why can't we easily blend two materials?

As a long term blender user I would really love the ability to easily blend two materials on a single mesh so they fade into each other rather than have a sharp cut off. ( this is different to blending two textures )

Every way of doing this at the moment is such a pain and very very time consuming, especially with complex meshes. You end up with UV maps, or complex stencilling.
It would save literally years of work over a life time if a mesh have a button that said “blend”, or “feather” materials. It would then be so simple to create organic materials…

Maybe its already there somewhere already but i cant see it…

4 clicks in the node editor…

but of course, Blender not good as the commercial softwares!
Blender users cant make good things because of this

Mix material Input nodes.
You can use textures or vertex color has a mix factor.

tutorial here:

and here:

which 4 clicks would that be, because i cant work it out, and i’m not that stupid

Idh1109 Way too complex for simple use…and you cant select individual faces to use it on.

I use that method all the time for mixing over an entire surface, its different to what i am talking about.

Say you have a tube and want a different colour across the centre

you can quickly fill the centre with a different material, but it always has a hard defined edge ( example 1 ), all we need is the ability to blur the edge ( example 2 )



one click should really all be that is needed, not a complex time consuming node set up

I work with blender on a daily basis on commercial projects, and seriously believe i have lost weeks this year due to having to use complex methods to set up and mix colours when something simple would have solved the problem in one click.

use a blend texture as a mask

Again, instead of sponsoring your superiority, you could have explained those 4 clicks to someone who was asking.
That’s what is a forum is supposed to be like

“use a blend texture as a mask”

how do you mix two materials with a blend texture, you can mix two textures in a material but materials?
Also what if you want spots?

Also how can you see the blend over the mesh surface so you can actually see the effect of the mask?

What if the mesh is complex?

etc etc

material nodes are fun to play with :slight_smile:

It is not a complex time consuming node set up.
2 material inputs, one mix color node, one vertex color node or texture+coordinates nodes as mix factor and one output node.
5 or 6 nodes to create one material that can be append and reused to create derivated materials.

I am curious to know what app is blurring material boundaries like that with one click.

yes thanks , that will work, didn’t know the vertex paint node input was on geometry…though still time consuming and complex for large jobs as you then need to paint onto all the meshes…

dont know of any app that does it, that was not my point.

That node set up is time consuming in the context of large jobs with lots of complex assets…and in terms of editing or changing the results.

In the commercial world you need to turn jobs around very quickly and any shortcut is a god send…

Idh1109 thanks for the help.
Your example though would fall down on a more complex mesh than a simple cylinder and would be difficult to preview in a large scene.

You just have to paint limits. Vertex paint mode has tools to select faces and to fill faces with one color.
On a complex mesh, you have to paint a complex texture, too.

But you can also try to use compositing nodes to blur a material pass.

No app has a button that automatically does everything for you
If your mesh is already UV unwrapped it shouldn’t more than a minute to create the mask

Not really what i’m saying is it, just as a commercial artist I’m making a note that a certain feature ( that on the face of it seems very basic ) would save hours and hours of work arounds…
dont get me onto UV maps thats the devils work;)

Hey pokestuff - love your work.

I saw this in the Cycles thread earlier today - http://www.neilblevins.com/cg_education/blended_box_mapping/blended_box_mapping.htm

I also remember from my brief time in Maya that it had the ability to take two surfaces/meshes that had aligning but separate edges and blur them together as if it were one continuous mesh surface.

The above two things are kind of interesting, but probably don’t really apply to what you are after all that much.

Personally, I just use the mask two materials with a texture node method, but I’m in the habit of uv unwrapping just about everything anyway. I think I get what you are talking about though.

Basically when you bake a material in Blender or paint a texture, you can set a ‘bleed’ for how many pixels over the brush or bake fades out over the surrounding parts of the image map. What you are proposing would be a ‘bleed’ setting from the edge of one material slot/index into another, based on the edges around faces that have that material slot.

Obviously I’m not a coder, but that ‘sounds’ feasible and very handy. I remember mentioning to Brecht the maya ‘two objects with distinct edges as one continuous surface’ option in regards to modelling a head and body separate and rendering the SSS as one continous material - thus avoiding material seams (distinctly different to texture ones). Got a ‘that sounds interesting’ but we modelled Sintel as head and shoulders being one continuous mesh in the end so we didn’t need to figure out how to implement it.

I’m guessing Brecht would probably be the go to guy for this sort of question, but with the attention on Cycles, you would probably need to find someone with Blender Internal knowledge to implement it.

Material Index bleed. One of those “can’t believe I didn’t ask for it earlier” sort of things. Best of luck in your quest!

Hi Ben

thanks for the informed reply, yes i think you get what I’m after, a kind of material bleed setting on a mesh.

Maybe I should try to pay someone to get this done…not sure how much such a thing costs though…

I hope they don’t give up on blender in Internal, i’m not sure if i’m going to be able to use cycles for creative material rendering, we’ll see…

now that texture blend would be a great addition to our tools also…

well we have texture painting with GLSL
which can use several layers of textures
which can be painted on different parts of an object in viewport !

i mean it may not be an equivalent but can do a lot !

wish it work in cycles too!

happy 2.6