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Working with mental ray materials

From: Maya 2011 Essential Training

Video: Working with mental ray materials

Mental ray is probably the most popular renderer within Maya, and that's because it has a lot more features than the Maya Software Renderer. Now mental ray has its own suite of materials that you can use. They don't work in the Maya Software Renderer. So let's take a look at some of these. Let's give ourselves a surface to work with. I'm going to go ahead and just create a simple sphere and shade that and turn off my grid here, and let's go ahead and assign a new material. Now when I assign a new material, you'll notice that we have Maya specific materials and we also have a mental ray specific materials.

Working with mental ray materials

Mental ray is probably the most popular renderer within Maya, and that's because it has a lot more features than the Maya Software Renderer. Now mental ray has its own suite of materials that you can use. They don't work in the Maya Software Renderer. So let's take a look at some of these. Let's give ourselves a surface to work with. I'm going to go ahead and just create a simple sphere and shade that and turn off my grid here, and let's go ahead and assign a new material. Now when I assign a new material, you'll notice that we have Maya specific materials and we also have a mental ray specific materials.

So these ones work with the Maya Software Renderer. A lot of these actually will work with mental ray, such Anistrophic, Blinn, Phong and so on. The mental ray ones will only work with mental ray, so let's take a look at some of these. Probably one of my favorites is what's called the dgs_material. Now what this does is it actually creates a very shiny surface. You can actually create almost like a glass-like effect. Go ahead and give this some color here. Let's go ahead and dig a quick render of this, and when I do you'll notice nothing shows up.

That's because I've set my renderer to this Maya Software Renderer. This will only work if I use mental ray so either I can change it here in the Renderer View menu, or go to my Render Settings menu and make sure that I have Render using mental ray. And once I do, you can hit Render and you can see how this shows up,and you can see I have a very specific highlight or specularity on this. And this actually is really good for stuff like glass, that sort of thing, because when you go to this dgs_ material you have a very nice index of refraction and transparency that can give you highly realistic effects.

I am going to go ahead and keep this selected, and let's go to Assign New Material and go down to some other ones. Another really nice one is called Metallic Paint. Now what this does is gives you a very almost like metal type of paint. So, for example, if I were to do kind of like a gold type of color, you could actually have a Base Color and what's called a Lit Color. So that's almost like two different colors on this surface itself, so this can give you a very nice result here and kind of looks very kind of metallically. Almost like a gold spray paint type of material.

Maya actually does have its own Blinn and Lambert and Phong materials. It also has some additional ones. One here is called cooktor, which actually is kind of a nice surface similar to a Phong, but it actually gives you a different index of refractions, which is really nice for simulating glass. You could actually simulate different index of refractions for different colors, which is kind of nice. Another really handy one is the Skin surface, so if I go into fast_skin.

Now what this does is it actually asks me for light maps. I'm just going to go ahead and just do Create New, and that will automatically give it to me, and I just select this object again and you go into fast_skin. Now the reason it asks for a light map is because what this does is it does what's called sub-surface scattering. So it actually calculates how much light penetrates into the surface of the object. So if I do a quick render of this you can see how it gives me a very nice skin texture, because this is great for if you're animating characters and you need some skin that looks highly realistic, you can use this.

This is also actually pretty good for stuff like marble, which has kind of that semi-luminescent material. An actual real-world application is the Car Paint material, but we're going to ahead and open a scene here. We're going to actually open a scene called Scooter_15, and this is our scooter. So let's go ahead and start adding some materials to it. I'm going to go ahead and add one to this engine compartment here underneath the seat, so let's go ahead and select this and go into Lighting/Shading and go Assign New Material.

In this case I'm going to make sure I have mental ray selected and we're actually going to do mi_car_paint_phen, which actually stands for phenomena. And this actually gives you a very nice sparkle metal flake paint job, so let's go ahead and just do a quick render and see what this looks like, and you can see it gives a very nice reflective car paint phenomena and you can see the flakes in here and you'll notice that the flakes are actually a little big, so what we can do is we can start playing with the parameters here. We can change the color. Let's say I don't want it quiet so red.

