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This course introduces the features of the V-Ray 2.0 rendering engine and demonstrates how to extend the range of Maya with its state-of-the-art tools, such as irradiance mapping, fur and hair textures and shaders, and stereoscopic 3D rendering. The course covers critical concepts such as creating basic materials, image sampling, color mapping, subdivs, and lighting, as well as the Render Elements, RT, and physical rendering workflows in V-Ray. Exercise files are included with the course.
As the V-Ray material is capable of reproducing all sorts of surface properties and types for us, we thought it would be a good idea to really start working with the basics, and focus initially on creating just the diffuse or color properties for one of the pieces of geometry found in our Walled_Garden_Start scene file. In this scene, we have a number of straightforward objects that have been assigned material types that are extremely common, and found a lot in the world around us. We are going to be working to rebuild these material types, and as we go, we will becoming familiar with the V-Ray material itself, and we are seeing how its controls and parameters work.
Now we need to go to the Maya UI. So inside the Maya UI, let's go up to our Window menu, let's come down to Rendering Editors, and let's up Hypershade for ourselves, and just see what we have in here. And as you can see, we have a number of V-Ray materials already set up. These have been assigned to our scene's objects. We are going to leave them inside of the Hypershade, just so that we can refer back to them. If we want to, we can check the settings on there; that is absolutely fine.
But of course, what we really want to do is create our own V-Ray materials. We will rebuild or recreate these existing materials, and apply them to our objects as we go. As we say, this is going to familiarize us with the V-Ray material, and its parameters. If I just minimize Hypershade, and if we just come to the Panels dropdown, and we switch our Camera View -- so let's go to our products camera -- you can see here, we have our objects. Now, we are going to be working with this tablecloth object. It really is the only object in the scene that has purely diffuse properties that we need to set up at this moment in time.
So let's just come to Layer Editor, so just click on the Layer Editor tab at the side of my interface, and I am just going to scale things a little bit here, so I can see. And let's just hide a few objects, so that we can see things a little more clearly, or see our tablecloth object a little more clearly. And with that done, of course, we need to go back into Hypershade, so I am just going to pull it over from its minimized state. And really what we want to do is create a new V-Ray material for ourselves. So I am just going to left mouse click to select that, and we have got new V-Ray material.
If I just go and select the Attribute Editor tab, you can see we have it already selected, we have got access to its parameters, and I am just going to rename this to Table cloth 2, just so we can tell it apart from our original material. Now what we want to do is go and select our object in scene, pull back Hypershade, right-click on our material, and we can just use the Assign Material to Selection option. Now what we will see, if we take a render at this moment in time, and what we can see is that we have a completely gray material assigned to our geometry, which is exactly as it should be. If you remember, if we take a look at the preview inside of the Hypershade, it was just set at its default gray.
Now, when designing or coming up with the ideas for the materials we wanted to work with in the scene, rather than working with just a solid color, we wanted something a little more complex; something that fit the scene a little more appropriately. So we decided we would work with a bright, two-colored, checkered pattern, as you've already seen in the renders at the start of this video. Now, although this wouldn't be possible to create using Maya's procedural materials, in this instance, a bitmap texture created in an image editing application was going to get us better and faster results.
So that's what we are going to work with. We are going to work with a bitmap file; we are going to load that up to take care of our Diffuse Color properties. So again, let's select our material. Of course, we need to be inside the Attribute Editor; make sure that the Show/Hide is allowing you to see the Attribute Editor. And inside the Controls, inside the Parameters, we just want to work with our Diffuse Color option. And if we just click on the Map button, we will get our Create Node dialogue, and let's just scale up into the window a little bit better. We want to select the File option, and now we can go and browse for our bitmap file.
So let's just click the Folder icon. We will instantly be found inside our Exercise Files folder. We just need to come into our Images folder, and we want to find the appropriate bitmap file, which is this Table_Cloth.tif. You can see by this preview, we get our checkered pattern for us. So if we just click Open, we've now assigned that material, and again, of course, we want to take render for ourselves, so let's pull up Render View, and just use the controls inside of that. And as you can see, although we do indeed have our bitmap image mapped, now, to diffuse properties inside our V-Ray material, things are not really looking quite the way we want them to.
Oftentimes, when creating a repeating pattern, such as our checkered pattern is, it makes sense to create just a small portion of the pattern, and let Maya's bitmap or file handling tools take care of the tiling. So if we just come into our place2dtexture node, inside of the Attribute Editor, we want to work with our Repeat U and V options. If we set these to a fairly high value of something like 50, and 50, and again, take a render, we will see that things are looking much better.
Well better in some respects, at least. We have our repeating checkered pattern working very nicely for us, but really, things are not looking good in terms of the way our colors are working. You see we have a very washed out effect to our bitmap texture. This, essentially, is because we are now getting a double gamma effect. When you create a bitmap file -- when you save it out of image editing applications -- oftentimes, when we create an image inside of an image editing application, when we save it to disk, there is a color profile, or a gamma curve, already associated with that file.
What we are seeing here is the fact that we are getting two lots of gamma correction applied to this bitmap image. If we just go and pull up Maya's Render Settings window, and if we come into the V-Ray tab, we go and look in our Color mapping controls, you can see we are already applying a Gamma 2.2 inside of the V-Ray Render, so that's why we are getting this double gamma effect. This is fairly easy to take care of. All we need to do is come back to our File node; if we come to the Attributes menu here, you see we have this V-Ray option.
And if we just check the Texture input gamma, that will automatically -- and if we just scroll down a little bit here -- that will automatically apply a Gamma 2.2 inverse correction. So if we take another render, we can see that we no longer have those washed out colors; everything is looking much nicer now. Now, that is pretty much it in terms of taking care of the Diffuse Color of our tablecloth. We can add a little bit more detail to our material at this moment in time. If we just go back up to our Material Level, we just want to come down in our Parameters, to the Bump and Normal mapping section, and we are just going to add a file node in here, so that we can apply some bump map to our tablecloth.
So again, let's click on the Map button, choose the File option; let's come up, so that we can browse for the file that we want. In this instance, we want to come and select this Table_Cloth_Normal.tif. You can see we have a normal map, so let's open that. We need to go back up to our bump level, because of course, the Map Type is set to Bump map; we want to make certain that this is set to Normal map in tangent space, and we are good to go. We have some bump effect applied in here.
Of course, we do need to go to the File node, we need to come to the place2dtexture node; we need to work with our Repeat U and V options as well. So let's set a value of 15, and 15, and again, we can take a render, and see how that effect is working. You can see, we get a very obvious bump effect in our material. If we wanted to make this a little bit finer, a little bit subtler, we could just set values of 25, and 25 in the repeat, and that would give a very nice, fine weave look to our bump map.
So with our Diffuse Color taken care of, and with a little bit of bump mapping added in there, we are going to move on now to creating a generic reflective material. In this instance, we are going to create a clear, or mirror like chrome.
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