Help / F.A.Q.
How to use the ENVO shader.
Open 3dsmax. Make sure you use direct3d and not Nitrous as the video driver as directx shaders do not work in Nitrous.
Open material editor. Instead of standard select directx. Browse to the folder where you have copied the .fx file/files.
Now you have all the parameters there and you can start.
The shader parameters:
Diffuse color – The diffuse color if no diffuse texture
Ambient color – If not using realtime light this is the ambient color
Use normal map -If you want to use a normal map. Otherwise the defaul vertex normal is used.
Normal map – Normal map, of course . Using UV map channel 1
Normal map power – How much the normal map modifies the base normal. Default is 1.
Use detail texture – The detail texture is a texture that is mapped on channel 1 and has a multiplied uv specified. It adds extra detail if the base textures don’t have enough. Usualy a noise texture where values greater that 0.5 gray increase brightness and bellow decreases it.
Detail texture – The detail texture
Detail texture power – How much the detail texture influences.
Detail texture UV multiplier -Uv multiplier of base channel 1 for detail texture
Mask texture (specular, gloss, self illumination)
Mask texture – The mask texture is a texture that uses each channel for different stuff. Uv channel 1
Red = specular/reflection
Green = Glossiness for light and reflection
Blue = Self illumination, glow
They are inactive unless you activate them from the next 3 checkboxex:
Mask texture red for reflection – If checked, the red channel of the texture will be used to modulate reflection from the cube map.
Mask texture green for reflection gloss -If checked, the green channel will be used for gloss. Further options for this in the “reflection” area of the shader
Mask texture blue for glow -If checked, the blue channel will represent what areas of the material will glow.
Glow color -The color for glow/self illumination.
Glow intensity from vertex color BLUE – How much the normal map modifies the base normal. Default is 1.
Use parallax map – If checked you can use a grayscale depth texture that gives extra depth to the shader. Only works properly on channel 1 UV so you might want to keep all textures except lightmap on channel 1.
Parallax map -The parallax texture.
Parallax global map (UV2) -In case you want to use a global parallax for the whole scene and not based on diffuse textures.
Parallax power – How much the parallax map offsets the depth. Use low values (0.02 or so).
Parallax multiplied from vertex alpha – If checked you can use vertex alpha to modulate the power of the parallax map. You might want to use this to give lower parallax where the material blends with another one that does not use parallax,
You can have 2 sets of textures for the shader that blend based on vertex channel red.
Use texture blend -If checked the shader will do texture blend.
Texture blend mask texture – A much cooler texture blend can be obtained if using a blend mask so the transition between the textures is not smooth but rather based on that mask that can be for example a depth mask for the bricks on texture set 1 that will blend much more natural with the snow on texture set 2 and the snow will ocuppy first the space between the bricks.
Blend mask uses UV3- By default UV1 is used. You can use UV3 for the blend mask.
Texture blend contrast – When using a mask, the more contrast the steeper the transition between textures.
Second set of textures
That will blend with the first one
USE UV3 for second texture set – If checked, UV3 will be used for the second textures set
Diffuse 2, Normal Map 2, Mask tex 2- The second set of textures.
Use lightmap – If checked, the shader will use a lightmap multiplied with 2 (for stronger light areas) mapped on channel 2. You should disable dynamic lights or use attenuation.
Lightmap – Lightmap texture.
Use directional lightmap – See resources on more about directional lightmaps and what they can do.
Lightmap 1, Lightmap 2, Lightmap 3- The 3 directional lightmap textures for the 3 needed light vectors for pixel.
Use reflections -If checked, you can use a cube map for reflections.
Reflection map- The cubemap.
Reflection gloss multiplier -If you use mask texture green for gloss this will be used to have more contrast between gloss and non gloss areas.
Reflections global blur -The bigger the values, the more blurry the reflections. For your info the shader does a mipmap lookup tohave blurry reflections.
Reflections power – How powerful the reflections, a value between 0 and 1.
Use blended reflections – By default, the reflections are additive on top of the material. Using this they will be blended.
Reflections from vertex color green – If checked, you can paint with vertex color green to have areas with more or less reflections.
Reflections use fresnel – If you want, you can have reflections just on the edges of an object, based on the normal of the pixel to the camera.
Reflections fresnel power – Power of the reflections fresnel.
Reflections fresnel scale – More means more contrasted, concentrated on the edges.
Reflections fresnel bias – More means more towards the camera, less (negative value) moved outside.
You can use the lightmap as a mask for reflections, where darker areas don’t reflect as much or at all.
Reflection use lightmap mask - Enable/disable lightmap mask.
Lightmap mask brightness and Lightmap mask contrast- With these you can control where exactly you have or don’t have reflections relative to the lightmap.
Invert lightmap mask- Reverses the mask so darker areas will have more reflections.
A nice extra touch is to have a glow/outline of color around objects. The color is additive
Use fresnel color -enable/disable fresnel color.
Fresnel power, fresnel scale and fresnel bias -Used exactly like the fresnel parameters for reflections.
Use fog – If checked the shader will have fog.
Please note that for depth based calculations like fog you need to make sure that your objects have been x-from reset . Also when having a scene with multiple materials you should use Slate material editors to add common parameters for fog otherwise it will be very hard to tune the same parameters in so many materials.
Fog color and fog alpha control the color and maximum fog at the far side of the scene.
Fog near and fog far control where the fog starts and where it ends.
Note that at this point the shader only uses 1 light from the scene and you need to use the dropbox at the bottom of the shader to select it.
You can control the diffuse color, specular color, glossiness and attenuations from the parameters:
Dynamic light : The diffuse color of the light. Note that it adds on top of the lightmap like self illumination does.
Dynamic light specular color : The specular color
Light glossiness – The glossiness of the specular.
Light attenuation 1, 2 and 3 : 3 steps for attenuation, similar to the near and far attenuation in max.
Light attenuation scale : A global scale for the attenuation.
The alpha techniques:
The shader has 2 extra techniques for alpha materials. They use the diffuse texture/textures alpha channel + an added alpha using vertex color alpha.
Alpha test – Harsh alpha. Used for vegetation and anything sharp. Good because it does not have the problems with alpha sorting that aree very hard to get rid of.
Alpha blend – For smooth alpha like simulating fog, fire anything with smooth transitions. Please not that because the way max sorts alpha blended objects it’s very hard to get them working. If you cannot see an alpha object you need to duplicate it and delete the older version because max sorts alpha based on object creation order. If you have a tree in the background that is rendered on top of a tree in the foreground you need to duplicate the foreground one and delete the older version.
Using vertex color:
You can use all 4 components of vertex color with this shader
When you need to paint with one component and not affect the others (like paint specular without affecting texture blend) you can use the blending modes in vertex paint. FOr example when you want to paint with green for specular you can use “color dodge”. If you want to remove the red so you don’t have any specular but still keep the other components you can use “substract” when painting with red.
-Vertex color red : Used for texture blend. Where red = texture 2 and no-red = just texture one.
-Vertex color green : Used for reflection. Green = no reflection, no-green = maximum reflection
-Vertex color blue : Used for offset map. Maximum blue = maximum offset power.
-Vertex color alpha : Used for alpha. For example you want to make a lake and smoothly fade it to alpha = 0 near the shore. This goes on top of the existing alphas in the diffuse texture/textures/