Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Comparing mental ray and Maya shader nodes

From: Creating Textures and Shaders in Maya

Video: Comparing mental ray and Maya shader nodes

In this movie, we're going to talk a little bit about the mental ray specific attributes that are found on standard Maya shaders, shaders such as the Blinn shader and the Lambert shader, and these could be useful for creating specific shading effects. So in this scene, I have a number of teapots with different shaders applied. These are all my standard shaders, but I've adjusted some of the settings in the mental ray attributes section of each shader's attribute Eeditor. Let's take a look at what I've done.

Comparing mental ray and Maya shader nodes

In this movie, we're going to talk a little bit about the mental ray specific attributes that are found on standard Maya shaders, shaders such as the Blinn shader and the Lambert shader, and these could be useful for creating specific shading effects. So in this scene, I have a number of teapots with different shaders applied. These are all my standard shaders, but I've adjusted some of the settings in the mental ray attributes section of each shader's attribute Eeditor. Let's take a look at what I've done.

On the orange teapot here in the far left, I've added some blurry reflections. You can see them right here. So let's take a look at what I've done with the shader. I'm going to select the teapot and open up its Attribute Editor to the blurryReflectionBlinn tab. This is the shader that I've created for this particular teapot. And it's a standard Maya blinn shader. There's nothing too special going on. I've a kind of dark orange for the color. Most of the other settings are the default settings.

I've adjusted the specular highlight a little bit by decreasing the Eccentricity. For the most part it's the default settings. Now let's go down in the Attribute Editor to the mental ray section. So these attributes are only effective when you're rendering with mental ray. If you render with Maya software, these attributes won't do anything. In order to create the look of blurry reflections, I've gone down to the Mi Reflection Blur slider and I've set this to seven and I'm going to zoom in here and do another test render, so we can see what this looks like up close and it is something like this, and let's do a quick test render.

So, you can see that in the reflection of the scenes of the elements in the environment, how that they're slightly blurry, indicating that the surface might be a little bit rougher or slightly imperfect. You can also see how that the reflections here closer to this edge are sharper than those of the elements of the scene that are farther away from the surface. They get more blurry. So it's even easier to see here at the spout. Parts of the spout that are closed to this surface, the reflection is sharper than parts of the spout that are farther away from the surface. It's a nice-looking effect and it's very easy to achieve.

Just take a quick look at the settings, the Reflection Blur, this setting controls how blurry the reflections are going to be. The Reflection Rays, this can be used to increase the quality of the blurring. Lower settings are going to result in more grainy looking reflection blur. Increasing this setting will add to render times, so be careful a little bit. The Reflection Blur Limits sets the number of times the Reflection Blur itself is going to be seen in other reflective surfaces. So if I had a number of other reflective surfaces in the background here, this will set the number of times that the blurred reflection effect is seen in those surfaces, as it reflects this surface.

It's really just a way to optimize it. If there's no other reflective surfaces around, you can set this to one or two and it will be just fine. So that's Reflection Blur, fairly simple to set up and can add a very nice quality to your renders. I like to use it when I'm rendering something like a shiny floor, such as like a hardwood floor that might be reflecting like windows in a room. You want it kind of blurry, so it looks little bit more realistic. On this teapot here, I have any Lambert shader, just a standard Maya Lambert shader, and I want to point out that notice that the c odor of the shader is gray.

I've a fairly low Diffuse value. When I create a render, let's take a look at how it results to the surface. Now I'm rendering with Final Gathering on, so you're going to see that it takes two passes to do the render. First it calculate the final gathering rays and then to calculate the render itself. So what I've going here is there's a slight subsurface scattering quality applied to the shader in the Lambert shader settings. So this is where the greenish color is coming from. It's almost giving kind of the look of like clay or something like that.

So it's like a nice like clay pot kind of shader. So as the light hits the surface, the photons of light are bouncing around within the surface and then coming out again giving it the slightly translucent effect. To create this effect, I've gone down in the Lambert shader settings to the mental ray section and I've increased the Scatter Radius setting. I've set this to 2 and I've created a yellow color for the Scatter Color. So that's why this gray shader is rendering out in this sort of greenish yellow color, because that's the result of the scatter settings. So once again take a look at the render itself.

The other settings in this section will control the quality of the subsurface scattering effect. So the Scatter Accuracy will increase the quality, but also increase render times. You can set Scatter Falloff similar to setting a light falloff, so right now I have it to None, but if we set it to Linear and Quadratic or Exponential, that's going to change the falloff of the subsurface scattering effect. Let's do another quick render of this teapot right here.

And in this one I have a transparent surface but I've activated Refraction Blur, so this is going to create kind of the look of frosted glass and this again, this is a standard Maya shader, this is just a blinn shader and I've turned the reflections down a little bit, so that you can clearly see the effect in resulting render. So here's the end result. The refractions closest to the camera are little bit sharper than those that are farther away. So as light passes through the glass, the further it passes, the more blurry the refractions get.

