Vray wet materials

In this tutorial we will go through the process of creating realistic wet materials. Although the tutorial is written for max and vray users, the same workflow can be adapted to any software you may use.

1) Analyzing the reference
In order to re-create any type of material the first and most important thing is to look at real photos of what you are trying to replicate in your rendering, and really understand what is happening there.

For example, take a close look at the photo bellow.

Not only the asphalt is quite reflective because of the layer of water on it, but also the glossiness/specular varies a lot across the image. In areas where the layer of water is thicker the reflections are a lot sharper and the bump of the asphalt is less present. In other areas, where the asphalt is dryer, the reflections become glossy and they are also distorted by the bumps on the street.

2) Replicating the effect with 3ds max tools and vray.
To sum it up, in order to create a wet asphalt shader we need a diffuse map, a bump map, a reflection map and most importantly a map for the glossiness chanel.
Open the “wet materials scene” that you find in this zip file.

Although all the maps are already there, they are not activated yet; we will activate them one by one to better understand how each of them affects the overall look.

a)    The reflection map

For the reflection, I have used a falloff with 2 maps (basically a darker version and a lighter version), for more control. Besides the brightness both maps are identical.
The areas close to the edges (where I want the layer of water to be thicker) are whiter and more uniform, while other areas are darker and noisy.

Activate the reflection map by clicking the checkbox next to it in the maps rollout.
If you hit render, at this stage you will end up with something like this:

b)    The bump map
If you activate the map and hit render you will notice that the reflections are distorted in the areas where the map has noise applied. Again, in other areas where there is more water, you need to paint it with neutral gray, since there is no bumpiness.

c)    The reflection glossiness map
This one makes all the difference. Before activating it, the reflection, although distorted by the bump map in some place is still very sharp an unnatural. As we have noticed from the reference image at the beginning of the tutorial, this should vary across the image, depending again by the thickness of the layer of water. White causes the reflection to be sharp (equivalent to “1” from the glossiness parameter), while darker values make the reflection much more glossy.
If you hit a render after having activated it, you will end up with something like the following:

d)    The diffuse map.
Although not really important for the purpose of this tutorial, it has quite an impact on the realism of the image, so activate that as well and hit a final render.

If there is something you don’t understand or if you have any kind of questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

  1. jackieteh says:

    yes, i ahve one question,may i know why you give the standing light box model a lot of segment instead of just built it in a simple box primitive? is there any secret?

    sorry about my poor english.

  2. Hi jackie,

    Sorry for the late reply.
    No secret there… in this case it would have been just the same with a simple primitive.

  3. Vuk Djordjevic says:

    Great staff man! I’m must say i haven’t yet came up to a tutorial of this kind on the net so its much appriciated:) keep the good work up and yet again thnx a bunch!

  4. antonio mallari says:

    very helpful tutorial. =) do you have a tutorial on how to make a shader for roof gutter? thanks in advance=)

  5. Alex says:

    You are a very good rendering artist. Thanks for sharing, keep it coming.

  6. arnel says:

    nice when i gave this a shot i got a vray problem so i just gave it up

  7. dj sethi says:

    hey hi there
    really nice tutorial but do u have any video tutorials
    for texturing

  8. mani says:

    u work is v good

  9. zero says:

    hi! thanks for the great tutorial, could you also teach us how did you paint the textures in photoshop, for example if we will gonna make a different texture with wet effect. thanks again and more power

  10. bigboss90 says:

    thanks for sharing.. im still new to this 3ds Max visualisation.Could you help me learn more about the ‘lighting and bump’ in rendering 3ds max?


  11. Saif Hussain says:

    awsome tutorial :D

  12. 3d models says:

    Thanks for sharing great tutorials

  13. Robert says:

    I’m wondering what the purpose of the diffuse map was? What cause did it have on the previous two maps?

  14. Really well explained thanks

  15. zeynab says:

    sry! when i do the render,it appears too much dark!i mean just the bulb lights and the billboards are visible!should i make an skylight myself?or i should active something else to have the same render of u?

  16. It looks like you haven’t turned the GI on. That would be the only explanation.


  17. 3Dvizta says:

    Very helpful tutorial. This is very useful to make the 3d renderings more realistic. Great share.

  18. Asim says:

    Thanks a lot….. I did it with a lot of enjoy along learning obviously … Good Luck!

  19. Great tutorial, thanks for sharing

Trackbacks / Pings
Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>