User avatar
By Half Life
#337269
This thread will be a consolidation of MXM related tips one per day by various contributors -- if you would like to contribute a tip please post into the tip of the day signup thread here: http://www.maxwellrender.com/forum/view ... 97&t=36106

Tip of Day #1

The first tip of the day concerns Metamaterials, for more information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_i ... refraction

Since Maxwell 2.5 it is now possible to assign a material an Nd of less than 1.

Image
http://www.spotoarts.com/jason/tipofthe ... heday1.zip

Best,
Jason.
Last edited by Half Life on Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
By Half Life
#337293
Tip of Day #2

Todays tip of the day has to with getting more colorful results from frosted glass/plastic.

Enable the R2 with a setting of 100 in the roughness parameter (R2 roughness) to maintain the color and cut the surface haze of rough transmissive surfaces.

Image
http://www.spotoarts.com/jason/tipoftheday/tod2.zip

Best,
Jason.
Last edited by Half Life on Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Half Life
#337382
Tip of Day #3

Todays Tip of the Day is about giving a subtle "glow" to your polished metal materials.

Use anisotropy and BSDF blending to create a subtle glow to your low roughness (polished) metals:

Step by Step:
1) Use MXED metal wizard and choose Gold with a roughness of 25
2) Duplicate both BSDF's
3) Reduce the BSDF blending power of the originals to 1/10.
4) Set the reduced BSDF's to use anisotropy at 50 and set one of them to an angle of 90.
5) Set the duplicated full strength BSDF's to a roughness of 0.

Here is a without and with the effect side-by-side example.
Image
http://www.spotoarts.com/jason/tipoftheday/tod3.zip

Best,
Jason.
User avatar
By David Solito
#337394
Tip of Day #4

Todays Tip of the Day is about giving "boost" to your coating materials.

Just increase the extinction value of your coating (K).

Image

David
User avatar
By Half Life
#337468
Tip of Day #5

Todays Tip of the Day is about reducing the "plastic" shine of the Wizard Satin.

One simple setting change to R2 can completely change the look of the Wizard Satin, this tip is especially useful in sunlight:

Step by Step:
1) Use MXED Satin wizard and choose your desired color.
2) Select the topmost BSDF and change the R2 roughness from 0 to 100 (or any number in between if you wish to retain some of the shine)

Here is a without and with the effect side-by-side examples for both studio lighting and sunlight.
Image
http://www.spotoarts.com/jason/tipoftheday/tod5.zip

Best,
Jason.
User avatar
By Half Life
#337510
Tip of Day #6

Today’s Tip of the Day is about finding optimal settings for your “white” texture maps.

Use the “Image Properties” controls in MXED for the best results for each slot – this is particularly important when doing “white” materials.

On the left you will see the results with an unadjusted map and on the right with all maps adjusted for optimal results. The adjusted maps will result in less noise/faster renders with a greater sense of depth and materials that “sit” more naturally in their surroundings.

Image
http://www.spotoarts.com/jason/tipoftheday/tod6.zip


In the Reflectance 0 slot you will want the whitest parts of your image to not exceed a value of 225. You can use the readout (at the bottom) as you hover over areas to find the lightest area(s). Adjust the brightness down until none of those areas register values over 225.
Image


In the reflectance 90 slot will will want the very whitest parts to read 255. Adjust the brightness up until the brightest parts read 255.
Image


In the displacement slot we want maximum contrast, the darkest parts should read 0 and the lightest parts should read 255. Adjust the contrast up until you achieve maximum contrast.
Image


Best,
Jason.
By brodie_geers
#337581
Tip of Day #8

Today’s Tip of the Day is about thinSSS leaves.

If you use the material "thinSSS_treeLeaf.mxm" that comes with Maxwell or if you replace it's textures with your own and keep similar values, your leaves will look pretty good when backlit, but more commonly you'll have your leaves being front lit (where the sun is behind and to one side of the camera). When frontlit, this material tends to be too dark and the detail is lost (see left side of the image below).

Through a discussion with JDHill, he developed an alternate setup which helps to resolve this issue. You may still need to adjust values based on your own textures, but this setup should provide more realistic all-around results (back and front lit).

