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

Introduction to Twilight materials

From: SketchUp Rendering Using Twilight

Video: Introduction to Twilight materials

When it comes to outputting high- quality renders, one of the things we have to recognize is that a lot of the finished quality, a lot of the power and functionality housed in our rendering engine of choice, comes from the materials it uses. Our final renders would be nowhere near as appealing, nor convincing, if not farther. Twilight is of course no exception in this regard. This is why it installs with a number of its own material presets and templates, all designed to help us quickly and easily re-create both simple and complex materials as we have the need.

Introduction to Twilight materials

When it comes to outputting high- quality renders, one of the things we have to recognize is that a lot of the finished quality, a lot of the power and functionality housed in our rendering engine of choice, comes from the materials it uses. Our final renders would be nowhere near as appealing, nor convincing, if not farther. Twilight is of course no exception in this regard. This is why it installs with a number of its own material presets and templates, all designed to help us quickly and easily re-create both simple and complex materials as we have the need.

Naturally, familiarity with the tools available will open up options for us. So in this video we just want to familiarize ourselves with Twilight's basic material functionality, which is a little different from all the SketchUp render plug-ins. Twilight's materials work by initially linking to a SketchUp material and using it as a base. So to create a new material in Twilight we must first create a new SketchUp material. Then we can use the Twilight Material Editor to work with presets, templates, and general material parameters.

In fact, let's just show you how that is done. So the first thing we'll do is come and open our SketchUp Material browser. Now we could of course work with one of the SketchUp's preset materials. We could apply that to scene geometry and then work with the Twilight Material Editor to add properties such as reflectivity to it. But we're actually going to work from the ground up here, so we just want to examine our In Model materials, which as you can see, consists of just our default gray material. Now we can create a brand- new material from scratch. So let's come to Create Material icon, click on that, and now we can set up our basic SketchUp material properties.

The first thing we should do of course is give our material a descriptive name. As I'm going to apply it to our walls, that is exactly what I will call it. We can set a custom color if that is what we want to do. So if we want to play around with our color settings a little bit, we can apply that to our material. We could use a texture image if that is what we wanted, but we're just working with the basics at this moment in time. So let's click OK. Now we can use the Paint Bucket tool to just simply left-mouse-click on the walls to apply our material to them. Now, even though we haven't applied any Twilight-specific material properties at this moment in time, what we have here will still render with the Twilight engine.

In fact, just to demonstrate that, let's close our SketchUp Material browser and come and take a test render. Clearly, Twilight is quite happy to render our SketchUp material, as you can see the diffuse color applied to our walls. Of course, the scene does look a little rough, but that's because we're using the 02.Low preset. In fact, let's switch for 04 for our next test render, because we do of course still need to apply some Twilight material properties to our SketchUp material. To do that, we need to open up the Twilight Material Editor. So let's come up to the Twilight toolbar and click on the Material Editor icon.

Once we have our Material Editor open, there are essentially two methods for loading our SketchUp material in here. Firstly, we could come and use the Eyedropper tool. We just come into the scene and left-mouse-click on one of our materials. We can see that basic definition is loaded into the Twilight Editor--and we can do this for any of our scene materials. We could also use the From Scene dropdown. If we left-click on this, you can see all of our available scene materials are listed here. If we had more in the scene, they would also be in this list.

So again, let's select our Walls material. Now we can work with any all the controls available to us to change the appearance of our basic SketchUp material definition. We can change the coloration, add reflection; we can add a bump map; all of the options in here can be used. To create a more complex set of material definitions, however, we will need to come to our Templates menu. If we just left-click on this, you can see we have quite a number of material types listed in here. Now although there is quite a variety listed here, it is oftentimes the case that you'll not find an exact match for the material type that you're working on.

The idea is to find something that shares similar characteristics to your material and then choose that to give you a basic head start. So let's, for instance, apply some paint to our walls. Let's take our Gloss option and apply that. You can see that a number of parameters inside of the Twilight Material Editor do update now. Our Index of Refraction has changed, as has our Shininess value. To check that that has been applied to our Twilight material, let's once again go and take a render. Now initially, not much may seem to have changed, but if you look closely at the material you will see that it does have quite a measure of reflectivity applied to it.

We can just make out reflections in them. So the material template has done its job. It got us going in a particular direction. We now have reflections applied to our wall paint. There is, however, another option inside of the Twilight Material Editor when it comes to applying material properties. Rather than use templates, we could come into our Library tab and make use of the options found in here. If I just access our dropdown list, you can see that there are a number of library options available. And as we pick a particular option, you can see we switched to the tab that houses those material types.

