This page provides an introduction to using materials in V-Ray for SketchUp.
This tutorial covers the basics of materials in V-Ray for SketchUp. It includes how to use the Material Library to easily create looks as well as how to edit preset materials and create new materials from scratch.
To follow this tutorial, you will need to have the V-Ray for SketchUp plugin installed. This tutorial is a companion to go along with the QuickStart video posted on our YouTube channel and available here:
To download the files used in this tutorial, please click on the button below.
Open the Example Scene
Begin by launching SketchUp. Open the project file Materials_01_Start.skp, which can be downloaded from the Tutorial Assets section above.
Start an Interactive render to visualize the scene with its basic gray materials.
Select the bookmarked view Cup_View.
In the V-Ray Frame Buffer (VFB), click the Region render button. Draw region around the cup and saucer. This will limit interactive rendering to the specified region, allowing you to focus on adding materials to the cup.
Using the Preset Material Library
Open the Asset Editor, and in the Materials section, expand the Material Library by clicking the left-facing arrow.
Scroll down and select the Ceramics & Porcelain category. Adding these presets to the current scene will be as easy as dragging them from the Library into the Material List.
Find the Porcelain_B03_Green_10cm material and drag and drop it over to the Material List.
To apply it to the cup, first select the cup geometry from the viewport. Right-click the new porcelain material in the Material List and click Apply Material to Selection.
The VFB will update to show the porcelain preset applied to the cup.
Next, you will apply a similar orange material to the saucer. From the Material Library, drag Porcelain_B02_Orance_10cm over to the Material List. Apply it to the saucer the same way you did the cup.
Give the VFB a few seconds to resolve the interactive render.
Now let’s work on the table’s material. In the VFB, draw a new Region render at the lower left side of the VFB to focus on the table.
In the Material Library, select the Stone material category. Scroll to the top and drag Granite_A_80cm over to the Material List.
Select the tabletop in the viewport and apply the granite material. Check how it looks in the VFB.
Feel free to experiment with materials to your liking. Let’s try Stone_E_150cm and see what that looks like in the Interactive render.
Let's make this table glass. Go to the Glass category in the Material Library. Find the Glass_Tempered material and apply that to the tabletop.
We will focus on the notebook next. Define a new Region render to encompass the notebook and then select the notebook's geometry.
Go to the Paper category in the Material Library and find Paper_C04_8cm, which is a patterned paper. Apply it to the notebook, and notice the pattern on the material is pretty large.
The material name provides the correct scale of the material, which is 8cm in this case. In the texture properties in SketchUp, enter 8 cm to match. The pattern looks more proportional afterward.
Turn off Region render and let the whole rendering resolve.
Switch back to the Main_View in the viewport.
In the VFB, draw a new Region render around the table and one of the chairs. We will work on the wood materials next.
In the viewport, select the base of the table top just under the glass top, as well as the table legs.
In the Material Library, click the Wood & Laminate category, find the Laminate_D01_120cm material, and drag it into the Material List.
Apply this to the selected table parts, and change the texture size to 120cm as specified in the material’s name.
Now we can apply the same materials to the chairs. These are component instances, so applying the material to one of the chairs applies it to all of them. You need to double-click on a component or right-click and choose Edit component in order to apply materials to it.
Next, select one of the bolts in the chair, which selects them all.
Switch to the Metal category in the Material Library. In the Search Library text box, search for "aluminum".
Drag Aluminum_Blurry to the Material List. Apply it to one of the bolts of the chair.
Next, select the fabric seat.
In the Material Library, click the Fabric category. Apply the material called Fabric_Pattern_D01_20cm. Its texture size should already work well for the scene, but adjust it as you like.
When you are done, right click in the viewport and Close Component.
Select a bolt and cross-brace on the shelf and assign the Aluminum_Blurry material from the Material List.
Finally, let’s move on to the laptop. Define a Region render around it and use the mouse wheel to zoom into it in the VFB.
Select the Plastic category from the Material Library and drag Plastic_Simple_Blurry_Black to the Material List.
Select the base of the laptop and assign this material to it.
Let’s add a different material for the top. In the Carpaint category, drag over CarPaint_Flakes_GrassGreen and assign it to the top of the laptop object.
Editing Existing Materials
Let's focus on the wall. Define a new region to include it, and select it in the viewport.
Go to the Bricks category in the Material Library and try out Bricks_Weathered_E02_1m.
Set the Texture size to 80cm, but experiment for your own look if you’d like, or try out some other materials from the library.
Let's try using Bricks_Painted_B02_1m with a Texture size of 80cm, which is just under the recommended size of 1m specified in the material name.
