This page provides a step-by-step guide to using the standalone Material Editor with V-Ray for Revit.
In this tutorial we’ll go over creating and editing materials in Revit using the standalone V-Ray Material Editor, building on our previous QuickStart tutorial that introduced Materials.
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. This Revit scene is provided by Karam Baki.
Open the Example Scene
Open the materials2.rvt project, which you can download above. In this tutorial, Revit 2017 is being used, however this project was created with Revit 2016, and will upgrade automatically if you open it with Revit 2017. This project will also work with Revit 2015.
Click the V-Ray tab. Start by just rendering what is already set up. In the Current View drop down, select the Render 1 view. Leave Quality to Draft. Click on Resolution in the V-Ray tab and select Crop Region. Select Printer with a DPI of 96.
Click Render With V-Ray to start the render.
The first thing to address here is how transparent this glass material looks; the table disappears into the background. Let’s create a new material in the V-Ray Material Editor. We’ll need to launch the Material Editor first.
Navigate to where you installed V-Ray for Revit, which is usually on your C: drive at the path shown below.
Then double click to launch vrmateeditor.exe.
To start a new material, click File and choose New, and you’re presented with a new material to edit.
The editor dialog is divided into two tabs, Basic and Advanced, giving you access to various parameters to control.
Creating a Glass Material
Let’s go to the Basic tab. Rename the material to something that is descriptive to the object it’s been made for, such as Table_Glass.
The Material Editor has some preset material types from which to choose and is currently set to Generic. Click on the bar where it displays Generic for a pulldown menu, then select the Glass type.
By default, the glass material is a tinted glass.
We'll create a blueish greenish glass like a tempered glass look by changing the Fog Color. This parameter defines the tinting that you see in the glass. The lighter the fog color, the less tinting you’ll notice in the glass, and the darker the fog color, the more dense tinting you will see.
To select a color, click on the Fog Color swatch.
This will open a Color palette dialog. Choose one of the basic colors, or use the area in the upper right to define your own color. Typically, select a light fog color for a mild tinitng, so set a cyan color with a brightness or Luminance value of 190.
Click OK when you’re satisfied and you’ll see the preview swatch update.
Click File in the menu and select Save As to save the material. Save this material to the same folder into which you downloaded the tutorial’s assets.
In Revit, click to open the Material Browser.
In the text filter box at the top, type in table and the material currently assigned to the table is shown.
Click on AutoGen from the pulldown menu and select VRayMaterial.
Navigate to where you saved the table glass material (which is called Table_Glass.vrmat in our case), and open it.
Open the Frame Buffer (or VFB).
Select Region Render from the VFB toolbar and draw a region around the glass table to the edge of the frame as shown below.
Click Render with V-Ray to see your handy material work.
Not only has the color changed, but also the light passing through the glass has changed as well, affecting the shadow.
Creating the Floor Material
Turn off Region Render. Next, we'll change the floor to polished concrete. Go back to the Material Editor window, and click File and choose New.
Name the material Polished_Concrete. This time we’ll leave the material type as a Generic, in order to explore the parameters and how they work.
The Diffuse Color is essentially the base color of the material. Drag the slider to change the value of this gray color brighter or darker, or click the color swatch itself to define a different color as we've done before. This time however, we’ll use a bitmap image file instead of a solid color. Click the Map icon as shown below.
The bar where it currently says “None” is the Texture Editor button.
Select that button as shown above and you’ll see a wide range of textures available.
Click on Bitmap to allow us to select an image file from the file dialog that opens. Navigate to the Concrete_Diffuse.jpg file you downloaded with the tutorial assets, and Open it.
This square of concrete looks to be about 10 feet by 10 feet, so make a mental note of this for when we return to Revit later in the tutorial.
Click the Back button to return to the Material and the material’s preview updates to show the concrete texture.
Since this is polished concrete, we’ll need some Reflection to it. The brighter you create this value, the more reflective the surface will be. We’ll set ours almost to the very end of the slider, just short of pure white for a strong reflection.
Refraction, Fog Color and IOR, for the most part, deal with transparent or translucent objects like glass, so we won’t need to adjust those. But we will adjust the Glossiness. This parameter adjusts how sharp the reflection shows up in the surface. A value of 1, presents a very sharp, perfect reflection. Adjusting to make the Glossiness value lower makes the reflection blurrier. Set the value to 0.85 for a slight blur to the reflection and the highlights.
Save your material, Polished_Conrete.vrmat.
In the Material Browser, start typing in wood and you’ll see Wood Flooring appear.
Click on AutoGen to change it to a VRayMaterial, and select the Polished_Conrete.vrmat file you just saved.
Click the arrow shown below to expand this section in the Material Browser.
Set the Sample Size Width and Sample Size Height to 10ft for a proper scale to that image file. If you are using Metric units, set these to 3 meters by 3 meters, and close the dialog window.
Change the Current View to Render 2 for a better look at the floor and click Render with V-Ray.
This gives us a pretty good, but basic material: The floor is uniformly glossy in its reflection, and secondly, real polished concrete almost always has a bit of a wave to its surface that we’re missing here.
Go back to the Material Editor. Instead of using a simple Glossiness value of 0.85, let’s use a texture map instead. Click the Map icon and then click on None and select the Noise Legacy texture.
In this texture, the bright areas are more glossy and the darker areas are less glossy, where pure white is a value of 1 and pure black is a value of 0 for the Glossiness. Let's adjust the Color A to be slightly darker and set Color B to be much brighter, though still darker than Color A, to create a more subtle range in the grayscale.
Change the Type of noise to Perlin to change the pattern of the noise that is generated.
Click Back to get to the Material again, and you’ll see just a bit of a difference in the preview now.
Let's define a bit of that waviness to the concrete’s surface using a Bump map. A bump map is a grayscale texture that gives the illusion of surface undulation or perturbance when rendered. Basically, like creating “bumps” on a surface without modeling that detail into the geometry itself.
Click the Map icon and then click on None and select the Noise Legacy. Leave the values at default for now, and click Back.
Back in the material, the Bump value regulates how much the bump texture affects the floor. At a value of 1, the floor could undulate up and down according to the noise pattern about a foot or so, which would make any home owner crazy.
Set it low to 0.03 for a very subtle waviness to the floor, then click the check box to enable the bump.
It’s such a slight amount, you probably won’t notice a difference in the preview swatch in the Material Editor, but we’ll see it in the render.
Save the material file with File > Save to replace the previous Polished_Concrete.vrmat file, which is already assigned to the floor in the project. In the VFB, click on Region Render from the toolbar, then select a region to render the floor, and click Render with V-Ray.
The bump texture has created a waviness to the reflection in the floor, and you can see a subtle variation to the glossiness of the concrete as well. This gives more of a realistic concrete flooring than we had before we added glossiness and bump textures.
Turn off Region Render, and set the Current View back to Render 1. Change Quality to High and change the Resolution to a DPI of 150.
Click Render With V-Ray to see the results.
Feel free to experiment with creating your own V-Ray materials using this VRMat Editor.