So, last week I told you a little bit about the power of VRay, and especially that the BRDF material system in VRAYforC4D is more powerful than the VRay for 3Ds max version. And in this article I’ll explain to you exactly why.
VRay expands Cinema4D with its high level multi layered BRDF Materials. The material layout is similar to the Cinema4D material, only it offers more channels with more control and true “BRDF” real physical quality with true IOR control, separate for each reflection channel. All surface calculations are based on real world physical behavior without typical shader faking needed. Reflections, glossy reflections, transparency, translucency, depth absorption, and physical correct subsurface scattering, backlight (also single surface SSS), luminance, normal maps, true and ultra fast micro poly and vector displacement, true anisotropy with textured angle control,… the VRay material offers almost unlimited possibilities.
A few important points:
- The VRay material consists of 14 material layers, Layers are stacked one above the others. Maybe the easiest thing is to imagine them as a Photoshop file with 14 layers.
- Most of this layers can have its own mask or transparency.
- If parts of one layer are transparent the layer below shows through (Like the “normal” blend mode in Photoshop).
- The whole material can be masked, blended or stacked with other VRay materials through the “material weight” parameter (similar to c4d alpha).
The way those different layers can be mixed together – that’s the interesting part…Most of the layers has a “Layer Transparency” section. Within this section you’ll find all you need to adjust how much you’ll see from this layer and from the layers below it. You can even use a texture or any shader to determine the opacity of the layer. In addition to this very powerful tool, don’t forget you have five specular layers and two diffuse layers for each material. Just think about all the possibilities…Rusted metal for example – the first diffuse layer is the metal, the second diffuse layer is the rust, and then you can use the “Rust” shader in the Diffuse Layer Transparency to determine how much rust the metal will have. Then you use the same Rust shader in the Specular Layer Transparency so the metal part will show reflections and the rusted part will not show them. look at the images below:
Now let’s think about car-paints. Real cars have several paint layers when leaving the factory, and metallic car paint have even more layers. They have a base color, the metallic sparkles, and a shiny clear coat. Each of this layer has a different hilight glossiness properties, and needs different specular settings, so instead of using the Blend material (which is what the max users have to do) you can create this effect in a single material. Even polished wood has to have at least 2 different specular layers in order to look realistic – one of the wood itself and the second layer of the varnish. Furthermore, each one of the specular layer has its own true Fresnel IOR. You can even control the Reflectance at 90 degree and in 0 degree via color or texture. This gives you ultimate flexibility at creating realistic materials since all materials in the real world has some degree of glossiness, and this glossiness is different depending on the viewing angle.
You want more advantages of the VRay BRDF system over the max VRay ? How about the fact that there is a special layer for SSS2 below the refraction layer ? How about the fact that you have a Material Matte layer which helps when you need to composite layers in post ? And how about my favorite – the fact that you can use any material as a light material…just go inside the Luminosity layer and check the “Direct Illumination” box – Now you have a material which behaves exactly like an area light and you can assign it on any object to emit light.
Have a great week, and check next week’s article – I’ll cover some of the more popular & powerful plug-ins for Cinema4D.
Have a great weekend,