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V-Ray Material Editor Overview


A. Materials List  - this area contains a list of all the materials in the scene. You can create material, load material, load a material collection and purge unused material by right clicking over Scene Material.

B. Material Options  - this area allows you to control all the parameters of the material.

C. Material Preview  - allows you to see the appearance of the adjusted material. Once you have made a material preview, the preview image is cached for later use.

Live Updated  - when this option is selected the material preview will update automatically every time one of the VRay Material properties is changed.

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Material Options


Create Layer  - this option allows you to create Diffuse, Reflection, Refraction, and Emissive layers for your material.

Save Material  - this option allows you to save the selected material to disk.

Pack Material - allows you to create and archive of your material including all related texture files.

Duplicate Material  - when this option is used a duplicate of the current material will automatically be made.

Rename Material  - allows you to rename individual material names.

Remove Material  - is used to delete and individual material from your scene.

Import Material  - this option allows you to import material files that you have saved to disk.

Apply Material to Selection  - will apply the currently selected material to any geometry that you have selected.

Apply Material to Layer  - when selected will display a dialog box which you can choose a layer from to apply the currently selected material to.

Select All Objects Using This Material  - this option allows you to select the objects that are using the current material.

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Standard Material Parameters


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. V-Ray for SketchUp has a layer based material system. 

Note: In order to see through the diffuse and Emissive layer you will need to add transparency to the layer.

Diffuse  


Diffuse  - this is the diffuse color of the material. Note the actual diffuse color of the surface also depends on the reflection and refraction colors.

Roughness  - this parameter can be used to simulate rough surfaces or surfaces covered with dust (for example, skin, or the surface of the Moon).

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Ex ample: The Roughness Parameter

This example demonstrates the effect of the  Roughness  parameter. Note how, as the  Roughness  increases, the materials appears more "flat" and dusty.

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Roughness = 0.0  
(regular diffuse material)

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Roughness = 0.3

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Roughness = 0.6

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Transparency  - this control the transparency of the Diffuse layer. Black color is completely opaque and white is completely transparent. A texture can be used to control the transparency of the diffuse layer.

Use Irradiance Map  - with this option enabled the irradiance map will be used to approximate diffuse indirect illumination for the material. If this is disabled, brute force GI will be used. You can use this for objects in the scene which have small details and are not approximated very well by the irradiance map.

Use color texture as transparency  - if this enabled V-Ray will use the direct alpha transparency of the texture on the materials. V-Ray for SketchUp supports transparency from the .png and .tiff image formats.

Reflection


Reflection  - reflection color. Note that the reflection color dims the diffuse surface color based on the  Energy preservation . Energy preservation in V-Ray for SketchUp is always in RGB mode.

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Example: The Reflection Color Parameter

This example demonstrates how the Reflection color parameter controls the reflectivity of the material. Note that this color also acts as a filter for the diffuse color (e.g. stronger reflections dim the diffuse component).

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Reflection color = Black.
(0, 0, 0)

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Reflection color = Medium Gray.
(128, 128, 128)

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Reflection color = White.
(255, 255, 255)

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Filter  - this option is use to tint the color of the reflection.

Affect Alpha - Allows you to specify which channels are going to be affected by the transparency of the material

  • Color Channel Only  - the transparency will affect only the RGB channel of the final render 
  • Color and alpha channel  - this will cause the material to transmit the alpha of the refracted objects, instead of displaying an opaque alpha. Note that currently this works only with clear (non-glossy) refractions.
  • All channels  - all channels and render elements will be affected by the transparency of the material

Soften  - this parameter allows the user to soften the transition from dark to bright areas in specular reflections.

Info

Soften

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Soften = -1

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Soften = 0

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Soften = 1

Exit color  - if a ray has reached its maximum reflection depth, this color will be returned without tracing the ray further.

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Glossiness


Highlight  - this determines the shape of the highlight on the material. Normally this parameter is the same as  Reflect value in order to produce physically accurate results.

Reflect  - controls the sharpness of reflections. A value of 1.0 means perfect mirror-like reflection; lower values produce blurry or glossy reflections. Use the  Subdivs  parameter below to control the quality of glossy reflections.

Info

Example: The Reflection Glossiness Parameter

This example demonstrates how the Reflection glossiness  and Highlight glossiness parameters control the highlights and reflection blurriness of the material.

