Introduction to RailClone Colour

Introduction Image

In the following four videos we introduce users to the core features of RailClone color.

Randomising Between Bitmaps

  1. RailClone Color introduces a new way to add variety to your styles. Adding a RailClone Color map to your materials allows you to randomise between up to 20 bitmaps for each segment.
  2. Just add a RailClone color map to your material’s diffuse input - it works in any of the other  map slots too, including bump, glossiness, displacement and more.  
  3. In the map’s properties, activate the number of slots that you need using the checkboxes and you’ll see that the map pickers become available. Add a bitmap to each slot and hit render - Your maps are randomised!
  4. If you prefer you can just use a colour Instead of a map. Just activate a checkbox to add a new slot, and change the colour by clicking on the swatch.
  5. To adjust the likelihood of an input being selected, use the probability values next to each map. There’s no need to ensure the values add up to 100% - they’re normalised automatically. In this example we can add change the probabilities so that we render  white tiles, with only occasional patterned ones.
  6. With the RailClone color map, it’s easier than ever to add variety to your parametric models!.

Randomly tinting Bitmaps using a Gradient

  1. In addition to using RailClone Color to randomise textures you can also pick solid colours from a gradient or use them to tint bitmaps using one of 5 Blending Modes.
  2. Let’s use the floor tiles in this kitchen as an example. We’re already randomising between 5 off-white textures, but now we’ll add some additional tonal variation too.
  3. Turn on Tint Mapping. The strength of this effect is controlled using a random value that determines how much the tint will mix with the bitmaps. A random percentage  is selected between the Minimum and Maximum values - or set both values to 100% to force the full effect to be applied.
  4. To design the gradient you just set the colours using the two swatches
  5. Next you can choose the Blending Mode. You have 5 options.

    which displays the tint colour without any blending. At a strength of 100% the map’s information is completely replaced by the Tint colour
    Colour which overwrites only the hue and saturation for each pixel on the map
    Additive in which the RGB value of the tint colour is added to the RGB value of each pixel on the map
    Average adds the tint colour to the map colour and then divides by 2
    Multiply, where the map colour is multiplied by the Tint colour. Tints less than pure white will darken the map, as we will see in this example in a second.

  6. The final setting, the slider has no effect in RailClone, but it’s included because RailClone Color will work with future versions of Forest Pack.  In Forest Color this same setting enables you to choose between randomising per mesh element at one end or per instance at the other.
  7. And that’s it - Using Tinting by Color is a fast and easy way to add a lot of subtle variation, with a minimum amount of effort and without needing to add or change anything in your RailClone graph.

Randomly tinting Bitmaps using a map

  1. RailClone Colour is able to randomise and tint bitmaps to provide nearly limitless colour variations. One of the most useful options, and one that gives you a lot of control when you want to randomly tint an object, is to use a  fixed selection of specific colours by picking them from a map.
  2. Just turn on Tint Mapping and set a range for the random strength of the tint effect. If you’d rather used a fixed value, just make sure the Minimum and Maximum values are identical.
  3. Turn on Get Colour from Map and apply a bitmap to the map slot. RailClone will sample the colour from a randomly selected pixel. This means that you can control the probability of a colour being selected by controlling how many pixels it occupies on the source map.
  4. Finally, choose a transfer mode. In this example we want the tint colour to overwrite the base colour so we’ll pick Normal. hit render and that’s it!
  5. Randomly tinting geometry based on pixels selected from maps is a great way to precisely control randomising colours, and it works really well for instances like this where you have a number of coloured swatches, or even for matching a colour palette based on a photograph.

Tinting Bitmaps using a map on a surface

  1. RailClone Color introduces an innovative new feature that allows you to tint segments based on a texture applied to a surface. The segment will take the tint colour that’s on the part of the surface directly below the bounding box’s centre point.
  2. To to do this you need to set things up in a particular way. Firstly you need to UVW map the surface so that the map sits on it correctly.
  3. Secondly your RailClone style needs to use a surface. To do this, open the Style Editor and add a Surface node - pick the surface from the scene and wire it to all the Generator’s Surface input. Close the Style Editor and now we can set up the RailClone Color.
  4. Enable Tint mapping and set the Minimum and Maximum strength values to 100%. Turn on Get Colour from Map and switch the mode to As Texture On Surface. Connect your map to the Tint Map input and  change the Blending Mode. Now if you render you’ll see that each segment is tinted using the map and its position on the surface.