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DS Default Material

Brickyard : Functions > Lighting > special

This special brick incorporates the same elements as the DAZ Studio Default Surface shader. It provides the simplest way to create a material shader with commonly used parameters (the equivalent of the individual parameters provided in the Lighting category, combined as with a Sum brick from the Mathematical category). Most of the inputs can take an image in color or black and white (for Float inputs) using an Image Map brick, or values can be filled in directly on this brick (or in the Surfaces (WIP) tab).

Note: When you import a material into Shader Mixer, the material is optimized for performance, meaning everything that is not used is stripped out. If you would like to have a more complete starting point, set values and assign maps to the parameters you are interested in before you import them into Shader Mixer.

If you specify an image for each of the parameters in the DAZ Studio Default shader and then import that into Shader Mixer, you'll get an Image Map brick for each of the above inputs with the exception of Reflection and Refraction. These will substitute the Image Map brick with a Environment Color Map brick.

You will also recieve a Tiler brick, which will be linked to all of the Image Map bricks other than those for Reflection and Refraction. Notice that it sits far to the right and inputs to images using S and T values (Show Advanced).




  • Material Color : Color - Description…
  • Material Opacity : Color - Description…


  • Diffuse Color : Color - A color RGB value or Image that will be applied to the surface via the UV map, and will be affected by other lighting in the scene.
  • Diffuse Strength : Float - How strongly the surface reacts to light, as a grayscale image or single value.
  • Glossiness : Float - Controls the size of the highlight. Glossy items usually reflect light in very small areas. The glossier an item is, the smaller the highlight is. A setting of 0% creates an object that has a matte finish with wide highlights. A setting of 100% creates an object with a very high gloss finish with smaller, sharper highlights.
  • Specular Color : Color - The color of the highlights, as a color image.
  • Specular Strength : Float - The strength of the highlight, or how strongly the highlight appears. A setting of 0% means no highlight, while 100% means a bright highlight. May be provided as a grayscale image or a single value.
  • Ambient Color : Color - The color of the surface after the ambient light falling on the current surface point is multiplied through the surface ambient colour and strength. Unless there are actual ambient light sources in the scene (which can only be created in Shader Mixer with the Base Light brick), the ambient light in the scene is assumed to be white at 100% intensity. This is often used to create a “glow” effect, though it will not affect other objects in the scene. (See Area Light)
  • Ambient Strength : Float - The strength of the ambient effect.
  • Opacity Color : Color - This is often provided via a grayscale image for opacity strength, but it can also be a color image of a negative, e.g. for a stained glass window. Image Map brick passed to Opacity input in root.
  • Reflection Color : Color - The color tint applied to reflections calculated in the scene. Assigning an image here using a Default Environment Map brick causes DAZ Studio to base reflections on that image, rather than on the scene itself.
  • Refraction Color : Color - The color tint applied to refractions (light bent through a transparent object) calculated in the scene.
  • Point1) : Point - A point in 3d space, consisting of x, y and z coordinates; a specific point on the geometry.
  • In2) : Vector - Normalized (length=1) I (vantage direction).
  • Nn3) : Normal - Normalized N (length=1) (overrides surface normals)
  • Specular Through Opacity : Causes the Specular strength to be multiplied by the opacity strength. Turn this option on if you have a fully transparent (0% opaque) surface that should not receive highlights. Turn this option off for transparent surfaces that are glossy, such as camera lenses, corneas, glasses, and so on. Implement with the Binary Operation brick and the If Else brick.


  • Lighting Model :
    • Plastic : The Plastic lighting model has additive Specular highlights. Highlights are generally very bright and reflect the color of light projected on to it.
    • Metal : The Metal lighting model uses metallic (isotropic or elliptical) highlights, which are multiplied through the base surface color, thus tending to produce a slightly brighter tint of the same hue.
    • Skin : The Skin lighting model uses sub-surface scattering to give the appearance of a semi-translucent layer (skin) with a blue sheen and a red opaque sub layer (blood/muscle). These options are configurable.
    • Glossy (Plastic) : The Glossy (plastic) lighting model uses a Fresnel function to make the surface act more reflective at glancing angles. It also calculates specularity in a way that produces a more uniformly bright highlight (sharper), thus making the surface look glossy. An additional Specular Sharpness parameter is provided in this lighting model. Eyeballs are a great example of an application.
    • Matte : The Matte lighting model completely ignores the Specular channel.
    • Glossy (Metallic) : The Glossy (metallic) lighting model is similar to the Glossy (plastic) model, but the calculations are adjusted to produce a gloss that mimics the gloss of highly-polished metal. Additional U and V Roughness parameters are provided, and may be used to give the surface a “brushed metal” look. This method may emphasize mesh boundaries of low-poly models.


In the examples below, the same pattern is applied to each of the inputs in turn and all other values are left at their defaults, except as noted.

In a Material

Diffuse Color

Diffuse Strength


Specular Color

In this example, Diffuse is set to Black and Glossiness is set to .85 to emphasize the effect.

Specular Strength

In this example, Ambient = 0,0,0 (black), Glossiness = .85 and the intensity of the single light has been doubled to emphasize the effect.

Ambient Color

Ambient Strength

Here, the Ambient Color has been set to white, and is modified by the Ambient Strength, received as a Float (Grayscale) image. In the second example, the lights in the scene have been turned off.

Opacity Color

Note the color inversion in the transparent parts of this image, compared to those in the first test image (Diffuse Color).

Reflection Color

Refraction Color

In this example, the Opacity Color of the test surfaces was set to (78,78,78). Note in particular how the colors change across the curved surface on the face.

Specular Through Opacity

In this example, the option has been turned off.

Lighting Model

In these examples, a solid green color is used to show the highlights more clearly, with the exception of the Skin lighting model. Glossiness is set to 0.80 to make highlights easier to see.




Glossy (Plastic)


Glossy (Metallic)

1) , 2) , 3)
Available when Show Advanced is checked in the Brick Option Menu.