Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting Refractive Index, part of Maya: Creating Fluid Effects (2013).
We created a dielectric shader and let's just take a look at that once again, open up the Render View, and the issue here is that the reflections are not strong enough. You can actually play around with trying to increase the reflection amount, but it won't actually do anything. What we need to do here is kind of tricky and unexpected. We need to adjust the Refractive Index in order to get our reflections here more strong. So I want to select the oceanShader. Go to its attributes, Ctrl+A. We want to scroll up here, we're looking for in the Common Material Attributes, the Refractive Index.
It's set to approximately the correct value for water; that is, if we were above the water not below it. In this case, we want to actually change this Refractive Index to a fractional value. This is something you would do to get a metal look and it would also work in this case to give us a stronger reflection here. Okay, so with the Refractive Index of about 0.3, we'll go ahead and do another rendering. Okay, with a Fractional Refractive Index now we are getting a much better result to our reflections.
We can also still see the clouds in the sky above the water. I'll go ahead and store that image. Now if we were to critique this now we would say that the reflections are too strong. Part of that is because of the lighting in the scene. I basically over-lit the seen in advance, because I know that once I add a fluid underwater to create fog, that's going to dim my lighting down quite a lot. The other reason why this is a bit too bright is because of the Environment settings.
We're going to take a look at the environment color for the oceanShader in the next movie.
- Simulating convincing surfaces of water and other liquids
- Creating dynamic ripples with fluid pond and wake emitters
- Testing simulations with interactive playback
- Rendering water surfaces
- Controlling render tessellation
- Floating objects dynamically
- Rendering an underwater scene