Vray – window material settings

residetial rendering

This tutorial has been written for 3d studio max and vray, but the principle is simple and can be applied successfully in (almost) any 3d software package

As you may already know, the way the windows look in a rendering can be a very important factor in the overall impression. However, I have noticed that many people (especially beginners) seem to neglect this aspect and the windows in their renderings are either black or mirror-like.

Here is a simple workflow that I use most of the time for adding widows to residential building renderings.

1) Take a photo of a window and crop it around the edges until you obtain a result similar to the one below. You will use this for the diffuse channel in the material editor

window map

2) Select the drapes and paint the black. Select invert, and color it with a very light blue (almost white) color and save it under a different name. You will use this for the refraction slot of the material.
*if the windows are far enough from the camera, you may skip this step.

window refraction map

3) Open the material editor, select vray material and use the following settings:
-diffuse channel – first bitmap
-reflection channel – falloff, Fresnel
-refraction channel – second bitmap

material settings

4) It may be a good idea to make a vray mtl wrapper with alpha contribution set to -1 (and keep the sub-material with the settings shown above). This way you will have an alpha channel for the windows and you could make some adjustments in photoshop after the rendering is done (color correction, adding some specular highlights, etc).

*You need repeat the workflow shown above, using several maps applied on different windows so you will have variation in your final rendering.

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  1. Wael says:

    how can we make an alpha channel to more than one
    object with different maps
    and select every one seperetaly in photoshop

  2. I don’t know how you could export multiple alpha channels from a single rendering…
    However, there are 2 things I can think of that you could do:
    1)- do several renderings (no gi, lights, shadows, etc), each one with a vray material wrapper applied to different selection sets.
    2) Use several self illuminated objects with different colors. You can do masks from these colors later in photoshop.

    Hope it helps.

  3. silvia says:

    Great trick!!! i was always wondering if those nice render with curtains was all real 3d models…:-)
    tnks a lot!!!

  4. rohan says:

    Thanks a lot for this tutorial, but i want to ask one thing, i did as you’ve mentioned above and in reflection i’ve i’ve assigned falloff with
    falloff type=frensel
    falloff direction=viewing direction (camera z-axis)
    when i hit render i get no reflection at all, and when i swap falloff colors, i get total mirror like reflection,
    i also tried different falloff types but wasn’t able to get a satisfactory reflection….
    hope you’ll help me with this…

  5. Hello rohan,

    Swapping falloff colors will not give realistic results.
    If you are not happy with the amount of reflection you are getting you can tweak the black (in the falloff colors) and make it dark gray; experiment with several shades of gray until you are happy with the results.

    However, normally the standard falloff settings should be enough, but keep in mind that you also need a background to be reflected.

    Hope it helps.

  6. rohan says:

    thanks a lot alex for your patience and time, i tweaked a little with the black falloff color and got some desired results…

    thanks again

  7. strangelove12 says:

    I tried this material and I got good results.I wanted to know if I use this material is it needed to build the building inside, eg. walls ceilings and so on? And do the bright parts in the refraction map, effect to be transparant there?

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