Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating shaders with mia_material_x_passes, part of Creating Product Shots in Maya.
In a product rendering project such as this, the bulk of our effort is devoted to creating materials or shaders. In this project, we're going to focus exclusively on a single shader type which is called MIA material X passes. And this is a monolithic material provided by Mental Ray, which allows us to reproduce the look of any man made surface. We'll want to start simple by just simply creating a black material for the watch face here. In the display layers, I've got a layer that includes those two objects.
It's called watchFace_layer. And then right-click and choose Select Objects. And now the watch face and that inner ring are both selected. Right click on one of them and choose Assign New Material. When the assign new material dialogue comes up we want to go to the mental ray materials and you'll see there are a bunch listed here. You'll see mia material x and mia material x passes. Let me take a moment to explain this. MIA stands for Mental Images which is the company that developed Mental Ray before it was acquired by Nvidia.
And the architectural or man-made material shader is called MIA Material. Then it was upgraded with some new features to MIA Material X. And then finally upgraded again to Mia material X passes. And we want to choose the passes version because that'll give us the ability to save out render passes with different material components saved as separate files. We can save out the diffuse components separately from the specular, separately from the shadows and so on. So, Quick Mia Material X passes. And the material is created.
It's assigned to those two objects. And the attribute editor opens automatically. You'll see we've got a shading group. We want to go to the material shader node. And let's rename it. I'm just going to call it watch face mia. Many nodes in MIA have presets. And you'll see the presets button in the attribute editor has an asterisk next to it. That indicates that presets exist for this node type. Click and hold your mouse button down and you can access all these different presets for the MIA material X node.
Let's choose matt finish. That's a very simple one. Go to replace, and then when I release the mouse button all of the attribute values are replaced with those values in the preset. All we want to do here actually is reduce the diffuse color down to black. There's currently no reflectivity here. And there's roughness which means it would absorb light a little bit more effectively if it had a bright color. But because it's black, the roughness won't really have any effect. That's all there is to that. We've created our first material X passes.
Reselect the objects and you can see. It's now rendering in black in the view port.
Want to learn how to create the same effect with 3ds Max? Check out Creating Product Shots in 3ds Max.
- Understanding the scene layout, hierarchy, and display layers
- Working with mia_material_x
- Creating and optimizing mental ray area lights
- Generating reflections with self-illuminated white cards
- Providing indirect illumination with Final Gathering
- Image-based lighting with high dynamic range files
- Rendering to a 32-bit file format
- Saving material and lighting components to render passes
- Adding ambient occlusion
- Layering and color correction in After Effects