Utility Node Groups

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These utility node groups are commonly used in CG Cookie video training material, especially material/shader building content. They serve as neatly packaged versions of their underlying complex shader networks & formulas.

Documentation

  CGC_Fresnel: This group is based on Kent's preferred fresnel implementation, for controlling reflection falloff.

  • Blend = Layer weight's ramp bias; Adjusts the contrast of the falloff
  • Factor A = First type of falloff suggested for use as a mix factor for Glossy contribution.
  • Factor B = Second type of falloff suggested for use as Glossy roughness value.

CGC_Absorption: Based on Agustin Benavidez's implementation, serving to calculate varying geometric thickness. It's useful for controlling a light absorption effect. Functions with Translucent and Transparent BSDFs.

  • Scale = Contrast between thick and thin areas of the geometry. Higher values will result in darker thick areas and lighter thin areas.

CGC_Fake-Caustics: A wonderfully useful trick for faking caustic effects without having to wait for the expensive render times of true caustics, based on Bassam Kurdali's implementation.

  • Shader = Incoming shader which will have its caustics and shadows overridden.
  • Intensity = Brightness of caustic pattern.
  • Ramp Type = Shifts the caustic pattern.

Usage

  Intended use is to append these Node Groups out of their Blender scene file and into your Blender scene. So from your scene, go to:

  1. File > Append and locate the utility-node-groups_vXX.blend.
  2. Upon clicking that, you will be guided into the .blend file. Double click the NodeTree folder and select which node group(s) you want to append.
  3. Once appended, they will be available for adding into your shader network in the Add menu (SHIFT + A) > Group category.
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Digital artist and member of the CG Cookie crew! Every day I teach/learn stuff in the wide world of computer graphics. I've been doing digital art professionally for the past 8 years, from feature films to major amusement park rides to TV commercials to CGC edu. When I'm not on the computer, I'm building real life stuff...or playing my Switch.