Animation Studio 1 – 15 – Shaders



In this entry I will be talking about defining surface detail on a model by using diffuse, specularity and normal maps, and hopefully this will be my last entry for the trimester. I used The nodes and maps I will be talking about were all created with maya, photoshop and crazy bump.


The diffuse is an especially important map in my workflow as not only does it determines the base colours of my shaders, but I also currently use it to create all my other maps, so it is key to get it right. I started by snapshotting the UV layouts, I had 2 2K maps to have a decent amount of detail, and I brought them into photoshop where I blocked out the basic colours. I found the actual template for the wind rose from the movies so I placed it in the file. From there I used the shape tool to create the detail on the brass in the centre of the compass, as well as overlaying a grunge metal texture. With the added texture I erased it from the edges to create the polished metal effect, and added darker tones to indents to give them a dirt buildup effect. This isn;t the final version, as I only concentrated on the brass elements, but I will eventually finish it.

With the diffuse I focus on getting the right colours only, I try and avoid adding any highlight or shading as you would do for more stylised models.

Normal & Specularity

To create the normal and specular maps I added a black and white adjustment layer to my photoshop layers and saved it, form there I opened it in crazy bump. In crazy bump I adjusted some of the settings especially cranking down the small details, because I have found that the small details just end up looking like square pixels.


From there I saved the normal and specularity maps, I also added some noise to the specularity to avoid everything looking to smooth.

From there I just created a Blinn shader in maya and plugged in all the maps. With the normal map I find that it is way more intense in maya that it is in the crazy bump preview, so I cranked the bump height to about 0.1.00.  Following are some renders with each different map to show the difference they make.




Diffuse and Specularity maps applied


Diffuse, Specularity and Normal maps applied


Specularity and Normal maps applied

Shading Network

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 8.08.45 PM



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