Join Brian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a translucency effect, part of V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Essential Training.
- In this exercise, we're going to take a look at how we can quickly add a little bit of extra believability to our tablecloth material, and what we want to have it do is respond more realistically to our scenes lighting setup. To do this we're going to make use of V-Ray's two sided material. Let's pull up our material editor then using the m key and in the tablecloth tab, have a look at the material that is already settled which is in fact just a regular V-Ray material with both diffuse and normal maps already applied to it.
In fact, if we go ahead and take a render, we can see exactly what we're getting at this point in time. Which although looking decent enough on the surface of things, is not in fact behaving as we would perhaps expect, given our scene lighting setup. You see, from this particular camera view, we are quite obviously looking almost directly toward the sun, the directional shadows on the ground give that fact away. And yet, we aren't really seeing any kind of light penetration through what is clearly a very thin tablecloth fabric.
This is the effect we're going to work at creating here with the help of a little bit of V-Ray material trickery. This, as noted, will be handled by the V-Ray two sided material. To grab one, we need in material editor, to open up the V-Ray materials roll out and from there, sitting right at the top of the listing, we should see the V-Ray two sided material. Let's drag one out onto the canvas and then quickly rename it, transluscence then. The idea behind this material is pretty straight forward in that it is designed to take input from two existing V-Ray materials and then render each of those on the front and back facing polygons of a geometric object using this transluscence color to determine the blend or mix amount.
To show how this works, let's plug our existing tablecloth material into the front part of the V-Ray two sided material and then drag a new power shader onto the work area setting it's diffuse color to a nice deep red. We then want to plug that into the back part of the two sided material, remembering of course, to enable this option and then finally, if we set the transluscency color swatch to black, meaning no blending will occur, it'll assign the two sided material to the nearest tablecloth object and then go ahead and take a render.
What we see not unsurprisingly is a piece of geometry that now has two materials applied to it. One to the outside or front facing polygons and one to the inside, or back facing polygons of the geometry. Of course, we still don't have a transluscency effect here as we aren't seeing any suggestion of light penetration. Watch what happens though if we unhook the secondary material by simply left-clicking and dragging on the connector. Set the transluscency color to a value of 100, disable the back material checkbox and then render again.
Because tehre is now no secondary material to be applied, V-Ray is assuming that we want to add the transluscency color that we have set to the colors of the front facing material. Essentially giving those a lighter version of it on the back facing polygons, which of course is producing a fairly nice looking transluscency effect. To increase that, all we have to do is lighten the translucency value; to dial it down, we simply go ahead and darken it. You will already have noticed that the V-Ray two sided material has this four single sided sub materials option applied.
This is because the V-Ray material itself has a double-sided option that is by default, enabled. Meaning the V-Ray power shader always applies itself to both sides of a geometric object. Even if that is a single sided polygonal plane. And of course, we don't want that default behavior to apply if we are trying to make use of the V-Ray two sided material, hence the need for this four single sided sub materials option. One thing we do need to make note of here before concluding is the fact that what we have created is just a material trick and so we'll make no difference at all to lighting or shadowing underneath our tables.
We would have to work with the lighting setup in the scene if we wanted to enhance or alter that look in any way. So, with just a couple of V-Ray material types, we have created a very nice transluscency effect. Of course, we could've used a more complex material such as one of V-Ray's SSS options, or even the transluscency option on the V-Ray power shader itself. To be honest though, whenever we have a need to create thin surface organic effects, such as paper foliage or in this case, fabric, then I would always recommend trying the V-Ray two sided material first as it is both fast to render and very simple to settle.
- 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.