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In AutoCAD 2011 New Features, instructor Jeff Bartels highlights productivity and creativity enhancing additions to the AutoCAD toolset. This course covers improved functions for selecting and creating geometry, updated modification tools for hatches and polylines, simplified parametric constraint tools, and the new dynamic surface modeling techniques for creating complex shapes. Exercise files accompany the course.
If you've ever bought a suit off the rack, you know that it never fits as well as if you had it professionally tailored. Well, AutoCAD materials work the same way. We start out by inserting the off the rack materials from the library and after viewing the first rendering, we need to come back and tailor the materials to suit our needs. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to customize our render materials. As you can see I'm still in the assembly drawing. This is right where we left off in the last session. My Materials Browser is open and docked to the interface.
I'd like to do one thing. Let's ensure that we're looking at our saved rendered view. To do that I'm going to go the Home tab, and then I'll come down to the View panel, I'll open up the Saved View menu and I'll select Rendered View. To edit a material, we can double- click the swatch in the Materials Browser. This brings up the Material Editor. From here, we have access to all of the settings. For instance, I'm going to change the name of this material. I'll change it to High Gloss - RED.
One important note. The changes I'm making are not being saved back to the library. I am merely changing the materials that have been inserted into this drawing. Let's change the material's color. To do that I'll click in this Color area and I would like this to be pure red and the RGB value for pure red is 255,0,0. Let's click OK. Notice the change in the swatch and in the model. Also notice that we have several other settings available. Make sure to play around and explore these extra settings.
You'll be amazed that the amount of control you have over the appearance of your materials. One way to learn what each setting does is to hover over it and AutoCAD will give you more information. The best way to learn the settings is to change them and see how they affect your rendering. Now that I am finished making changes to this material, I'm going to click the X to close the editor. Let's make a change to the Glossy - Black material. I'll double-click the swatch. I'm going to leave the name as it is. The change I'd like to make is down here in the Top Coat area.
Let's click the twirldown to open up these settings and I'm going to change this from Custom to Car Paint. Notice there are other choices. If I was to select Chrome that's obviously going way too far. Let's click the flyout again and I'll set this to Car Paint. Now that I am finished, I'll click the X to close the editor. Finally, let's make a change to the Black - Rubber material. I'll double-click on that swatch. Now in my opinion this isn't black enough, so I'm going to click in the Color area and then I will grab the slider and I'll drag this down to a value of 10,10,10.
If you have trouble getting that exact value, you can always enter it right here. Let's click OK. I don't want the rubber to have a glossy appearance so I'm going to drag the Glossiness slider down to zero. You can also enter the value right here. Notice this material also has some Reflectivity settings. Let's click the twirl down to open this up. I don't want my rubber material to have any reflectivity, so I'm going to remove this check to turn these off. Once again I'll click the X to close the editor when I am finished.
At this point I would like to create a new material. I need to create a glossy yellow material for the body of my wagon. There's a couple ways to create a new material. One way is by clicking the Create Material icon. This will create a brand-new material from scratch and the settings for the material will be based on the type of material that you choose. Now I am going to click off to the side to close this menu because I want to show you another way we can create a material. We can also create a material by right-clicking on an existing swatch and selecting Duplicate.
in this case I'm going to duplicate my High Gloss - RED material. I will then double-click on my new material swatch. Let's call this one High Gloss - Yellow. I'll click in the Color area and I have a specific RGB value I would like to use. I'm going to enter 255,194,14. When I am finished I'll click OK and then I will click the X to close the Editor. Now let's apply our new material to the body of our wagon.
To do that I am going to go the Render tab, then I will open up the Materials panel, and I will select Attach By Layer. I will then select my new yellow material and I will drag it over and drop it on to the wagon_body layer. When I am finished I will click OK. Let's launch the Render command and see the difference that our change has made. Now that the render is finished, take a look at the black rubber tire material. This looks a lot more natural. It looks more like what we would expect. The red plastic caps really pop.
Now they show up well in the rendering. I have got a nice glossiness on my black paint and the body of my wagon has the nice high gloss yellow appearance. As you can see the only way to get the look that you want is to jump in and start modifying the properties of your materials. Make sure to experiments and play around with the various settings. You will be amazed at what you can do.
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