Author Topic: S Gradients or Curves?  (Read 1097 times)

Might be an odd subject heading but it's what I'm looking for help with.  I'm looking to build up a texture sheet with different styles of trim moulding.  One I've been trying to work on has an S curve to it on the profile.  A smooth, evenly spaced out dual gradient is what I'm thinking but using Gradient Layer 2 and Levels, it pinches or removes information I could use.  I've tried using a Histogram Range and it flattens out the gradient.  There's probably a simple way to do it but I'm not seeing it right now. 

http://www.homedepot.com/p/LWM-49-9-16-in-x-3-5-8-in-x-144-in-Pine-Primed-Finger-Jointed-Crown-Moulding-Pro-Pack-60-LF-M-5-Pieces-VM049C-12M/202087152

Unfortunately, levels tends to manipulate things very linearly, sometimes. So does gradient map. With enough nodes, it's possible to manually make heightmap curves with gradient map, but it's not easy, and never REALLY curved, just faceted with enough facets to look curved. I think the most accurate way, but also the most technically difficult, is with pixel processor, using actual math functions. In your case, sine of (pos.y * pi or 2pi (aka tau)) might work, although I'd have to try it, to be sure.
A selection of these put together using blend nodes with careful cropping settings could get you some nice heightmaps. It's not quite easy or quick, but the results could be worth it.

I still have much to learn with the Pixel Processor node.  I just finished going through Vincent Gault's Squash node tutorial.  I've picked up a couple of the other gradient nodes found on the Share website to use for future projects.  The math behind the Pixel Processor node gives me a headache but I'm trying to figure it out.  It'll take awhile.  I've found a couple others I can replicate that'll work but I still think the S curve/gradient is something I'd like to figure out down the road.