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Creating a Velvet material

Before creating a material in V-Ray, it is helpful to look first at some reference photos to see what the attributes of the material are, to replicate them in the software.

Below are the 2 images I will use as a reference to create a beige velvet.

So, what are its attributes? It mainly consists of two different hues of the same color, a lighter and a darker beige and they get mixed together in the random pattern we see in the photo.

Moreover, velvet is soft and it has some shin.

Let’s put this information in 3ds Max.

Open the Material Editor, right click in the active view and choose Materials – V-Ray - VRayMtl. Rename it to light beige.

Right-click in the active view and choose Maps – V-Ray – VRayBitmap. Connect the VRayBitmap node to the Diffuse map.

Double-click on the VRayBitmap node to open its parameters, go to the Parameters rollout and click on the 3 dots button next to the Bitmap field to select a texture. I have used the below one.

Also apply a texture on the Bump map to give depth/height to the fabric. I have used the below one.

So far, we have created a beige fabric. If we apply this to our object and produce a render, we will get the below result.

We said that to make a velvet we need to have 2 different hues of the same color. So now, we need to create the 2nd one.

Select the material, press Shift and drag to make a Copy. Rename it to dark beige.

How can we convert this to darker beige hue? We will add a Color Correction. Right click in the active view and go MapsGeneralColor Correction.

Connect the Color Correction to the Diffuse map and the VRayBitmap to the Color Correction.

What does Color Correction do? It allows us to adjust the color of a texture. It is like we open the texture in photoshop and adjust its properties.

Double-click on Color Correction to see its settings. Go to the Brightness and type -30.

So now we have created two same fabrics with two different hues & we want to combine them to a single material. How can we combine two materials?

Right-click in the active view and choose Materials – Vray – VrayBlendMtl.

As its name states, this material type blends two or more materials. Connect the first material to the Base and the second material to Coat 1. Then apply this VRayBlendMtl to your object.

Double-click on the VRayBlendMtl node to see its parameters. How does VRayBlendMtl work? It blends 50% of the Base material and 50% of the Coat material. The percentage is set through the color swatch next to the Coat map.

If the color is black, the Base material gets 100% and the Coat material 0%. So, we only see the Base material. If we make it white, then only the Coat material is visible. At 128 we have the 50% blend and we scroll up or down on the whiteness section to set the desired blend amount.

If see again the reference images, what we want to do is to blend the two materials using a pattern.

The below B&W image resembles the pattern we see in the reference photo.

How do we use this? Go to the Material Editor, double-click on the VRayBlendMtl to open its parameters and next to the Coat material we see the No map button, click on it and choose VRayBitmap.

Double-click on the VRayBitmap node, click on the 3 dots button and load the B&W texture that fits the pattern you are after.

Where it sees black it applies the Base material and where it sees white it applies the Coat material.

Select the black and white image node and hit on the Show Shaded material in viewport to see how it applies on your object and if necessary add a UVW Map.

If we now Render we will get the below result.

So now we see both finishes on the sofa and they blend based on the patterned texture we applied. The difference between the two finishes is too prominent, so we can go to the second material, the Coat material and change the Brightness to -15%. Below is the new render produced & now we have the feeling of a smooth velvet material.

If we also want to give it some shin, we can add a texture to the Reflection map.

Let me highlight one more time, that to blend two materials we need to use a black and white, not a grayscale texture.

For instance, the greyscale texture I used in the Reflection map also resembles the velvet pattern. If we add this texture to the Blend 1 map and render, we will get the below result.

We don’t have the velvet effect anymore. So be careful to use a B&W image.

Thanks for reading, I will see you all in my next post.

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