Join Steve Nelle for an in-depth discussion in this video Bump maps, part of 3ds Max 2009 Beyond the Basics.
Let's now take a look at how you can apply a texture or roughness to a material. Building a complex material is very similar to the way that one might make a lasagna. It's really a layering process. You know how that lasagna is made with maybe a layer of noodles and then a layer of cheese and then maybe a layer of tomato sauce. After that's all in place, you might follow it up with more cheese, more noodles. The point I'm trying to make is the way in which the lasagna kind of layers one thing on top of another, the same thing holds true when you are building a complex material.
One map simply layers on top of another one to give the material its overall look and that's exactly what we're going to do here to create that bumpy texture. Let's go in for the attack. This is actually a continuation from our previous video; the file is named Complex Materials. You can find that in Chapter 1 over in the Exercise Files. Now, if we click on the Quick Render button again, I want to you to notice how smooth this particular surface appears. I'm thinking we might be able to make it look a little more realistic if we applied some form of texture. So let's see what we can do. Let's close up the Render.
Let's go back and open up the Materials Editor here and on first look, you might be a little bit confused because the Settings were on the Diffuse Color branch with the Bitmap loaded in place. Where do we go from here? It's almost like we want to take our material tree and drop off the main color branch down to kind of the base of the tree. It'll be the base of the tree where we find our standard settings of the color swatches, the opacity, the self-illumination, the stuff that we have been looking out prior to this. The way that we do this is we want to click on this little icon to the right-hand side called Go to Parent.
It is almost like we're shaking the tree and we're going to be falling off the branch we are on. Going back to the parent of the tree, let's go ahead and click on this. Now, we are back to a little similar ground here where you can see all of our original settings a little bit further up. Now, let's go back and look at the branch names. Which of these particular branch names do you think would control being able to add a texture or roughness to our material? If we go down about three quarters to the way down, we've got one called Bump, I think that would probably be at least a good place to start, let's go ahead and see what we can find out.
Again, we'll click on the None button to right, again the browser opens up and we'll simply say, I'd like to load another bitmap. Now, for this particular example, let's go ahead and choose the map called SPONGE. I'll click on that once and then go over to the View button. What's going to happen is this, the cedar mapping will stand place as for as the main body color, but we are going to use the texturing the sponge more specifically, we're going to be using the pattern design in the sponge to kind of stamp this on top of the object we've applied our material to.
Now, the important thing to understand about a Bump map is this; any map you load into the Bump channel is going to be basically seen as if Max is colorblind. See, it won't pick up the colors in the map, what it'll do is it will pick up to gray scale intensities- the black, the white and the gray areas of the design if you will. What ends up happening is, Max makes the impression on the surface using that black, white and gray design, with the black areas appearing to push into the surface while the white areas appear to pull out. Now, I use the word appear because it's actually an illusion.
Nothing really changes as far as the smoothness of the surface, if one was to rub their fingers against it, but it will take on a bumpy appearance during the rendering process. Just remember that Bump mapping doesn't actually change the overall shape of your object. Let's go and load this in. We'll say Open and if we now go to Quick Render of our scene, look at the little impressions that this has made and you know exactly where it came from. The design and the sponge map has been used to create the texture that you now see on the surface.
Now, you can actually control the amount or the strength of the Bump to close this up. If we now go back down to our parent, you'll notice that the amount on the Bump has been set to 30. Let's go ahead and change that to 50 and see what happens here. We'll lock that in, go back and quick render and you can see that, that texture is now a little more pronounced that it was before. And we can make that even more dramatic by cranking up that number even higher. Let's try 100 this time. Again, go back to Quick Render and you can see the difference there. Now, you got to be careful not to use too much Bump, in fact, this Bump value actually goes all the way up to 999 and you can see in a case like this, where it looks like a burned piece of jerky if you would.
So let's go back and take that, I'm going to turn that back to about 100. Now, you can even use negative values, which will basically reverse the effect. So let's go and render that out, so we can kind of have a baseline for comparison here. There is the Bump amount set to 100 and why don't we instead take that to a negative value and watch the difference that that has made. So in essence, the areas that are originally appeared to push in are now appearing to pull out. You can probably see that even more dramatically if we temporarily turn the wood off.
So let's try this. We'll close this out. See the little check marks here next to the branch names. Let's go and turn off Diffuse Color. Notice the sample ball goes back to blue and you know why. Let's look at the Diffuse color swatch. There is your blue color. So if you Render, you can see we have. Just because the Render shows up this way, notice the map is still visible in the viewports and now, you got to go back and turn that off and there you go. Now, if we reassign the wood texture and Render one more time, think about this, wouldn't it make more sense if we actually use the green in the wood to create that bumpy texture.
I mean the sponge kind of looks cool but it's not very realistic. So what are we going to do here is we're actually going to use that cedar map that's loaded into the main body channel for secondary purpose. Let me show you how to do that. We'll close this out. We'll go back down to our maps and I want you now to drag the cedar map, just hold down with your mouse, drag it directly on top of sponge and when you get down, there we're going to go ahead and say Copy and let's go ahead and Render this. Now, we've got something that's going to take on a much, much more realistic appearance.
You can see each of those boards of wood now also take on that bumpy texture. And this is what I was getting to when I was referring to lasagna process. Here, we have a layer of our main body color and we also have a layer in this case of the Bump. And if you run into a situation where you want to temporarily disable a map, you know exactly how to do that. Watch, we'll go ahead and take the Bump off. Now we are back simply to the main body color and if we also turn off the Diffuse Color, we'll then return again just simply to the Diffuse color swatch. Okay, now that we've done that, let's scoot onto the next video where we're going to talk about applying a reflection to a surface.
Let's go and check it out.
Special Note: Fundamental 3D modeling concepts and techniques, along with features such as transformations and modifiers, are covered in 3ds Max 2009 Essential Training.
- Building simple, complex, and multi/sub-object materials
- Using bitmaps to create realistic bumps, reflections, and transparency
- Creating lights to effectively illuminate a 3D scene
- Understanding camera types, lens lengths, and motion blur
- Creating realistic movement with keyframing
- Mastering traditional animation principles and practices
- Applying ActiveShade, RAM Player, and other rendering techniques
- Using particle systems, space warps, reactors, and other special effects
- Getting to know Character Studio, Bones, and their associated "skinning" modifiers
- Using compositing techniques and effects