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Use physically based materials


Iray's MDL defines the material properties and parameters for all components; surface colour, reflections and refractions, light emissions, surface scatter, displacements and bumpmaps are all easily changeable.

Material Creation

Iray's MDL is based on intuitive real world materials that allows developers and designers to create and share library catalogues of custom materials. These materials can be created by editing existing materials or starting from scratch.

Our Iray+ SDK has built on this to provide a range of predefined content to get you started, along with the most powerful materials creation tool available, you'll be able to create true representation of materials, textures and lighting that meets your exact use case requirements.

Real-world material structures

At its core Iray's MDL (Materials Definition Language) is based on a hierarchical materials model, with materials created as they would be in the real world and incorporating:

  • Bidirectional Scatter Distribution Functions
  • Emissive Distribution Functions
  • Volume Distribution Functions

The Iray+ SDK provides access to a comprehensive material library, which includes full materials and a range of real-world material layers; intuitively combine base materials, colours, textures and finishes to create true-to-life representations of real-world materials in the same way they are manufactured or found in nature.

Shared Materials

Iray materials can be exported and shared across all projects to achieve a consistent look and style. In Iray+ you are presented with a wide variety of materials that can be adapted and shared between other MDL-enabled applications ensuring that everyone, no matter what point in the design workflow have one set of materials.

For more information of the Iray MDL, please visit the Developer Guide page, where you can download Whitepapers and technical specifications.


Measured Materials

Measured data is becoming more popular across a range of industries, giving users a better representation of how light interacts with specific materials. Iray fully supports measured data and can be used as a full material or as the base layer of a material where coatings and stickers are added to create a new material.