Pouring all my free time into this, and having fun!
I was having some difficulties getting the mapping correct, but I found the transformVector node to cast the tangent vectors into view, thanks to finding a nice UDK article on SEMs
so now i have 2 methods of mapping, view aligned reflection mapping VAR and spherical environment mapping SEM, and have been making robust VAR and SEM master matcap materials. I’ve added color tinting. And because color tinting is the baseColor and the matcaps themselves influence emission, you can effectively make it appear like light reactive subsurface, using the base color as the desired subsurface color, like this example
that removes the ability to utilize “glow” maps you ask? Kind of, however you could get your standard glowing emissive effects via seperate materials OR I can make another master material that supports glow maps within the same material by using a mask based system that blends with the matcap, using masks and having a glowPower parameter. I could theoretically include this feature in the master mats, with null parameters by default. Although i have a feeling a series of case-specific materials would be far more efficient than one bloated multi-case one
jumping into some explanatory rambling:
Both methods can be used for distinct rendering styles unto themselves.
-The VAR method is less static and really good for exotic materials like pearlescent paints metals and gloss materials, it has the distinct benefit of bending more to the view angle and reading more dynamically from different angles.
-The SEM method can be exclusively beneficial for it’s own list of applications, including cheap environmental lighting influence on dynamic actors, outlines, toon shaders and many other things.
as you can see I have been having quite a bit of fun playing with the matcap based materials
And these are justVAR so far! I’ll be concentrating on the SEM mat next.
there are so many exciting possibilities! Can’t wait to let it loose and see what you guys do with it, it shouldn’t be long before i have the first version ready. And… well… I will stay quiet about some really exciting developments that may (or may not ) be happening!