I’m wondering if it’s possible to completely flatten the look of existing geometry. The idea is having a flat lacquer layer on top of beveled (actually a 45° chamfer - 1 segment) wooden floor boards, without having a separate rectangle with a transparent/glossy lacquer on top.
I’ve tried Combine XYZ[0.5, 0.5, 1] fed into a Normal Map node (World Space), although it’s by trial and error, not for knowing what I’m doing It works when looked from above or along the edge where I can see neighboring bevels, but not so much when looking against/facing it. Note that object Z is defining the tree trunk, object Y is actually facing world Z (in case it matters).
Is this even possible? If not, how would you solve it without extra plane for transparent lacquer?
Principled topcoat seems buggy to me, so I’m using my own, not that it matters. Using principled’s topcoat I would have to do the same manipulation to normals to achieve the effect.
Here is what it looks like using a transparent glossy flat plane on top to simulate the lacquer. Note how the buildings are reflected perfectly flat at the chamfered edge:
And here is my concoction which doesn’t work. Note how it seemingly work on bevels going inwards in the image, but fails completely for bevels going sideways. Putting the same normal manipulation output into fresnel it gives a perfect flat appearance despite the bevel (which I want), but the Glossy shader fails:
Nobody? What’s the explanation for this happening in the first place, even if I can’t do anything to fix it?
Since the top “glass” is critical to have flat, only leaving some of the underlying wood bumps to slightly affect the normals, I think my only real alternative is to have an actual flat model, with normal mapped bevels instead. I will get energy loss from normals “going black”, but they will be very rough reflections and very hidden by the high fresnel from the lacquer layer.
I tried rendering it out with a separate face on top, using transparency and glossy shaders and parts of bump effects from the main material, but the rendering time went up from 3 hours to 15, so not exactly ideal :S