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Nano Particle avatar image
Nano Particle asked ·

What is the most efficient way to make an opacity map material

I'm re-materialing some old MR trees so the work in Arnold.

I have:

added an Arnold properties modifier to the tree and the material is looking fine - but it is pretty slow to render-( I would like to use ten or so of them in the scene) even with SSS set to 0. Does anyone have ideas about how to speed it up?

materialopacity
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Mads Drøschler avatar image
Mads Drøschler answered ·

Attached dropbox links to both video walkthrough of the concept of creating useful vegetation shaders that works perfect with mass instancing and the scene Im working on.

Scene file saved out to 2019:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/aeev7kn9wp43cey/treefull.zip?dl=0

Video going over the shader structure and how to look at the concept of generating variation and controllers that moves seamlessly into mass distribution.
Used only core Arnold nodes.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2z78h1agthedoek/2019-05-30%2015-43-41.mp4?dl=0

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So beautiful!

I really can't thank you enough for the video - it answers so many questions I've had about creating this effect, it looks really adjustable once it's set up. With the model - I had simplified an Xfrog tree to have only 2 material ID's (tree framework and leaves) rather than 6 to 9. I should do this to all the models I want to put this material onto do you think?

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I would say so, and keep the ID structure intact as well. So Trunc for example, ALWAYS defaults to ID 1 and Leaf ID 2, then when you import and add the shading, it will work right away as soon as you swap out the bitmaps.

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Mads Drøschler avatar image
Mads Drøschler answered ·

You can make color variations like Forest Pack pro randomizers easily on trees.
But dont use the multi sub material, its not good for managing these things.
Hook Material and Element IDs to an array map instead, this way you only need 1 material, and can have all the control maps you want for specular roughness, random hue changes and everything a tree needs with just a single material.

If you got option to upload a single test tree AND a single diffuse bitmap ( both a single leaf and the trunk bark ) and a single Alpha texture, I can set it up for you.

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....how do I pull up an array map? It sounded like it would be under Math - but no?

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Nano Particle avatar image
Nano Particle answered ·

ooooh OK sound excellent.

I wasn't able to attach files to a comment so I have put this into an answer. If I am then using the tree with Forest pack - which re-materials geometry in the scatter with its own material - would I just untick the consolidate materials and or clear the materials and then re-apply the Arnold material? (I'm finding the materials are getting a bit strange between Arnold and Forest - though they have just updated their software for Arnold compatibility recently -


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Ok, looking into it.

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what max version are you using btw? just checking if I can introduce OSL nodes, or it has to be Arnold native nodes.

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Ok, so done as a rough sketch.
SSS(thin walled to speed up things ) + random leaf colors.

Ill record a video explaining it and upload a MAX file for 2019.

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