For a long time now I have been working on a product for the CGcookie market and I am proud to show you a little preview of what it is.
The product is a collection of group nodes for fully procedural cycles materials but the selling point is the special group nodes I have made that I call "masking nodes."
What are masking nodes?
A masking node is something I came up with that allows you to get much more out of your cycles materials. Lets say you have a plastic material and a scratched metal material. You can make many variations for each but if you wanted to combine them you would need to do quite a bit of node work and possibly use tileable textures for factoring.
Here is a very good example of what a masking node can do.
And remember, this all 100% procedural: no textures to cause tiling!
I have a "worn aluminum" material here and the three nodes you see above that is a kind of simple plastic-like material I made for demonstration purpose. Each of those materials look cool on their own but look even better when combined.
The big node tree at the top is the "masking node." With this node group you can quickly control the contrast between the metal and plastic, the strength of each type of noise, and even a layer weight effect for something like dust and smudges. The masking pattern there is actually called "dust/smudges" because I designed while using glass with dust on it.
You can easily make a worn out glass amterial by putting a diffuse BSDF in for the masking shader and a glass BSDF for the primary shader!
That is not all though!
The best part about this mask node is that it will work with other materials from the market, not just mine! If you bought a hammered copper material from one person and have rusted copper material, you can easily plug one into the primary shader and the other into the masking shader.
Just think of the combinations you could make. While each material can do a lot on their own, mixing them in different combinations gives even more use for you materials.
Why you can even duplicate the masking node and plug the previous masking node into the new one as a primary shader. Then you can add in a third material for the masking shader on the second masking node so you can have three materials mixed together!
When will this product be done?
This pack should hopefully be done within the nest 2 months if not much sooner. I want to add many more masking nodes so you will be able to find one that is right for you!
What will be included?
The pack will consist of about 7 or so node groups like "linoleum" and "glittery vinyl." I will have a lot of materials made from these node groups for you to quickly use or you can just use the group nodes to customize the material to your liking!
I will be aiming for around 5 masking nodes, I may add more to the pack in the future for free.
Many of these materials I am making are being demonstrated in a 50s diner scene which will be included for free!
Please let me know what you think of the masking nodes! I will be posting many more pictures in the future.