So let's take a look at how I've created this effect. If I go to the blurry_refraction_blinn tab here, this is the shader applied to this surface and let's take a look at some of these attribute. I just have a green color for the surface itself and I've lowered the Diffuse a little bit, and in the Specular Shading I've lowered the Reflections just to make it a little bit more clear. Under the Raytrace Options, I've turned on Refractions and I set the Refractive Index to 1.1. So these have to be active in order to get this effect.

I've also increased the Surface Thickness, just to give it the look of more slightly thicker glass. But the most important settings to achieve this effect are found again in the mental ray section down here. So I scroll down, I've increased the Mi Refraction Blur setting to 3, and this is very similar to the way Reflection Blur works. So the higher this is, the blurrier the reflection. The Refraction Rays, this increases the quality of the blurring. If the blurring effect you see in your surface is very grainy, you can increase Refraction Rays, but again this will increase render time and like Reflection Blur, the Refraction Blur Limit sets the number of times the blurring effect can be seen in other surfaces in the environment.

And then finally the last mental ray specific setting I want to point out is the Irradiance setting. So I'm going to select this teapot here and open up the irradiance_blinn tab. This is the shader that's been applied to this surface. And in the mental ray section, you'll see that I've increased the Irradiance value to a light gray and then set the Irradiance Color to kind of a fuchsia. And this is why I have Final Gathering turned on, because this effect is only going to be seen when you have some kind of indirect lighting such as Final Gathering or Global Illumination, and what this setting does is it controls the color of the bounced light.

So as light hits like the floor and then bounces and then hits the surface, those photons of lights are going to be colored based on the Irradiance settings. So this is a way you can fine-tune an individual surface in a scene that uses indirect lighting such as final gathering. I have just set this to purple, just to make it nice and obvious, but you can use more subtle colors depending on the effect that you're trying to get. That's a brief overview of how you can use the settings found in the mental ray section of standard Maya shaders to create specific effects.

So this surface has some Reflection Blur set to it. On this surface I've increased the Scatter Radius to create kind of a subsurface scattering effect. On this surface I have blurry refractions to make the look of frosted glass, and on this surface I've increased the Radius value and added a slight color to the Irradiance Color. Now of course, mental ray has a wide variety of shaders that can also create these effects and in some cases can do much more sophisticated versions. But the reason that I might choose to use a standard Maya shader with the mental ray attributes adjusted is that it's very simple to achieve the effect very quickly and it tends to render fairly quickly as well.

So if I just need a very simple, blurry reflection over a simple look of frosted glass, I would choose to use Maya standard shader with the mental ray attributes adjusted, as opposed to using the mental ray shaders which have more controls that may be a little bit more complicated.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Creating Textures and Shaders in Maya
Creating Textures and Shaders in Maya

37 video lessons · 7890 viewers

Eric Keller
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 19s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 13s
  2. 17m 49s
    1. Explaining diffuse reflections
      2m 39s
    2. Defining glossy and blurred reflections
      2m 32s
    3. Looking at refraction
      4m 20s
    4. Describing the Fresnel effect
      1m 56s
    5. Understanding anisotropy
      1m 10s
    6. Identifying ambient and reflection occlusion
      1m 49s
    7. Defining sub-surface scattering
      2m 4s
    8. Simulating translucency
      1m 19s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Using Maya's standard shaders with mental ray
      7m 2s
    2. Comparing mental ray and Maya shader nodes
      9m 12s
    3. Creating mental ray shaders
      2m 32s
    4. Making sense of mental ray shaders
      10m 35s
    5. Introducing the mia_material
      9m 16s
    6. Creating a custom mia_material preset
      9m 17s
    7. Looking at car paint materials
      6m 43s
    8. Using subsurface scattering shaders
      13m 33s
  4. 1h 5m
    1. Understanding UV coordinates
      4m 26s
    2. Comparing NURBS and polygon UVs
      4m 48s
    3. Mapping polygon UV surfaces
      13m 1s
    4. Using texture maps for color and other shader channels
      8m 1s
    5. Applying and projecting 2D procedural texture nodes
      4m 0s
    6. Applying 3D procedural texture nodes
      7m 1s
    7. Using ramp textures
      8m 12s
    8. Setting up utility nodes
      6m 29s
    9. Using file texture nodes
      9m 41s
  5. 22m 36s
    1. Applying the turbulence texture
      9m 37s
    2. Considering the round corners texture
      4m 17s
    3. Improving skin detail with ambient occlusion
      4m 27s
    4. Applying reflection occlusion
      4m 15s
  6. 33m 6s
    1. Painting bump maps
      4m 14s
    2. Creating normal maps
      5m 24s
    3. Applying normal maps
      6m 17s
    4. Creating displacement maps
      9m 14s
    5. Troubleshooting displacement maps
      7m 57s
  7. 33s
    1. Goodbye
      33s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Creating Textures and Shaders in Maya.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.