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

Creating translucent surfaces

From: SketchUp Rendering Using V-Ray

Video: Creating translucent surfaces

Although the V-ray Standard Material does have its own translucency controls--ones that are designed to help us to create thin object translucency-- getting them to work and work well can take quite a bit of trial and error. In this video we're going to walk you through a very quick way of faking translucency using a couple of V-ray Standard Materials along with a V- Ray 2 Sided material that we'll wrap those inside of. To begin with, let's open up our V-Ray Material Editor by coming up to the V-Ray toolbar and clicking on the icon.

Creating translucent surfaces

Although the V-ray Standard Material does have its own translucency controls--ones that are designed to help us to create thin object translucency-- getting them to work and work well can take quite a bit of trial and error. In this video we're going to walk you through a very quick way of faking translucency using a couple of V-ray Standard Materials along with a V- Ray 2 Sided material that we'll wrap those inside of. To begin with, let's open up our V-Ray Material Editor by coming up to the V-Ray toolbar and clicking on the icon.

Now, what we want to do as a first step is essentially create two V-Ray Standard Materials that will serve as the front and the back of our tablecloth object. We're going to paint different colored materials onto each side of the tablecloth. Now we're just using straight colors; you could of course use bitmap files if that is what you want to do. So let's come to our Scene Materials label, right-click, come to Create Material, and create a new standard material. Straightaway of course, we're going to want to rename this, so let's right-click, go to Rename Material, and we'll call this first one TC_front. Once that updates, we can go and create another Standard Material. Of course, we need to be on our Scene Materials Label.

Create Material, Standard. And as you what expect, we will go and rename this one, so right-click, Rename Material, and we'll call this TC_Back. So now we have the two materials that we want to apply to either side of our tablecloth. We could think of it as inside and out materials. We're just calling them front and back because that essentially is how V-Ray will see things; it is applying these materials according to what it thinks is the front and back of the geometry.

Now we need to go and create our V-Ray Two Sided Material. So again, up to the Scene Materials Label, right-click, Create Material, and this time come down to the 2 Sided Option. Now I use the designation V-Ray 2 Sided Material for two reasons: one, because that is what it is called in all the applications that I've used V-Ray in, and secondly, to differentiate it from the SketchUp 2 Sided Material. So let's select that, and again, we want to go and rename it, so let's use the Rename Material Function, and I am just going to call this one Table Cloth.

Now as you can see, this material has a very simple control set. It has two slots named Front and Back, and as you would perhaps suspect, this is where we add our front and back materials. So let's go and select our TC_Front Material for the Front Slot, and let's go and select our TC_Back Material, naturally, for the Back slot. Next, we'll select our Table Cloth geometry and then right-click on our Table Cloth material and apply the material to the selection.

Now initially of course, nothing will change too much in the SketchUp viewport, simply because our two V-Ray Materials, the Front and Back Materials, just have a gray value added to them. So let's go and make a change in here. Let's go to our Front Material and let's set this to a nice obvious red color. That of course, we can see update in the SketchUp Viewport. And let's go to our Back Material and let's add a nice pale blue in there. Now you may wonder why I'm using a red and blue color. These are simply debug colors that I like to use.

They make it very obvious to me what is going on in a scene. You can of course assign finished colors if you want to, or as we mentioned, you can even use bitmap files. Now, if we were to take a render at this moment in time, we would not see any kind of a translucency effect, although it'd be good just to test now, to make sure that our materials are mapping on the front and back of our geometry as we would expect them to, so let's just click on this start render button. And our test render clearly shows that our two materials are mapping exactly as we wanted them to.

Of course, at this moment in time, we're not seeing any kind of a translucency effect. This is because there are still a couple of options that we need to work with. So again, back into our V-Ray Material Editor, we do want to do choose our Table Cloth, or V-Ray Two Sided Material. To get V-Ray to blend between our front and back materials, we need to work with this Color option; this essentially controls the blend between our front and back materials. The default value of black, which is what we have at this moment, doesn't allow any blending between these two materials; they are only allowed to sit on the respective side of the geometry to which they are assigned.

