This page provides information about the Generic material in V-Ray for Rhino.



Generic is a special V-Ray material, that allows for better physically correct illumination (energy distribution) in the scene, faster rendering, more convenient reflection and refraction parameters. Within this material you can apply different texture maps, control the reflections and refractions, add bump and displacement maps, force direct GI calculations, and choose the BRDF for the material.



UI Options

The Generic material settings are organized in Basic and Advanced modes. You can switch the mode from the toggle button under the Preview Swatch or globally from the Configuration rollout of the Settings tab.

An Add Layer button is provided for some V-Ray materials, including Generic. You can select an additional layer that can add up to the appearance of the material. For more information, see the Layers section on Materials page.

From the Add Attribute button, you can select additional attributes that can add up to the appearance of the material. For more information, see the Attributes section.

Holding down Ctrl while having the Add Attribute or Add Layer menu open, allows selecting multiple entries without closing the dropdown.

The context menu of the Color slot provides options to Copy and Paste, as well as to Reset the color.

A Reset option is provided in the context menu of each Number Slider. You can reset the slider value to the default one.


V-Ray Mtl


Some options are available only in Advanced mode.

Diffuse – The diffuse color of the material. Note that the actual diffuse color of the surface also depends on the reflection and refraction colors.

Roughness – Used to simulate rough surfaces or surfaces covered with dust (for example, skin, or the surface of the Moon). For more information, please see the Roughness Parameter example below.




Example: The Roughness Parameter


This example demonstrates the effect of the  Roughness  parameter. Note how, as the  Roughness  increases, the materials appears more "flat" and dusty.


Roughness = 0.0 (regular diffuse material)

Roughness = 0.3

Roughness = 0.6

Roughness = 0.8



Some options are available only in Advanced mode.

Reflection – Enables reflection of the material. 

Reflection Color – Specifies the reflection color. Note that the reflection color dims the diffuse surface color based on the Energy preservation option. For more information, please see the Reflection Color Parameter example below.

Highlight Glossiness – Enables a separate glossiness control for the specular highlights of the material. Enabling this option and setting the value to 1.0 disables the specular highlights. 

Reflection Glossiness – Specifies the sharpness of reflections. A value of 1.0 means perfect mirror-like reflection; lower values produce blurry or glossy reflections. For more information, please see the Reflection Glossiness Parameter example below.

Fresnel – When enabled, the reflection strength depends on the viewing angle of the surface. Some materials in nature (e.g. glass, etc.) reflect light in this manner. Note that the Fresnel effect depends on the index of refraction as well. For more information, please see the Fresnel Option example below.

Reflection IOR  – When disabled, the Refraction IOR is used as Reflection IOR. Enable for finer control over the Reflection IOR. 

BRDF – Determines the type of BRDF (the shape of the highlight). There are 4 types available - PhongBlinnWardMicrofacet GTR (GGX). For more information, please see the BRDF Type example below.

GGX is the most modern and flexible BRDF (Bidirectional reflectance distribution function) type and is able to better represent a broad range of materials thanks to its ability to control the shape of the specular lobe. There currently isn't any particular performance difference between models and there is little reason to choose any of the other types.


Historically, the Phong, Blinn, Ward and GGX are successive reflectance models developed over the years in computer graphics where each model aimed to improve on the limitations of the previous ones. For example, the specular highlights with the Phong model have a very narrow and bright center with no falloff, but it doesn't work well with anisotropic reflections. The Blinn model has broader highlight center with a tight falloff. The Ward model has an even broader center and falloff. The GGX model has a bright center and an even longer falloff (at default settings). In the past, each model's characteristics resembled more closely a certain type of material, for example Phong could be used for plastics, Ward for cloth and metals, and Blinn for other common surfaces. However with the introduction of the GGX model, all of these surfaces can be approximated well, thus reducing the need for using the other models.


It should be noted that no principled model is able to represent all possible materials entirely accurately, and where those models fail - for example when the material isn’t viewed frontally - only approaches such as that of VRscans are able to capture the correct material representation. 

Back Side Reflect – When disabled, reflections are calculated for the front side of the objects only. When enabled back-side reflections are also calculated. 

Glossy Fresnel – When enabled, it uses glossy reflections and refractions. It takes the Fresnel equation into account for each microfacet of the glossy reflections, rather than just the angle between the viewing ray and the surface normal. The most apparent effect is less brightening of the grazing edges as the glossiness is decreased. With the regular Fresnel, objects that are less glossy may appear to be unnaturally bright and glowing at the edges. The Glossy Fresnel calculations make this effect more natural.

