Join Adam Crespi for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with headlight and taillight textures, part of Vehicle Rigging in Maya.
When you're crafting your car materials, beyond the solid colors and car paints, you may need textures in your materials to really make them appear realistic. A common place to put textures in as a bump and also in refraction is in the headlights. Beyond being a simple dome of glass, headlights are actually faceted surfaces. The lenses themselves are made to refract and amplify and aim the light. Right now we just have our headlights material, and that material is linked to the master control for animation. What I'll do is use a headlight bump file included in the Modeling Vehicles with Maya course to provide a bump in these, so they really look like the right glass on the headlights.
I'll scroll over on this to the material called headlights here, and it's my MIA material x passes that is bright white at the moment. The self-illumination or additional color from that MIA light surface is making this light up. What I'll do is scroll down to the bump. And in the bump in a mia material we have a standard bump and an overall. The standard is where we put things like bumps and normal maps, where the overall is where we use mental ray specific bumps like round corner shaders. What I'll do is click in the standard bump texture and in the Create Render Node dialog that pops up, choose File. This puts in a bump 2d note.
And it says, okay I'm ready for the file. I'll click on file 2, and go browse for that file by clicking on the yellow file folder. I need to browse to the source images in my project. You want it to go in the mental ray folder, as it may have been looking for something there originally. Source images though, is where I'll keep the textures that I'm going to use, and there's headlightbump.png, an image composed of mostly gradients that looks like that pattern we see in the headlight.
I'll click open and then go to the output or up connection. I'll go up one more time and there's file 2 in my standard bump. I'd like to use this in two places, both in the transparency and in the bump for this headlight to really make it look realistic. Rather than load the file twice, I'll connect it across in my hypershade. I'll choose Window, Rendering Editors, and Hypershade. And here in the hyper shade are all my materials. I'll open this window up a little bit, and slide the dividing bar over, so I have more work space. What I'll do is find my headlight material.
And as they're alphabetical I can see it right in the top row I'll right click and graph the network And zoom in on that material. We may want to zoom in and focus on it, or select all the nodes and press f to focus. In this case, this material is linked. We can see the controls going in here, and the expression with the x equals into that luninance. What I need to do is actually go into the bump node here. Zooming out until I can see it all, or moving nodes around until it's easy to get to.
And with the mouse wheel, I'll drag from file two onto the headlights material again. I'll let it go, and in here I'll choose other. Right now we can see it's functioning in standard bump. This pulls up my connection editor, and in the connection editor, I can connect, parts of the material to, other parts, or, other outputs from that file. When I choose either outColor or outAlpha, I can see different parts are available. I'll pick outAlpha, and let it govern the transparency.
Or. Out color to govern the refraction color in the headlight. We have some choices here, we can experiment a little bit with how it looks. Another option might be the refraction transparency color. So that hit is weighted, or changes a little bit. And it's not one uniform color. I'll try it in the refraction transparency. And see how this looks. I'll close this and go try another render. This is a great technique, where we can take one material with one map or one texture, and use it in multiple places, thereby economizing on our memory when we're rendering. I'll zoom in on the car and try a quick render, just rendering this image to see how it looks.
There's my headlight, and with the default mapping, I can see that that headlight lens bump is working nicely. It's in the center, and it's effecting the look of it where I can see that refraction going on right on the top. The chrome behind it shows through nicely, and I'm ready for a final check on any of my material. This is a good place, while you're testing, to see if anything else needs to be made or retouched. For example, in the car here we can see into the fans, and the pipes, and the backing area we'll call it around that big intake.
This is a good place to use that matte black material, and if I like, I could chrome those fans as well. I'll run around and catch any other materials. And then, once this is all ready and material, I can take the final step of getting my car camera rig set. So I have cameras that are attached to the car and ready to shoot footage from wherever this car drives.
Note: Some experience with polygonal modeling in Maya and beginning knowledge of rigging and constraints will help you get the most from this course.
- Opening and accessing the model
- Scaling a model uniformly
- Creating and cloning controllers
- Parenting the tires and hubs
- Controlling the suspension
- Stitching the rig together
- Writing expressions for the wheels, steering, and body
- Adding brake lights and turn signal controls
- Creating chrome, rubber, and glass shaders
- Applying interior finishes