Tutorial-LumeMatter

The LumeMatter set is made up of three individual shaders: Glass, Metal, and Edge. This tutorial will show you basic examples of how to use each one.

It's a Material World

In this tutorial you will create a rough-edged rock, a metallic sphere, and a wine glass.

Get the Scene

Open the scene. We've created the objects for you to work with.

Choose Get -> Scene. In the LumeTutorials database, get the scene called "MatterScene."

Preview! Let's see what's in this scene.

Choose Preview -> All. Remember these are mental ray shaders, so make sure that in your Preview -> Setup you've got the preview renderer set to "mental ray."

So what we've got here are three objects: a sphere made of a rock-like material, a sphere with a near metallic look, and a wine glass. None of our objects look particularly nice, so let's see how the shaders can help. First for the rock -

NOTE: if you'd like to speed up your renderings during the tutorial, feel free to hide the objects that we are not using in each section; the wine glass can be particularly slow, with its more complicated geometry and reflections but if you've got a faster machine or you don't mind waiting just a short while, keep `em all in.

Add the Edge shader

Right now the edge of our rock looks a little too smooth, given the roughness of the rock texture. Using Edge we can roughen the outer edges up a bit, without having to use the geometry-intensive displacement mapping.

Add the Edge shader. This will give the rock a rough-looking edge.

Select the rock sphere.

Choose Material. Click on the Material Shader check box; then go to the LumeTools database, and choose Edge.

Still in the Material Editor, click on Edge to highlight it, then click the Edit button. In the Edge dialogue box, first change the Amount to 5.0 and the Blur to 3.5; then in the Profile Noise Effect box, click the Active check box to make it active, and change the Scale to 0.1. Click OK to exit the Edge.

Back in the Material Editor, there's one more essential step: set the Transparency to 1.0. Then click OK to go back to your scene.

NOTE: This last step is necessary due to the way Edge works in Softimage; if you ever find that Edge isn't working, check this first it's not a very intuitive step, and therefore easy to forget!

Preview!

Woah, the edges of the rock are all blurry. What happened? Actually, we played a little trick on you we just wanted to show you what the Blur feature of Edge can do. OK, now let's go back and turn off the Blur.

Turn off the blur feature.

Choose Material; click on Edge to highlight it, then click the Edit button. In the Edge dialogue box, change the Blur to 0.0.

Preview!

You should see that we've given our rock just a slight bump around the edge, without having to use any additional geometry. Now let's move on to the metallic sphere.

Add the Metal shader

Add the Metal shader. This will give the sphere a true metallic, and slightly blurred, reflection.

Select the metallic sphere.

Choose Material. Click on the Material Shader check box; then go to the LumeTools database, and choose Metal.

Still in the Material Editor, click on Metal to highlight it, then click the Edit button. In the Metal dialogue box, change the Reflection Tint radio button to "Solid Color." Leave the RGB settings at their current default. Then click on the Reflection Blurring check box to make it active, and change the Spread to 4.0. Go back to your scene and -

Preview!

There are two effects which you should notice the first, more subtle but very important, is that the reflections are now colored by the metal, as they would be in reality. Second and more obvious, we can see that the reflections are also blurred, simulating a slightly roughened surface. Now for the glass -

Add the Glass shader

Add the Glass shader. This will make the wine glass look like, well, glass.

Select the wine glass.

Choose Material. First, set both the Transparency and Reflectivity to 1.0; check to make sure that the Refractive Index is set to 1.5, the proper index for glass. Then click on the Material Shader check box; go to the LumeTools database, and choose Glass.

Still in the Material Editor, click on Glass to highlight it, then click the Edit button. In the Glass dialogue box, first click on the Transparency Tint check box to make it active, and leave the radio button set to "From Diffuse." Then, in the Edge Shadow box, switch the radio button to "Custom." Go back to your scene.

Preview!

As you can see, Glass provides a number of effects that create a true glass-look: it varies the transparency and reflectivity over the shape of the object, creates a proper tint in the glass itself, and gives an accurately modeled and tinted shadow. Of course, as with many of the shaders, Glass can be used as a tool to build all sorts of related effects see what you can come up with as you play with all of the LumeMatter shaders.