Physical Surface Normal - Numeric Value?



  • I searched the forum a bit, but couldn't really find a suitable solution for my problem.

    I am using a Physical Surface and have attached diffuse, bump, specular, and normal maps.

    For whatever reason, when I attach the normal map node to the 2d image map normal texture, no numeric value appears next to the normal. I can't set the level of the normal, which makes me think that something may be broken there with my node setup.

    I've seen video examples in tutorials that show when they attach the normal node to the image map, a numeric with slider appears.

    Also... what is the best way to implement SSS when using the Physical Surface node in Superfly render?

    Thanks in advance for help and suggestions!


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    Screenshot below of PhysicalSurface root with PBR Metal/Rough maps. The maps use Poser's standard image_map node. You can click on the number for the NormalMap & change it if needed. SSS is set by entering a value for red, green & blue in millimetres (the ScatterDist settings; I think PhysicalSurface root uses the Cycles SSS node here with Burley falloff). Does that help?

    0_1531425203386_PhysSurf.PNG



  • @rpsdev IIRC normals have a fixed amount, that is, they are 100% dependent on the map.



  • @rpsdev Okay... new twist... I am using Poser Pro 11 64 bit and unlike examples I have seen (most recently in a blog post from June) my Physical Surface root node doesn't have scatter. It ends at Volume.

    I guess that SSS in the Physical Surface node was added in an update?



  • Well, I have PP11, 64 bit and mine have the SSS inputs. I use the Physical Surface Node all the time, because I can figure out how to DO stuff with that (unlike in Cycles ;) )
    I generally set the SSS to 2, 1,5 and 1,75 for skin. Seems to work.



  • @caisson Thank you very much for your post, caisson... yes, that does help, although I would really like to see the SSS node setup.

    As I previously mentioned, I figured out that my physical surface node doesn't have SSS in it. It also does not have a numeric value for the NormalMap. It ends at Volume.

    I am downloading the updates to install and see if those items were added in an update.

    @trekkiegirl Thank you for the SSS values; once I get the issue corrected, I will give them a try!


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    @rpsdev - yes, IIRC they were in an update but I can't remember which one. Screenshot is from 11.1.0.34764.


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    To add SSS to skin with the Physical Surface root node, just add a value from zero to 1 to the "ScatterDistR_mm". I usually set it to "1.0" and it does the job for me, so it couldn't be easier than that. Of course, if you have a scatter map, plug it there, or else the scatter will be applied to the entire skin. Scatter maps are very rare, so usually that's the only choice.

    Once this is done, you will immediately see your SF renders become VERY noisy, and will take longer to clear up. SF sucks at denoising, so I recommend leaving SSS for last if you will do lots of test renders.

    Hope it helps. :)



  • @Ken1171 would you liken a scatter map to a skin thickness and/or bone proximity map, imagining that bones beneath flexed joints will reduce the SSS somewhat?


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    @anomalaus said in Physical Surface Normal - Numeric Value?:

    @Ken1171 would you liken a scatter map to a skin thickness and/or bone proximity map, imagining that bones beneath flexed joints will reduce the SSS somewhat?

    That's pretty much what a scatter map is supposed to do - simulate skin thickness across the body. However, we have to remember that the Physical Surface is a "super node" and provides a good but simplified result. If you really want to make the best out of Cycles, you have to get your hands dirty with Cycles native root and nodes. I am Ok with simplification, so I am still not going that far. SSS is the kind of subtle effect that most people won't even notice, unless they have a trained 3D artist eye for it. I prefer to keep it simple. :)



  • @Ken1171 thanks for confirming that. I still struggle with excessive SSS effects due to difficulty judging what the scale parameter values should actually be. Are the units millimetres? I even went so far as to write a script to blanket multiply every scale parameter by 10 when I load a particular figure.


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    @anomalaus said in Physical Surface Normal - Numeric Value?:

    @Ken1171 thanks for confirming that. I still struggle with excessive SSS effects due to difficulty judging what the scale parameter values should actually be. Are the units millimetres? I even went so far as to write a script to blanket multiply every scale parameter by 10 when I load a particular figure.

    You are not alone on this - I have seen many cases of Poser/DS renders using excessive SSS, making the character look like they belong in a wax museum.

    The "ScatterDistR_mm" parameter ends with "mm", which I assume means millimeters. However, Poser scale is a configurable parameter, and the default (if I remember this right) is "inches". I don't know if that affects this parameter or not, but in any case, setting it to "1.0" has worked for me in most cases, even if I am happy with a subtle effect. I think SSS is supposed to be subtle anyway.

    Another factor is the scene lighting. We should see SSS in effect if there is a strong light coming from behind, unless all you want is to make your character look like it's made of wax. In my scenes, I only use SSS in these cases, where the lighting will bring it out. Otherwise it will just make my render noisy and take longer to finish. Depending on the scene lighting, SSS doesn't add anything to the render besides more noise and longer rendering times.


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