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V-Ray 2.0 for Maya Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Making reflective materials


From:

V-Ray 2.0 for Maya Essential Training

with Brian Bradley

Video: Making reflective materials

As in this video, we are now wanting to recreate our chrome reflecting material, we, of course, need to unhide an object, so that we can apply that material to it. So again, let's come to our Layer Editor tab, let's come to our Chrome_Butterfly layer, make certain that that is visible, and then come back to the Attribute Editor, because of course, with our materials, we are going to need to be working in here to control our parameters. In comparison to the sometimes tricky work of getting an object's diffuse coloration to look just right, with all of the subtle color shifts that can take place in the surface properties of many objects, Setting up highly reflective materials in V-Ray is just plain easy.
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  1. 4m 28s
    1. Welcome
      59s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      51s
    3. Exercise files
      40s
    4. Workflow recommendation
      1m 58s
  2. 11m 32s
    1. Installing V-Ray
      4m 25s
    2. Setting up V-Ray
      3m 14s
    3. Locating V-Ray's tools and features
      3m 53s
  3. 24m 41s
    1. Image sampling explained
      3m 19s
    2. Understanding subdivs
      3m 49s
    3. Using the DMC Sampler
      6m 54s
    4. Overview of color mapping
      4m 45s
    5. Understanding the color-mapping modes
      5m 54s
  4. 27m 55s
    1. Dealing with lighting problems
      9m 26s
    2. Adding a spherical fill light
      8m 50s
    3. Creating a mesh light
      2m 43s
    4. Creating a skylight effect
      3m 18s
    5. Working with the dome light
      3m 38s
  5. 44m 25s
    1. Global illumination (GI) explained
      3m 55s
    2. Understanding primary and secondary bounces
      3m 34s
    3. How irradiance mapping works
      5m 30s
    4. Using irradiance mapping, part 1
      4m 35s
    5. Using irradiance mapping, part 2
      5m 44s
    6. How light cache works
      3m 48s
    7. Using light cache
      7m 58s
    8. Understanding brute force GI
      2m 18s
    9. Using brute force GI
      7m 3s
  6. 40m 3s
    1. Introduction to V-Ray-specific materials
      2m 22s
    2. Creating diffuse color
      8m 31s
    3. Making reflective materials
      5m 40s
    4. Blurring reflections
      8m 31s
    5. Making clear and colored glass
      8m 49s
    6. Creating a translucency effect
      6m 10s
  7. 24m 15s
    1. Introduction to image sampling
      2m 56s
    2. Using the Fixed-Rate sampler
      5m 57s
    3. How to use the Adaptive DMC sampler
      5m 21s
    4. Working with the Adaptive Subdivision sampler
      7m 7s
    5. Comparing image-sampling renders
      2m 54s
  8. 17m 23s
    1. The physical workflow explained
      2m 37s
    2. Working with VRaySun and VRaySky
      7m 39s
    3. Controlling the VRayPhysicalCamera
      7m 7s
  9. 45m 0s
    1. Depth of field: VRayPhysicalCamera
      5m 45s
    2. Depth of field: perspective viewport
      5m 49s
    3. Creating a motion blur effect
      9m 30s
    4. Generating caustic effects
      7m 51s
    5. Using VRayFur
      6m 2s
    6. Setting up render-time displacement effects
      10m 3s
  10. 34m 17s
    1. Render elements workflow
      6m 47s
    2. Preparing to composite
      2m 22s
    3. Compositing V-Ray elements
      7m 8s
    4. Putting extra elements to work
      6m 20s
    5. Post-lighting a scene
      11m 40s
  11. 11m 47s
    1. Overview of V-Ray RT
      5m 27s
    2. Demonstrating the RT workflow
      6m 20s
  12. 1m 8s
    1. What's next?
      1m 8s

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V-Ray 2.0 for Maya Essential Training
4h 46m Beginner Mar 08, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Installing and setting up V-Ray
  • Using the DMC Sampler
  • Understanding color mapping modes
  • Adding a spherical fill light
  • Working with the V-Ray Dome Light
  • Using irradiance mapping and the Light cache
  • Creating diffuse color
  • Making reflective materials
  • Creating translucency
  • Ensuring quality with image sampling
  • Controlling the V-Ray physical camera
  • Creating a motion blur effect
  • Compositing V-Ray elements
Subjects:
3D + Animation Rendering Textures Materials Visual Effects
Software:
V-Ray
Author:
Brian Bradley

Making reflective materials

As in this video, we are now wanting to recreate our chrome reflecting material, we, of course, need to unhide an object, so that we can apply that material to it. So again, let's come to our Layer Editor tab, let's come to our Chrome_Butterfly layer, make certain that that is visible, and then come back to the Attribute Editor, because of course, with our materials, we are going to need to be working in here to control our parameters. In comparison to the sometimes tricky work of getting an object's diffuse coloration to look just right, with all of the subtle color shifts that can take place in the surface properties of many objects, Setting up highly reflective materials in V-Ray is just plain easy.