If we take a look down at the bottom of the Material Editor, you see you have a Type description, and as we double- click on each of these options, this will update and tell you now that you're using a Library material and not a template. If it is that we want a basic description of what the material type is meant to be, we need to come up to the top of our Material Editor, and as we switch through the different materials, you'll see that they update to give you information. You will also notice, again, down at the bottom of the Material Editor, that as we roll over our different material types, we do get a basic description of what that material is meant to be.

To apply a Library definition to our SketchUp material, all we need to do is double-click and that is now attached. There is, however, a very important distinction that we need to make here between Twilight's templates and its Library materials. Once we apply a template, we can continue to edit the basic parameters of that material type inside the Twilight Material Editor. However, once we've applied a Library material, if we come back to the Edit tab, you can see that all of our properties are grayed out. As you can see, properties such as Index of Refraction and Shininess are no longer accessible.

What we have is what we get in terms off a Library material. Now of course, sometimes this could be a considerable frustration for render artists, not being able to make any alterations whatsoever to the material. However, the good news is that if we are a licensed user of the Twilight render engine then there are tons of quality material libraries available for download at the twilightrender.com site. So having applied our library definition then, I suppose it would make sense if we took a render and just have a look at what it had done.

What we get of course is very different as compared to our previous material type. Now there is one final aspect of Twilight's Material Editor functionality that I would like to highlight to you before we end this quick overview of how the material system works with Twilight, and that is this render preview that we get down at the bottom of the Material Editor. A very handy feature is the ability to actually change the studio setup of our render preview. If we just access this dropdown, you can see that we have quite a number of options available to us. A lot of them refer to scale, so at this moment in time we are using the 30 cm cube, but we could work with a 240 cm cube, a 1 ft cube.

The choice we would make of course would depend upon the scale of our scene and the materials that we were trying to create. We do, of course, have a number of specialized options. Down towards the bottom, we have, for instance, our checkered studio setup, which gives us not a cube, but a sphere, and a checkered backdrop against which we can check reflections and refractions. So just be aware that that is there. Oftentimes that can help us get a better estimation of the type of material surface that we're creating. So although a little different in behavior from other render engines, in that they typically have their own specific material types with which we work, still Twilight's Material Editor gives us fast, easy options that really can help us create pretty much any type of realistic and even nonrealistic material that we may have a need to, and all of this is done with as little force, with as little parameter tweaking, as possible.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for SketchUp Rendering Using Twilight
SketchUp Rendering Using Twilight

33 video lessons · 4841 viewers

Brian Bradley
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 1s
    1. Welcome
      1m 5s
    2. What you should know
      2m 10s
    3. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 6m 53s
    1. Installing the Twilight renderer
      2m 52s
    2. Locating Twilight tools and features
      4m 1s
  3. 50m 22s
    1. Adding the Physical Sun and Sky
      6m 17s
    2. Employing the Point light type
      6m 35s
    3. Using the Spot and Projector light types
      7m 7s
    4. Adding the IES light type
      3m 48s
    5. Using light-emitting materials
      6m 59s
    6. Creating image-based lighting using High Dynamic Range Images (HDRIs)
      6m 12s
    7. Using Sky Portals for interior global illumination (GI)
      6m 43s
    8. Understanding the importance of reflectance in materials
      6m 41s
  4. 21m 54s
    1. Exploring Light Transport options in Twilight
      9m 18s
    2. Managing the Quality presets
      5m 57s
    3. Editing and saving presets
      6m 39s
  5. 22m 8s
    1. Positioning your scene view
      3m 23s
    2. Altering projection types
      5m 12s
    3. Working with depth of field
      3m 59s
    4. Working with focal length
      2m 44s
    5. Harnessing tone mapping, exposure, and gamma
      3m 59s
    6. Using two-point perspective correction
      2m 51s
  6. 38m 13s
    1. Introduction to Twilight materials
      8m 23s
    2. Creating diffuse surfaces
      6m 53s
    3. Creating reflective surfaces
      6m 53s
    4. Creating glassy refractive surfaces
      9m 28s
    5. Creating watery refractive surfaces
      6m 36s
  7. 31m 28s
    1. Rendering for animation
      8m 55s
    2. Rendering out an alpha mask
      3m 44s
    3. Setting up a depth render
      4m 3s
    4. Creating an RGB mask using the Diffuse Texture Pass preset
      5m 45s
    5. Working with a composite
      9m 1s
  8. 1m 13s
    1. What's next?
      1m 13s

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 Twilight.

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.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

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.