Back to Shading.

Overview of Channel ComponentsEdit

You might imagine, given the complexities and nuances of these 11 channels, that most of the challenges for learning how to master shading (pun intended) are in understanding the channels. But, truth be told, you have only scratched the surface (yep, pun intended).

What makes shading so interesting and challenging in Carrara, and what lends itself to its extensive variety, is that you have the same components available for each channel! That is, you define the characteristics of each channel using the same set of components. To really master shading and to get the amazing variations possible, you need to understand how these components work.

The image below shows the pull-down list of components.

Shader Channel Parameters dropdown

List of Channel Components

Component ListEdit

Here is a quick view into these components. Refer to the wiki pages for each one to get further details.

  • None is used to turn off the effects of the selected channel.
  • Color is used to set the channel's effect to be defined by a color. The color picker allows you to set the specific color based on a number of color schemes (e.g., RGB, HLS, CMYK).
  • Color Gradient allows you to define a spectrum or range of colors using one or more keys positioned along the spectrum.
  • Index of Refraction
  • Normal Map
  • Single Channel
  • Texture Map
  • Value (0-100%)
  • Value (1-10000%)
  • Operators
  • Pattern Functions
  • Natural Functions
  • Terrain Distribution
  • Projection Mapping
  • Environment Functions
  • Noise Functions
  • Hair

Component TypesEdit

Carrara groups these components into several types, based on 

  • Basic components are the low-level building blocks of shaders, and include Color, Values, and Texture Maps.
  • Operators combine two other components through mixing (Mixer) or performing mathematical operations (Add, Subtract, Multiply).
  • Functions combine two other components through predefined patterns (Pattern and Natural Functions) or a user defined formula.
  • Lighting Models are special forms of shaders that define the way light interacts with the object. This type of component is only available at the top shader level.
  • Layers
  • Mapping Components

Note: Because of Carrara's "open architecture," it is possible to add additional components through plug-ins. Refer to the xxx wiki page for more details about acquiring such plug-ins.

Tips and Techniques for Setting Channel ComponentsEdit

<Post ideas related to xxx>

More on How to Set Channel ComponentsEdit

Daz3D Documentation Support

Carrara 7 User's Guide - pp. xx - xx.

Carrara 8 User's Guide - pp. xx - xx.

Video TutorialsEdit

Text TutorialsEdit

Daz3D Forum MaterialsEdit

<Post links to the forum pages on this topic>

Other References on Channel ComponentsEdit