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Material Tutorial: Chrome

By Florence Design Academy
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:
3ds Max
516_tid_coverimage.jpg
Chrome is one of the most used materials in the Design field. This material needs only a few settings to be rendered in an optimal way. You can see many samples of chrome in the design gallery of the Florence Design Academy http://www.florencedesignacademy.com

Let's begin:
  1. You need a dark grey diffuse colour (for a perfect mirror it should be black, but often a dark grey colour has a better effect on chrome).
  2. Now go to add glossiness and specular level (there are no fixed values, the correct effect is strongly depending by the light that you create. You can begin with the value 40 in both slots).
  3. Go to maps and assign to the REFLECTION map "RAYTRACE". This will allow you to have REAL reflections of other objects in the scene on this material. The value in the reflection slot should be between 85 and 100 (a mirror must have 100).

516_tid_image1.jpg
Very often you need to have a environment which reflects on your object to achieve a good rendering. A good reflection will give a touch of realism to your object and will describe better organic shapes. But what if we don't have any other object in the scene that can reflect on our model?

We will use a FAKE reflection. This kind of technique simulates to have an environment reflected on surfaces which in reality does not exist in your scene. In fact we will use a simple image to create a Fake reflection.

516_tid_fakereflection1.jpg
After you have insert RAYTRACE in the reflection map you will see that the material editor is showing new settings. This are the settings of the raytrace panel (on the right side of the material editor you can see written RAYTRACE instead of standard). Like in the image below go to assign to the NONE button in BACKGROUND a BITMAP.

516_tid_image2.jpg

After this step you will see that the material editor is showing you the settings of the Bitmap panel. Normally you must reduce the output amount of the fake reflection (this is the setting which will make more or less visible the image that you choose as fake reflection). To make the image "less visible" you must go to "Output" where in the "output amount" slot you must put a value which is a little bit smaller than 1 (for example 0,7). Normally the standard number 1 is too high as value.

516_tid_image3.jpg
Picture used as fake reflection for the rendering below

516_tid_fakereflection1.jpg
516_tid_fakereflection2.jpg


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