Author Topic: Materials and node editor  (Read 4029 times)

2021-12-17, 21:30:35

nnzz

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I am using Corona for one year now and I think there are some improvements that could be made with the node editor, specially when compared to Octane's.

First thing is the behavior of the node editor. Corona's drag and drop system seems to me like just an extra step to get to the nodes. In octane, once you have the node material editor opened and you click in a material, it is automatically loaded in the node editor. You click in another material and, voilà, there it is. In Corona you have to drag and drop each material you wanna see the nodes of, usually the nodes come messed up, even above other ones you already had loaded in the editor. Once you have some materials loaded, you get lost zooming in and out, because the node material is not responsive to c4d's "S" hotkey [i wish S would work in c4d material manager too...], so you have to manually look for the desired material, sometimes among many many others. Personally, i would rather have this live update, to see the material in the node editor once it's selected in the material manager, than having multiple materials gathered in the material editor.

The node material editor could also have this on screen menu with all the nodes, Corona's and C4d's, like Octane (image attached). If it could be colorful, split in categories, even better. Displaying their interior values would be a shortcut, see how it is in octane. This way the material could be controlled using nodes only, no need to dig into tabs. In the same logic, it would make sense to have a node for displacement and round edges, so their parameters could be controlled with a node in the node editor.

Would it be better if you could control the UVW projection with a single node? Instead of having the uvw randomizer node between each bitmap node and the material, it could come before of everything, one single node connected to all the different maps, like octane render does. It would prevent the need of setting up the uvw randomizer node for diffuse and then copying it amidst the other channels. Could also be useful for scaling or rotating all maps at once with a single node.

I don't really see the point of having the normal map under the bump channel. To apply a normal map you have to go to base layer, scroll down to bump, enable it, click texture -> plugins -> corona -> normal. Wouldn't it be easier to have it as a category, like texture/glossiness/bump? This way you'd just have to attach a bitmap node. The same for round edges. (again, see how it is in octane)

This setup also seems to make it harder for material conversions, materials end up losing channels like glossiness, bump, normal, or translucency map. I think the last one has has something to do with this new need to check "thin shell (no inside)" in the general tab. In my opinion, this is also an extra step that we did not need. If i want to insert an translucency channel that was lost in some importing process (either FBX, from 3dsmax with maxtoc4d plugin, or quixel bridge - all of them have some problem with importing and converting materials), now i have to dig to the material proprieties: general tab > check thin shell > basic tab > check translucency > translucency tab > fraction value to 100% > texture. If only by checking translucency (which is inactive if "thin shell" is unchecked) it would automatically check "thin shell" and set translucency to 100% (which i believe to be more used then 0% between those who will turn it on) it would save the user 4 useless clicks (if you consider that one tree may have several leaves materials...).

Besides, "basic" and "general" could be a single tab, together they are all tall/long as the other tabs, like translucency, opacity, advanced. By the way, I think making "base layer" such a long/tall tab, putting together diffuse, glossiness, ior, edge, bump, anisotropy and rotation of the anisotropic highlight was a terrible mistake. It was so much cleaner when they were in separate tabs, there was no need to scroll to look for it (and i also find scrolling in this menus kinda risky, because you can end up scrolling a floating slider or a drop-down menu).

About the material converter: could it convert ONLY selected materials? Since there are so many problems with conversion (or with the way translucent materials are displayed in the viewport), I would like to keep track on which materials I am converting, also this way i can remember which ones i have already checked for missing maps. To do it now i have to open a new file, paste the object, convert its materials, go back to the main file, paste it, replace material, delete pasted object........

I was reading Corona 8 roadmap and noticed you have no plans on adding support to quixel bridge, is that right? It is so necessary, such a huge library and it takes so much effort to reattach all the missed maps when converting c4d materials to corona. I know nothing about codes, but it doesn't sound like rocket science.

I wonder if there could be a tool that would look up for missing maps, it only would have to look in the same folder for files with the same name, looking for suffixes like "normal"/"nrm"/"n.*" and attaching it to the correspondent material propriety. Something like poliigon material importer. I believe it would save users a lot of time when downloading assets from web and could be a way around converting materials issues.

Again regarding the roadmap, can we expect motion blur to finally work with animated characters in Corona 8? This is so necessary for archviz...

So, many little things that would make my life really easier (perhaps other people too?). I hope they are not that hard to implement.

