alternative to mia_material, just need cutout opacity
I'm looking for a way to recreate a feature of the MIA_MATERIAL, specificity the CUTOUT OPACITY option.
I'm working with toon characters I plan on rendering in the ink and paint style and I've run into a limitation of the outline nodes of the Toon library. I have optimized rendering assets that have irregular color borders that require outlines. With the Toon Outline node placing an outline on a border requires a topographical edge. While it has the option for rendering an outline between materials this is accomplished by dropping said edge along an existing piece of geometry; an edge shared by two faces or a border edge along open geometry.
In trying to work around this limitation I've started reading into Contour rendering with Mental ray and I think the results are much cleaner and frankly faster to render unless the samples are blown out of proportion.
Until I started experimenting with mia_material I was seeing the same limitation of rendering along geometric boundaries until I remembered how cutout opacity behaved. Throwing a contour shader onto the mia_material with an alpha mask produced the results I've been looking for though its kind of bitter sweet since the mia_material is the catch all shader (read:convoluted) for all things mental ray
Now that I can keep my assets optimized to render quickly I'd like to optimize my shader networks with nodes that are easier to work with. While mia_mat douse its job admirably its a bit to complex of a thing to hand off to other artists who don't know what all the levers and knobs do.
I can have one material drive the mia_material but it produces redundant networks and often the intricacies of the mia_material interfere with some basic settings of other simplistic nodes such as the Toon Ramps. While one material driving another is an option its not a very pretty or simple one. The number of connections that need to be made are tiring to think of.
I'm just trying to see if anyone knows how to take advantage of the Cutout opacity without the need of the mia_material node being in the network. If I can find out a way to make a small network snippet I can add this method of my bag of tricks.