You'll notice that in order to accomplish this, what he did was create a color base mixed with the thinSSS properties on one layer and then separated the sheen properties to another layer.

Image
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/384281/Leaf%20Standard.zip

-Brodie
By brodie_geers
#337621
Tip of Day #9

Today’s Tip of the Day is about Bump Maps.

More specifically, this is about how to determine what your bump map's strength should be. When you've got a textured material, I find it's easy to set the bump value too high or low.

1) In the material editor try turning off the texture maps and replacing the default black color swatches for something like a 50% gray (when you open the color picker there is, by default, a swatch for it in the top-left) before running a preview render. This will help you focus in on exactly what the bump is doing. I tend to find it most helpful to leave the specular layer ON which helps you better visualize/tweak that layer as well at the same time.

2) Use the Global Bump slot when possible (as of v2.5 the wizard doesn't use the Global Bump slot for some reason), it'll save you from changing bump values in 2 or more different spots.

3) Use the Store feature in the editor to store various bump values. In the image below you'll see the results of a value of 10, 20, and 30 (these values are pretty high since this particular bump map doesn't have much contrast). It makes it much easier to see the difference (to my eye, the correct bump may be something around 25ish if you're going for a new decking look.

Image
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/384281/boards-01%20Bump.zip

-Brodie
User avatar
By David Solito
#337656
Tip of Day #10

Today’s Tip of the Day is about how to control a simple emitter plane with alpha on the layer opacity
I often use this tips to control the intensity/reflection of my emitter in my scene, simulate a studio lamp...
It works well for product rendering, studio scene... Also included the preview scene and some masks.
(note that your emitter value will never be stronger. It can just be lighter).

So, you can :

Simulate
Image

Repeat
Image
Image

Control gradiant with brightness and contrast
Image
Image

Have fun
Image

Change the color
Image

Change the preset
Image
http://rapidshare.com/files/447428936/tod9.zip
User avatar
By Half Life
#337684
Tip of the Day #11- Today’s tip of the day is my solution for back-lit graphics.

Use a ThinSSS “Ghost” layer to change normal graphics into graphics that you can back-light for use in signage.

The image below shows the graphics without the ThinSSS Ghost on the left and with the ThinSSS Ghost on the right.
Image
http://www.spotoarts.com/jason/tipoftheday/tod11.zip

Step-by-Step:

1) Create a normal material with your graphics loaded in reflectance 0 and 90 and roughness 95.
2) Create a second layer named Ghost and set to additive mode at 100%.
3) In the Ghost BSDF set reflectance 0 and 90 to Black and transmittance to White with attenuation to 7.5mm -- then Enable ThinSSS with scattering set to 1000 and thickness to 2.5mm.
4) In the Ghost BSDF drag and drop the graphic from the reflectance 90 of layer 1 BSDF into the transmittance slot and the graphic from the reflectance 0 of layer 1 BSDF into the scattering slot.

Adjust the attenuation value in the Ghost BSDF to control the transparency/opacity to suit your needs.

Best,
Jason.
User avatar
By Half Life
#337721
Tip of the Day #12

Todays tip of the day is related to tip #11 and tip #8 -- this tip shows how you can use the ThinSSS ghost from tip#11 to make a different formula of thinSSS leaf.

I used this material from the Gallery as an starting point: http://resources.maxwellrender.com/sear ... v2=0&tipo=

The major difference here (from tod#11) is the leafs use of the thickness map and the base materials use of a normal map, but otherwise the same technique applies.

The image below shows both the front (reflective) and the backlit examples of this leaf formula.
Image
http://www.spotoarts.com/jason/tipoftheday/tod12.zip

Best,
Jason.
User avatar
By Half Life
#337773
Tip of the Day#13

Todays tip of the day builds on the ThinSSS "ghost" concept to show how you can create a translucent white fabric using the technique.

This material incorporates roughness, anisotropy, and angle settings to give the slight surface reflections of a fabric but otherwise is similar to previous ThinSSS examples.

The image below shows the material in several lighting conditions
Image
http://www.spotoarts.com/jason/tipoftheday/tod13.zip

Best,
Jason.
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