One of the reasons Thea Render can achieve such a photorealistic accuracy is due to the quality of its Textures that are used in Materials and Lights. We have brought these textures inside Cinema 4D by designing a set of Thea shaders, which are translated into native Thea Textures through the standard transferring position. Thea Textures are supported in Cinema 4D via five Thea Shaders: Thea Color, Thea Bitmap, Thea Fresnel Ramp, Thea Layer and Thea Procedural.
Thea Color is the shader that allows you to set a color into your shader parameters. It gives you many capabilities in Materials and Lights by supporting RGB, Spectrum and Blackbody.
Thea Bitmap is used to apply Bitmap Options, Texture Coordinates and Tonemapping on any image. The parameters in these 3 groups work in the same way as in Thea Render.
Other than manipulating the imported image, Thea Bitmap Shader is also used to configure the Texture Baking parameters. Texture Baking is the procedure where shaders unknown to Thea Render will be baked into images. This behavior is active by default even if you don't use a Thea Bitmap Shader. The only Cinema 4D shaders that are recognized by Thea are Cinema 4D's Color and Bitmap. Any other shader (Noise, Gradient, etc..) that is used in Thea content is baked, unless it is defined otherwise in Thea Bitmap's texture baking parameters.
This shader makes use of Thea's procedural textures. Currently, it supports only Perlin Noise Curl and Concentric, but in the upcoming versions, all of Thea's procedural textures will be integrated inside Cinema 4D.
Thea Fresnel Ramp
This shader allows the user to alter an object’s reflectance with respect to the viewing angle.
Thea Layer Shader allows you to create any layered structure consisting of Thea Texture and/or Cinema 4D shaders. To handle any layering scenario, Thea Layer shader transparently makes use of Thea Combined and Thea Weighted textures. These are not visible to use but they are created automatically via each shader's mode. Multiply mode creates a Combined Texture, while Add creates a Weighted Textures.
Combined textures are used to multiply any number of shaders
Weighted Textures are used to add them based on a weight value
The mode percentage is used only in weighted mode (it appears disabled if Multiply is selected). Of course, you can use Thea Shaders along with Cinema 4D shaders to create any layering scenario
In the following scenario we multiply 3 shaders (shader 1,2,3) in a Combined Texture.
The result has a weight value of 30%.
Then we create a Combined Texture (4,5), which is weighted 50%.
Last, we use a weighted (20%) procedural shader.
C1 30% + C2 50% + Procedural * 20%.
Cinema 4D Shaders
Cinema 4D Shaders can be used instead of Thea Shaders. Nevertheless, only Color and Bitmap shaders are translated into Thea Textures. Color shader is converted into RGB Texture and Bitmap Shader into a Bitmap Texture. Both of these textures are Thea Render's native structures.
All Cinema 4D procedural shaders are converted into Bitmap Texture via baking. That means a bitmap is created based on the shader, which is used in a Bitmap Texture and it will be transferred into the engine.
Cinema 4D shaders can be used in Thea Bitmap Shader as well. In this case, the bitmap options, the texture coordinates and the tone mapping options will be applied on the baked image. In general, the only way to configure the baking procedure is using the Baking Settings in Thea Bitmap Shader, otherwise the default baking settings will be applied (Width and Height 256 pixels).