2022-01-18, 22:47:49
Reply #1

nnzz

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Hey guys, I tried to gather all suggestions in one topic, but maybe it's too long, please let me know if I make some topics it would help... I would love to get a reply, thanks

2022-01-20, 10:13:54
Reply #2

davetwo

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Hi. I am very fond of corona. But I must say I strongly agree on the following points:

"By the way, I think making "base layer" such a long/tall tab, putting together diffuse, glossiness, ior, edge, bump, anisotropy and rotation of the anisotropic highlight was a terrible mistake. It was so much cleaner when they were in separate tabs, there was no need to scroll to look for it (and i also find scrolling in this menus kinda risky, because you can end up scrolling a floating slider or a drop-down menu)." 

Quite right - from a user experience point of view it hides the common settings, but keeps the occasional settings visible. The old way was cleaner and involved less clicks.

"I don't really see the point of having the normal map under the bump channel. To apply a normal map you have to go to base layer, scroll down to bump, enable it, click texture -> plugins -> corona -> normal. Wouldn't it be easier to have it as a category"

Definitely agree.

I'd like to add another point which has been mentioned before I think. Many other renderers have the ability to visualise a channel (ie. noise) directly on the model by pressing a hotkey. This would be really useful. Currently you would connect the node to the luminosity channel to preview it on the model.

I vastly prefer working in Corona to Octane. But that doesn't mean things can't be improved a little.


2022-01-21, 14:02:36
Reply #3

nnzz

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Corona is absolutely amazing! Specially the way it handles colors. It's my main render engine since I started using it. There are, however, a few improvements that I believe would make the user experience better.

Another one would be the possibility to dock Corona's window in c4d, like every other menu/window. It would help to keep things organized. I find myself maximizing and minimizing and dragging and closing and opening IR window all the time...

2022-06-05, 01:58:22
Reply #4

jojorender

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I know this thread is “old” but it needs to be revived…
I agree with all of the above, especially this:
"By the way, I think making "base layer" such a long/tall tab, putting together diffuse, glossiness, ior, edge, bump, anisotropy and rotation of the anisotropic highlight was a terrible mistake. It was so much cleaner when they were in separate tabs, there was no need to scroll to look for it (and i also find scrolling in this menus kinda risky, because you can end up scrolling a floating slider or a drop-down menu)." 

Quite right - from a user experience point of view it hides the common settings, but keeps the occasional settings visible. The old way was cleaner and involved less clicks.

"I don't really see the point of having the normal map under the bump channel. To apply a normal map you have to go to base layer, scroll down to bump, enable it, click texture -> plugins -> corona -> normal. Wouldn't it be easier to have it as a category"

Definitely agree.
Yes, yes and yes!
Corona became a huge success, mostly because of it’s ease-of-use approach and of course it’s good looks ;-)
Now it’s starting to add more complexity for NO apparent reason. The goal should be “Less Clicks, Less Scroll = Faster Workflow”

What’s up with the “Enable” checkbox for Bump, disabled by default? Why? Unless you render black holes for a living, every material on planet earth has some kind of “bump”.
In the spirit of “Less Clicks”, can the default be set to “enabled”?
Also, “EDIT” button in the PV/ post process/ tone mapping? I use tone mapping EVERY day, but never used “sharpening”
Shouldn’t tone mapping be there by default and “EDIT” for less used features?

The Corona team has an entire army of unpaid but very active “daily” testers at their disposal.
Getting valuable user input BEFORE spending countless man-hours coding, by maybe showing mockups of planned features/ layouts could be a win/win for all.
I hope you take this into consideration when re-working the VFB - Yes, outdated zoom buttons and scroll bars, I’m looking at you… 

2022-07-03, 04:56:58
Reply #5

nnzz

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I was pretty disappointed that I never got an official answer for any of my questions... I still think the node system, specially the possibility of adding a single UVW randomizer node to all the bitmaps would be HUGE.

Regarding Bridge's material, I wrote a script for attaching the missing textures, based on the diffuse material filename. It took me one day of work with no knowledge of coding, so I guess it wasn't that hard... Now i just have to select the material imported and convert it (always a pain in the ass the need to change the render engine from corona to standard, by the way), then click on the icon to run my script and i have a functional material from a free library that is way bigger than chaos cosmos... Still, it could be better. It could only take one click, exporting the material from Bridge, and it could come as a corona material with the proper settings. I would send you my script if it would help that task - should take you no longer than a day to do it, come on...