R20 Node Materials: first impressions / discussion / questions


Oh boy, so… which asset is the color gradient? I can basically add a texture and can make something reflective - Thanks to the Mash intro. I found the Projection node under context and I went through manual but its doesn’t really say. Thanks for the help. I will try to keep my node questions to a minimum as I trial and error my way through it. Best


Just the gradient. The basic gradient seems to be more limited.
Yes, the situation with the manual is a mess! This is an extremly complex new feature, but no help in cinema, and the online manual misses many nodes. And I don’t know if there is an english version yet. However, the projection node is contained in the german online help at least.
If I find some time this evening I might upload a simple example, but my free time is extremly limited at the moment :-/


Hey Christian, No worries thanks! Yes luckily I have been slammed as of late so totally understand and appreciate the guidance. Yes, I found the gradient - finally and YES the manual is pretty rough. It is very complex. Hopefully either here or Cineversity can have a Node Material exchange where people can share materials they have worked through. I wouldn’t expect people to share any of there more proprietary materials but maybe the more average ones. Also I wish you could right click a Legacy material and ‘explode it’ into a node based material. that way you could build what you need, blow it up and see how it works. I am very interested in the nodes but like many need to get up to speed quickly from a business perspective. THANK again and good luck with all your endeavors, Cheers


For those still confused. In the project settings, enable the "use color channel for node material’ option. This switches all reflectance/diffuse channels into traditional c4d colour channels. All the render speed should return and you can now use GI if you wish.


Hi Mash,

Is there any way to influence the shading model if that option is activated? I really miss Oren-Nayar…


I don’t believe so, keep in mind you have the roughness slider in the diffuse channel though which should give you a lot of the control that orenayer gave


Well I got there but through the Uber material. Diffuse, then added a gradient. Then at the bottom of the gradient click context. Add projection in there and went with world setting and played with the sizes. There are TONS of options. Thanks guys. Cheers


I can’t get a 3d Gradient working.
I try to get a gradient beeing black in world 0 and white in a distance of 200 in anny direction No matter If I move the object.

I Tried the Projection node in the Kontext of the gradient. But I seam to just get 2D projections. I can stick them to world 0 but I do not get a reall 3d Gradient :frowning:


ok next question. I want to trigger a displacement with a 3d noise.

so I stick a noise with 3d projection into the displacement of a node material.

put the material on a sphere and the displacement is not as expected displacing in normal direction but somehow in world direction. rotation of the object doesn’t change anything.

I tried some of the context nodes, but with no result :frowning:

I am not new to material nodes, but with this system I feel a bit lost.


Did you use the “Displacement Map” node as well?


I think what’s important to keep in mind before working with this system: it is not intended to be a direct replacement of the the previous system with old shaders and also workflows being directly transfered. Instead, it is much more basic. It seems to me you will need several nodes to achieve what one of the old shaders did in most cases. This can be frustrating at the beginning, but will give us more power. That is at least my feeling after playing around with it only for a few hours. The 3D gradient is a very prominent case as most of us use this very often, I am sure.
So we need to create assets for stuff like that, I guess. The question is how compatibility issues with these assets are treated. Let’s say I create an asset, share it in some way with you. Over the time there are multiple versions. Someone builds an asset that uses my asset, shares it. What happens if someone using that asset doesn’t have the correct version of my asset and so on…
Hopefully there is a path to include famous assets into future versions of cinema…


yes it is much more basic. I am not jet shure if I like that. But as long there is the old materials system it might be good, that there also is a really advanced one. Also I have the impression, that this is the beginning of a unified node system for xpresso material and compositting… we will see.

so my “very basic” findings. It is a good bet, to connect inputs and outputs of the same color. That means that you will basically have to put a “converter” node between your image/noise and BSDF, Alpha, Normal and displacement.
But this seems to be more a guideline than a rule. you can put in a noise directly into the alpha, while the correctly colored output of the displacement_map node might lead to strange results when connected to the Normal Input which has the same color.



I can not find out node which hold instance of another material(node or scene material) and possibility to vfx blending 2 materials at one.
How or need to ungoup assets and somehow blend them?


Hey. There is no such possibility.

You can only mix BSDF channels. Now available are diffuse (lambert) BSDF and several reflective BSDFs (Phong, Beckman, GGX) There is also an emission channel.

I also noticed that the correct BSDF transparency channel is missing. The transparency layer is embedded in the final material which is wrong.
Because of this, it is not possible to mix several transparent materials to get ice, or the effect of dispersion.
There are also no BSDF for subsurface scattering and its individual components such as absorption and scattering.
In Prorender, such BSDFs exist, so I think Maxon will do them.


I can not see how to make For loop (link) in mat.editor?


Loops are not supported at this time