15. Using a NetworkMaterial node

This video introduces NetworkMaterial nodes and how they can be used to apply a texture file to a shader.


Contents:

In the video:

To create a network material:

1.   In the Node Graph tab, create a NetworkMaterial node by pressing Tab, typing N and M, then choosing the NetworkMaterial entry from the node creation menu.
2.   With the pointer over the NetworkMaterial node, press the E key to set the node's edit flag and bring up the node's parameters in the Parameters tab.
3.   In the Parameters tab, click the Add Terminal button and choose one of the available terminal types in the section of the renderer to use. For example Surface in the dl section.
4.   In the Node Graph tab, create a DlShadingNode node by pressing Tab, typing D, S, and N, then choosing the DlShadingNode entry from the node creation menu.
5.   With the cursor over the DlShadingNode node, press the E key to set the node's edit flag and bring up the node's parameters in the Parameters tab.
6.   In the Parameters tab, set the nodeType parameter of the DlShadingNode node to a shader type. For example, dlPrincipled.
7.   In the Node Graph tab, click the output triangle of the DlShadingNode node and click outColor in the popup to start a connection from that output port to an input port in the shading node network.
8.   With the connection attached to the position of the pointer, click the dlSurface input port of the NetworkMaterial node to connect the DlShadingNode node to it.

Note:  The input ports of NetworkMaterial nodes represent the terminals of a network material for particular renderers and shader types.

To load a texture from a file and use it as part of a shading node network:

1.   In the Node Graph tab, press S to bring up a layered menu with entries that represent 3Delight-specific shading nodes. Press F to filter the list down to entries containing an "f" and choose the file entry.

This creates two DlShadingNode nodes of the node types place2dTexture and file, and connects the outUV port of the place2dTexture DlShadingNode node to the UV Coordinates input of the file DlShadingNode node.

2.   Click the file dlShadingNode's output arrow and link its OutColor to the principled material node's input Base > Color.
3.   Assign the Network Material to a piece of geometry in the scene. The steps required for this are covered in a previous tutorial: 12. Material and MaterialAssign nodes.