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Car Paint tutorial

By Daniel Buck
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:
3ds Max
So you have modeled that sweet car? But can't seem to get the paint material to look good? Well pay attention, this is for YOU! :) Keep in mind, there is always more than one way to skin a cat (hah!), and this is by NO means the only way to get a good looking paint material. It's just one of the methods I use. (yes, I use more than one method)

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Keep in mind, there is always more than one way to skin a cat (hah!), and this is by NO means the only way to get a good looking paint material. It's just one of the methods I use. (yes, I use more than one method)

Go into the base material, change it to a raytraced material, and lets change the diffuse to a moderitly dark red color. Also change the specular level to around 125, the glossiness to about 70, and check 2 sided. The base material will be the main color of the car.

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Now click the box next to reflection
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select falloff, and change the falloff type to Fresnel. Fresnel falloff changes the material with relationship of the angle on the object. The greater the angle, the more the material is changed. In the case of reflections, the greater the angle, the more the reflection. If you get eye level with your car door infront of the door handle, you will see some reflection, but if you move by the front of the car and increase the angle at which you view the door, you will see even more reflection. Fresnel falloff is a way of simulating real world reflections.

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Go up a level (to parent) untill you get back to the Shellac parameters.

Click and drag the base material (raytrace) down to the Shellac material, check COPY, and select Ok.

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Well? It's a start. Keep in mind, the angle of your lights and camera (also what is in your backround) will greatly effect the look of the material... as it's reflective. :-)

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In the Shellac parameters, click on the Shellac material and change the glossiness to about 40, which will give if a softer highlight. It's getting there!

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Change the specular color material to speckle and change the size to about 1 (will be different for different scale models), and the colors to white and orange. In doing this, we can simulate paint flakes. This speckle specular part of the tutorial is just another option for the paint, just to add realism. You can totaly do with out it, it's just an extra.
You can see this makes the car paint seem like it has small flakes in it now!

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And now for that color shifting paint! In the Shellac material, lower the glossyness to about 20 (to get an even wider spread of the 2nd specular highlight) and change the specular color to what ever color you want!


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And check it out!

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Change the shellac highlight color around, and change the diffuse color of the base and shellac materials to anything that suits you!
Have fun! Change settings and find out for yourself what changing other parameters can do! For instance, try a falloff material for the diffuse color, and change the values around!


 
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