Max depth – Specifies the number of times a ray can be reflected. Scenes with lots of reflective and refractive surfaces may require higher values to look right.

GTR Tail Falloff – Active only when the BRDF is set to GGX. It allows fine tuning of the specular reflections by controlling the rate at which the sharp specular highlight fades out. Higher values create a value spread out the fade out of the highlight. This parameter does not affect the size of the actual highlight - this is controlled by the Reflect glossiness paramater. For more information, please see the GTR tail falloff example below.

Affect Channels – Specify which channels are affected by the reflectivity of the material.

Color Only – The reflectivity of the material affects only the RGB channel of the final render
Color+Alpha – Causes the material to transmit the alpha of the reflected objects instead of displaying an opaque alpha.
All Channels – The reflectivity of the material affects all channels and render elements.





Example: BRDF Type


This example demonstrates the differences between the BRDFs available in V-Ray.




Microfacet GTX (GGX)

Example: GTR Tail Falloff


This example demonstrates the effect of the GTR tail falloff parameter. 

GTR tailoff: 0.1 

GTR tailoff: 0.5 

GTR tailoff: 1.0 

GTR tailoff: 1.5 

GTR tailoff: 2.0 (default)



Anisotropy (-1 to 1) – Determines the shape of the highlight. A value of 0.0 means isotropic highlights. Negative and positive values simulate brushed surfaces. For more information, please see the Anisotropy example below.

Rotation – Determines the orientations of the anisotropic effect in a float value between 0 and 1 (where 0 is 0 degrees and 1 is 360 degrees). For more information, see the Rotation example below.

Derivation – Determines the anisotropy orientation method. 

Local Axis – The orientation of the anisotropic reflection/highlight is based on the object's local X, Y or Z axis. 
UVW – When enabled, the orientation of the anisotropic reflection/highlight is based on the specified map channel/set. 

Local Axis – Specifies a local axis used for Anisotropy orientation. (X, Y, Z)

Map Channel/Set – Specifies a map channel that is used for the anisotropic reflections/highlights orientation. 




Example: The Anisotropy and Rotation Parameters


This example demonstrates the effect of the Anisotropy and Rotation parameters, which determines the shape of the highlight. For the examples below the Type was set to Microfacet GTR (GGX).


Anisotropy= -0.8

Anisotropy = -0.4

Anisotropy = -0.2

Anisotropy = 0.2

Anisotropy = 0.4

Anisotropy = 0.8

Rotation = 0.1

Rotation = 0.2

Rotation = 0.3

Rotation = 0.4

Rotation = 0.5

Rotation = 0.6

Rotation = 0.7

Rotation = 0.8

Rotation = 0.9

Rotation = 1


Dim Distance 

Dim Distance – Enables Dim Distance.  

Distance – Specifies a distance after which the reflection rays are not traced.  

Dim Falloff –  Sets a fall off radius for the dim distance. 





 Example: The Reflection Color Parameter


This example demonstrates how the Reflection color parameter controls the reflectivity of the material. Note that this color also acts as a filter for the diffuse color.

Reflection color = Black (0, 0, 0)

Reflection color = Medium Gray (128, 128, 128)

Reflection color = Light Gray (200, 200, 200)

Reflection color = White (255, 255, 255)

 Example: The Reflection Glossiness Parameter


This example demonstrates how the Reflection glossiness parameter controls the highlights and reflection blurriness of the material.

Reflection Glossiness = 1.0 (perfect mirror reflections)

Reflection Glossiness = 0.8

Reflection Glossiness = 0.6


Example: The Fresnel Option

This example demonstrates the effect of the Fresnel option. Note how the strength of the reflection varies with the IOR of the material. For this example, the Reflection color is pure white (255, 255, 255).


Fresnel = On, IOR  =  1.3

Fresnel = On, IOR = 2.0

Fresnel = On, IOR = 10.0

Fresnel = Off, IOR = 10.0



Some options are available only in Advanced mode.

Refraction – Enables Refraction of the material.

Refraction Color – Specifies the refraction color. Note that the actual refraction color depends on the reflection color as well. See the Energy preservation parameter below. For more information about refraction color, please see the Refraction Color Parameter example below.

Fog color – Specifies the attenuation of light as it passes through the material. This option allows to simulate the fact that thick objects look less transparent than thin objects. Note that the effect of the fog color depends on the absolute size of the objects and is therefore scene-dependent unless the Fog system units scaling is enabled. The fog color also determines the look of the object when using fog scattering. For more information, please see the Fog Color Parameter and Fog Multiplier Parameter examples below.

