Join Brian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a translucency effect, part of V-Ray 2.0 for 3ds Max Essential Training.
In this video, we are going to do a little bit of extra work on our tablecloth material. Really, we want to make what we have so far behave a little more realistically, a little more organically, in respect to our scene's lighting setup. To do this, we're going to use the V-Ray 2-sided material. And we want to just switch cameras in our scene at this moment in time. So let's just use C to pull up our Select Camera dialog, and I'm just going to select this CAM_TableCloth option and click OK. And you can see we get a completely different view of our scene.
Of course, we do need to pull up our 3ds Max Material Editor, so let's open that up. We're going to be working with this particular material, this Translucency Test. But if we just take a render of the scene, we can just see what we have in terms of our tablecloth material up to this point. So we have, as you can see, still got our very nice checkered pattern. But things are not really behaving as we would expect. You see, this particular camera view is on the complete opposite side from our V-Ray sun. So we're looking directly into the sun at this point, and yet we're not really seeing any light penetration through this thin fabric.
Maybe that is something that we would expect to see in the scene, and really, that's the effect that we're going to work at adding here. To do that, we're going to work with this V-Ray 2-sided material. And if I just click on the Get Material icon, we can just show you where that is. Inside of the Materials roll-out, you see this V-Ray Advanced roll-out and there at the top is the V-Ray2SidedMtl. We do have a couple of V-Ray Materials applied in the Front and Back material slot. So if we just click on them, you can see our Front material is just set to a Diffuse blue V-Ray material. And if we come in here, as the name suggests, we have a red coloration set for this one.
If we just select our objects in the scene and use the Assign Material to Selection, we can show you how this particular material type works. So again, let's take a render. And what we get is, perhaps not unsurprisingly, a piece of geometry that has two materials applied to each side. We have one on the outside or the front side and one applied to the inside or the back side of the material. Still though, we don't have a translucency effect. We still can't see any light penetration in here.
Now this is because at this moment in time, our Translucency Color Swatch, this is the control mechanism, is set to black, which means effectively our Translucency effect is turned off. To make a change to this, I'm just going to left-mouse click on here, and I'm going set my Grayscale value to something around about 20, and click OK. You will notice that the V-Ray 2-sided material has this Force single-sided sub-materials option applied. Now, by default, if I just come into the V-Ray Material and we just come down to its Options roll-out, by default, the V-Ray Material has this double-sided option checked.
The V-Ray Material will apply itself to both sides, even of a single plain object. Of course, we don't want that if we're trying to apply different materials to either side of a piece of geometry. So at the top level, this V-Ray 2- sided material can force each of the sub-materials to be single-sided only. So that is what that option is for. So with that translucency change made, let's again have a look at the effect that we're creating. Now, as you can see, we are getting the effect of light penetrating through this thin fabric geometry.
We can see where the folds are taking place, the thicker folds on the other side of the tablecloth. We can see how the color is bleeding through to the interior. The exterior, still looking in good shape; it has this diffuse coloration. You would perhaps notice, if you were to make a compression, the fact that the coloration just changes slightly as the light is acting to penetrate the geometry, so that you get just a slight coloration shift there. But things are looking quite nice. We have a more organic feel to this geometry now. What I can do now is just left mouse- click and drag this original tablecloth material, drop it into the front slot there.
We get this dialog, and I can just select Instance. Select OK. And if we take a render, what you'll see is we now have our original tablecloth material on the outside. So if we were to go back to our Objects Camera view, the one we've been rendering in so far in this chapter, the material would look no different. Nothing would change. But as you can see, now we have this very nice effect of sunlight penetrating through the material. As we say, you can see the folds. We can see the checker even on the inside, which is what you would expect if light was bouncing around inside of this material and penetrating through it.
But we need to warn you though that this is a material trick. This would make no difference to the lighting in the scene whatsoever. So no shadows underneath this table would be affected by the fact that we now apparently have light penetrating our material. We would have to work with our GI systems and lighting setup if we wanted to enhance that effect a little bit. So with just a couple of V-Ray materials and some help from the V-Ray 2-sided material, we've created a very nice translucency effect for ourselves. Of course, we could have used more complex materials, such as V-Ray's SSS options.
But if we have to create these kinds of thin-surface organic effects, such as paper or foliage or fabric as in this case, then I would highly recommend trying out this particular approach first.
- Installing and setting up V-Ray
- Using the DMC Sampler
- Understanding color mapping modes
- Adding a spherical fill light
- Working with the V-Ray Dome Light
- Using irradiance mapping and Light cache
- Creating diffuse color
- Making reflective materials
- Creating translucency
- Ensuring quality with image sampling
- Controlling the V-Ray physical camera
- Creating a motion blur effect
- Compositing V-Ray elements