Poser 8 Revealed: Creating and Applying Materials - Part 2
To create advanced materials, select the Advanced tab at the top of the Shader Window to open the Advanced Material panel. Within this panel, you can select and edit the various nodes, link nodes together, and create new nodes. All nodes plug into the root node that is applied to the selected material. Learning to work with material nodes is the key to creating complex materials.
Selecting and Moving Nodes
The Shader Window is an open space for positioning and connecting material nodes. Click a node to select it. The title bar of the selected node is highlighted. The selected node can be moved to a new position by dragging its title bar. You can select several nodes at the same time by holding down the Shift key and clicking on their title bars. You can also select all nodes by clicking the pop-up menu in the upper-right corner or by right-clicking in the Shader Window and choosing the Select All command. You can also invert the current selection with the Invert Selection option in the right-click pop-up menu.
To save space in the Shader Window, click the buttons in the upper-right corner of the node to hide both the value list and the preview window. Only the title bar will remain.
The default root node is titled PoserSurface, as shown in Figure 8-18, and is always the final surface that is applied to the material group. The root node has no Output value. Different root nodes exist depending on the type of item that you can create a material for. Poser includes four root nodes:
• Material/Hair root node. Used to define materials for figures, props, and hairstyles. This node is named PoserSurface.
• Light root node. Used to define the materials applied to the selected light.
• Background root node. Used to define the materials applied to the scene background.
• Atmosphere root node. Used to define atmospheric materials such as fog and haze.
Changing Material Attribute Values
The default PoserSurface root node is the node that is used to define materials for material groups. It includes many values that you can edit. Some of these values have color swatches, others have numeric values, and some are merely check boxes. Next to some of the attributes is a question mark button. Clicking this button opens a window providing some help with the attribute. The attributes found in the material/hair root node include the following:
• Diffuse Color. Defines the surface color of the object.
• Diffuse Value. Defines the strength of the diffuse color. A value of 0 makes the diffuse color black, whereas a value of 1 matches the defined diffuse color.
• Specular Color. Defines the color of the highlights.
• Specular Value. Defines the strength of the specular color.