Join Brian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Making reflective materials, part of V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Essential Training.
- In this exercise, we're going to take a look at creating a basic highly reflective metal material that, just like our earlier glass, could again be used as starting or jumping off point from which a much more complex metal could be created. Let's again start by pulling up the Material Editor, creating a new work space tab, and calling it Metals. We will also want a new Vray material so let's drag one of those onto the canvas and for now name it Chrome. As with our glass material the Diffuse controls here won't be adding any actual color to the metal that we're creating although they will definitely have an effect on its final look.
To avoid any artificial lightening of our metal by the Diffuse property then let's go ahead and set the Diffuse color to black. As a really pure and expensive chrome would sit pretty close, as far as the eye was concerned, to completely reflective let's for now set our Reflection value to something like 250 and then double click the material header to enlarge the material preview and from the Editor toolbar turn on the Show Background in Preview option. This is an important step as it can really help us evaluate how a material's reflections are working.
Now whilst that value of 250 in our Reflectivity control means that we can theoretically see an almost completely reflective metal there are other parameters in the Reflection control set here that will greatly influence the way in which our reflections end up working. For instance, if I turn off the Fresnel option here the reflections on the material now work in a very different way, naturally giving those a very different look. This is because with the Fresnel option turned on and with this lock button enabled the reflections we see are being controlled by the index of refraction value found, of course, in the Refraction controls.
If I crank this all the way up to a super high value of 50 and then uncheck and check the Fresnel box you can see that we now get a much more similar look to the reflections. To create a basic metal then that has a chrome like appearance we could simply use an IOR setting of about 20. This will give us something that is a little more physically correct than working with the Fresnel option turned off. Let's assign our new material to small bowls sitting on our shelf and, of course, take a test render in order to see how things are looking.
Which, as we see, is not bad at all. Now, one word of caution worth mentioning here is the fact that reflective materials are, of course, only as good as the environment in which they are sitting. If we have our objects sitting in a black void with nothing for the materials to reflect, well, chances are that things aren't going to look terribly interesting. In this scene, we do, of course, have geometry, a built up environment, if you like, that helps our reflections look a little more interesting. One useful piece of functionality to be aware of in the Vray materials Reflection controls is the fact that we can make use of maps, both procedural and bit map, in order to control reflectivity levels in our material.
If I just click on the Map button next to the reflect color swatch and then from the browser select a checker map changing its tiling to five by five we can see, as I take a render, that what we get is essentially an on/off pattern in our reflections. This is because if we look in the checker map's color section the color swatches are set to black and white. So, where we have white we get completely on reflections, these areas will make use of the rest of the general reflectivity settings in the material.
Whereas, in the black areas we get no reflectivity at all. Now, do keep in mind, of course, that we are only seeing black in these non-reflective areas because that is the diffuse color that our material is set up to use. If that were instead set to something like a bright pink then pink is the color that would be showing up in these non-reflective areas. One extremely powerful way of using this functionality would be to have differing shades of gray in reflection control map. This would, of course, add variation, subtly, and believability to the way in which our reflections behave.
Especially so, if we create custom reflection maps for specific objects in our scene. Reflectivity in the Vray material then is easy to both set up and to control, especially so when our most purely reflective materials are involved. What though if we wanted to have a little more visual complexity in our reflection, something a little more interesting to look at? Well, in our next exercise we're going to take a look at doing just that.
- 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.
SketchUp: Rendering with V-Ray 3with Brian Bradley4h 15m Intermediate
V-Ray: Control Color Bleed in SketchUpwith Brian Bradley1h 2m Intermediate
Introduction and Important Information
V-Ray 3.1 to 3.3 Updates
V-Ray 3.4 to 3.6 Updates
1. Getting Ready to Render with V-Ray
2. Key Lighting Tools
3. Global Illumination
4. V-Ray Materials and Maps
5. Quality Control with Image Sampling
6. Working with Cameras: The V-Ray Physical Camera
7. Working with Cameras: V-Ray 3 & the 3ds Max Physical Camera
8. The V-Ray FX Tools
What's next?1m 47s
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