PGmath
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First, a little explanation of how texturing works. The process of applying a texture to a mesh is called UVW mapping. The result of UVW mapping an object is a set of UVW coordinates that define ...

First you need to jump over the the Node Editor view, then select Shader Nodes and World. Also make sure Use Nodes is checked. Then add a Noise Texture node and a Color Ramp node. Plug the Fac of ...

Here is a list of the mathematical equivalents of each operation. Add: Out = Value1 + Value2. Subtract: Out = Value1 - Value2. Multiply: Out = Value1 * Value2. Divide: Out = Value1 / Value2. Sine: ...

An empty is an un-rendered, geometry-less point in space represented by a 3-dimensional symbol of some sort. There are 8 types of empties, each type differs only in its viewport symbol. The Image ...

Yes, in edit mode you can use Alt+S to scale along vertex normals instead of from the median point. So you can scale this... To this... To this... This also works for bezier curves as well, even ...

The dot product is a way of multiplying two vectors that produces a scalar (i.e. real number) value. Geometric Definition The dot product of vectors $\vec{V}$ and $\vec{U}$ can be thought of as ...

As far as I know, I don't think it is possible to drive a Color Ramp or Mapping nodes from another socket (but I am not super experienced in drivers). However I have managed to re-create the color ...

You can change the font used for a text object under the Object Data properties panel. Here you can specify different fonts for standard, bold, and italics; as well as various other typesetting ...

That is because you are in orthographic view mode, toggle back to perspective mode with Numpad 5. Unless your camera is also set to orthographic you should always see the environment in camera view ...

Here's what I have come up with. The shader consists of a little bit of diffuse mixed into some fairly rough gloss, with a smoother Fresnel gloss mixed in at the end. I also noticed that the gloss ...

It seems your object has non-uniform scale. Apply the scale of the object with Ctrl+A > scale to fix this problem. Beveling with non-uniform scale: Applying the scale: Beveling after applying ...

Here is what I have come up with: In a still shot the sparkles look kind of like fireflies, but when you animate the camera they look great! Here is the node setup: The base material is the diffuse ...

I was able to get something pretty close to what I think you are looking for using a voronoi texture. Here is my node setup (click to enlarge): Here is a close up of the nodes that make the holes (...

Layers Layers are a way of splitting up and organizing the objects in your scene. In the 3D viewport. You can select the currently visible layers in the footer of the 3D view or under properties ...

The Generated and Position outputs each represent coordinate systems. These are often used as texture coordinates for procedural textures since they are 3-dimensional, though they can be useful for ...

For Cycles to render something, it has to have some kind of geometry for the light to interact with. But particles are really just 0-dimensional points in space, by default they have no geometry. So ...

The image texture node has two outputs, the color data and the alpha (transparency channel) data of the image. The color data only holds the red, green, and blue of each pixel. So if you plug it ...

You can use the Auto Smooth feature, found under object data properties panel > normals rollout. Auto smooth produces the same smoothing result as the edge split modifier (i.e. smooths across shallow-...

If you don't want to use OSL as in lemon's answer I have created a method to do this using only Cycles nodes. (Remember OSL isn't supported on GPU.) The downside to my method is that it requires the ...

While Shady Puck's answer covers making a true shadow-only render, here is my approach to creating this type of render using the Cycles Toon shader in combination with a shadow pass and some manual ...

I can't provide explanations of all the steps, but I can explain a few and do some research of my own. BVH: BVH stands for Bounding Volume Hierarchy. It is a method of grouping up the parts of your ...

As long as you don't need the smoke to start animating again after it has stopped you can set the start and end frame for the bake to before the set animation frames start. Above I have set the start ...

In addition to the other answers, normals are also used to create effects like bump mapping and smooth shading. (In Cycles) when a ray hits a face its reflection angle is calculated as if the face is ...

This is called the passepartout. It can be changed or disabled (with the camera selected) under the Object Data properties panel > Display rollout. Note: the Amaranth Toolset addon adds a ...

This is called Muting a node. You can mute or unmute a node by selecting it and pressing M. Muting a node will connect the inputs directly to the outputs according to datatype in the same way as ...

You can change the strand's material by adding another material slot in the materials pane, then go to particle settings panel > render rollout and select the new material in the material slot ...

Here's my latest render. I'm not fully satisfied with it yet, but it's close. Here is the node setup: Click to enlarge. It's basically an Anisotropic shader with a little bit of straight gloss, ...

Here is what I have been able to come up with: Here are the nodes: Click to enlarge. The shaders: The bare cement shader is just a mix of diffuse/glossy with a cement image texture controlling the ...