PP11 Pro Rookie Question - Transparencies.

  • Hello

    Does Poser 11 handle transparencies the same way as Previous version of poser?

    I am getting decidedly different results with respect to Superfly and Firefly.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    FireFly does transparancy, but SuperFly does Opacity, so you have to adapt transmaps to Opacity maps. => usually be done with a Math_Functions Substract node in the advanced material room.
    best regards, Tony

  • Poser Ambassadors

    I have to correct three misconceptions here that have been repeated far too many times.

    1. A map where black (0) means transparent and white (1) means opaque is properly called an opacity map, not a transparency map. An opacity map controls opacity and transparency at the same time because these are inverses of each other, so conceptually the same map is plausibly called a transparency map. However, the property represented by the numbers in the map are directly used for the opacity, therefore it's an opacity map, not a transparency map. This is in agreement with most graphics programs terminology.

    For example, 3DS Max: Opacity Map

    1. Poser users have incorrectly been calling their maps transparency maps from DAY 1. The error is forgiveable because the Poser Surface root node input that you use with an opacity map is INCORRECTLY named "Transparency". It has, in fact, NEVER been a transparency map in FireFly, but rather an OPACITY map. Forever.

    2. Poser STILL uses opacity maps in SuperFly. They DO NOT work differently.

    There is the notion of differences in SHADER nodes and how you connect them, but that is not something you say about SuperFly, that's something you say about shader nodes.

    I shall now demonstrate.

  • Poser Ambassadors

    Here is a Poser Surface root node with an opacity map plugged into the Transparency channel.

    It is rendered in FireFly.


    And now, changing nothing in the shader or scene, I render in SuperFly.


    The correlation between white in the map and opaque in the prop is identical.

  • Poser Ambassadors

    Now I change the shader to use the Physical Surface root node.

    Notice it offers a switch to control the map mode and by default it is set to Opacity.

    It renders the same way, not the opposite at all.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    If and ONLY if I go out of my way to change how the shader is configured, I can get the opposite.

    Here I changed the TransparencyMode value to Transparency. Now it interprets the map as a Transparency map where white (1) is fully transparent. This is NOT the default, and so it's completely bogus to suggest that SuperFly does the opposite of FireFly. It only does the opposite if you TELL it to do the opposite.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Oh my - would you look at that? It's FireFly rendering a map backwards, using the same SHADER!


    Anyone who has eyes should be able to recognize now that SuperFly and FireFly render opacity maps EXACTLY THE SAME WAY.

    So please, please, PLEASE I'm begging you alll to stop confusing new users with your incorrect understanding of things.

  • Poser Ambassadors

    The Poser Surface root node and the Physical Surface root node are complex composite shaders that do a lot of work for you.

    When you do that work yourself, you're expected to know what you're doing. To reproduce what those other shaders were doing but not using those root nodes, here I've assembled the basic Cycles parts to do the same thing. A Diffuse BSDF and a Transparency BSDF are blended according to the opacity factor of the map using a Mix Closure.

    Learn your nodes people.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Finally, I believe this shader setup is partially to blame for people misunderstanding opacity maps.

    If you plug the map INTO a TransparentBsdf, you're now doing something completely different. You're defining the color of light passing though the transparent surface. You're not at all defining where there is transparency and where there is not.

    The result is that it SEEMS to be a reversed transparency map, but given that black produces black here it is obvious this isn't a transparency mapping scenario. Instead it's a transparency COLORING scenario.


    Technically this surface is ENTIRELY transparent. It's just that some of it is 100% white transparent and some of it is 0% black transparent.

    This is not a shader that uses the map to blend a transparent behavior with an opaque behavior. The entire surface is transparent behavior.

  • Poser Ambassadors

    Here's proof that in this shader setup it's all transparent, just colored differently.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    I forgot to say, look at the name of the input on the TransparentBsdf node. The word is "Color", not "Transparency" nor is it "Opacity".

    That input is for COLOR MAPS -- get it? It defines the color of the transparency, not the fact that it's transparent.

  • @bagginsbill I think there is something wrong with me BB... I completely understood this 100%. Lol!

    Thank you for taking the time to show all the alternate configurations that produce the same result. :)

  • Poser Ambassadors

    @bagginsbill - thank you, that helps clarify the subject for me too & demos are appreciated!

  • @bagginsbill Make that 3 thank you's BB. Your visual representations are always a huge help. ~smile~

  • I'll add a thanks too. It makes things a lot clearer now.

  • As the rookie OP asking the question, I have to thank you for such a complete explanation and mini tutorial! I'll adjust my terminology and use opacity rather than transparency from now. The color map explanation is more than interesting. It's essential to know. To those that didn't do the homework, BSDF stands for Bidirectional Scattering Distribution Function. Correct me if I'm wrong but it means the light will scatter and bounce a different angle which is how all light works. A layman would assume that no two points of a surface are the same (due to location) and there will be a difference in how light bounces, scatters and reflects from each point. That color blender gives extra functionality to the BSDF with respect to the surface.

    I have a model that in Firefly uses a transparency (opacity) map to control what is exposed and it did NOT port over to Superfly. I need to figure out why so I can use these models in Superfly. The Model wearing armor is V4 with a skin overlay. I was amazed and how EZskin3 took care of the missing skin texture. The result of using EZskin on her chest armor gave unfortunate results. I'll run a VERY Fast Mode render and post what I mean. In the end I think I'll have to redo her armor myself if I wish to use it in Superfly. You'll see the C-Cup that is used to cover her

    I did want to reply to own thread and thank Bagginsbill and agree with mr_phoenyxx and caisson. This was completely understandable and very thorough. It also answered questions not asked but would logically come next. Wow! people are commenting as I write this so it's off to Post!!