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Advanced Materials

Vt Liu Nng Cao

Job finished! But... What happened? We have made a good model, worked in the
illumination setup... but there is anything sating this is a C.G. picture. Many times the
problem is we want to see the first G.I render and we don't have care of our
Cng vic xong! Nhng ci qui g th ny? Chng ta dng (hoc chm)
c model thm, illumination p, nhng hnh nh cn thiu mt ci g thm
phn hp dn, l chng ta cha chu quan tm ti em material.
In this tutorial, we will create many basic materials very useful explaining step by
step what to do. This materials are plastic, wood, chromed metal, glass, metallic
paint, water and velvet.
Bi tut ny s gii thch tng bc mt chng ta to ra nhiu material cn bn rt
hu dng. Cc vt liu ny l: plastic, wood, chromed metal, glass, metallic
paint, water and velvet.
We will use VRay, but this tutorial can be followed by another render engine users,
as finalRender, Brazil or MentalRay.
Chng ta dng VRay, nhng cng c th p dng vo finalRender, Brazil hay
MentalRay u c, min l hiu r nguyn tc thi.
To get advanced of this tutorial, we must know many concepts:

Color: chromatic shade of an object. We can use a only color, or a bitmap.

Specular highlights: bounce of the light come from a luminous emitter. The
rougher (surface) the refracter (light over it). The most used are the Blinn
(plastic, wood, almost every material), Anisotropic (CDs, or similar) and MultiLayer (more attractive).
Opacity: level of transparency of an object. It can be configured with a value
(%) or with a bitmap.
Reflexion: feature of many object to reflect the light. It can be set up with a
percentage, and the glossiness.
Refraction: feature of the transparent materials or translucent to change the
trajectory of the photons which pass through it, distorting the image seen
through them. The amount of variation of the trajectory is determined by the
Index of Refraction (IOR).

Once explained this concepts, and before to start the "nice" part, we are going to see
how to do a very useful effect which we will use in almost all the materials: the
"Fresnel reflection".
The "Fresnel reflection" is a kind of bounce of the light which only works in the
perpendicular parts of the objects (with the camera). Is the realest for plastics,
glasses, porcelain, etc.
To do this effect is more or less easy:

1. Add to the "Reflection" a "Falloff" map.

2. Select as kind of "Falloff" the "Fresnel" one.

3. Do "clic" on the "NONE" button of white color, and add there "VRayMap". If
we use another render engine we will use the respective raytrace map, or the
"Raytrace" for the scanline render.

4. The "Fresnel" reflect is done. If we want to blur the reflect, we only need to
turn the "Glossy" check box on, and try with differents values of the

Once seen this, we are prepared to begin with our materials.

Matte plastic (Standard Material)

1. Assign a color simple (Diffuse) or a picture (Bitmap). This will be the
color of our object.
2. Use a white specular color, with a low intensity (Specular Level = 20 30) and diffuse enough (Glossiness = 10 - 20).
3. To improve the final look we can use a "Fresnel" reflect very blurred.

Polish plastic (Standard Material)

1. Assign a color simple (Diffuse) or a picture (Bitmap). This will be the

color of our object, as in the matte plastic
2. Use a white specular color, with a high intensity (Specular Level = 200 500) and very sharp (Glossiness = 85 - 95).
3. Apply a clear "Fresnel" reflect.

Wood (Standard Material)

1. Use a picture (Bitmap) as the image of the wood we wanted, or the
procedural material of the MAX called "Wood". Is adviced to use a
bitmap because of the realism of this one (though if we get a good
procedural we won't need to add a mapping to the wooden objects. In
both cases, is used to be needed a desaturation (use as "Diffuse" a
grey color (128,128,128) and change the percentage of the bitmap (or
procedural) to 80 - 90%).
2. Change the color of the specular to amber or similar, of low intensity
(Specular Level = 20 - 30) and very widespread (Glossiness = 10 20). It can be improved with a Multi-Layer specular, as in the
3. We can simulate the bump copying the "Diffuse" map to the "Bump"
box. The intensity will be changed depending on the contrast of the
"Diffuse" map. Try different levels of bump until it works.
4. If the wood is recent varnished, we will use a sharp "Fresnel" reflect
with a 70 - 90% of intensity. If the wood is matte or if the object is old,
we can use the "Glossiness" option in a "Fresnel" reflect with a 50 - 70
% of intensity.

Chromed metal (Standard Material)

1. To get a not too bright reflect, we must use a dark "Diffuse" color (dark
grey or black).
2. The specular will be white and very sharp (Glossiness = 85 - 95) and
with a huge intensity (Specular Level = 200 - 500). It can be enhanced
with the Multi-Layer specular, as it is in the example.
3. Apply a common reflection (not Fresnel) set to 100%.

NOTE: the "quality" of the chromed depends COMPLETELY on the environment that
surrounds the object. The richer environment (a finished 360 complete and full
scene), the better result.

Glass (VRayMtl Material)

We are going to create this material using the "VRayMat" of the VRay
render engine. Doing that we will see the facility of using this new
1. In the "Diffuse" color select a very dark color (better black), to avoid the
bright reflecfts.

