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.
The material editor can be opened using the Materialicon located in the V-Ray toolbar. You can also get access to the V-Ray material editor using the SketchUp 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 SketchUp 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.
V-Ray Material vs SketchUp Material
V-Ray Material is a special material optimized for V-Ray render. The material is physically made, to allows the user get the correct effect without having to fake anything. For example, once the reflection layer is added to the material, it will respond to the light condition in the physically correct way. You don’t have to worry about the highlight or any other aspect of the reflection, because V-Ray will take care of that for you. The same thing will happen with the refraction effect.
The good news is that the V-Ray material editor is 100% compatible with the SketchUp material editor. Any change made in the SketchUp side will be automatically transfer to the V-Ray side making the material creation experience very easy.
You can also use the SketchUp paint bucket to apply V-Ray materials due them being the same as SketchUp materials. You can change the scale of the texture in the SketchUp material and V-Ray will recognize that change. Anything that you change in the SketchUp material editor will be respected by V-Ray.
Notice that the V-Ray material editor (left), doesn’t have any material. Therefore the SketchUp material editor (right), doesn’t have any material either.
If you populate the SketchUp Material editor with one material, The V-Ray material editor automatically get populate with the same material.
Now you can add reflection, refraction layer to optimize the material even more, to get a realistic result.
You could also save component with V-Ray material and at the importation time, you will get back all the V-Ray material attached to that component
V-Ray also respects the changes in coloration made in the SketchUp material editor.
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.
“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.
- 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.
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 created 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 “TexbBitmap”.
- Select the desired texture from your hard drive
Note: 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.