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Reflection/Highlight Glossiness = 1.0
(perfect mirror reflections)

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Reflection/Highlight Glossiness = 0.8

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Reflection/Highlight Glossiness = 0.6


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Shader Type  - this determines the type of BRDF (the shape of the highlight). This parameter have an effect only if the reflection color is different from black and the reflection glossiness is different than 1.0.:

  • Phong  - Phong highlight/reflections
  • Blinn  - Blinn highlight/reflections
  • Ward  - Ward highlight/reflections
Info

Example: The BRDF Type

This example demonstrates the differences between the BRDFs available in V-Ray. Note the different highlights produced by the different BRDFs.

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BRDF type = Phong

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BRDF type = Blinn

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BRDF type = Ward

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Treat glossy rays as GI rays - this specifies on what occasions glossy rays will be treated as GI rays:

  • Never  - glossy rays are never treated as GI rays.
  • Only for GI rays  - glossy rays will be treated as GI rays only when GI is being evaluated. This can speed up rendering of scenes with glossy reflections and is the default.
  • Always  - glossy rays are always treated as GI rays. A side effect is that the Secondary GI engine will be used for glossy rays. For example, if the primary engine is irradiance map, and the secondary is light cache, the glossy rays will use the light cache (which is a lot faster).

Subdivs  - controls the quality of glossy reflections. Lower values will render faster, but the result will be more noisy. Higher values take longer, but produce smoother results.

Anisotropy


Anisotropy  - determines the shape of the highlight. A value of 0.0 means isotropic highlights. Negative and positive values simulate "brushed" surfaces.

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Example: The Anisotropy Parameter

This example demonstrates the effect of the  Anisotropy  parameter. Note how the different values stretch the reflections horizontally or vertically.

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Anisotropy = -0.9

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Anisotropy = -0.45

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Anisotropy = 0.0
no anisotropy

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Anisotropy = 0.45

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Anisotropy = 0.9

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Rotation  - determines the orientation of the anisotropic effect. Different brushed surfaces can be simulated by using a texture map for the anisotropy rotation parameter.

 

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Example: The Anisotropy Rotation Parameter

This example demonstrates the effect of the Anisotropy rotation  parameter. For all the images in this example, the Anisotropy parameter itself is 0.8.

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Anisotropy rotation =
0.0 degrees

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Anisotropy rotation =
45.0  degrees

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Anisotropy rotation =
90.0  degrees

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Anisotropy rotation =
135.0  degrees

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Anisotropy rotation =
Bitmapped 
map in the upper-right corner


Local axis  - controls how the direction for the anisotropic effect is chosen:

  • X  - the direction is based on the X axis.
  • Y  - the direction is based on the Y axis.
  • Z  - the direction is based on the Z axis.
Map channel - the direction is based on the selected mapping channel.  
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Dim Distance


On  - check this option to enable dim distance.

Dim distance  - specifies a distance after which the reflection rays will not be traced.

Dim fall off  - a fall off radius for the dim distance.

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Interpolation


Interpolation  - Check this option to turn caching on. V-Ray can use a caching scheme similar to the irradiance map to speed up rendering of glossy reflections. The options for the interpolation of glossy reflections are also very similar to the options for the irradiance map. Note that it is not recommended to use interpolation for animations, since this may cause severe flickering.

Refraction  


Color  - refraction color. Note that the actual refraction color depends on the reflection color as well.  

Transparency  - this control the transparency of the Refraction layer. Black color is completely opaque and white is completely transparent. A texture can be used to control the transparency of the refraction layer.

Glossiness  - controls the sharpness of refractions. A value of 1.0 means perfect glass-like refraction; lower values produce blurry or glossy refractions. Use the  Subdivs  parameter below to control the quality of glossy refractions.

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Example: The Refraction Color Parameter

This example demonstrates the effect of the  Refraction color  parameter to produce glass materials. For the images in this example, the material has a gray  Diffuse color , white  Reflection color , and the Fresnel option is turned on.

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Refraction color = Black
(0, 0, 0)
no refraction

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Refraction color = Light Gray
(192, 192, 192)

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Refraction color = White
(255, 255, 255)


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IOR  - index of refraction for the material, which describes the way light bends when crossing the material surface. A value of 1.0 means the light will not change direction.

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Example: The Refraction IOR Parameter

This example demonstrates the effect of the Refraction IOR parameter. Note how light bends more as the IOR deviates from 1.0. When the index of refraction (IOR) is 1.0, the render produces a transparent object. Note however, that in the case of transparent objects, it might be better to assign an opacity map to the material, rather than use refraction.

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Refraction IOR = 0.8

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Refraction IOR = 1.0

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Refraction IOR = 1.3

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Refraction IOR = 1.8


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Subdivs  - controls the quality of glossy refractions. Lower values will render faster, but the result will be more noisy. Higher values take longer, but produce smoother results. This parameter also controls the quality of the translucent effect, if on (see below).

