A shader primer
Ambient color: appearance of the surface color assuming even illumination thoughout.
Diffuse: controls how much light is absorb and how much is bounced back. A matte surface has a lower diffuse setting than a shiny one.
Color: local hue of the surface.
Transparency: controls a material's opacity White being fully transparent and black being completely opaque.
Specularity: Controls the angle light is bounced. Smooth surfaces such as marble will have low specularity while a rough surface such as wood would have a high specularity.
Bump: simulates surface height details by using a grayscale image to define areas as high (white) or low (black). Does not affect the geometry and generall only appears in render unless a scene panel is set to high quality and the video card can handle it.
Reflectivity: controls a surface's reflective properties. Mirror=high reflectivity
Incandescences: simulates a light glow effects. this is a render effect and does not actually cast light in the scene. Glow is an incadescent property that defines the "brightness" of and incandescent effect.
Lambert: basically a flat color, no specularity. Suitable for matte surfaces that have no shine or reflectivity
Blinn: good all purpose shader that includes option for specularity and eccentricity, the default settings give a semi-gloss appearance. can be made to look like most other shaders by raising and lower attributes.
Ramp: provides gradient transistions with multiple colors . Great as a foundation for a cel shader.
Phong: is basically a lambert with high contrast specular highlight suitable for shiny or reflective surfaces such as plastics.
Anisotropic: simuates a grooved surface where light is bounced at varying angles. suitable for satin, velvet, cd/dvd surface types.
Ocean shader: umm.. gee... this one is for simulating water, with special attributes for wave height, amplitute, etc.
Phong E: similar to phong, but adds controls for roughness and whiteness, allowing a softer appearance and varying specular intensity.
Shading map: basically a ramp that controls shadows and highlight for a materials surface.
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