Iray+ real-world materials; made simply, used effectively

Scratched CarThis month, we’re taking a closer look at Iray+ materials. If you know about Iray+, you will no doubt have heard us mention the phrases ‘intuitive material creation processes’ and ‘real-world material structures’. In this feature, we will explore what this actually means in practice and how the Iray+ material creation processes enable 3D designers to access the most sophisticated materials more easily than ever before.

At Lightworks we’ve always been eager to help make rendering technology accessible to the masses and it’s with this ethos that we began development on NVIDIA’s Iray. One of the key areas that we were determined to make accessible was the MDL (Material Definition Language) materials; MDL enables the creation of the most complex, physically based materials available on the market. With this level of sophistication comes a degree of complexity that can require great technical skill to create MDL materials. Through our developments we’ve removed these technical barriers providing an intuitive material creation process that makes Iray+ materials (based on MDL) easily accessible regardless of technical prowess.

We took inspiration from manufacturing processes and nature to allow the material creation to adopt a logical process. As in the real world, Iray+ materials are built by combining layers (classes).

A painted, varnished wood for example follows the structure of:

Created in a top down structure, with the core geometry at the bottom of the layer order, and additional layers built on top as required. Multiple layers of each type can be added, allowing highly complex finishes, such as multi-layered paint peel and rust, chips and scratches. To add to the accuracy, each layer can be defined through weighting and visibility. This classification and approach to material creation allows for intuitive and effective usage of the extensive material library available with Iray+.

The extensive range of components, which can be used to create materials in Iray+ demonstrates the diversity of the SDK itself; which covers standard materials, skin, ‘ocean’ and metal. We believe that having access to an easy-to-navigate, extensive library of high-quality, real world materials is key to creating beautiful images.

To ensure our logical ethos is carried through the material creation process, we’ve made sure the material components are categorised intuitively. Components are pre-defined in a recognisable way, to help maximise the speed of the workflow. See for yourself here.

Keep your eyes peeled for next month’s feature, which will delve into the material collaboration and sharing abilities in Iray+. If you’d like to find out more about Iray+, speak to one of our experts today; iray@lightworkdesign.com

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