Join Brian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video The Triplanar Map, part of V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Another improvement to the material and map tools that are available to us in V-Ray comes in the form of the triplanar map, added in V-Ray 3.3. To show how this works, we have a variation here of the scene in which we have a sculpted dog's head. And if I just open up the material browser using the m key and then jump into the Dog Bust tab, we can see it has a V-Ray material applied that has a wood bitmap plugged into the diffuse slot, which is perhaps not the most common material for this type of sculpt, but it is one that helps us see how that triplanar map can be very useful at times.
Now the interesting thing about this particular version of the head model is that it has had all UVW mapping removed from it, and so if I go ahead and take a render using in this instance V-Ray RT GPU, you can see that all we get is a homogenous color from the map, with no detail showing up at all. And indeed, this is one of the situations in which we could find ourselves whereby the triplanar map could come in very handy indeed. Especially so if we have received a finished model such as this close to a critical deadline, only to find out that no UV mapping work has been done on it.
Or worse still, that UV work has been done, but it has been done so badly that really is unusable for a final render. Now of course, we do have the option of quickly applying a UVW map modifier in Max, and so with our sculpt selected, let's jump into the modify tab and do just that. Of course, default projection of planer is pretty much useless on a model such as this, even when projected from the camera's point of view. And so, let's switch over to box, and then take a render.
And if this object were to be placed on a shelf somewhere in the background of a shop, perhaps even being out of focus, than the mapping we see here would possibly be okay. But for anything more than that, what we have is just a little bit too awkward to use really. Enter the triplanar map. Coming back to the material editor, then let's do a search for Vraytr. And then drag a V-Ray triplanar map from the sorted list onto the work area. To test it out, we will of course need to connect the color correct map that we have here to the texture input, and then add the triplanar map to the diffuse input on our V-Ray material.
Now just to be clear, the color correct map here is only being used to brighten the midtones on the bitmap, as it was a little bit dark in the renders for my taste. If we save what we have to the history list then, and take a quick render, we can see that we have definitely made a difference to the look of our texture, with perhaps the most immediate problem being that the scale of the wood grain has now changed, which isn't surprising seeing as V-Ray is now ignoring the tiling control on the bitmap node, and is instead controlling texture scaling by means of this scale parameter on the triplanar map, which if we set to 0.06, and render again, gives us a similar scale to the one that we had before, although we can of course alter this to suit.
And so, let's try something like 0.12 in order to make the grain look finer, and then render again. Now of course, something else significant has happened here in that with the triplanar map plugged in to the material, the UVW map that we assigned in Max is being completely ignored in favor of the triplanar controls. Something just to keep in mind as it can potentially catch us out if we are not careful. To take a look at how the controls work here, probably the best thing we can do is drag out another instance of the triplanar node, add three V-Ray color nodes to the mix, and then after setting pure red, green, and blue colors for them, plug them into the three texture inputs on the triplanar node, and then plug that into the material's diffuse slot.
If we take a render now though, we may be surprised to see that only a single color is showing up, which is happening because in the triplanar controls, we are set to use the same texture on all three axis. If we switch this over to Different texture on each axis though, and render again, we can more clearly see how things are working. Now one thing you will notice here is that we don't just have red, green and blue colors showing up in the image. We can also see cyan, yellow, and magenta, which you will probably recognize as being secondary colors in the RGB spectrum.
Now this of course isn't an accident, because the blending that the triplanar map does in order to hide the various projection seams creates this effect. The default blend value of 0.1 produces a fairly small blend area as seen here. But if we crank this up to the maximum of one, and render again, we now get a much broader set of transition seams. To finish things off then, let's plug our original triplanar map back into the material's diffuse slot, set its blend value to about 0.65, and then after taking a final render, compared to our box mapped image, where we can see that we now have a much less jarring finish in the image.
- Using the new UI elements, Quick Settings, and revamped Frame Buffer
- Understanding color mapping modes
- Adding V-Ray light types
- Working with the V-Ray Sun and Sky systems and dome light
- Using irradiance mapping and light cache
- Working with diffuse color maps
- Making reflective materials
- Creating a translucency effect
- Using the new SSS and skin shaders
- Ensuring quality with image sampling
- Working with the adaptive subdivision engine
- Controlling the physical camera
- Working with FX tools such as VRayFur and VRayMetaball
- Stereoscopic 3D rendering
- Using Render Mask
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 02/02/2016. What changed?
A: We added tutorials on the new 3ds Max camera tool, which replaces the defunct V-Ray Physical Camera. The author also includes a method for creating a V-Ray camera via scripting.
Q: This course was updated on 04/19/2018. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover V-Ray 3.1 to 3.3 updates.