This page provides a step-by-step tutorial for understanding a couple advanced materials workflows in V-Ray for Revit.
In this tutorial we’ll go over some advanced material workflows including using triplanar texture mapping as well as using displacements with your materials. For a foundation on materials in V-Ray for Revit, please check out the two earlier QuickStart tutorial videos Introducing Materials and using the Material Editor.
To follow this tutorial, you will need to have the V-Ray for Revit plugin installed.
This tutorial page is a companion that goes with the QuickStart video posted on our YouTube channel and is available here:
To download the files used in this tutorial, please click on the button below.
Open the Example Scene
Open the materials3.rvt project, which you can download above. In this tutorial, Revit 2017 is being used, however you will be able to use this project with Revit versions 2015 through 2017.
With the project loaded, click the V-Ray tab. We’ll need to import some settings, so click Settings.
Click on Sharing and click Load Settings.
Choose the materials3.xml file from the downloaded assets and click Import Selected to import the settings into the file.
Render this project: set your Current View to Render and change Resolution to Crop Region with Printer DPI of 75. Click render and let’s see the result.
We will address three things in this project, the concrete material, the plywood material, and the feature wall in the top left corner address three things in this project, the concrete material, the plywood material, and the feature wall material back here.
If some of your geometry shows up as Fuchsia, then click on Settings and then click Paths. From the Path Settings choose Add and then browse to the location of the materials3 folder on your machine.
The Concrete Material
With the concrete, we’re using a VRayMaterial to create this look. V-Ray relies on Revit for the mapping of surfaces, and sometimes Revit has trouble with rounded surfaces like this chair. Also taking into account how this geometry was created, we’re getting a lot of texture seams as you can see below. With the sphere, you’ll notice pinching at the poles of the sphere as well. And this is where the TriPlanar texture type will be helpful.
Launch the Material Browser.
Type in concrete and you’ll see a Concrete-Begin material that we can use.
Click on the arrow shown below to expand this section.
Click the icon shown below to launch the V-Ray Material Editor.
This material already has a diffuse texture setup that we want to keep.
Right click on the Map button and select Copy to copy this to the clipboard.
Now left click on the Map button.
Click on the bar that says Bitmap.
Select the TriPlanar texture to replace the bitmap we had before.
Now we need to put that concrete bitmap into the TriPlanar texture, so right click on the Texture X Map button and select Paste As Copy.
TriPlanar texture applies a texture as a plane in the 3 different axes, X, Y and Z. This could be the same texture in all three axes, or different textures for any of the axes. TriPlanar then seamlessly blends them together on the object. Let us see what that looks like.
In the Texture Mode, select Different texture on each axis.
This allows us to insert something different for the Y and Z axis. I’ll pick blue and green for them respectively.
Click Back to get to the material to see the preview update and show how the TriPlanar is applying the textures and blending between them.
Blue is on the top and bottom, green is on the front and back, and the concrete texture is on the left and right sides.
Go back into the texture by clicking on the Map button, and switch it back to “Same texture on all axis” to put the concrete texture on all sides.
Set the Scale to 0.5 to increase the number of times the texture repeats.
The material also has a Glossiness map applied to it. We’ll go through the same procedure to replace that as well. First, back in the material, copy the map information by right clicking the Map button.
Then click the Map button to access the texture.
Change the Bitmap to a TriPlanar. Right click the Map button for Texture X, paste the map back on to it.
Change the Scale to 0.5 like we did for the Diffuse texture.
Click Back and Save the concrete material.
In the VFB, click on Region Render and select a region around the chair.
Now click Render with V-Ray.
Now that the TriPlanar texture is blending the concrete texture on the chair, these edges are a lot nicer and there doesn’t look to be any seams. Especially on the sphere, you can’t see where the textures blend together at all, removing the issue of seams and pinching that we had before.
The Plywood Material
Now let’s deal with the table. In the Material Browser, type in plywood and select the Plywood – Table material
Click on AutoGen to select a VRayMaterial instead.
Navigate to where you downloaded the tutorial assets and select Plywood.vrmat.
In the VFB, select a region around the table, but before you render, let’s look at the material settings.
In the Material Browser, expand the Plywood material and click to open the Material Editor.
You can see the textures being used in the three axes on the Advanced tab, where we have a texture of plywood edges:
Edge texture for the X-axis
Edge texture for the Z-axis
A texture for the face of the plywood for the Y-axis
Close the Material Editor and render that region you selected around the table.
You can see we have a nice edge texture on the sides while the face texture works great on the front of the table.
The Wall Material
The wall has an undulating pattern to it that relies on a bump texture to simulate the undulations in the design. Keep in mind, this is a simulation of 3d, and you can see at the corner in the image below that the wall is indeed flat and not textured.
Using a Displacement instead of a Bump will actually make the surface geometry dimensional, creating a great effect. Use displacements sparingly as they will increase render times, but their effect is quite impressive.
In the Material Browser, search for decorative and select the Gypsum Wall Board – Decorative material.
Expand the UI with the arrow icon shown below, and click to launch the Material Editor.
You can see in the Basic tab in the image below that there is a map applied to the Bump.
Click the Advanced tab, and expand the Maps section as you can see below. You’ll see the Bump texture parameters, but also Displacement right below it in the dialog.
Right click on the Map button for the Bump and copy the map, and then paste it onto the Displacement Map button.
Turn off the check box for Bump and turn on the Displacement.
You can use Bump and Displacement maps together using the same or even different textures, but we’re just going to use the Displacement. Decrease the Multiplier for Displacement to 0.1 to reduce the effect on the wall.
Save the texture in the File menu but leave the Material Editor open for now.
Select a region on the wall and click Render with V-Ray to see the displacement effect.
As you can see at the corner, there is dimensionality to the wall where there wasn’t before. However we see that the design isn’t quite as detailed as we’d like it yet and we have a few chunky shadows, so go back to the Material Editor.
With displacement mapping, the Edge length parameter helps define detail in the outcome. The shorter the Edge length, the more V-Ray will calculate a finer resolution to the resulting displaced geometry.
Change the value from the default of 4 to 1 and then Save the material.
Render that region again, and you’ll see that the detail is smoother in the feature, and the splotches of shadow have gone away.
Lower Edge length values do increase render times, so you want to be efficient with how low you set the Edge length for any displacement texture.
Turn off region render for a final rendering. Set Quality to Medium and change the Resolution to a DPI of 150 and render the view.
By using the TriPlanar texture we were able to create a more seamless material for concrete chair, as well as a nice plywood for the table. Displacement allows us to create a dimensional look to this feature wall without needing to model the geometry for this effect.