Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a metal material, part of Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max.
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Mental Ray and Archon Design excel at things like shiny metal surfaces, and in this movie we'll create a metal material. Open up the material editor, and we'll need to get back to the material map browser, so we'll need to reopen that from the Tools menu here. I don't want to delete these nodes, because I might want to get at them later, so I'm just going to move this off so it's not visible. And then drag a new Archon Design material into the view. Double click on that to load it into the parameters window. And then rename it Watch Body.
We'll need to assign it to all the appropriate objects. The easiest way to do that is through the layers. Click on manage layers. Select hands and markers, hold down control and also click on Watch Body. And then click to select the highlighted objects in the viewport. With all those selected now, and with the Watch Body material node selected, click on assign material to selection. And now that's applied to all the objects. We can see that now. We've got this gray color here. Okay, lets start working on the parameters. The first thing we want to do is choose a template and the best choice for us here is the satin metal template that will give us good starting values.
The main things we want to play with here are the diffuse and reflection. With a metal material because it's very highly polished, there's not very much of a diffuse component. And you'll see the diffuse level is only 0.3 here. That means at any color you choose over here is going to get dimmed down. And that's a good thing we want that. Let's choose a color, click on that, and we want a, an orange color. Going to make it a pretty saturated color. I'm going to make this no blue and then a green of about 0.5 or so. And then full red.
Next we come to reflection. Well, there's an interesting switch here called Metal Material. And what that does, is it causes the reflection color to interact with the diffused color in a way that's not immediately intuitive. If you want to have more sort of standard control over the highlights as a separate color then I recommend disabling Metal Material. And now we can just assign a color here and it'll come out in a way that's a bit more expected. And I can make a copy of this. Just click and drag and drag that over.
Click copy. And go into the color selector for the reflection color and just bring the saturation down to something like 0.9 or a little bit less. The reflectivity amount here is 0.8. We want to increase that up to its maximum of one because we want very strong highlights. And now let's look at the glossiness parameter. That's easiest to see if we're looking at a preview. We want to right click on the material node and choose Open Preview Window. Here we're seeing glossiness of 0.4, and we get a highlight that's kind of spread out.
As we increase the glossiness the highlights will become sharper and more focused. We want a glossiness of one here, which is the maximum, and now, we're getting very strong highlights there. The final thing we really want to do here is to stretch those highlights out a little bit more and that's done through the anisotropy. And they're stretched now but we can make it even more extreme by setting the anisotropy amount to 0.01. And now we're getting very long, thin highlights. Cool. Now the BRDF settings down here are actually set just fine right now.
We don't need to change them. Zero degree reflection is at 0.9 so that means we'll get a little bit less than 100% reflection where the service is pointed toward the camera. And then 90 degree reflection is set to one which means we will get fully strong reflections on the edges. Cool. Let's do a test render, see what that looks like. Our test render has finished, and although our material parameters are good, we're not getting exactly the look that we want on the screen here. It's looking a bit flat. And the highlights are not contrasty enough.
And it turns out that this is not an issue with the material at all, it has to do more with the lighting. And in the next movie we will fix that up, we'll change the lighting slightly so that we'll get better contrast on those highlights.
Want to learn how to create the same effect with Maya? Check out Creating Product Shots in Maya.
- Importing solid models as 3ds Max body objects
- Working with the scene layout, hierarchy, and display layers
- Building Arch & Design materials
- Creating area and photometric lights
- Setting exposure control
- Optimizing indirect illumination with Final Gather
- Image-based lighting with high dynamic range files
- Lighting with self-illuminated geometry
- Rendering to high dynamic range
- Saving render passes with Render Elements
- Adding ambient occlusion
- Layering and color correction in After Effects