Let's say I kind of want it more of a darker red. We can also change what's called the Lit Color, which is kind of almost like the over spray, the over painting of it. So when you actually do really good car paint job, you paint a base coat and then you paint kind of a semi- transparent coat over that and that's what this is, so we can actually make that maybe even a little bit more orange-y, maybe even a little bit more saturated if we want. We can also create Bias so that one is more predominate over the other. We can also create what are called flakes.

So if I wanted to, I can make my flakes a little bit more yellow. I can also create the size of my flake, which is called the Flake Scale. So let's say I wanted to make my flakes a little bit smaller. Let's go ahead and make them .05 and let's go ahead and take another quick render of this and see what this looks like. So now my flakes are actually a little bit scaled, a little bit down, and I think they actually look a little bit better than they did before. Now that we have this material, let's go ahead rename it. I'm going to call it Scooter_Color, and once I do, I've got this in my Hypershade window.

It didn't show up, but I can actually-- let's go ahead and rename that one more time. There we go. So now I have my Scooter_ Color here, and let's go ahead and start applying this to the rest of my scooter. So if I want I can go through and say well, I definitely want the fender. Let me go ahead and scroll down here. So I'm going to select my Scooter_Color. I'm going to select my fender, right- click over this Assign, and I can actually just do a multiple select here, and I can assign those, and so on.

So what you can do is you can actually work your way through the scooter and actually assign this material to every part of it and this is really how we will start texturing this. Now the one problem is with this handle bar, because all we've got here is we've got this handle bar as part of the hierarchy, so when I select this, I'm actually selecting the wheel and everything else. So what I need to do is actually go into my Outliner, find that Scooter group here, and find that handle bar, and actually deselect everything else.

There we go. The handle bar shape is what I want and then I'm going to assign my material to the shape, not the whole hierarchy. So there we go. So now I've got at least this color of the car paint on my scooter. As you can see, this is a really good start for shading my scooter.

