Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Glass Mental Ray Material and Lighting Tests

Alongside the development of the formation of my Futurist plants I have started creating material tests. While doing this I have also ended up doing some lighting tests as this will help me present my turnarounds for my final plant designs professionally. With the correct lighting they will look better refined and suggest how they will look in my final digital-set.
The aim of my material tests is to see how I can add the Futurists' material preferences effectively to the designs of my plants.
For example, one material Futurists approved was glass. I have produced some glass material tests below to investigate what I need to do to create the most appropriate glass effect on my plants. This will also help me move on to incorporating the properties of these materials in the design of the plant formations.

This was my first result using the mental ray 'dielectric_material' with a 'mib_volume' volumetric material plugged in. I found a tutorial online which I used to help me do some studio lighting. I was pretty pleased with the result but after some lighting tips from Alan I much prefer my latest result.

These are my lighting tests after some tips for improvement from Alan about real world lighting. I think the final one resulted in the glass material popping from the background and looking more solid as an actual object.

The renders below are experimentations with the glassy look the dielectric material was creating. Something that I found helpful was that the dielectric colour seemed better to have lighter than the colour of the volumetric material plugged in. It seemed that the glass looked more glassy with this. Also having the colours too dark gets rid of lots of the glass translucency.
However, if I wanted a really bright neon-like glass it wasn't always best to have the dielectric colour lighter.

These experiments with the material were focused towards other settings such as the index of refractions. I found that if you increase the index it makes the glass more translucent, perhaps more like thin glass whereas a lower index gives it a ghostly 2D appearance.
The phong coefficient when increased created a sort of marbling inside the glass but when decreased made the glass more frosted and matte.

The result I was happiest with is this one, it looks to have a good balance of translucence and reflection.

Like my first image I created a rainbow palette of different glass colours using my more refined glass material and lighting.