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Mastering Autodesk® Maya® 2012 by Eric Keller, Todd Palamar

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Chapter 10

mental ray Shading Techniques

A shader is a rendering node that defines the material qualities of a surface. When you apply a shading node to your modeled geometry you use the shader's settings to determine how the surface will look when it's rendered. Will it appear as shiny plastic? Rusted metal? Human skin? The shader is the starting point for answering these questions. Shading networks are created when one or more nodes are connected to the channels of the shader node. These networks can range from simple to extremely complex. The nodes that are connected to shaders are referred to as textures. They can be image files created in other software packages or procedural (computer-generated) patterns, or they can be special nodes designed ...

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