When you've made your choice in rendering engine you can get started by creating materials for the scene. I'm going to look in the scene assets images file at the textures I've created and get some inspiration for the paint colors for this scene. You may come into a scene with a client generated list of paints or a specification sheet of paint colors from the manufacturer and which one goes where. I'll look at the materials I've got so far, and see if I can borrow some of them for a paint color palette. I've opened up some of the textures in the Scene Assets Images folder here in Adobe Photoshop.
And we'll get a good look at the different palettes that are possible here. On the lower left is our mosaic tile and we can see there's everything in here from rich cinnamons and golds, through honey tones, coppers and coffees. It's a very warm mosaic. Our wood soffit, which we'll be using under the bridge, is a deep cherry colored wood with a lot of red going on. There's a readed glass for the double doors at the end, and this has a strong green to it. And then the terrazzo, which is going to go on the floor, is a pale tone. Think of it as coffee with milk or something with a little warmth in it.
Overall then, we've got a warm palette. But we need our paint colors to be a foil for these, so that we're not hitting strong color with strong color and overwhelming the eye. Back in 3ds Max, I'll start out forming my wall and baseboard paints as well the paint I'll use in the steel frame from the bridge. I'll press M to pull up my Slate Material editor. Go into the Mental Ray Materials section and drag in an Arch And Design Material. This is the Mental Ray architectural shader. And it's a versatile utility material. It allows you to form nearly any material you'd need.
From glossy paint through metal through matte stone. In practice, I use the Arch And Design for just about everything except skin and car paint. Because we have dedicated shaders for those. If you'd like to bring in Autodesk material library, materials such as the Autodesk ceramic, you can do that as well. I'm going to stick with the Arch And Design for my paints. Double clicking on the material and then double clicking on the sample sphere. I'll also press H to hide the maps and now I'm ready to form this material. In our materials then, we can start out with a template or get in and adjust all the properties independently.
We're going to make a wall paint to being, so I'll choose a matte finish and I'm going to name this paint off white. And at the end of this paint I'll put in ES. This is a tag that I put on to denote the sheen in it so when I'm looking at a list of paints, for example, I know which glossiness is on what material. I've also started these with paint, so that when I list these materials, all the paints will line up together. If you're working from a manufacturer's directory or reproducing manufacturer colors you may want to put in a designation for that manufacturer.
As an example, in my libraries, I have SW for Sherwin-Williams, P&L for Pratt and Lambert, BM for Benjamin Moore and so on. And that way, I've developed, over time, a library of these paints. So, when a request comes in to use a color, I can look and say, why yes, I have that color in six different sheens. Let's put it on and get going. Because I'm not working from a manufacturer library, I'm going to call these paints. And that way they'll all group together in my scene materials. Now for that material. I started out with a matte finish.
And I'll put into the reflectivity 0.25. I'll take the glossiness to 0.25 as well. And check highlights plus fg only. What this does for me is give that material a subtle shine and reflection. But only in the specular highlights. It's a little bit of a gloss to it without being a shiny surface, which is ideally suited for our matte finish paints or our eggshells. Now get a color in, clicking on the Color swatch and putting in a very pale off-white. I'll bring the value up and then I'm going to back off the blue just a little bit to add some yellow in and back off the green.
This way I have just the slightest bit of saturation in a warm yellow, a slight off white as a foil against the strong colors I'll be using. Now make a baseboard and for this baseboard color it's going to be a deep chocolate in a much glossier finish. I'll make a new Arch And Design. Double click on the sphere, double click on the material, to show it in the material parameter editor. Name this material, paint, espresso, SG for semi gloss. For this material, for a semi gloss, I'll start out with a glossy finish, and then I'll back off the reflectivity and glossiness, putting in a reflection of 0.4 and a glossiness of 0.5 we can see a decent amount of gloss in that sample sphere.
For my glossy materials, I'll also turn on the background, by clicking on the Show Background in Preview icon at the top of the Material editor. This shows me a checkered reflection and allows me to see how that reflection is behaving. I' ll bring the glossy samples up to 16, so I get good quality in the highlight and then I'll check fast interpolate and scroll down to the fast glossy interpolation section. In the fast glossy interpolation we can blur a reflection and this is a major strength of Mental Ray. I'll set my interpolation at one, so it's the same as the render size.
So I have good quality in the reflection. I'll put the neighboring points at four, so there's a little bit of blur in that surface, and then check high detail distance. And I'll put the high detail distance at 24. What this lets me do is have a blurry reflection of most of the things in the scene in that glossy surface but for things that are nice and close to that baseboard, for example, the terrazzo, I'll get a clear reflection because that high detail distance does not interpolate out to that distance.
Now I'll get the color in. I want to make the point in here, in case you haven't noticed, that I'm getting all the properties of the material in first before the main color. That I'm looking at the shine, reflection, highlight, spread, everything in there, and then the color of it. Because how it reacts is often as crucial, or even more important than the main color in general light. Now I'll scroll over into the main material parameters, click on the color and put in a rich, warm, espresso tone. Saturating, bringing back the blue to make an orange, and taking that color much deeper.
We can see in here, once we get that color in, there's a lot of reflection. And this might be a place to back of that reflectivity a bit. I'll take it back to 0.3, and also pull back the gloss to 0.4. Now, I've got my espresso tones semi gloss paint for the baseboards. I'll make a few other colors, and get to apply them in my scene. I've made a black semi-gloss I'll be using on the feet of the benches. I've also made a paint mocha and ST is going to stand for satin. I'd like it to be a little bit less glossy than my semi-gloss paint, and this'll go on my doors and door frames.
What I'm going to do with this paint, as a sat, is switch the template over and use a pearl finish. This allows us to make a soft, blurry reflection and now we can see really that material dims down. And even when I turn on the background, it really is muted out. What I'll do for this pearl finish is bring up the gloss to 0.3, bring up the samples to 12, leave fast interpolate on, and scroll down into the fast glossy interpolation. In the fast glossy interpolation, the pro finish starts out with a half res interpolation, this is good because what it does is stop down the size of that reflection because we're limiting down how much reflection we have, we don't necessarily need to calculate it at full strength.
Be careful on your interpolation, how much you crank it up. For example, if you make it double, it will look amazing and really kick up your render time. So, I'm going to leave this at half, so that my that doors have a little something going on in the reflection. I'll put up the high detail distance for this at 36 so I get a decent amount of contact reflections with close objects. But the overall reflection in the door blurs out, so things across the room are really there as smudgy color more than anything else. I'll leave the neighboring points at six, so there's a good amount of blur in that reflection.
And now, I can get to applying this on all my different part in the scene. I'll work by name, clicking the view and pressing H for the select from scene dialogue. I'll scroll up in here and find all the door objects or in the find field, start out by typing in door. Here's all my door pieces. I'll put in door_f for frame and hit OK or Enter. This selected all of the door frames. Now, I'll pick my paint, mocha, and click on the Assign Material to Selection button.
I'll assign this material to the doors and door frames. Put that espresso paint on all the steel work including the bridge frame, get the espresso also on the baseboard, and hit all the walls with that white eggshell. Then I'll see what other materials I need and start making metals, woods, and tile for that accent wall.
- 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