Options


Affect shadows  - this will cause the material to cast transparent shadows, depending on the refraction color and the fog color. This only works with V-Ray shadows and lights.

Affect alpha  - this will cause the material to transmit the alpha of the refracted objects, instead of displaying an opaque alpha. Note that currently this works only with clear (non-glossy) refractions.

Enable Exit color - this will enable or disable the exit color options.

Refract Exit color  - if this is on, and a ray has reached the maximum refraction depth, the ray will be terminated and the exit color returned. When this is off, the ray will not be refracted, but will be continued without changes.

 

Info

Example: The Refraction Exit Color Parameter

This example demonstrates the effect of the refraction  Exit color  parameter. This is mostly useful to show areas of deep refractions in the image, or for materials needing higher refraction depth. Note how the red areas are reduced when the  Reflection depth  and Refraction depth  are increased.

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Refraction Exit color = Off
Reflection depth = 5

Refraction depth = 5

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Refraction Exit color = On
Refraction Exit color = Red
(255, 0, 0)
Reflection depth is 5

Refraction depth is 5

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Refraction Exit color = On
Reflection depth = 8
Refraction depth = 8

Reflect Exit color  - if this is on, and a ray has reached the maximum reflection depth, the ray will be terminated and the exit color returned. When this is off, the ray will not be reflected, but will be continued without changes.

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Fog


Color  - the attenuation of light as it passes through the material. This option allows to simulate the fact that thick objects look less transparent than thin objects. Note that the effect of the fog color depends on the absolute size of the objects and is therefore scene-dependent unless the  Fog system units scaling  is enabled. The fog color also determines the look of the object when using translucency.

 

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Example: The Fog Color Parameter

This example demonstrates the effect of the  Fog color  parameter. Notice how the thick areas of the object are darker in the two images on the right because of the light absorption of the fog.

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Fog color = White
(255, 255, 255)
no light absorption

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Fog color = Gray
(243, 243, 243)

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Fog color = Green
(230, 243, 213)


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Multiplier  - the strength of the fog effect. Smaller values reduce the effect of the fog, making the material more transparent. Larger values increase the fog effect, making the material more opaque. In more precise terms, this is the inverse of the distance at which a ray inside the object is attenuated with am amount equal to the  Fog color .

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Example: The Fog Multiplier Parameter

This example demonstrates the effect of the Fog multiplier parameter. Smaller values cause less light absorption because of the fog; while higher values increase the absorption effect.

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Fog multiplier = 0.5

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Fog multiplier = 1.0

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Fog multiplier = 1.5


Fog bias  - this parameter allows to change the way the fog color is applied; by adjusting this parameter you can make thin parts of the object to appear more transparent than normal, or less transparent than normal.  

Emission  - this controls the fog color light emission (self-illumination).

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Dispersion


On  - this option enables the calculation of true light wavelength dispersion

Abbe  - this option allows you to increase or decrease the dispersion effect. Lowering it widens the dispersion and vice versa. (Example)

Info

Example: Dispersion

This example demonstrates the Dispersion capabilities of the V-Ray material and the effect of the Abbe parameter.

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Dispersion = Off

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Dispersion = On
Abbe = 10

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Dispersion = On
Abbe = 50


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Translucency 


On  - this enable translucency (also called sub-surface scattering). Currently only single-bounce scattering is supported.

Color  - normally the color of the sub-surface scattering effect depends on the Fog color; this parameter allows you to additionally tint the SSS effect.  

Texture  - normally the color of the sub-surface scattering effect depends on the Fog color; this parameter allows you to additionally tint the SSS effect.

Light multiplier  - a multiplier for the translucent effect.

Thickness  - this limits the rays that will be traced below the surface. This is useful if you do not want or don't need to trace the whole sub-surface volume.

Scatter coefficient  - the amount of scattering inside the object. 0.0 means rays will be scattered in all directions;1.0 means a ray cannot change its direction inside the sub-surface volume.  

Forward/backward coefficient  - controls the direction of scattering for a ray. 0.0 means a ray can only go forward (away from the surface, inside the object); 0.5 means that a ray has an equal chance of going forward or backward; 1.0 means a ray will be scattered backward (towards the surface, to the outside of the object).

Interpolation


Interpolation  - Check this option to turn caching on. V-Ray can use a caching scheme similar to the irradiance map to speed up rendering of glossy refractions. The options for the interpolation of glossy refractions are also very similar to the options for the irradiance map. Note that it is not recommended to use interpolation for animations, since this may cause severe flickering.

Options  


Double-sided  - if this is true, V-Ray will flip the normal for back-facing surfaces with this material. Otherwise, the lighting on the "outer" side of the material will be computed always. You can use this to achieve a fake translucent effect for thin objects like paper.

