material layer masking and compositing

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Could anyone point me to a good tutorial that covers material layer masking and compositing? see https://www.sidefx.com/forum/topic/82434/?page=1#post-354363 [www.sidefx.com] for the issue. One thing I cannot figure out is how to add a normal texture to a shader by connecting nodes. (I know how to do it by clicking on the bump/normal tab of the shader itself and selecting a texture, but that does not allow masking). My only workaround is to create a black and white jpg mask and then connect it via a convert to the normal scale node (see attachment). The actual normal texture is defined in the principle shader itself, not by nodes. It seems a cludge.


Thanks.
Edited by Island - 2022年1月9日 19:16:27

Attachments:
LayerMask.jpg (81.6 KB)

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I did find a couple of articles that make things a bit simpler, but there are still lots of steps that are not clearly spelled out:
https://vfxbrain.wordpress.com/2018/12/02/normal-mapping-with-mantra/ [vfxbrain.wordpress.com]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fspeu7Q9c1Y [www.youtube.com]
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I would suggest checking this guy, https://www.youtube.com/c/AriseWorks [www.youtube.com]
his tuts might come in handy to you.
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