1C-1: Introducing Rhino Materials

Materials are properties that define the look of 3D objects. Each material has properties such as color, transparency, reflectivity, as well as many others (depends on which 3D software is used).

Materials are properties that define the look of 3D objects. Each material has properties such as color, transparency, reflectivity, as well as many others (depends on which 3D software is used).

We will start with basics, using built-in Rhino materials, and only define their color. In order to create an image with a nice color palette, we will steal colors from the following image:

MTMxNDU0OTQzMDQyMzM0NjkwColor palette analysis from Moonlight Kingdom (Wes Andreson, 2012).

 

Managing Rhino Materials

Creating Materials

Each scene can have a great number of materials. For this exercise we will create a couple of materials that correspond to the color scheme from the reference image (above).

All material operations are located in Materials panel. It’s a very useful practice to dock this panel on the right-hand side bar to keep it out of the way.
So let’s see how to create materials. We will use the same model we did in last week’s exercise:


Assigning Materials To Layers

It is a common practice to organize scene in such way that all objects in one layer share same material – it makes it easier to manage materials in this way than to assign materials to each object individually (which is also possible, but not much recommended).

So here’s how to assign a material to each layer. Note that each layer can only have one material, but one material can be applied to many layers at once (no limitation).


 

Changing Objects’ Layer To Change Material

Logical conclusion of the previous statement (materials assigned to layers) is that if we want to change a material of an object, we simply move the object to another layer.
Like this:

Useful tip: To select multiple objects at the same time, keep SHIFT key pressed as you click on them.


Assign Materials To Individual Objects

As I mentioned above, it’s also possible to assign material to individual objects, regardless on which layer the object is. To do this, we need to override default behavior (“Assign material by layer”), by selecting the objects and changing the following items in the Objects’ Properties:

Note: It is not recommended to use this method, as it makes it more difficult to manage the scene. For simpler workflow, use Layers to assign materials.

Basic Material Settings

Apart from color, Rhino materials have a couple of more settings:

basic-gui

Important: Please note that transparent objects in Rhino will never look natural if only using built-in Rhino renderer (for more realism it’s necessary to install a rendering plugin such as VRay, Octane, Brazil…).

In order to achive somewhat realistic transparent objects (such as glass) we will have a separate tutorial that fakes the glass in Photoshop.

Here’s an example of how changing reflectivity works:

 

 

 

 

Any questions?

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