Fog multiplier – Smaller values reduce the effect of the fog, making the material more transparent. Larger values increase the fog effect, making the material more opaque.

Fog bias  – Changes the way the fog color is applied. Negative values make the thin parts of the objects more transparent and the thicker parts more opaque and vice-versa (positive numbers make thinner parts more opaque and thicker parts more transparent).

IOR – Specifies the index of refraction for the material, which describes the way light bends when crossing the material surface. A value of 1.0 means the light does not change direction. For more information, please see the Refraction IOR Parameter example below.

Refraction Glossiness – Specifies the sharpness of refractions. A value of 1.0 produces perfect glass-like refraction; lower values produce blurry or glossy refractions. For more information, please see the Refraction Glossiness Parameter example below.

Affect shadows – When enabled, the material casts transparent shadows, depending on the refraction color and the fog color. This only works with V-Ray shadows and lights.

Max depth – Specifies the number of times a ray can be refracted. Scenes with lots of refractive and reflective surfaces may require higher values to look right.

Affect channels – Specifies which channels are affected by the transparency of the material.

Color Only – The transparency of the material affects only the RGB channel of the final render.
 – Causes the material to transmit the alpha of the refracted objects instead of displaying an opaque alpha. Note that currently this works only with clear (non-glossy) refractions. 
All channels
 – The transparency of the material affects all channels and render elements.



Dispersion – When enabled, true light wavelength dispersion is calculated. For more information, please see the Dispersion example below.

Abbe – Increases or decreases the dispersion effect. Lowering it widens the dispersion and vice versa.


Fog Scattering

Fog Scattering2 – Enables fog scattering.

Type – Selects the algorithm for calculating fog scattering (also called sub-surface scattering). Note that Refraction must be enabled and the refraction fog color should be different from white for this effect to be visible.

Hard (wax) model – This model is specifically suitable for hard materials like marble.
– This is the most realistic SSS model and is suitable for simulating skin, milk, fruit, juice, etc. 

Back-side Color – Normally the color of the subsurface scattering effect depends on the Fog color. This parameter allows you to additionally tint the SSS effect. 

Scatter Coeff – The amount of scattering inside the object. 0.0 means rays are scattered in all directions; 1.0 means a ray cannot change its direction inside the sub-surface volume.

Fwd/back Coeff – Controls the direction of scattering for a ray. 0.0 means a ray can only go forward (away from the surface, inside the object); 0.5 means that a ray has an equal chance of going forward or backward; 1.0 means a ray is scattered backward (towards the surface, to the outside of the object).

Thickness – Limits the rays that are traced below the surface. This is useful if you do not want or don't need to trace the whole sub-surface volume.

Light Multiplier – Multiplies the translucent effect. 



Example: The Refraction Color Parameter


This example demonstrates the effect of the Refraction color parameter to produce glass materials. The material has a gray Diffuse color, white Reflection color, and the Fresnel option is turned on.

Black (0, 0, 0), no refraction

Light Blue (192, 192, 192)

White (255, 255, 255)

Example: The Fog Color Parameter


This example demonstrates the effect of the Fog color parameter. Notice how the thick areas of the object are darker in the two images on the right because of the light absorption of the fog.

White (255, 255, 255), no light absorption

Dark Gray (192, 192, 192)

Blue (70, 129, 137)



Example: The Fog Multiplier Parameter

This example demonstrates the effect of the Fog multiplier parameter. Smaller values cause less light absorption because of the fog; while higher values increase the absorption effect.

Fog multiplier = 0.5

Fog multiplier = 1.0

Fog multiplier = 1.5

Example: The Refraction IOR Parameter

This example demonstrates the effect of the Refraction IOR parameter. Note how light bends more as the IOR deviates from 1.0. When the index of refraction (IOR) is 1.0, the render produces a transparent object. Note however, that in the case of transparent objects, it might be better to assign an opacity map to the material, rather than use refraction.

Refraction IOR = 0.8

Refraction IOR = 1.0

Refraction IOR = 1.3

Refraction IOR = 1.6

Refraction IOR = 1.8



Example: The Refraction Glossiness Parameter

This example demonstrates the effect of the Refraction glossiness parameter. Note how lower Refraction glossiness values blur the refractions and cause the material to appear as frosted glass.

Refraction glossiness = 1.0

Refraction glossiness = 0.9

Refraction glossiness = 0.8

Refraction glossiness = 0.7

Example: The Refraction Depth Parameter

This example shows the effect of the Refraction depth parameter. Note how too low of a refraction depth produces incorrect results and areas with total internal reflection are also affected by the Reflection depth.

