I am in the process of learning the function editor in Vue 7 Complete by using the fantastic tutorials at geek at play, the vue 7 manual and a lot of trial and error.
So far I am having a fair deal of sucess, in that its not as scary as it first appears, its just a case of learning where everything is and having the creativity to know what it is you want to achieve and how to make things more realistic.
The best way I find to learn is to write about what im doing and then have a reference guide that I can come back to and view at any time that is in terms that I understand, so as a result I will be writing it here in the hope that others might also find it useful. (In no way am I trying to copy or compete with Geek at Play studios, and do not wish to offend them, i’m just trying to learn!)
In order to enter the function editor, there are a couple of ways. Firstly from the material editor you can right click on the object you want to edit and then select “edit function”
or by clicking one of the lightning bolts that are next to some functions in the material editor.
The first and most important thing is to get acquainted with the menus and some vocabulary.
Four terms that will undoubtedly come up frequently are, node, graph, input node and output node.
A node is any object that appears on the graph, regardeless of its function, type or style it is still a node.
The graph relates to the nodes that are present in the function editor.
Input nodes appear at the top of the graph and relate to physical parts of the material, i.e. where it should be, how textures should be mixed etc.
Output nodes appear at the bottom of the graph and relate to visual parts of the material, i.e. what it should look like, bumps, highlights etc.
Below is a graphical representation of the function editor. (click the images to enlarge them)
Below are images with the labels of the buttons around the graph.
A good way of getting to grips with color maps and applying them to bumps etc is to remember that +1 is represented in white and -1 is represented in black. For example if our color map looks as folows.
Then on a noise node that looks as follows, the darker areas will have a green appearance and the lighter areas will have a red appearance becuase -1 = green and +1 = red.
It is important to remember that you can only save changes to the function that you enter the function editor by, for example if you enter via the color+alpha nodes and edit the bump nodes, only the color and alpha settings will be changed.
Thats all for this very short beggining, there will be more coming probably tommorrow.