Ashikhmin-Shirley Distribution

I know 2.71 hasn’t even officially been released yet, but in 2.72, there’ll be a new distribution model for glossy shaders, Ashikhmin-Shirley, and all three models have now been made available for the anisotropy shader too. I played around a bit and came up with this little comparison:

(Best to open each of these in a new tab to compare them easier)

Anisotropic Shader

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Staggered Texture Mapping

One useful feature that a lot of other 3d apps have is something called ‘Staggered’ tiling. Instead of just tiling an image normally, it offsets every second row so that it’s not quite as obviously tiled. The left image above is regular tiling, and the right one is staggered.

So as to be a true fanboy, here’s how to acheive the same thing with nodes in Cycles (and can probably apply to BI as well)

A short explaination: Remember that UVs can be manipulated as colours? Once you’re used to that, the possibilities are endless. This node setup takes the red channel (the X axis), rounds it to whole numbers so that there are incrementing solid blocks of colour for every repeated UV space, and then adds that to the green channel (the Y axis) so that it’s offset, staggered.

If you want to stagger it the other way, it’s just a matter of swapping the R and G channels:

[HDR] St Lucia Beach

Download HDR IBL image: [2048x1024] [8192x4096]
Licensed CC-BY-SA

It had been a long time since I’d been to the beach, so I was excited to get down there as early as possible on the first morning. St Lucia is a place with huge empty beaches, just next to an estuary where hippos, crocodiles and sharks roam the river by day and the small town streets by night. Continue Reading…