Refraction depth = 1, Reflection depth = 5

Refraction depth = 2, Reflection depth = 5

Refraction depth = 4, Reflection depth = 5

Refraction depth = 8, Reflection depth = 5

Refraction depth = 8, Reflection depth = 8



Example: Dispersion


This example demonstrates the Dispersion capabilities of the V-Ray material and the effect of the Abbe parameter.


Dispersion disabled

Dispersion enabled, Abbe = 50

Dispersion enabled, Abbe = 25

Dispersion enabled, Abbe = 10

Dispersion enabled, Abbe = 1






Some options are available only in Advanced mode.

Opacity – Specifies how opaque or transparent the material is. A texture map can be assigned to this channel.

Custom Source – When enabled, V-Ray uses an alpha channel to control the material opacity. 

Diffuse Texture Alpha – The diffuse texture alpha channel controls the opacity. Diffuse Texture Alpha source works the same way as Diffuse Map Alpha as Transparency legacy option from the V-Ray versions before 3.60. 
Opacity Texture Alpha – The opacity texture alpha channel controls the opacity, instead of the default texture intensity. If there is no texture in the source slot, the option is ignored. 

Mode – Controls how opacity is sampled.

Normal – (Legacy) The opacity map is evaluated as normal: the surface lighting is computed and the ray is continued for the transparent effect. The opacity texture is filtered as normal.
Clip – (Very fast) The opacity texture is not filtered and it is clipped to either fully opaque or fully transparent based on the mid-point value. Useful when there are many transparent surfaces one behind the other like leaves.
Stochastic – (Optimal) The opacity texture is filtered and the surface is randomly shaded as either fully opaque or fully transparent for a correct average appearance.




Mode – Specifies if Multiplier or Blend Amount parameters are used to control the intensity of other parameters.

Multiplier – For applicable parameters, intensity is controlled through a Multiplier parameter.
Blend Amount – For applicable parameters, intensity is controlled through a Blend Amount parameter.

Diffuse – Controls the intensity of the Diffuse color.

Reflection Color – Controls the intensity of the reflection color.

Reflection Glossiness – Controls the intensity of the reflection sharpness.

Refraction Color – Controls the intensity of the refraction color.

IOR – Controls the intensity of the Index of Refraction value when calculating refraction.

Refraction Glossiness – Controls the intensity of the refraction sharpness.

Opacity – Controls the intensity of the overall material Opacity.



Some of the options are available only in Advanced mode.

Bump – Enables or disables the bump or normal effect.

Mode/Map – Specifies the bump map type.

Bump Map – A height map should be used.
Bump Texture Channel – It is most commonly used for Round Edges effect. Edges texture is used as a bump.
Normal map – RGB map should be used with this option. If a Bitmap texture is slotted its color space must be set to Rendering Space (Linear).

Normal Map Type – This option is available only when the Mode is set to Normal Map. It specifies the space for the Normal Map.

Tangent Space – Uses tangents set to each individual face.
Object Space – Uses each object's local coordinates. 
Screen Space – Uses a flat projection along the camera direction.
World Space – Uses world coordinates.

Amount – Multiplier for the bump/normal map. 

Delta Scale It specifies a scale for sampling the bitmap when Bump Map is selected. The exact value is calculated automatically by V-Ray, but can be changed here.





Texture – Selected Bitmap texture is displayed in the viewport and it overrides all other material parameters. The viewport texture does not affect the way the material is rendered with V-Ray. It is mainly used for preview purposes.

Keep in mind that procedural textures are not shown in the viewport, however, any Bitmap textures, including ones nested in procedurals, will be automatically displayed.



Override Control

Can be Overridden – When enabled, the material can be overridden by the Material Override option in the Settings.


The attributes from the following expandable menus are available for the Generic material.






Back Material– Defines the material V-Ray uses for back side faces as defined by their normals.

Translucency – Determines if the front or the back side of the material is more visible in the rendering process. By default this value is 0.5, which means that both sides are equally visible. When this parameter is closer to zero, the material facing the camera is more visible, when it is closer to one, the back material is more visible. A texture can be used to control the variation of the effect.

Mult. by Front Diffuse – When enabled, the translucency is multiplied by the diffuse of the front material.






Displacement1 – Enables or disables the displacement effect.

Mode/ Map – Specifies the mode in which the displacement is rendered. 

2D Displacement – Bases the displacement on a texture map that is known in advanced. The displaced surface is rendered as a warped height-field based on that texture map. The actual raytracing of the displaced surface is done in texture space and the result is mapped back into 3D space. The advantage of this method is that it preserves all details in the displacement map. However, it requires the object to have valid texture coordinates. You cannot use this method for 3d procedural textures or other textures that use object or world coordinates. The parameter can take any values. 
Normal Displacement – Takes the original surface geometry and subdivides its triangles into smaller sub-triangles, which then are displaced. 