2. Change the black color of the "Reflect" (no reflect) with white (maximun
reflection). Activate the "Fresnel reflections" (easier than standard way
seen before).
3. The refraction works exactly the same way of reflection. Change the
black color (no refraction) with white (maximun refraction).
VERY IMPORTANT: to get a "real" glass, we must use the specific Index Of
Refraction (IOR) of the glass (1,52 more os less). If we use another value the effect
will be wrong.


Also, we can do variations of this glass as the following ones:

Tinted glass: the glass can be tinted with the color we want. We only
need to do some test to get the exactly tint effect, due to the thickness
of the object. To get this, change the white color of the Fog color with
the desired and change the Fog multiplier until we get the wanted tint


Not flat glass: this is a very interesting glass, and can be used in
screens, windows, etc. We only need to use a bump map. In this case,
it's made with a noise map in the "Bump" button.


Acid glass: it could be a variation of the last material, but with a very
small size of noise. To do this we don't need a bump map, because the
VRayMat has an option to get this effect. We only need to activate the
Glossiness value from 1 (perfect glass with no distortions) to the
value we want (0,8 is the value of the example). The smoothness of
this effect depends on the Subdivs value: the higher the smoother
(but it increase the render time).

Metallic paint (Standard Material)


In the Diffuse color button add a Falloff map (due to the effect of the
real metallic paint) not a basic color. Once into the "Falloff" options,
change the first color with the desired color of the object (blue, red...)
and the second one with a very darker version of the first color, or even


To enhance the specular shine use a Multi-Layer one (it is a mix of

two specular shines). The first specular must be a white one, very
intense (Specular Level = 300 - 500) and very sharp (Glossiness = 90 95). The second specular must be of the color of the object, but
brighter, and diffuse enough (Glossiness = 15 - 30), and its intensity will
be controlled by a Celullar, Noise or similar map, but always using a
very small size. This way we can get the "grease" effect.


Apply a Fresnel reflect (in the metallic paint case, we can use a 20%
common reflect).

At the begining, we must think about wwhat kind of water we need,
transparent water (if we are going to see what is under the sea), or
opaque one (if we only want it refrecl). If we need transparent water we
will use a "VRayMtl" material due to the possible problems with the
shadows if we use a "Standard" one.
Transparent water (VRayMtl Material)
To avoid the bright "Fresnel" reflects we will use the black as the
"Diffuse" color.
2. Change the black of the "Reflect" box to white and check the Fresnel
reflection on.
3. Also, modify the black box of the "Refract" to white (total refraction).
The Index Of Refraction (IOR) must be 1,33.
4. We get the relief using a Noise map ("Regular" or "Fractal" as we
NOTE: is very important to activate the Affect Shadows checkbox of
the VRayMtl material to process correctly the color.

(changing the size of the "Noise" map)

Opaque water (Standard Material)
1. The Diffuse color will be a lightly desaturated blue (relatively next to
grey) and dark enough (the blue of the example is RGB: 28, 48, 58).
2. A nice specular shine is made using the Multi-Layer one. The primary
specular will be a white one, of a high intensity (Specular Level = 200 -

500) and very sharp (Glossiness = 85 95). The secondary specular

will be light blue, with not too much intensity (Specular Level = 20 - 35)
and very diffuse (Glossiness = 20 30).
3. Use a Fresnel (remember the "Falloff" technic) reflect in the Reflect

VERY IMPORTANT: similar to the chromed effect, the water quality

depends directly on the environment. If we can't get a nice reflect, we
could use a bitmap to get a reflect different to the real one. You can get
this with the "Reflection/refraction etc environment" - "Override MAX's"
VRay's option in the render engine configuration window.

Velvet (Standard Material)

1. The key of this material is it's color, because the lack of specular shine,
reflect or similar. The appropiate effect is produced by the Falloff
material applied to the Diffuse button. The upper color of the "Falloff"
material will be garnet (in this case), and the lower one pink (not pastel
2. Though the effect would be almost achieved, we could improve it
adding a little "Noise" to the "Bump". It must be very little and fractal.

Selection of the original table of Jon Reynolds about Reflect and Refract values
Matte aluminum
High polished
Latn muy
Light oak
Dark oak
White paper
Polished marble
Light stucco
Dark stucco
Bricks red/new

65 - 75 %

Index of Refraction

55 - 75 %
25 - 30 %
80 - 90 %
60 - 70 %



70 - 75 %



25 - 35 %



10 - 15 %

Hydrogen (gas)


70 - 80 %
20 - 25 %
30 - 70 %
40 - 45 %
15 - 25 %
20 - 30 %
10 - 15 %
5 - 10 %

Oxigen (gas)
Oxigen (liq)


Silver mirror
High polished
White tiles
White enamel
White lacquer

80 - 88 %
92 - 95 %

Tiger eye


75 - 80 %
65 - 75 %
80 - 85 %

Water (gas)
Water (20 C.)

1, 33335
1,800 1,960

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section. Thanks