down the shift key and click on “Remove detached nodes” in the Wacro menu. (Only in Poser 6 and 7, P5 users will have to delete the old nodes manually.)
Do a test render.
Note: You may need to increase the render quality to see the velvet effect properly.
The dress has a nice velvet texture now. You can go ahead and experiment. Try to change the colors of the nodes, or try to delete the cloud node and look what happens. This will give you a feeling for the way the nodes work.
An all-over velvet dress is quite simple. Dresses with mixed fabrics, for example a velvet bodice with satin applications, are more complicated:
Velvet is fuzzy, satin is shiny - this means you need different bump and specular settings applied together.
To do this, Poser offers some special nodes to create several “channels” which can use different material settings at the same time.
One of these special nodes is called “Diffuse”. You'll find it in New node - Lighting - Diffuse - Diffuse.
The “Diffuse value” can be linked to an image map that works a bit like a transparency map: The black and white data of this map specifies where a given effect will be applied and where it won't be applied. The “effect” to be applied can be a procedural Poser shader or another image map, whatever.
The following example will illustrate this:
In my paint program I created a simple black-and-white map which I am going to use to apply some bump only to the background area.
In Poser I created a diffuse node (New node - Lighting - Diffuse - Diffuse) and linked it to “Bump”.
In this node, for “Diffuse Color” I created a link to a bump effect (New node - 3D Textures - Noise).
For “Diffuse Value” I loaded the map I had prepared before.
The result: Poser shows the smooth shape of an exclamation mark on a rough surface.
Sometimes it is not enough to choose between “apply effect” and “don't apply effect”, sometimes you will need a certain effect in one area of the texture and a different effect in another area.
In those cases I like to use the “Blender” node.
This node, too, is controlled by a map. This means that all parts which are black in the map will get effect A and all white parts will get effect B. You can also set the blending strength, a value of 1 means full blending (no mixing of effects).
Here is another example to show how it works:
I've used the blender node to apply two different kinds of bump effect. The black parts of the map get a basic bump (linked to “Input_1”) and the white parts get a cloudy bump (linked to “Input_2”). If you swap the input links the effects will be applied the other way round.
First you need a basic black-and-white map to define the velvet and satin parts of the dress. You can download the files attached to this tutorial, or you can paint a map yourself: Paint the velvet areas in white and the satin areas in black.
Then set up the nodes as follows (see also screenshot below):
For Diffuse_Color, Specular_Color and Specular_Value set a “Blender” node. Set the blending value to 1. Link “Blending” to the velvet map, Input_1 to the color map and Input_2 to a “Clouds” node. Assign appropriate colors to the “Clouds” node.
For Bump set up a “Diffuse” node and link Diffuse_Value with the velvet map and Diffuse_Color with a “Noise” node.
Note: In this case a “Diffuse” node works fine, because satin is so smooth it needs no bump. If you want to combine the velvet with another type of fabric which needs a bump of its own, you will need a “Blender” node to combine the two different bump effects.
For Alternate_Diffuse set another “Diffuse” node, link Diffuse_Value with the velvet map again and Diffuse_Color with a “Velvet” node. Adjust the colors of the “Velvet” node and link Velvet_Color with the “Clouds” node you created earlier.
Your material settings should now look similar to the screenshot above.
Do a render. The velvet effect is now combined with glossy satin.
Of course you can use these nodes to create even more complex textures. Add transparency or reflection maps, or also displacement maps.
If you use grayscale images instead of a black-and-white map you will get even more interesting effects.
The possibilities are virtually endless. I hope this tutorial has helped you exploring some of them.