In this video, learn how to use the Maxwell Studio Material Assistant to create architectural type glass for your objects.
- [Instructor] Now that you know how to work with objects within Maxwell Studio we can turn our attention to working with Maxwell's materials. The material system of different render softwares can vary significantly from one to another. While many concepts of creating a material can be carried over to other systems, inevitably you will be spending a lot of time understanding the intricacies of your chosen softwares way of creating materials. Since learning to create advanced materials takes time, it makes logical sense that the software allows for easy creation of the most common materials, which allows you to initially invest your time in learning the software as a whole first.
To this regard, Maxwell offers what it calls a material assistant, and while you are learning to use the software and trying to get to your final renders as quickly as possible; I strongly recommend using the material assistant. As you start to learn how to create your own custom materials, these materials are often a good starting point, also speeding up the process for you. Now, building good quality materials is a skill learned over time, which takes time to master. And I'm not saying that the material assistants materials are perfect, just that they are a good place to start from and then to develop your skills from there.
I'm using the Lynda_Materials layout we loaded and saved in chapter two. Pull up the context menu in the materials panel and remove any unused materials to tidy things up. Pull up the context menu again and this time hover over the new sub-menu to see a list of available material categories. Their descriptions are for the most part, self explanatory, but custom is there to create a material from scratch. Emitters we'll cover in the next chapter.
Firstly then from our materials and new sub-menu, let's create a MXM reference. Now an MXM reference is simply another way to bring in a previously saved material as a reference material, instead of embedding it. Which you've already learned in previous lessons. As an example, I'll simply select leather and open to use that as my reference material. Next create an AGS material, which stands for Architectural Glass Solution, and should be the material to use for windows in your scene or anywhere where you don't need the time consuming render times of actual dielectric glass.
That includes refraction and caustics properties, but where you will want transparency and reflection. In the material editor panel, the only components listed is the global properties, which is always present, and then the material category. With the AGS component selected, from its properties you can select the white color box to bring up the color picker, which you can change the tint of the glass. The color picker allows for a choice of three color coordinate systems and since the color picker widget, or the chromatic graph is more intuitively and perceptually better represented by the HSV system.
And because the HSV system gives a visual numeric indication of the color value, which will be relevant later; I recommend that you use the HSV system. The color picker is made up of an outer circle, with a small dot that represents the hue or color of the material. You can drag anywhere within the outer circle to change the hue, or make use of the hue slider below the specific values. The inner triangle is where you can adjust the saturation and value or brightness of the color.
Simply drag the circle around within the triangle to make the adjustments or once again, use the sliders entry boxes. The RGB system is valuable if you do have the exact RGB values of a material. Once you start adjusting the color, there are two large color chips below the picker, where the one of the left shows the new color, and the one of the right the existing material color for comparison. The eyedropper tool to the left of these, can be used to select any color within Maxwell Studios interface.
The color chips on the right side can be used to store frequently used colors by simply drag and dropping a color from the large color chips, to one of the color chips on the right. You can select any of these small color chips to select that color. If you change a value manually and enter to confirm your change, the window will close. Now this to me is silly and fortunately, you can adjust this in the preferences window. Under general and appearance, there's an option that by default uses the enter key to close pickers.
I'll turn mine off since it does become quite annoying. I'll restart after this lesson for the changes to take effect. When you are happy with a selection, go ahead and okay to confirm the tint color. With this material, you can also adjust the reflection percentage between zero and 100. The type can also be set to either normal or clear. As type normal, 100%, you actually have a mirror finish. As type clear, an extra layer of fixed opacity is added which can be useful for representing thinner glass.
Directly below this, you can convert the material to an advanced or more correctly, a custom material which will show you the full structure and properties of the material. Let's stop here for now and we'll continue our learning of the available material assistant materials in the next lesson.
Instructor Leon van den Heever provides an overview of the functions, capabilities, and material system of this powerful, physically-based renderer. He covers how to navigate the user interface and work with objects and the Material Assistant, primarily focusing on Maxwell Studio as the staging interface of the Maxwell suite, and on tackling actual rendering in Maxwell Render. Plus, he goes into the different types of emitters or lights that you can use to light your scenes, how to create and position the camera, and how to set render options.
- Customizing the interface layout
- Navigating the viewport
- Transforming objects in the viewport
- Adjusting the appearance of objects
- Using Maxwell modifiers and extensions
- Using the Maxwell Studio Material Assistant
- Applying materials to objects
- Lighting environments with the Sky Dome, Physical Sky, and HDR
- Creating and transforming cameras
- Creating depth of field with the camera
- Understanding Maxwell Render options