Shaderball & Ambience

Discussions regarding Materials, Material-Compounds or Shaders, etc.
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Hirazi Blue
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Shaderball & Ambience

Post by Hirazi Blue » 22 Dec 2013, 16:28

I hardly ever use the "Scene Ambience" settings, so it threw me off today to find my shaderballs affected by the color of the "Scene Ambience". I assume this is intended behavior. But why?
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SpookyMunky
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Re: Shaderball & Ambience

Post by SpookyMunky » 20 Jan 2014, 08:43

the ambience setting is a control over how much ambient light / fake made up flat evil light each material in scene gets.. generally you want this to be close to black. Every material in xsi has an ambient setting that basically defines how much ambient light it can receive. I think the default is 0.3 for every new material, and scene default ambience is 0.2 of the black / white spectrum.... so 30% of a material will have an overall applied value of 20% on the white / black scale purely added to shadows (so basically instead of black you have grey in unlit areas).

I think most people goto render menu then ambience, hold control to adjust all 3 chans at the same time and drag it to black, that way you don't need to set it for every surface (30% of 0 is still 0 :) ) .. That's my basic startup procedure for every new scene.

If you set every surface to what you think would be their ambient surface reflecion settings then at some point an idiot can quickly bring the scene ambience setting up (to reduce black shadows) and it wont look overly fake.. I dunno, is a feature of 3d I have always hated and I don't think I would trust any lighting artist that actually used it hehe.

So basically to stop it effecting that material then reduce the material's ambient setting (set to black), or set the scene ambience to black, use actual lights or FG or GI etc etc to stop solid black areas of the render if its a scene that would have much ambient light.

Pprobably the only kind of thing I can think on it working well really is ocean scenes.. I dunno.. heavy blue overtone like the preview apple you posted hehe.... In most places I think people can tell its a joke and you cheaped out on lighting when its used badly :P

Edit: hehe, I have a feeling that the only reason ambient lighting is still an always on defaulty thing is because software devs are scared we will be blind if we delete every light from a scene, its that much of a joke in my mind :) (20% grey is still as impossible to use in a scene without lights as 100% black ;) ) .. that was the excuse 3d apps used in the 90s for having ambience atleast hehe

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Hirazi Blue
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Re: Shaderball & Ambience

Post by Hirazi Blue » 20 Jan 2014, 09:59

Thanks for the thorough explanation, but I am aware of the way "Scene Ambience" works and I even have an event in place to tune it down to zero on every new scene creation. But that wasn't the issue here. I wanted to use "Scene Ambience" to achieve a certain effect. What caught me off-guard was the fact that "Scene Ambience" affected the Shader Balls so much. This was a surprise to me as I would have expected them to show me the result of my current shader node without being influenced by the "Scene Ambience" that much (or even at all). This surprise probably stems from a lack of understanding of the way the shaderballs works, not necessarily of the way "Scene Ambience" works..
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SpookyMunky
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Re: Shaderball & Ambience

Post by SpookyMunky » 20 Jan 2014, 10:13

hehe, sorry if I went overboard on the explanation, it's just a shaderball is a representation of how your surface will look when rendered, if you adjust scene's ambience settings and the material still has an ambient setting that isn't black then in my mind of course it will show in the render ball ;) ... it'd be worrying if it didn't, why I went into so much depth.

Edit: admitedly I wouldnt have gone into such an in depth explanation if I'd notice it was you that was asking Hirazi hehehe..sorry :D ( I am user blind, just look at the question and go from there.. otherwise I might judge people not worthy for having too few posts or something silly ? hehe).. now Im wondering if theres some huge fundamental issue with xsi I'm just not seeing :P

Edit: maybe your auto scene ambience setting to zero has made you forget waht is obvious to us mere mortals ;)