Join Brian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating diffuse color, part of V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Essential Training.
- Given that the V-Ray PowerShader is capable of reproducing all sorts of surface properties and material types for us it is, generally speaking when creating a new material, a good idea to start with the basics and build from there. In this exercise then we're going to focus on create just the diffuse, or color properties of a material that we want to apply to the shelf geometry in our scene. First of all then let's open up the Material Editor using the M key, and right-click to create a new workspace tab, calling it Diffuse.
Straight away we can drag out a new V-Ray material for ourselves, calling in Shelves_Diffuse, and then select all of the shelf geometry in the viewport and apply the new material by right-clicking on it, and using the Assign Material to Selection command. The diffuse, or color properties, for the V-Ray material are controlled, naturally enough, from the Diffuse section of the basic parameters rollout. The Roughness parameter we see here can be used to simulate a rough or powder covered surface.
The basic idea being that this parameter will simulate the multi-directional scattering of light in connection with just the Diffuse color. In much the same way that lowering the Reflection glossiness value scatters reflections. The Diffuse color swatch is in and of itself a fairly self-evident parameter to use in that it directly controls the perceived color of a material in the scene. Set this to red and the shelves will appear red, set it to yellow and the shelves will appear yellow. As in this particular instance we're looking to produce a somewhat photographic look to our render, let's cancel out of the color picker and instead make use of a color map, one that captures all of the nuance and variation in surface color that can typically be found in most wood types.
The quickest and most satisfactory way of doing this would of course be to make use of an actual photograph of wood. To load a bitmap file we can either click on the box next to our Diffuse color swatch, or we could from the Standard map section in the Material Map Browser simply drag out a Bitmap node, and in the file browser, which takes us directly to the images folder in our project structure, scroll down and choose the Kitchen_Cupboard Wood_Diffuse.jpeg file. We can then connect the Bitmap node to the Diffuse color port on our V-Ray material.
If we want to see how the Bitmap looks in the viewport we can, with the node selected, click on the show shaded material in viewport option found on the Material Editor's toolbar. Now we do need to make mention here that the shelf geometry we are working with has as UVW map modifiers applied with specific length, width, and height parameters set in order to get the final look that we are seeing here. As the map we have is looking a little too orange for my taste, let's grab a ColorCorrection map from the Map Browser and drag it onto our Bitmap connection.
This is just a quick way of adding a map to the chain and then having 3ds Max take care of the in and out connections for us. If I double-click on the map's header, in the parameter editor I can set a Saturation value of -25, and then add a Contrast boost of +9, just to bring out a little more of the wood grain. We do want to add just a little more to the material before we go ahead and take a render by applying a Bump map to it. Now although by no means the best way to do this, we're just going to go for quick and easy here and make use of a greyscale version of the Diffuse map that we are using.
To set that up let's drag out another ColorCorrection map, pipe our Diffuse map into that, and then pipe the color correct map into the Bump port on our material. All we need to do then is to pull up the parameters for the color correct, set the output to Monochrome, and finally give ourselves a Contrast boost of about 20 in order to add a little more to the detailing. To set the overall bump strength let's access the material parameters, by double-clicking the header, and in the Maps rollout set the Bump value to something like 15%.
Finally, we can take a render in order to see how things are looking. All in all what we get is a very nice start to our material work. And one of the nice things we are getting for free in the scene, now that we have added some diffuse color is the color bleed that comes naturally from diffuse object even in the real world. And we may, of course, before our final renders want to come back and tweak the Saturation of our Diffuse map so as to either increase or decrease the effect that we are seeing here. We would also, of course, want to add reflective properties to our material, but as the Diffuse component is all that we're concerned with in this exercise we can happily leave things where they are for now.
Although I will go ahead and off camera use this exact same process to add diffuse color to all of the geometry that we currently have in our camera view. With our diffuse color and Bump map taken care of then let's move on and take a look at how we would go about creating refractive materials using the V-Ray Power Shader. Specifically, a physically accurate clear glass that we can then use as a jumping off point from which we can create more complex looking glass surfaces.
- Using the new UI elements, Quick Settings, and revamped Frame Buffer
- Understanding color mapping modes
- Adding V-Ray light types
- Working with the V-Ray Sun and Sky systems and dome light
- Using irradiance mapping and light cache
- Working with diffuse color maps
- Making reflective materials
- Creating a translucency effect
- Using the new SSS and skin shaders
- Ensuring quality with image sampling
- Working with the adaptive subdivision engine
- Controlling the physical camera
- Working with FX tools such as VRayFur and VRayMetaball
- Stereoscopic 3D rendering
- Using Render Mask
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 02/02/2016. What changed?
A: We added tutorials on the new 3ds Max camera tool, which replaces the defunct V-Ray Physical Camera. The author also includes a method for creating a V-Ray camera via scripting.
Q: This course was updated on 04/19/2018. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover V-Ray 3.1 to 3.3 updates.