Hi there. I’m attempting to make a grass texture card for a game engine. My workflow involves first modeling and setting up grass blades to be baked out to textures. I would like to be able to create a gradient along the length of the grass blades with a deeper green at the root and a lighter yellowing green at the top. I have been experimenting with the ramp option under the diffuse settings but I don’t seem to be able to find a way to control the direction of the gradient. I’m having some trouble getting my head round exactly what the ramp is doing. It seems to be applying the ramp based on something to do with light refraction.
Is there a way to apply a ('n ideally shadeless) directional gradient material to a mesh for the purposes of a texture bake?
EDIT: After a little more experimenting I’ve found that the diffuse ramp is bound to the angle of light refraction and magnitude fall off. (Which makes a lot of sense when you think about it.) For example Setting the camera to Orthogonal and using a hemi or sun lamp will show a single flat wash of colour on a flat plane corresponding to the degree of gradient specific to that refraction angle and magnitude. The plane it’s self won’t actually have a visible ‘gradient’ on it. Swapping to a point or spot light will give you various types of gradient on the surface. Moving out of orthogonal camera into 3D view will also give you varying degrees of gradient depending on the angle between your pov, the surface and the light source.
Anyway. The point being there doesn’t seem to be any way of creating a shadeless gradient material, that is, shadeless materials seem to be restricted to single colour washes, unless I am missing something. This is a great shame as I know gradient materials are possible in 3Dsmax and other 3D applications. I hope though that I am simply over looking something, I would be surprised that this wouldn’t be possible in Blender.
Incase any of your are wishing to recommend UV unwrapping, baking out a gradient texture to apply, or making one in GIMP e.t.c., it defeats the point of what I am trying to achieve. I wish to have the colour gradient follow the contours of each blade of grass as they curve about. I have made a good 30 or so different blades and wish to apply a single material to them, while using spec maps and such baked off the models to build a diffuse texture for a grass billboard. It is a pipeline I am exploring at the moment. I have the rest developed, my only hick up is in trying to increase the detail of the grass via a gradient.
If anyone has any ideas on how to achieve this effect I’m certainly all ears (apart form my hands, I’ll need them for typing, oh and my eyes, I’ll need them for looking, so apart from my hands and my eyes, I’m all ears!)