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This video is part of

Image for Maya 2011 Essential Training
Maya 2011 Essential Training

115 video lessons · 26245 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 34s
    2. Using the exercise files
      26s
    3. A note on screen resolution
      1m 50s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Overview of the Maya interface
      7m 42s
    2. Working with files and Maya projects
      2m 27s
    3. Navigating viewports
      5m 56s
    4. Reviewing the Viewport menus
      6m 28s
    5. Configuring safe frames and grids
      3m 21s
    6. Selecting objects
      4m 33s
    7. Using the Move tool
      3m 48s
    8. Rotating and scaling
      4m 31s
    9. Manipulating pivots
      3m 59s
    10. Understanding the Channel Box
      5m 36s
    11. Working with the Attribute Editor
      2m 28s
    12. Using the Hotbox
      2m 59s
    13. Working with marking menus
      3m 6s
    14. Customizing the interface
      3m 36s
  3. 59m 25s
    1. Creating polygonal objects
      6m 28s
    2. Working with polygonal components
      4m 42s
    3. Selecting polygonal components
      5m 44s
    4. Working with Soft Select
      7m 3s
    5. Using the Extrude tool
      6m 47s
    6. Keeping faces together
      2m 42s
    7. Extruding along curves
      3m 27s
    8. Using the Polygon Bevel tool
      4m 14s
    9. Smooth and subdivision surfaces
      7m 6s
    10. Blocking out a character body
      11m 12s
  4. 36m 6s
    1. Working with edge loops
      3m 27s
    2. Inserting and offsetting edge loops
      3m 38s
    3. Symmetrical modeling techniques
      5m 53s
    4. Combining objects
      3m 50s
    5. Using the Polygon Bridge tool
      2m 7s
    6. Connecting components and splitting polygons
      2m 48s
    7. Poking and wedging faces
      2m 49s
    8. Working with polygon booleans
      3m 17s
    9. Modeling with nonlinear deformers
      4m 54s
    10. Modeling with lattices
      3m 23s
  5. 1h 18m
    1. Introducing NURBS modeling
      5m 3s
    2. NURBS primitives
      5m 54s
    3. Using the NURBS curve tools
      5m 7s
    4. Creating Bézier curves
      1m 59s
    5. Creating text
      3m 51s
    6. Manipulating NURBS curves
      4m 13s
    7. Refining NURBS curves
      4m 16s
    8. Offsetting NURBS curves
      2m 31s
    9. Editing NURBS surfaces
      7m 3s
    10. Refining NURBS surfaces
      7m 22s
    11. Using NURBS Revolve
      7m 31s
    12. Using NURBS Loft
      4m 11s
    13. Using NURBS Extrude
      6m 0s
    14. Using NURBS Planar
      4m 47s
    15. Stitching NURBS surfaces
      8m 52s
  6. 35m 53s
    1. Extracting NURBS curves from surfaces
      5m 57s
    2. Creating curves on a surface
      3m 53s
    3. Projecting curves on surfaces
      7m 2s
    4. Trimming NURBS surfaces
      3m 42s
    5. Using the NURBS Fillet tool
      5m 31s
    6. Sculpting NURBS and polygonal surfaces
      5m 52s
    7. Converting NURBS to polygons
      3m 56s
  7. 33m 22s
    1. Working with the Outliner
      4m 58s
    2. Grouping objects
      4m 2s
    3. Creating hierarchies
      4m 17s
    4. Duplicating objects
      4m 51s
    5. Understanding the Hypergraph
      3m 32s
    6. Working with Hypergraph connections
      2m 31s
    7. Hiding and showing objects
      2m 12s
    8. Creating layers
      4m 2s
    9. Working with selection masks
      2m 57s
  8. 40m 18s
    1. Overview of renderers
      3m 24s
    2. Understand the basics of materials
      6m 15s
    3. Creating and applying maps
      5m 13s
    4. Using bitmaps as texture
      2m 59s
    5. Working with the Hypershade window
      5m 12s
    6. Working with mental ray materials
      6m 57s
    7. Using displacement and bump mapping
      3m 14s
    8. Using the Ramp Shader
      2m 36s
    9. Using the 3D Paint tool
      4m 28s
  9. 30m 14s
    1. Texture-mapping NURBS surfaces
      5m 46s
    2. Projecting textures onto surfaces
      4m 0s
    3. Texture-mapping polygonal surfaces
      7m 0s
    4. Applying UV mapping
      8m 11s
    5. Using the UVW Editor
      5m 17s
  10. 41m 16s
    1. Creating joints
      10m 2s
    2. Deforming a mesh using the Skin tool
      5m 2s
    3. Creating IK handles
      6m 48s
    4. Creating blend shapes
      5m 39s
    5. Rigging nonlinear deformers
      2m 36s
    6. Finalizing the character
      4m 45s
    7. Rigging the character to the scooter
      6m 24s
  11. 1h 5m
    1. Working with the Timeline
      4m 16s
    2. Creating and adjusting keys (keyframes)
      5m 4s
    3. Editing keys
      3m 13s
    4. Modifying keys in the Graph Editor
      5m 47s
    5. Modifying keys in the Dope Sheet
      2m 51s
    6. Creating breakdown keys
      2m 28s
    7. Animating objects along paths
      5m 54s
    8. Animation playback using Playblast
      3m 10s
    9. Animating with constraints
      6m 16s
    10. Creating animation cycles
      8m 25s
    11. Using set-driven keys
      6m 13s
    12. Adding sound to animations
      2m 24s
    13. Finishing the animation
      9m 45s
  12. 1h 2m
    1. Lights and lighting types in Maya
      7m 29s
    2. Adding depth-map shadows
      4m 13s
    3. Using Raytrace shadows
      3m 28s
    4. Understanding the basics of cameras
      7m 14s
    5. Adding depth of field
      6m 31s
    6. Adding Bokeh using mental ray
      4m 33s
    7. Using motion blur in Maya Software Renderer
      4m 10s
    8. Using motion blur in mental ray
      3m 5s
    9. Raytracing reflections and refractions
      4m 41s
    10. Interactive rendering with IPR
      3m 33s
    11. Lighting a scene
      8m 29s
    12. Batch rendering
      4m 53s
  13. 25s
    1. Goodbye
      25s

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