Basic Materials Overview

A special Standard material is provided with the V-Ray renderer. This allows for better physically correct illumination (energy distribution) in the scene, faster rendering, more convenient reflection and refraction parameters. Within the Standard 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.

Using the Material Editor

The material editor can be opened using the Material  icon located in the V-Ray toolbar. You can also get access to the V-Ray material editor using the Rhino menu “V-Ray” then you can select “Material Editor”. The Standard V-Ray material is a material base on a layer. The layer position is very important. V-Ray reads the layer from top to bottom and you can have an unlimited number of layers. Due V-Ray material contain layers and some layers can block other layers, you need to use transparency to be able to see the layer below. For example, if you have two diffuse layers , you will have to add some grade of transparency to the top layer if you want to see the bottom layer. The default material contains one active diffuse layer. Additional layers can be placed per RMB click on the material name.


We have three main areas in the material editor.

Area 1, is the material preview. In this area you can have an interactive preview of your material.

Area 2, is the Material list. In this area you can find a list of all the materials to be used in that particular Rhino session.

Area 3, is where you can find all the material and layer options. Any necessary material changes have to be done in this area.

By right mouse button clicking over the material name you can find additional material operations like:

  • Create layer
  • Save material 
  • Pack material 
  • Duplicate material
  • Rename material
  • Remove material
  • Import material 
  • Apply material to selection
  • Apply material to Layer
  • Select all Object using this material.

Diffuse Material

When you make a material, by default it is a diffuse material. The material only contains one diffuse layer. You can select the color of the diffuse layer by clicking on the color picker or you can use a texture by clicking on the “m” near the color.

Color - used to select the color of the diffuse layer (base color of the material.

“m" (mapping) - used to select a texture or any other type of procedural mapping.

Multiplier (numeric slot) - use to increase or decrease the brightness of the mapping.

Transparency - used to add some grade of transparency to the diffuse layer. White means 100% transparency, while black means 100% opaque. You can also use a mapping to control the diffuse layer transparency.

Notice that the diffuse color is light blue and the material color is the same.

Glossy Plastic Material

When we add a reflection layer, we are able to create a glossy plastic material. The material have a physical reflection effect called “Fresnel”. With this effect the reflection varies depending of the point of view of the camera.

How to Add a Reflection Layer

  • Right click on the material name
  • Select “Create layer”
  • Select “Reflection”

Notice the fresnel reflection in the rendered material. With the same approach you can create ceramic material.

Textured Materials

With textured materials we mean materials that have a mapping in the diffuse layer. You can create several material with this method. For example, you can create wood, bricks, grass, etc.

How to Create a Textured Material

  • Click on the “m” near the color picker in the diffuse layer. This will bring the “Texture Editor”
  • In the texture editor, click over the word “none” and select “TexBitmap”.
  • Select the desired texture from your hard drive

In the texture editor you can change some properties of the images as the gamma, placement, UVW, etc.

By default we have value of 1 on the gamma slot. That means that we are going to use the gamma value baked into the image. Usually the gamma baked into the images is 2.2. The HDRI have a gamma value of 1.0 by default.