Either of their extreme values, black or white, would not allow any kind of a blend to take place. If we set a white value in our color swatch here, we would just essentially flip our two materials. As you would expect, if we set a mid-gray value in here, we would then get a 50-50 mix of the two materials. However, when it comes to creating the illusion of translucency, we generally want a fairly small amount of color to bleed through the material. So we just want to select our color swatch and in the Value Setting here, I'm going to set a relatively low value of something around about 14, and as you can see, that updates our R, G, and B channels.

With that option set, we can take another test render and see if that has improved our translucency effect. Now, whilst our render shows a definite shift in the colors assigned to our materials, we still couldn't honestly say that we've anything that looks like translucency. To understand why this is so, we need to take a look at the default settings of the V-Ray Standard Material. So let's just open up our Material Editor and select our TC_Front Material. And if we take a look inside the Options rollout, you can see one of the controls checked by default is this Double-Sided option.

This tells V-Ray that both sides of any polygons to which this material is assigned need to be rendered opaque, which of course isn't what we're trying do with our V-Ray Two Sided Material; we're trying to create a blend. So we can either disable the Double-Sided option in each of our V-Ray Standard Materials or we could instead come and select our V-Ray Two Sided Material, our Table Cloth Material, and put a check in these Force One-Sided option. This, as you can imagine, forces each of the V- Ray Standard Materials to act as a one-sided, not a double-sided, material.

Now of course, we should be able to see our translucency effect, so let's again take a test render and see if that is the case. What we get now of course does indeed resemble the passing of sunlight through a thin piece of fabric. We can even see where the folds in the geometry occur. The brilliant thing of course here is that we have two completely separate materials that can have different properties assigned to them. The downside of course is that this is just a material trick; we don't actually get any light passing through this material, so any shadows underneath this table would not be affected at all.

If we wanted to give the impression that the shadows were being lightened by sunlight passing through, we would need to use extra lights in the scene. So there we have it. We've seen how we can use our V-Ray Standard Materials to create thin object translucency. Of course, this doesn't just apply to fabric. We could think of items just as foliage, paper, indeed, any object that would allow direct light to pass through it to some degree. All we have to do is wrap our V-Ray Standard Materials in a Two Sided Material, tweak a couple of options, and we'll have a very nice effect for ourselves.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for SketchUp Rendering Using V-Ray
SketchUp Rendering Using V-Ray

33 video lessons · 6252 viewers

Brian Bradley
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 30s
    1. Welcome
      1m 14s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      2m 33s
    3. Using the exercise files
      43s
  2. 7m 52s
    1. Installing V-Ray
      2m 27s
    2. Locating V-Ray tools and features
      5m 25s
  3. 39m 2s
    1. Creating natural daylight with the V-Ray Sun and Sky
      7m 41s
    2. Using the Omni Light
      7m 9s
    3. Exploring the Rectangle Light
      6m 2s
    4. Exploring the Spotlight
      4m 37s
    5. Exploring the IES light type
      5m 0s
    6. Setting up image-based lighting
      8m 33s
  4. 29m 40s
    1. Working with irradiance mapping
      12m 8s
    2. Creating a light cache solution
      6m 14s
    3. Using the DMC engine
      11m 18s
  5. 23m 11s
    1. Overview of the physical cameras
      5m 16s
    2. Understanding the Exposure controls
      6m 23s
    3. Handling perspective correction
      3m 4s
    4. Setting up for a depth-of-field effect
      8m 28s
  6. 44m 59s
    1. Introduction to V-Ray-specific materials
      9m 41s
    2. Creating diffuse surfaces
      9m 44s
    3. Creating reflective surfaces
      8m 2s
    4. Creating refractive surfaces
      9m 53s
    5. Creating translucent surfaces
      7m 39s
  7. 44m 8s
    1. Using fixed-rate sampling
      10m 21s
    2. Working with the Adaptive DMC engine
      11m 48s
    3. Controlling the Adaptive Subdivision sampler
      10m 15s
    4. Exploring subdivs and the DMC Sampler controls
      5m 52s
    5. Manipulating color mapping
      5m 52s
  8. 33m 39s
    1. Adding displacement to materials
      10m 48s
    2. Using caustic lighting effects
      7m 37s
    3. Creating occlusion effects
      8m 13s
    4. Creating a non-photorealistic render (NPR) with the Toon material
      7m 1s
  9. 1m 21s
    1. What's next?
      1m 21s

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 SketchUp Rendering Using V-Ray.

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 preferences from 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.