Now, an important feature to remember, an important fact about the V-Ray material, is that it is an energy conserving material, meaning that the diffuse reflection and refraction components of our material will always be kept in perfect balance; they will not break the laws of physics. So a completely refractive object -- that is, one that is see-through -- will take energy away from the diffuse component of the material. You cannot have a completely see-through object that has diffuse coloration attached to it. Very important our for our little exercise here: we need to remember that a 100% reflective object -- which of course, chrome is -- can have neither diffuse, nor transparent properties associated with it.

So with that out of the way, let's again go up to our Window menu, and let's pull up the Hypershade for ourselves. Of course, we want to create a new V-Ray material for ourselves. We are just going to rename this instantly to Clear Chrome 2, just so we know which material we are working with. Again, we are going to want to assign our material to the geometry in the scene, so let's go and select the geometry, with the material; inside of our work area, let's just right-click, hold down the mouse button, and use the Assign Material To Selection option.

Now we are good to go. Any renders will show changes we make to this material. Again, select materials, so we can work with its parameters in the material editor, and we are now ready to go. If we just scroll inside of our V-Ray materials properties, you see we come to this Reflection set -- it's right up near the top -- we have got our Basic parameters, and then we come to our Reflection controls, and it is this section here, this Reflection Color, the slider, and the map button, that will control the level of reflectivity found in our material. Now, for a purely reflective material like Chrome, just working with the Color swatch is a perfectly acceptable way to go.

With the V-Ray material, black will give us a completely matte object, so no reflections taking place at all. Now if we click on the Color Swatch angle to the other end of the spectrum, in other words, to pure white, we have now set our object to be completely reflective. In fact, if we take a render, we'll see that that is indeed the case. And there you have it. It really is that easy to create highly reflective objects using the V-Ray material. Of course, one thing we have to keep in mind is that reflective materials are only as good as the environment surrounding them. If reflective materials have nothing to reflect, then they will look dull, they will look lifeless, and well, I can imagine we won't be very pleased with the end result at all.

We are getting some nice reflections here, because we've got lots of things for our material to reflect. We have got all of this background scene geometry, we have the table, and the tablecloth, and that's what's really giving us this highly reflective effect, so just keep that in mind. Oftentimes, when creating highly reflective materials, one thing I like to do is just add a little bit of imperfection into the material, using this Reflection Glossiness value, but as blurry reflections are something we are going to look at creating, we are just going to leave that option set where it is for now.

Before we finish this video, however, we just want to quickly show you how you can use maps to control the level of reflectivity on an object. To do that, let's come to the Reflection Color, let's come all the way along to our map slot, select that, and I think here, we will work with a checker map inside of Maya. If we come into our place2dTexturenode, we are just going to make certain that our Repeat U and V are set to values all 4. And if we take another render, you can see that what we get is an object that has areas of complete reflectivity. That is, those dark areas; that is where our checker map is mapped to white, and we have areas of our object that are completely non-reflective, completely matte, and that is where the black color exists.

So what we are seeing in the non- reflective areas, if we just come back up to the top level of our material, we are seeing now the fact that the diffuse coloration is playing a part in terms of the material's creation. Typically, the diffuse color makes no difference in a completely reflective material, but as you can see, because we have no reflection in these sections, and because our environment is very bright, this gray color is actually looking quite white in the scene, but that's what we see in there; the diffuse coloration. So adding maps into the Reflection properties is another way of controlling the level of reflectivity in our materials.

Of course, if we worked with levels of grayscale, we would have levels of reflectivity. In this particular instance, we are just working with black and white; on and off reflectivity. If we had 50% gray, than we would have a 50% reflective area of our material. So as you can see, reflectivity in the V-Ray material; very easy to set up and control, especially when we are working with pure, or almost purely reflective materials in the scene. Well, let's move on now, and take a look at setting up some materials that have a little bit more complexity to them, and let's create some blurry reflections.

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