Amount – The amount of displacement. A value of 0.0 means the object appears unchanged. Higher values produce a greater displacement effect. This parameter can also take a negative value, in which case the displacement pushes geometry inside the object. 

Shift – Specifies a constant, which is added to the displacement map values, effectively shifting the displaced surface up and down along the normals. This can be either positive or negative.

Keep continuity – When enabled, tries to produce a connected surface, without splits, when there are faces from different smoothing groups and/or material IDs. Note that using material IDs is not a very good way to combine displacement maps since V-Ray cannot always guarantee the surface continuity. Use other methods (vertex colors, masks etc.) to blend different displacement maps.

Resolution – This option is available when the Mode/Map is 2D Displacement. It determines the resolution of the displacement texture used by V-Ray. If the texture is a bitmap, it is recommended to match this resolution to the size of the bitmap. For procedural 2D maps, the resolution is determined by the desired quality and detail in the displacement. Note that V-Ray also automatically generates a normal map based on the displacement map in order to compensate for details not captured by the actual displaced surface.

View dependent – When enabled, Edge length determines the maximum length of a subtriangle edge in pixels. A value of 1.0 means that the longest edge of each subtriangle is about one pixel long when projected on the screen. When disabled, Edge length is the maximum sub-triangle edge length in world units.

Edge length – Determines the quality of the displacement. Each triangle of the original mesh is subdivided into a number of subtriangles. More subtriangles mean more detail in the displacement, slower rendering times and more RAM usage. Less subtriangles mean less detail, faster rendering and less RAM. The meaning of Edge length depends on the View dependent parameter. The slider's minimum range is set to 0.4. Using lower values is still possible by manually typing them in the input box but it may cause significant render delay.

Max subdivs – Controls the maximum sub-triangles generated from any triangle of the original mesh when displacement is enabled. The value is in fact the square root of the maximum number of subtriangles. For example, a value of 256 means that at most 256 x 256 = 65536 subtriangles will be generated for any given original triangle. It is not a good idea to keep this value very high. If you need to use higher values, it will be better to tessellate the original mesh itself into smaller triangles instead. The actual subdivisions for a triangle are rounded up to the nearest power of two (this makes it easier to avoid gaps because of different tessellation on neighboring triangles). 

Water Level – Clips the surface geometry in places where the displacement map value is below the specified threshold. This can be used for clip mapping a displacement map value below which geometry will be clipped. 

Level Height – Value below which the geometry is clipped. 

Materials need to be applied to objects (groups/components) to have working displacement. If various materials are applied to different faces of an object, the displacement from the top-level (group/component) material will be used on all of them. Normal Displacement will take into account the texture size of each different face material, while 2D Displacement will ignore them.


 Raytrace Properties

Raytrace Properties



Visible to Camera – When enabled, makes objects using this material visible to the camera.

Visible to Reflections – When enabled, this option makes objects using this material visible for to Reflection rays.

Visible to Refractions – When enabled, this option makes objects using this material visible for the Refraction rays.

Cast Shadows – When disabled, all objects with this material applied do not cast shadows.








Shadows – The material that is used when a shadow ray hits the surface.

Reflection – The material that is used when a reflection ray hits the surface.

Refraction– The material that is used when a refraction ray hits the surface.

GI – The material that is used when a GI ray hits the surface.

Environment – The texture that will be used instead of the scene environment maps.


 Material ID

Material ID



ID Number – Isolates objects as an R/G/B mask in the MultiMatte render elements.

ID Color – Allows you to specify a color to represent this material in the Material ID VFB render element. 

Each material is assigned with an automatically generated ID Color.



  • Use the VRayMtl/VRayBRDF whenever possible in your scenes. This material is specifically optimized for V-Ray and often GI and lighting is computed much faster for V-Ray materials than for standard materials. Many V-Ray features (e.g. light cache, render elements ) are guaranteed to work properly only with VRayMtl and other V-Ray compliant materials.

  • VRayMtl can produce reflections/refractions for matte objects - see Wrapper.

  • The 2D mapping method will ignore the Tiling parameters specified in the textures themselves.

  • The 2D mapping (landscape) method only supports one UV mapping channel.

  1. Having a very large number of scene objects using materials with 2D Displacement may substantially prolong the geometry compilation phase of the rendering process.
  2. Prior to V-Ray Next, Update 1 the Fog Scattering section was known as Translucency.