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A shader a studio would get an FXTD to make?


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Hi guys

       I just joined the forum and this is my first post!  

       I'm an FXTD student learning houdini and I have a shader assignment that I will be beginning soon.

       I have a few ideas for a shader but I wanted to pick one that would have some relevance to an actual studio production.

Can anyone speak up, and give me a few examples of shaders that you or someone you know may have built?   I was thinking of maybe some burnt flesh (burning a steak or side of pig with a torch)

Im not really sure what kind of materials and shaders would be done by texturing or look dev and which ones would be done by an FXTD, No simulation shaders, just for an object....   Thanks for the help!

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This totally depends if we are talking about writing a shader (which means using low level sampling and shading functions or even writing them yourself) or building a shader from prebuilt higher level functionality (or using a monolithic ubershader).

The former will usually be done by a shader writer / shading TD / programmer while the latter ones are used by lookdev / lighting artists. If lookdev is missing functionality they request it from the shading TDs who will extend the current ubershader or create a new building block (e.g. a VOP node).

FX TDs are not usually writing shaders because they don't have to. They do however work on lookdev for volumes and fluids because they have a better insight into the data they can squeeze out of their simulations.

If you are an FX TD and want to work on shading that is interesting to studios I would first decide if you want to implement new functionality (like a new volume sampling alogorithm from a scientific paper) or just create a look.

For the studio I am working for lookdev skills are very valueable as an FX TD (mostly regarding Volumes and Pyro) but shader writing skills not so much.


Your specific example of burnt flesh would be done by lookdev in conjunction with shading TDs, but not by an FX TD (at least in our studio). However if you bring simulation of the burnt flesh into play (skin is falling off and melting flesh is dripping etc.) the FX TD will be responsible to make sure lookdev is getting the correct attributes to work with and blend the different burn states.


Hope that helps,


Edited by dennis.albus
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