How to Create your own VRay Texture Maps

This tutorial is linking the gap between our very first Material Tutorial for VRay 2.4 and our most recent one for VRay 3.4.

The most importnt part of creating your own VRay materials is having the right Texture Maps. So, what happens when you can’t find the Texteure Map of a certain Material? You create it! How? Photoshop!

We’ll go through this step by step, and as always, the model used to create this tutorial is available for download at the end of the post 🙂

It’s so easy, you’ll be building your own Library in no time 😉



Glass Material

By far this one is the easiest! All yo have to do is add a Generic matrial, then apply the following settings:

You can play around with the Fog color and see how it affects your Glass. A light blue-green color will give the glass a greenish tint where light refracts through it and is ideal for glass shelving and glass tables. Whereas a greyish tint is perfect for bowls and glass ware like a wine glass.

You can add a Bump material, along with a white-grey Fog color to mimic a bumpy Frosted Glass.

Note

There are diffrent Refreaction IOR values for different transparent material types, you can refer to this tutorial for those values (it’s old, but the IOR values still apply!).


Fabric

For a good fabric material, I don’t recommend using a Bitmap for the Diffuse.

Falloff Texture

Instead, when choosing the texture for your diffuse, pick Falloff from the menu, and add your Texture Image as Color 1. For Color 2, pick a color that’s a shade lighter that your texture image.

Falloff works nicely with the lighting in the scene to give a realistic fabric look with correct shadow and light placements on the objects bumps and dips. For silky, smooth, or velvety fabrics, opt for Fresnel.

For complex patterns or multicolored fabrics, use Photoshop to brighten the image by a few degress, save it as a second texture, and then add it as Color 2.

Bump Map

To create a realistic bump from a texture using Photoshop, all you have to do is turn your image to Greyscale or by turning your Saturation to 0.

Sometimes, the bump texture is too rough; the white parts in the image, for VRay, means the texture rises and the black means the texture dips, the greys are all in-between dips and rises (depending on how dark or light). You can soften the bump effect by brightening the image and/or reducing the contrast of the Bump Map image.

Brightness/Contrast values for the Bump Map used

These are the settings I used to complete the texture:

Oops, ignore the Roughness Texture!

Wallpaper

Wallpaper is basically Fabric; so we’ll treat it as such. You’ll need to create a Bump Map & Reflection Map (Steps on how to create a reflection map is further down). The Reflection Map controls how light interacts with the wallpaper, just don’t use high Reflect and/or Glossiness values.

To make the Material more realistic, enable Roughness (add the Bump Map as Texture) & lower your Bump value.


Rugs/Carpets

Add the Bump texture as a Bitmap, and create a Bump to go along with it (same method as mentioned above).

You can also add the Bump texture as a Roughness texture if the material is too smooth (I always preview my textures in the scene by using the Interactive Render feature).

Next, add a tiny bit of Reflection to give the Texture a bit of realism (optional).

Displacement Map

Displacement Maps are essential if you’re using textures that are supposed to interact with the light as 3D objects (such as Bricks, Wood Floors, Textured Carpets, etc.). To explain this further, Bump Maps give the ‘illusion’ of 3D (which is perfect for Fabrics and Wallpapers), but Displacement Maps make VRay render the object as a 3D minfestation of the Texture, so it interacts with lights and shadows as such.

To create a Displacement Map, you need to take a good look at your texture and picture where the ‘rises’ and ‘dips’ are if this would be a real-life material.

In Photoshop, you’ll use the Bump Map to create your Displacement Map. Keep in mind that lighter areas for VRay mean it’s a ‘rise’ and darker areas are ‘dips’; so make sure that the image’s contrast is not too harsh. If your ‘rises’ and ‘dips’ look odd, try inverting the colors (CTRL+I on the keyboard).

For the Bump Map & Displacement Map, I used these setings:


Realistic Metal

No metal in the world, expecially if it’s already manufactured into an object, then transported a few times, and then placed in an interior, is as smooth a mirror. That’s just not realistic.

To create a realistic Metal Texture, we need a Diffuse Map (with the correct metal ‘color’) + a Reflection Map + a Bump Map.

This is the Diffuse Map I used to create the Reflection and Bump maps.

I downloaded the Seamless Texture used for this tutorial from here; most of the textures are free as Diffuse only.

To make the texture render as metallic, uncheck Use Fresnel.

Reflection Map

Same rules of Bump & Displacement applies, when it comes to the way VRay reads and translates the map unto a render. However, for Reflection Maps, the lighter areas are more reflective and the darker areas are less reflective.

To create a Reflection Map in Photoshop, I created the Bump Map first and saved it as such, then inverted the colors (CTRL +I), and amped up the Brightness and Contrast.

To make the material reflect light correclty, I had to lower the Bump value:


Laminate/Veneer Wood Material

For Laminate/Veneer wood, no Displacement or Reflection Maps are needed. All you need is your Diffuse Map + Bump Map and the right Reflect value.

The Bump Map here is a bit tricky, since Laminate/Veneer is a manufactured material; so you need a ‘noise’ Bump Map instead of creating your own. Dig out your research skills and start looking for a noise texture or just download the one in this tutorial. Just make sure the Bump image matches the scale of the Diffuse image or your material may look pitted.

These types of materials are known for their smooth serfaces, so the Bump value has to be small.


Mirror Material

Last but not least, a highly requested material that is very easy to make! Check out the values below:

Remember to uncheck Use Fresnel.

And done!


Final Results.

Really hope this tutorial helps you create a wide variety of high quality custom materials to stock your library 🙂

Click here to download the Sketchup Model.

For any questions or extra tips, leave a comment below! You can also contact us on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

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