ShaderMap Version 3.x
Source Maps
Source Maps are used as the starting point for Map generation. Most maps require at least one input and this input is usually a Source Map. Below is a list and description of each of the default Source Map plugins included with ShaderMap:


SOURCE: COLOR TEXTURE

A color texture, also known as a diffuse map, can be a photographic texture or any color graphic. The main way that ShaderMap uses color textures is to try to generate displacement maps from them. Once a displacement map is created any number of other maps can be genreated from the displacement map.

The default materials use the color map for the diffuse channel of their shaders.

PROPERTIES:

Name: Type: Description:
Tile Type Droplist Sets the tile type of the image. Will set the tile type of all maps generated from this source. Controls how maps generated from it are painted (along the edges) in the Normal Editor. Tile None, on X, on Y, or on XY.
Alpha Threshold Slider Source images with alpha transparency are pre-processed to color fill areas that are transparent by extending the edges where the pixel has an alpha of the Threshold value or less. This is very useful when generating displacement from a map with transparency.



SOURCE: NORMAL MAP

ShaderMap normal maps are in tangent space. Each pixel represents an XYZ normalized vector in tangent space using the Red, Green, and Blue channels of that pixel. Normal maps can be generated from displacement maps in ShaderMap or baked from 3D geometry.

When bringing a normal map into ShaderMap it is important that you know the coordinate system which the map was generated in. ShaderMap assumes that an image space coodinate system is used (positive X to the right, positive Y to the bottom, and positive Z to the near). You can tell ShaderMap that it is in a different coordinate system (right handed, left-handed, etc.) by clicking the Coordinate Icon in the normal map's properties section.

It is also possible to convert any normal map to a different coordinate system. The Material Visualizer shaders compensate for this by converting all normals back to a default coordinate system before rendering. This ensures lighting angles stay constant no matter what coordinate system is used.

PROPERTIES:

Name: Type: Description:
Tile Type Droplist Sets the tile type of the image. Will set the tile type of all maps generated from this source. Controls how maps generated from it are painted (along the edges) in the Normal Editor. Tile None, on X, on Y, or on XY.
Coord System Dialog Box Use this to define the coordinate system the normal map is in. This is necessary to know as it will be communicated to all child maps and the Material Visualizer shaders.
Alpha Threshold Slider Source images with alpha transparency are pre-processed to color fill areas that are transparent by extending the edges where the pixel has an alpha of the Threshold value or less.



SOURCE: DISPLACEMENT MAP

A displacement map, also known as a height map, defines the height of a surface where darker pixels are lower and lighter pixels are higher. ShaderMap uses diaplacement maps to generate normal maps and many other types of maps. The Material Visualizer uses displacement to render Displacement and Parallax offset shaders.

PROPERTIES:

Name: Type: Description:
Tile Type Droplist Sets the tile type of the image. Will set the tile type of all maps generated from this source. Controls how maps generated from it are painted (along the edges) in the Normal Editor. Tile None, on X, on Y, or on XY.
Alpha Threshold Slider Source images with alpha transparency are pre-processed to color fill areas that are transparent by extending the edges where the pixel has an alpha of the Threshold value or less. This is very useful when generating normal maps from a map with transparency.

ShaderMap Software Documentation
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