This material combines two elements. The first is a simple trick to produce the rounded spotlight effect seen here. This can be used on any floor material (and will be in more examples to follow). The second element is the tiles. Figure 1 shows what we are hoping to achieve. This material is designed to be used with the Poser ground object, although any flat surface will do.


Fig 1: Rounded Tiled Floor

Figure 2 shows how we achieve the soft round edges to the ground. The key to it is the tile node. First, set the Tile_Width and Tile_Height to 1. This will produce a single tile that covers the entire floor. Set the tile colour to white and the mortar colour to black (use the system colour picker for this to make sure that you actually get true black). We do this for the transparency - white is solid, black is transparent.

At the moment, we have a single large white square. Our next step is to to change the Tile_Shapes from Rectangular to Ellipsoid (circular). Technically, we only need to change Tile_Shape_1, but I prefer to take not chances! This now gets us a large circle. Finally, we need to get the soft edges. First, change the Mortar_Thickness to 0.4. This gets us a larger black border. Finally, set the Softness to 0.8 to get our soft edge.

Now we have our soft edged circle, we can use it to get our tranparency. To achieve this, I have plugged the output of the Tile node into the Transparency node. The Transparency value needs to be set to 1, to turn transparency on. The Transparency_Edge and Transparency_Falloff need setting to zero, otherwise we'll still see a hint of the rest of the ground.

I have also plugged our Tile node into the Specular_Value and Highlight_Size nodes. This will remove any odd highlights from appearing in the tranparent areas, while still allowing us to plug a specular effect in if required.

Fig 2: Circular Transparency

We now have our smooth edged rounded ground. We can use this with whatever other ground material we desire, to produce soft edges to our renders. Here, I have chosen to add a simple tile effect, to produce an indoor scene. This is produced by combining two nodes - a Cellular node and a Tile node. The tile node is almost unmodified. I've changed the Mortar_Thickness to 0.005 and the Softness to 10 to produce the exact result I want, but you can modify any of these settings to whatever you require. I've also set the tiles to be white and the mortar to be black. This allows me to us the this tile node directly as a bump map, and you can see that I've plugged it into the Bump node, with a bump settings of 0.2.

The colour of our tiles is provided by a Cellular node, but any colour producing node would be fine here. Here, I've altered all three scale settings from 1 to 2, but the most important change is the Turbulence setting, set to 1. This produces a 'smear' effect.

Fig 3: The Tiles

Finally, remember to turn off Shadow_Catch_Only, otherwise we won't be seeing anything!


Decrease the tile width and tile height on the Tile_2 node (Figure 3) to increase the number of tiles on the floor.