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Baking Vox Layer shaders to textures

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  • Advanced Member

Hey All,

I'm finding my favorite way to start texturing something is to use the vox layer shader before I start.

the technique is really similiar to what I do when coloring comics using color "flats" to block in the color and then "shade" later.

It took some trial and error to get this working in 3D coat, since a lot of the shaders either don't bake, bake from the view at bake time or bake with totally un-predicable results for specular. it was frustrating me, so I made a series of custom shaders from one of the default simple shaders that bakes predictably into specular and diffuse. (the vox layer render looks like the texture render)

here's a snapshot of my customized shaders.


foreach shader, I create an empty vox layer assign it when I want to add a new element of that material/shader type, I just make sure the vox layer is selected before I start drawing/stamping etc.

later, when I bake the layers to a retopo mesh I have a great starting point. Or if I'm really lucky, I have a finished texture that just needs the layer opacities adjusted.



tip: if you're trying to split up an existing vox layer into color vox layers, the split tool works fine. for complex models. use the hide tool and when you have the boundaries set the way you like, use the "separate hidden part" command in the voxels menu.



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  • Advanced Member

if you want to make your own vox layer shader swatches.

I recomend first copying this folder

C:\Program Files\3D-Coat-V3\Shaders\Custom

to something like

C:\Program Files\3D-Coat-V3\Shaders\Custom_factory

and then create a new folder called "custom". this will be where you save own custom "bakable" shaders.

I've uploaded the medium gray shader I started with. it bakes the voxel layer to 50% diffuse and a dark specular, which is how most of my textures start anyway.

unzip the attached folder and put it in your

C:\Program Files\3D-Coat-V3\Shaders\Custom

restart 3Dcoat and right click on it to set it as the default shader so that when you create a new shader, it will use the values from the AAA_gray shader. adjust the diffuse and specular colors only.


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  • Advanced Member

Some notes for andrew:


-I desperately need a color picker from the material editor so I can skip the color dialogue and pick directly from the viewport.

-picking a vox layers color should be interactive. I shouldn’t have to hit ok on the color picker to see the vox layer change.

-need a way to copy shaders from one vox layer to another.

-need a select by shader command.

-need a way to autosplit a vox layer by surface continuity.

Would be nice:

- layer thumbnails (at least the shader that is assigned to the vox layer)

- layer groups for organization in both textures and vox layers.

- a “glow” shader that can bake into bitmaps with a soft falloff through space. Think of trying to texture candles or neon lights on brick.

-a custom object per shader would be usefull. I could make a stack of wood for the wood shader.

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here's some evidence of the few hours I spent hunting through all the shaders looking for the one shader that would bake into textures properly.

Thanx for the shader! :)

To Andrew: Bump of cubemapped shaders should be sent to depth channel of the color layer instead of the main normal map.

I dont know if its hard for you to code that.

It would greatly help when using clone tool to break the tiled aspect of cubemapped shaders when painting wood or stone.

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