On Bob the Builder, one of my very first task was to create a library of shaders so artists could very easily start off any asset with a good base.
Here is just a small selection of shaders that we have used on Bob the Builder.
This is the shader tree I have developed at my personal time and the same idea was later implemented onto Bob the Builder production. The Goal was to create an extremely easy to use grass shader that meets the artistic requirement when a camera is far away, and still holds up when the camera zooms right in to a character's feet.
I have chose a technique learnt from Jeremy Sikorski (former Principal Surfacing Artist at Rainmaker Entertainment), and combined it with 3D procedural nodes for this shader.
1. I used 1 3D fractal node at the beginning but felt that the break up wasnt random enough. At the end I created 2 more 3D nodes with varying scales in order to achieve the right amount of randomness
2. I have decided to use vertex color paint to allow further painting a 3rd color for the grass. Currently only 2 color.
3. Two grass textures are combined using layered texture node and further broke up with a stucco node and a blend node.
4. The shader is built, I have included in a ramp in the shader with visibility turned off. This is for scaling of the texture only. An artist would bring in this shader, assign the ramp node to the lambert, switch to viewport 2.0, assign the lambert to the landscape, and
5. adjust the tiling on the 2d texture node. Second images illustrate the idea.
Using this, an artist will only need to :
a. adjust tiling
b. paint vertex color straight onto the geometry to break up the landscape even more if desired.
The cylinder itself is 6 foot tall to represent the size of a person
This shader was developed to change color and texture based of elevation of an object.
This was for situation when a single asset/prop is modeled. That one model is then shaded and is duplicated (without being able to individually change the texture/shader for each of the duplicate), and then each of them are placed in different elevation.
Imagining we only have one geo, that is called 'glass A', shading artist can only use a single ramp node from white (bottom) to blue (top). Without the set up, all the glass A in the left has the same gradient ramp due to the fact that all UVs for the glass A are the same.
The picture on the right shows how the same geometry can have different texture on them base on their elevation (in this case, a ramp going from white to blue).