The material itself looks good, but let's get rid of the green color. To edit the material, expand the parameters in the Asset Editor.
Click the Map icon for Diffuse.
Then click on the Map icon for the Source A texture.
This is a V-Ray Color that is set, so click the color swatch. In the color picker, choose a light grey. This changes the paint color of the wall.
Click Back in the Asset Editor twice to get back to the properties of the material.
We can move on to the floor material now. Define a new Region render that includes the floor.
In the Concrete category, drag over the Concrete_Simple_C01_2m material. Select the floor and apply the material.
Set the Texture size to 200cm as the name suggests.
The result is nice, but the surface itself is too diffuse and could be shinier like polished concrete.
Redraw the Region render to focus on a smaller portion of the floor, and zoom in closer in the VFB.
Expand the material parameters and notice there is a map for the Diffuse color. Right-clicking on the icon lets you copy and paste textures from one parameter to another, so Copy this one.
Then right-click on the Map icon for Reflect color and Paste As Copy to use the same map as the floor’s color.
When the interactive render resolves, notice the effect is not quite strong enough yet. We will need to boost the map.
Right-click and Cut the texture from the Reflect parameter, which removes it but places it in your clipboard.
Regular-click on the Map icon this time and choose a Color Correction map to create.
In its attributes, right-click on the Texture parameter’s Map icon, and choose Paste As Copy to place the floor’s map into this Color Correction map for adjustment.
Set the Brightness to 1 and the Contrast to 3 and then click Back.
This boosts the reflectivity of the concrete on the floor as you can see in the VFB. Try a different area or two of the image to see how polished the concrete looks now.
Make any adjustments you prefer before redrawing the Region render to render the entire floor.
If you don't want the industrial style for the floor, go into the Wood & Laminate category and select the Flooring_Parquet_Geometric_A01_120cm material. Apply it to the floor.
Set its Texture size to 120cm for a better fit. As the VFB updates, the room takes on a warmer character.
Let's enhance this material. Redraw the Region render to focus on a portion of the floor, and zoom in.
Expand the material parameters, scroll down to Maps, and in the Bump rollout you will find the Multiplier parameter. Set this value to 0.2 to make the floor look better.
Scroll back to the top of the material properties and click the Plus (+) icon in the upper right corner to add a new layer to the material. Select Reflection.
This adds a shiny lacquer coat to the floor, and a new rollout appears at the top.
Expand the Reflection rollout and reduce the Filter color down to a medium gray. By default, the reflection layer is blended using a TexFresnel map, which means that looking at the surface straight on gives less visible reflections, while looking at the surface at an angle gives more pronounced reflections.
For the rest of the objects in the scene, let’s edit the existing generic material we started with. Redraw the Region render to include part of the back shelf.
The generic material is already applied to objects that we haven’t changed. In the Material List, select Generic.
Set a medium gray for the Diffuse color as well as for Reflect color. Set the Reflection Glossiness to 0.85 for a fairly glossy reflection.
To optimize the material, set the Max depth for reflections 2 to reduce the number of raytracing calculations in those objects.
Turn off Region render and take a look at your render as it resolves in the VFB.
Creating Materials from Scratch
Let’s look at creating new materials. To get started, select the lamp mesh.
In the Asset Editor, click the New Material icon and choose Generic.
Apply the material to the selected desk lamp. Switch to the Lamp_View and select a Render Region around the lamp’s head.
Click the Diffuse color swatch and pick a dark green.
To make this a metallic paint, it will need colored reflections. Drag the Diffuse color swatch down to the Reflect color swatch. Make the color a bit brighter. Make the reflections more blurry by adjusting the Reflection Glossiness down to 0.7.
Uncheck the Lock Fresnel IOR to Refraction IOR to allow you to manually set the Fresnel IOR value to 1.9. This will make the reflections a bit stronger in facing angles.
Click the Plus (+) icon to add a new Reflection layer on top of the paint.
Set the Filter color to a darker gray to reduce the strength of these additional reflections.
In the VFB, take a look at the entire lamp now with the metallic green.
Go back to the Main_View again and in the VFB, click Show Corrections Control.
Feel free to adjust the image to your taste. To add pre-adjusted settings for a higher contrast look, you can load CC_02.vccglb file from the downloaded assets.
Setting Up the Production Render
Stop the Interactive render.
To prepare the final render, go to the Render Settings in the Asset Editor. Disable Interactive and Progressive, set your desired image Quality, and set the Resolution to 1280x720.
Click Render and see the render resolve. Note that the color corrections will affect the results, as they are still enabled.
Here is our final render: