#59: SHADOWS & LIGHT (Vue)
#58: ADVANCED DIRT MAPPING (Vue)
#57: SSS IN VUE 9, AND THE "SPECKLE" PROBLEM
#56: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL OF ART
#55: FIXING POSER CLOTHING
#54: MAKING "FOREST WAR - GOBLIN SHAMAN"
#53: MAKING A STUDIO RENDER FOR VUE
(and other apps)
#49: NEBULA MKIII (Vue)
#48: RENDER SETTINGS FOR VUE (Vue)
#47: POSTWORK - MAKING A RENDER INTENSE (Any)
#46: MAKING RIVERS THAT FOLLOW TERRAIN HEIGHTS (Vue or Bryce)
ALTERING MATERIALS,
Simulating Rust, decay, or adding interesting overlays
To alter an exisitng material to add age, grime, changes etc, it's very easy!

NOTE: this trick was developed before Vue6 came out! Vue 6 lets you do the same thing, basically, using "Layers". So not as useful for Vue6 and after ;) In Vue6 use the function to drive the ALPHA of the layer for transprency. Sometimes though, as with "dirt maps", you are best sticking to a mixed material like this method below.

This utilizes the principle of "underlying transparency", which can be seen on tutorials elsewhere on the 'Net.

Take your initial material, say it's bronze metal. You want to add variation, age etc to it.
Decide on the material that will alter it, maybe a green landscape to make it look verdigrised with age.

Ok, edit the material, go to the TRANSPARENCY tab, move slider to 100%. click variable transparency, and UNDERLYING MATERIAL. Chose your material.

Now, how you mix them can vary, but usually EDITING the function and adding a fractal, tweaking it to taste, will provide a randomized mix, very good for dirt/age etc. Note you can also make image MASKS for precision, like an archway with a different type of brick in the arch, driven by a mask!

Here is a basic cube with a basic Vue brick material, we want to make it more interesting but without going to too much trouble...

After some tweaks we get THIS, Vue-Brick Ala' Doom3! ;)
ok, enter the material editor
-Global Transparency 100%
-Tick VARIABLE transparency and UNDERLYING MATERIAL
-Load a suitable material into "Underlying material"
-Right click to edit TRANSPARENCY PRODUCTION of your first material.
-Add some function to give your end result, for dirt, grime etc, I suggest Variable Roughness fractal or Noise-Cellular Patterns-Vornonoi, turn the Wavelength down low, so the effect is smaller patches, blotchier. If one part of the wavelength is larger than others, you get a streaky effect. NOTE, if the Z axis is longest, the streaks will go vertically, thus making nice water stains from ceiling etc.
One possible node pattern to use to drive this:

Now, one thing that is VERY important is the additonal material has to *NORMALLY* look like it's part of the original, unless you wish to to appear like say, fungus growing OUT of the original.

Thus normally the 2nd material has to have the same BUMP as the original. Stains and dirty marks are usually not thick enough to alter the underlying surface.
So copy the bump production form the 1st material, and add it into the 2nd

Here is the effect of making a vertical "streaky" material just by having the "Z" wavelength longer than X and Y.

While I used a glaring obvious colour, hehe, it's easy to see you can make a wall look dirty, aged, water streaked etc using this trick!

I hope you find this of use! :)

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All original art, writing on this site, copyright of Steven James, "Silverblade the Enchanter" ©2012