Join Dave Schultze for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating and designing your own materials, part of Rhino and V-Ray: Rendering.
Coming up next, I'm going to show how to create and customize your own materials. Now some people prefer ready made materials or libraries. Which are fast and easy, but that will not cover every project forever. Eventually you want to create your own materials. For this demo, I will design a simple material from scratch, using both the standard material, and the new V-Ray material also called BRDF, with our focus on the CRT picture frame. Let's get started and launch the material editor. It's under the V-Ray toolbar. Click on the M button. I'm going to create a material by going to the top level scene materials, right clicking, Create.
And here's the standard. Let's do a quick change of this. I'm going to call this Blue Standard, so I can keep it separate from the next one to follow. Let's take a quick preview and see what we've got so far, which is not much. It always starts off default gray, so let's change the color. We can access that via the diffuse section here. So click it to open if it's not already open. Color swatch. We have the gray we just saw, and I'm going to just pick blue from the list. I could actually use this color wheel to get really specific, but you can leave that for later. Hit OK. Let's do the preview again. So now we have a very intense blue, it's also very matte.
Let's go ahead and apply that, and just see how the rendering looks, and then we can maybe add some reflectivity. So I'm going to pick the mantra here with the beautiful kitten. Right-click, and apply, so it does get updated in the viewport. 'Kay, you want to make sure this Viewport is selected, and hit the Render button. 'Kay, the render's complete. And you can see the difference now. We have the blue material, but it's not really reflecting anything, as compared to the green glossy, we're seeing some nice reflections, especially along here on the side, you can see the reflection of the blue CRT screen over there.
And actually, up against any object that gets close, and also you can see the highlights along these edges. That's really nice. That actually is a great technique. By having fillets, you want to have highlights pop those edges out, and things look way more three dimensional. So the blue's just not doing it. Let's go back to the Material Editor and fix it. So since we're using the standard material, which is layered, we're going to open it up, and right-click and create a new layer. So we want to put a reflection layer on there. And by default this will come in as super-gloss, which is a 100% highlight and a 100% reflectivity.
Preview that and you'll see it. As it glossier it's lighter, only because it's reflecting more light. And as it gets more polished, the reflections are sharper. I am going to close this. Now try the render button. Okay, the render's finished, and notice the big change in this blue material. It gets definitely a lot brighter, but it's so polished we're getting confusing reflections. We can actually see almost like a mirror-like reflection of this other frame right next to it, and that can kind of cause problems with people looking at the object for the first time.
They're not sure if that's a texture on there, or what exactly they're seeing. So let's go back to Material Editor and dial that down a bit. So here in the preview, we're seeing the super mirror polish. A good group of numbers is 90%. Let's preview that. That kind of breaks up the reflection, and you won't see as much detail. I'd probably stop right about 90%. You can even go lower. And in fact, when you hit about 50%, you're getting into the area where, like, rubber, which is a very matte material, it's still reflecting light, but you cannot see reflections in it.
So, let's just close the Material Editor, and see the difference now. So, we're going to be focused on reflections on that blue material. Alright, so you can see the reflection now is broken up, and it's much more gradual, and there's not so much sharp edges. It looks way more realistic, and it's not going to be distracting. Let's create another new material for the left CRT frame. We go See Materials. Create Material and weŕe going to pick the V-Ray material. So I go ahead and change the name of this guy before we move any further.
So this will be blue, BRDF. Let's fix the typo. Hit OK. Let's preview that. It's also starting off as the kind of medium gray with no reflectivity. So I click on the swatch, leaves the same blue color there. Preview that. So kind of what we'd expect, just from seeing it with the other standard material. So this is how this BRDF material handles reflectivity. We actually have a swatch here. So this adds black, it means no reflectivity or zero.
It's kind of a different way to do it. So let's pop it up to about three quarters of the way. So that's going to be our intensity. Hit OK. Let's preview again. And, now we're seeing some of the reflectivity there. So, that is the intensity of the reflection. Glossiness is more of the polish, so this is set currently at 1.0, we're a 100%. You can knock it down, like, .85, and then see what happens here. So, it kind of breaks it up just like we did in the standard material, although the commands are slightly different.
So lets go apply this and take a look at the rendering. So I am going to select the other CRT frame. Right-click and apply material to selection. Closing Tool Editor. Deselect and start another rendering. Okay, rendering is complete. Notice we have very similar effects here, so we've got some kind of subdued reflections. What I'm always looking for is this gradation, so you can definitely tell there is a light up above, it's a little bit more intense here as you go down the object. It's a little less intense, so there's kind of a wash or gradient.
But, you still want to lose the highlight along the edge, because that really differentiates surfaces and pops things, looking much more three dimensional. So in designing these two materials, we adjusted two key settings, one was the material reflectivity, which is the amount of light reflected making the object lighter or darker. The other setting was glossiness, which is the amount of polish, and makes reflections sharper or blurrier. So, it's very easy to get the two confused. So, use the Material Editor preview, and do lots of testing.
- Why use V-Ray?
- Installing DR Spawner
- Understanding 3D terminology
- Activating V-Ray
- Adjusting quality settings
- Get quick previews with the material override
- Understanding lighting types
- Exploring materials in the Material Editor
- Creating your own materials
- Texture mapping materials with bitmaps and procedurals
- Saving time with V-Ray presets
- Getting the right size for your render with output settings
- Working with environment lighting
- Strategies for working with cameras and camera settings
- Ensuring accurate color for your scene with color correction
- Rendering tips and tricks