Trace reflections  - if this is off, reflections will not be traced, even if the reflection color is greater than black. You can turn this off to produce only highlights. Note that when this is off, the diffuse color will not be dimmed by the reflection color, as would happen normally.

Reflect on back side  - if this is true, reflections will be computed for back-facing surfaces too. Note that this affects total internal reflections too (when refractions are computed).

Only in Secondary  - if this is on the material will only be visible in the reflection or refraction.

Can be Overridden  - if this is on the material will not be overridden when you enable the override color option in the Global Switches.

Disable Volume Fog  - when this option is disable V-Ray will trace direct lighting into the material.

Trace refractions  - if this is off, refractions will not traced, even if the refraction color is greater than black.

Cast Shadows  - if this is off, the material will not cast shadows.

Cutoff  - this is a threshold below which reflections/refractions will not be traced. V-Ray tries to estimate the contribution of reflections/refractions to the image, and if it is below this threshold, these effects are not computed. Do not set this to 0.0 as it may cause excessively long render times in some cases. 

Refraction Max depth  - the number of times a ray can be refracted. Scenes with lots of refractive and reflective surfaces may require higher values to look right. -1 means that V-Ray will use the value specified on the “Max Depth” in the Global Switches. 

Info

Example: The Refraction Depth Parameter

This example demonstrates the effect of the  Refraction depth  parameter. Note how too low of a refraction depth produces incorrect results. Also, in the last two examples, note how areas with total internal reflection are also affected by the  Reflection depth .

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Refraction depth = 1
Reflection depth = 5

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Refraction depth = 2
Reflection depth = 5

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Refraction depth = 4
Reflection depth = 5

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Refraction depth = 8
Reflection depth = 5

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Refraction depth = 8
Reflection depth = 8


Alpha Contribution  - allows you to obtain the alpha channel of each material in the scene. A value of 1 means no alpha and 0 means full alpha.

ID Color  - you can set this color to be a unique color that will be visible when rendering using the ID Color VFB Channel.

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Ignore Objects in Secondary  


On  - if this is on the material will not be overridden when you enable the override color option in the Global Switches.  

Optimized Exclusion  - if this is on the material will not be overridden when you enable the override color option in the Global Switches.  

Maps  


These determine the various texture maps are used by the current material.  

Bump  - allows you to use a texture map as bump map.  

Displacement  - allows you to use a texture map as a displacement map.  

Refraction  - this option allows to override the refraction map.  

Background  - this option allows to override the background map of the environment settings.

GI  - this option allows to override the GI map of the environment settings.  

Reflection  - this option allows to override the reflection map of the environment settings.

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Displacement  


Keep Continuity  - using this will try to produce a connected surface, without splits.

Use Globals  - if this is disable V-Ray will use the material displacement parameter. If this is on, V-Ray will use the Default displacement parameters located on the V-Ray option windows.

View Dependent  - when this is on, Edge length determines the maximum length of a subtriangle edge, in pixels. A value of 1.0 means that the longest edge of each subtriangle will be about one pixel long when projected on the screen. When View-dependent is off, Edge length is the maximum subtriangle edge length in world units.  

Shift  - this specifies a constant, which will be added to the displacement map values, effectively shifting the displaced surface up and down along the normals. This can be either positive or negative.  

Water Level  - this will clip the surface geometry in places where the displacement map value is below the specified threshold. This can be used for clip mapping a displacement map value below which geometry will be clipped.  

Max Subdivs  - this controls the maximum subtriangles generated from any triangle of the original mesh. The value is in fact the square root of the maximum number of subtriangles. For example, a value of 256 means that at most 256 x 256 = 65536 subtriangles will be generated for any given original triangle. It is not a good idea to keep this value very high. If you need to use higher values, it will be better to subdivide the original mesh itself into smaller triangles instead. The actual subdivisions for a triangle are rounded up to the nearest power of two (this makes it easier to avoid gaps because of different tessellation on neighboring triangles).  

Edge Length  - this determines the quality of the displacement. Each triangle of the original mesh is subdivided into a number of subtriangles. More subtriangles mean more detail in the displacement, slower rendering times and more RAM usage. Less subtriangles mean less detail, faster rendering and less RAM. The meaning of Edge length depends on the View-dependent parameter below.

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Notes  


  • Use the Standard material whenever possible in your scenes. This material is specifically optimized for V-Ray and often GI and lighting is computed much faster for V-Ray materials than for standard SketchUp materials. Many V-Ray features (e.g. light cachephoton mappingrender elements) are guaranteed to work properly only with Standard material and other V-Ray compliant materials.