Join Adam Crespi for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding luster to wood, part of Rendering Interiors in 3ds Max.
To bring a scene to life, we need more than just simple paint colors. We need to bring in other tones and other materials such as our wood grains. Before I make a wood pattern to go on the bridge ceiling and benches, I'll open up the bench groups and get the color on the legs. These benches are groups of objects, grouped so that multiple objects think they are one object, and transform correctly. I'll pick my benches, picking one, holding Ctrl and picking the other, and then choose Edit > Group > Open.
Now that the groups are open, I can select the bench legs clicking right on them, and there's Bench supports02. I'll press H for select from Scene and pick Bench supports01, and click OK. I'll press M to pull up my material editor. And I'll put the black paint on, selecting that material and clicking the Assign Material To Selection button. Now, I'm ready to make my wood tones. I need two different wood tones in the scene. A lighter wood for the bench, and a deeper, warmer beadboard for the bridge ceiling.
To make a wood material, I'll go under my Mental Ray Materials and drag in a new Arc and Design Shader. I'll double-click on it, double-click on the sample sphere, and name this material, Wood Beadboard. For woods, we have a number of ways to start. We can choose in our templates Satin Varnished Wood or Glossy Varnished Wood. We can also use one of our generic finishes, or even just start right in without picking a template and make a wood ourselves. When we choose Satin Varnished Wood, what we get is a bit map that comes with 3ds Max.
Plus a noise and a mix map piping into the different places here in this material. It's not bad, although I'd like to make my own here. So I'm going to take these out and start with a different template instead. I'll start out with a pearl finish, and for this I'm going to delete these maps. And now I'm back to just my straight wood beadboard in a color. I'll click on the map slot next to the diffuse color. And choose bitmap from the material map browser. The material map browser lets us choose right from the Scene Assets > Images folder.
And this is the real advantage in setting your project, making sure that 3ds Max knows where to look for all of your textures. I'll scroll down and choose wood soffitC. This is a collection of boards I've put together, and in here we've got multiple boards with slightly varying hues lapped together. I'll click Open and there's that wood color on that material. Now I'm going to modulate the shine, and here's how. I'll roll up materials and look in the maps, I'm going to pull in a color correction map, dragging it into the view.
With the color correction map, I'll take the output from the bitmap and pipe it into the map section on the color correction. Then I'll take the output from the color correction into the reflection color map. At the moment, the wood goes completely dull. I'll show why this happens. When that map is not in, what we're seeing there is the wood is gently shining in white. There is a little bit of a white sheen to it. When I take this diffuse color, unadulterated by the color correction, and pull it into the reflection color, the specular color of the wood and the diffuse color are the same.
So I get, really, a matted out surface. What I'll do is in this color correction, double-clicking on it to show the properties, I'll bring up brightness to brighten up the map, and then I'll bring up saturation so that I've got a brighter, more saturated version of the original. I'll also hue shift the color. Bringing this hue over so it gets a little bit yellower. Then I'll double-click on this wood once more and bring up the reflection and glossiness, putting the reflection up to 0.4 and the glossiness to 0.4 as well.
And we see a subtle shine on the wood in the wood colors, albeit a little bit lighter. Now get the bump map in, and here's how I'll make this work. I'll take from my maps a normal bump, drag it over, and connect it into the bump map on this material. I'll double-click on the normal bump. And in that normal bump section we can put in a normal map and an additional gray scale bump if we need. I'll click on the None slot next to Normal and browse out for a bitmap. In the Select Bitmap image dialogue, I'll pick wood deckingN.
This is a subtle grain and then a recess between each board. Perfect for my bridge ceiling laid in planks. I'll click Open, and then, double-click on the material, and scroll down to the Special Purpose Maps. In the Special Purpose Maps, I'll make the bump strength one, so it's got a pretty good strength to that bump, and then I'll uncheck Do Not Apply Bumps to the Diffuse Shading. With this off, I'll see a definitive groove between each board. When that checkbox is on, the bump simply modulates the reflection, which is how you get wavy reflections in a flat surface.
Now that I've got that wood beadboard made, I'll use these same techniques to make a glossy wood for the bench. For these, I'll start with a new arc and design. Double-click on it, name it Woodpolish. And then get my diffuse color map in. I'll click on the color, double-click on bitmap, and I'll choose in here, wood light. I'll pan over and move this over where I have a little more space, and this time I'll use a mix map to modulate that highlight. I'll pull back the reflection to 0.4. Pull the glossiness to 0.5.
Samples to 16 and now I'm ready to get the reflection in. Down under Maps, rolling up Materials, I'll drag in a mixed map. This allows me to blend by a mix amount between two colors or two maps. I'll drag the output from Map4 to Color1 and the output from the mix into the Reflection Color Map. I'll double-click on the mix, and in here, I'll click on the color, white for Color2, an eyedropper straight from my diffuse map, and then go brighter.
I'll take out the saturation, and click OK. Now what we get, we double-click on the wood, is it's shining in a version of itself, brighter somewhat. I'll take that mix amount to about 50%, and we get a nice bright highlight that's still got that wood color in it. We can back off this color just a little bit if we need, desaturating so the highlight gets a little bit whiter, but still has the tone of that wood. And then I'll assign it to those benches. I'll pick one bench top, hold Ctrl in the Select From Scene dialog and pick the other.
And then select this material and assign it to selection. What I will do also with my materials is to fly out the Show Shaded Material in Viewport icon, and choose Show Realistic. Now I'll switch over to Realistic mode. I'll click on the viewport label and chose Realistic and under Realistic, we're in the viewport label again, chose Materials > Realistic Materials with Maps. I'll do the same with my wood ceiling on the bridge. And, my wood tones are applied. Again, I'll select the material, show it realistically in the view, and make sure that this is assigned to that bridge ceiling.
Once the Viewport redraws, we can see it, although it is kind of dark. We can always turn off lights. Going under the Viewport label one more time, Lighting and Shadows, and turning off shadows. There's that wood ceiling. And it looks really good. The beadboard is streaming along the length of it. I've got a wood on the benches, a wood on the ceiling and I'm ready to get luster materials in, my glass and my metals, to really bring some sparkle to this lobby.
- Creating and applying materials with luster and shine
- Creating a daylight system
- Casting light from interior lighting fixtures
- Lighting with sky portals
- Creating an ambient occlusion rendering pass
- Fine-tuning Final Gather and lighting
- Compositing in Nuke and After Effects
- Adding depth of field, highlights, and glow