Archive for the ‘How To’ Category

TurboTips: V-Ray Material, Part 2: Reflection

Monday, April 14th, 2014 by

In this series of Turbo Tips, we’re giving you an in-depth guide to regular V-Ray Material. We’ll cover the theory behind many of the features of the material and give you specific examples of settings and tricks to use. While the example images are from 3ds Max, the same concepts and settings can be used in V-Ray for Maya. The information covered here is generally useful in V-Ray for C4D, but the specific fields and values may be different.

 Last week, we talked about the Diffuse tab.  This week, we’ll be moving on to:

Reflection

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TurboTips: V-Ray Material, Part 1: Diffuse

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 by

In this series of Turbo Tips, we’re giving you an in-depth guide to regular V-Ray Material. We’ll cover the theory behind many of the features of the material and give you specific examples of settings and tricks to use. While the example images are from 3ds Max, the same concepts and settings can be used in V-Ray for Maya. The information covered here is generally useful in V-Ray for C4D, but the specific fields and values may be different.

The VRayMtl is the main workhorse for creating shaders in V-Ray. Eighty percent of the time, it is all you’ll need to create realistic results that also render quite fast. It is optimized to work with all other aspects of V-Ray (lights, GI, sampling, etc.), so it should always be used instead of 3ds Max native materials.

Main components

Generally, the main components of a CG shader are:

  • Diffuse

  • Reflection

  • Refraction

  • Bump

These are the names that V-Ray uses. They may have different names in different renderers, but the functions are pretty much the same.

Diffuse gives the basic color to the shader; reflection controls how the the shader reflects light; refraction controls how it lets the light through; and bump simulates a distortion of the object’s surface.

With the exception of the refraction, the other 3 components should be present in all materials.

This week, we’ll talk about the first of the main components:

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TurboTips: An In-Depth Look at Falloff Maps

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 by

Falloff maps are an extremely powerful tool for artists to utilize when creating procedural shaders. They are essential when trying to create any realistic shader that is reflective or has color changing properties like chrome, metals, and pearlescent paint.  In order to use Falloff maps effectively, it is important to understand how the map works.

In this week’s edition of Turbo Tips, we’ll explain the ins and outs of Falloff map parameters.  For our purposes, we are demonstrating with 3ds Max, but the ideas and concepts can be used in many other 3D programs.

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TurboTips: Scene Optimizations & Best Practices, Part 4

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 by

It is very easy to zone out and work away without thinking about your scene, naming, or organization. Before you know it, you have a few dozen cloned objects named Box#### or a Material Editor full of textures named # – Default, and if you take a break, you may not always remember what’s what, or what’s applied to where.

Our Turbo Tip of the week (and possibly of the year– this advice is that important!): keep things simple by naming and organizing as you go.

For now, this will be our final post in our series on Scene Optimizations & Best Practices.  If you have a topic or question you’d like to see addressed in a future edition of Turbo Tips, check out the bottom of this post to find out how to get in touch with us.

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TurboTips: Scene Optimizations & Best Practices, Part 3

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 by

For viewport navigation, grouping and selection sets are the way to go. Both can be as big or small as you want. Like layers, groups are retained when merging scenes, while selections are saved per scene.

This is the third part of our four-part series on Scene Optimizations and Best Practices.  For our purposes, we are demonstrating below with screen shots from 3ds Max, but these fundamentals can be applied to other software packages.

3. Working with Groups

Good Organization_0

Groups are very useful for scene organization. Rather than combining objects into one big object, group all the objects together. Unlike attaching or merging the objects together, the group can be opened, allowing you to work at the object level or closed for easy selectability of the entire model.

Subgrouping

Groups can also be stacked inside each other to organize the object up into larger more logical pieces. Above, you can see that the object has been broken into 3 groups within the Main Object Group. All individual objects are still editable by opening the groups. Usually having groups inside of groups is only necessary for models with many parts that need to be organized for easier navigation.

 

4. Selection Sets

Selection_Dropdown_1 Selection_Dropdown_2

Selections sets are another useful option for simplifying scene navigation. With selection sets, you can select everything you want, the same way you would a group. So if you have a set of objects that you need to select often, and for some reason you don’t want them grouped, simply type the name of the set into the Selection Set space. That selection will be stored in the drop down for easy reselection without grouping the objects or merging them into a single object.

 

4.1 Managing Selection Sets

ManageSelectionSets_1

ManageSelectionSets_2

 

You can edit selection sets from the Manage Selection Sets menu. Access it from the Edit menu or the icon next to the selection set creation box. You can view all objects within each selection set, add objects, or remove objects from this menu. Other options are also available by right clicking on the object names in the window.

Calvin Bryson is the Senior Technical Artist at TurboSquid, and a 3ds Max expert.  If there are any topics you’d like to see in a future edition of  TurboTips, let us know in the comments below, or Tweet your question to @TurboSquid with hashtag #TurboTips.

TurboTips: Scene Optimizations & Best Practices, Part 2

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 by

Navigation using the layer editor is something every artist should do, or at least know how to do; it’s a powerful tool when it comes to organizing a scene. The layer editor makes it quick to select objects and groups, and offers a variety of other controls. Layers are retained when importing or merging scenes together, so its important to understand how to organize them efficiently.

This is the second part of our four-part series on Scene Optimizations and Best Practices.  For our purposes, we are demonstrating below with screen shots from 3ds Max, but these fundamentals can be applied to other software packages.

2. Using Layers

LayerEditor

Compared to the layer editor on the left, it may seem that the layer editor on the right is less organized, but it’s only because there is more information. That’s a good thing, since objects can quickly be hidden, frozen, or selected from the Layer Editor. It’s also important to note that all the names are short, yet descriptive enough for you to know which objects you are working with. This makes the scene very easy to navigate.

The “Lights” layer contains all the light objects and lighting components in the scene. The “StageLayer” contains all the floor and camera objects that make the scene. The “Gym_410” is the layer that contains all the parts of the model so it has the name of the model, which is required by the specification.

 

2.1. More, or Less

Layers_1

To make the layer editor less busy, a layer can always be collapsed when not in use. Right-clicking on an object name brings up a variety of options, including access to the Object Properties. Layers are extremely useful when working in a scene to isolate major components of the scene from each other.

You can see in the left side image above that the 3 layers the file has been separated into are collapsed. When working on just the model, you can easily hide the two other layers from being visible, so you only see layer “Gym_410” contents in the viewport.

Layers_2

Adding new layers, editing layers, and organizing existing layers can be done by using the buttons at the top of the Layer Editor menu.

Calvin Bryson is the Senior Technical Artist at TurboSquid, and a 3ds Max expert.  If there are any topics you’d like to see in a future edition of  TurboTips, let us know in the comments below, or Tweet your question to @TurboSquid with hashtag #TurboTips.

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