The FireFly/Material room FAQ
(last update: 01-01-2004)
1. FireFly is so slow, how can I make it faster?
In order to get faster FireFly renders, you can do the following:
If your image looks like this:
If your image looks like this:
you need to increase the light's Shadow Min Bias.
If you get hair that looks like this:
you should take a look at FAQ #8 Why do my single-sided polyons look wrong?
You need to disable "smooth polygons" in the object's properties.
Create a refraction node and plug it into the "refraction color" channel of the PoserSurface node. Make sure you set the Transparency, Transparency Edge and Translucence_Value values to zero and that you enable raytracing in the render settings.
Create a reflection node and plug it into the "reflection color" channel of the PoserSurface node. Make sure you set the Transparency, Transparency Edge and Translucence_Value values to zero and that you enable raytracing in the render settings.
Here's an example of a glass material with both refraction and reflection:
Create a toon shader node and plug it into the Alternate_Diffuse channel. Set Diffuse_Value to zero. You can set the material's colors with the light_color and dark_color inputs. If you want to use textures on the material, plug the output of an image_map node into the light_color and dark_color inputs and set white for light_color and gray for dark_color.
Adjust the shadow lite cams, decrease Shadow Min Bias, increase the shadow map size or use ray traced shadows. Or simply set a darker material for the nostrils.
There's a bug in the PoserSurface node that is rendering single-sided polyongs wrong when they are being looked at from the backside. Luckily, there's a simple workaround - you have to disable the diffuse part of PoserSurface and replace it with a seperate diffuse node. Take a a look at these screenshots to see how it's supposed to look:
See my guide through FireFly.
Tempest is the rendering engine of PiXELS 3D. As stated in the Poser 5 manual and on the Poser 5 box, Curious Labs has licenced the Tempest rendering engine and its material system. The FireFly renderer can be considered a sibling of Tempest, and the Material Room would be a sibling of ShaderMaker Pro. The advantage of that is that FireFly is not a 1.0 version of a brand-new renderer but based on a proven an well-tested existing renderer. Obviously, Pixels Inc has put more effort into advertising their renderer's features as they have a number of gallery images and tutorials showing their renderer's capabilites. As a Poser 5 user, you have access to the majority of that features too, right inside the material room. Since the interface to the shading system is basically the same, you can tap right into the Pixels community and learn from their material and rendering tutorials. Unfortunately, Pixels 3D and Poser 5 are not binary compatible and you cannot exchange shader files.
Here's a very good FAQ on ShaderMaker. Most of it applies for the Material Room too.
Here's a tutorial on math nodes in ShaderMaker which applies to the Material room as well.
First create an image_map node by clicking Node Options/new node/2d textures/image_map. Plug the output of the image_map node into the "diffuse color" input of the PoserSurface node. Set "diffuse_value" to 1 and select a white color for "diffuse color". Then click on the "None" in the Image_source field. A window will open, where you can select an already loaded image map from the dropdown-menu or you can browse your hard drive for an image file. Click OK and voila - you just set up a textured material!
A very detailed tutorial, also explaining reflection and bump maps and a few additional texture tricks can be found in the Poserpros forum (free registration required).
It probably ran out of memory. Here's a list of things you can do:
When running Poser 5 on Windows, you can also try the following:
Fur can easily be accomplished by using displacement mapping. A good starting point is creating a new marble node, increasing its turbulence value and plugging it into the material's displacement and bump channels. You can change the fur length with the displacement value and you can create less uniform fur by adding math nodes between the noise and the displacement channel or combine it with texture map nodes. Try using other 3d texture nodes nodes instead of marble and play with their paramters.
When rendering, make sure you have displacement mapping enabled and that you set a low value for shading rate (e.g. 0.2).
Here is a good tutorial for making water in Poser 5.
First, make sure you set the min. displacement bounds in the render settings high enough. The rule of thumb is to use at least twice the value that your materials have. Second, be aware that 50% gray is not the neutral value for displacement maps. Displacements are using float numbers for input, where 0 is the neutral value, numbers >0 are pushing the polygon outwards and values <0 are pushing the polygon inwards. If you have a texture that is using gray as neutral color, you have to add a math node to subtract 0.5 from it, like this:
By design, ray traced shadows are very clear and sharp. If you want really smooth, blurred shadows, use shadow maps instead. However, if you want ray traced shadows and are fighting jagged edges, you may try decreasing the min shading rate value, increasing the post filter size and using a guassian filter type.
You can load larger textures using a MAT pose.
This appears to be a bug. As a workaround, you can use raytraced refraction with a refraction index of 1.0 instead.
First, make sure your Windows Desktop is set to 24 or 32 bit color. 16bit color depth is known to be problematic. If that doesn't help, try upgrading your Windows Media Player.
When using reflections, make sure you reduce the Diffuse_Value. Usually, values around 0.1 work well.