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This page provides an overview of V-Ray Materials in Revit.

 

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Page Contents

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Overview

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V-Ray for Revit incorporates several different means to produce materials from Revit. Materials can come from Revit itself, or more powerful and versatile materials can be created using the standalone VRMat V-Ray Asset Editor; these materials include those with displacement, subsurface scattering, dirt maps, and light emitting properties.

 

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Image courtesy of Karam Baki

 

 

UI Paths

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||V-Ray Asset Editor|| > Create Asset > Materials

||V-Ray Asset Editor|| > Materials


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Creation of materials is available from two places in the Asset Editor: the Create Asset button and the Materials

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category icon (top).

If you haven't created any assets yet, left- or right-click on the Materials category icon, will open the drop-down and will prompt you to create a new asset. If you already have assets, left-click selects and displays only the category you have clicked on. Alt + left click on the category keeps both categores displayed in the outliner, whereas right-click opens the asset creation drop-down.

The Asset creation dropdown lists remain active when the Ctrl (Cmd on Mac OS) key is held, allowing the creation of multiple assets in quick succession.

Options

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There are some context options that V-Ray materials have.

The Search Scene field will search the assets by name from all the categories that are selected.

Right-click on any material in the Material's list for a context menu to appear. You can apply the material to the currently selected object or to a layer.

Select a material to Use as Replacement for any other material in the scene. Then, use the Replace In Scene option over the chosen material or the Replace All References to replace this material in all places that is used. For example, a Generic material is used as part of Two Sided and Multi Material. Replace All References will overwrite the Generic material in both Two Sided and Multi Material.

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The Asset lists have some additional multi-selection functionalities:

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  • Material Map – Allows you to replace the standard Revit materials with simple colors, simple textures, or more powerful and versatile V-Ray materials.
  • Upgrade Old Material Library – Learn how to upgrade your old materials created in V-Ray for Revit versions prior to 3.50.01.
  • Preset Material Library – A gallery of preset V-Ray materials for common use.

 

 

 

 

  • Ctrl (Cmd on Mac OS) on deselected item - Adds to the selection;
  • Ctrl (Cmd) on selected item - Removes it from the selection;
  • Ctrl + A (Cmd + A) - Selects all items in the list/category;
  • Shift + Left-click - expands the range of the current selection;
  • Click + Drag - Leaves only the clicked item selected;
  • Right-Click on deselected item - Shows the context menu for the item, selects the item and deselects all other items;
  • Right-Click on selected item - Shows the context menu for the item and doesn't change the selection.
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Мaterial's parameters and options are organized in Basic and Advanced modes. You can switch the mode from the toggle bar under the Preview Swatch.

V-Ray Material, part of which are the Generic, Metallic and Emissive presets, have the option of stacking additional layers of settings on top of the default ones. Add Attribute and Add Layer are buttons under the Preview Swatch opens a list of available layers that you can add on top of the existing preset. The top and added layers can be moved in the stack. They have a context menu, which allows duplication, renaming or deletion of the selected layer.

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BlendBumpToonOverride, and Two Sided materials allow drag-and-dropping to their input slots. The input slot (Image Added) of these materials also has a context menu available when you right-click on it.

You can CopyCutClear , and Wrap in the selected material or Paste as Instance another material into the slot. 

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Attributes
Attributes

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An Add Attribute button and an Add Layer button are provided for some V-Ray materials. You can select additional attributes and layers that can add up to the appearance of the material.

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Attributes

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Material ID

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ID Number – Isolates objects as an R/G/B mask in the MultiMatte render elements.

ID Color – Allows you to specify a color to represent this material in the Material ID VFB render element. 

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Each material is assigned with an automatically generated ID Color.

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Translucency

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Back Material– Defines the material V-Ray uses for back side faces as defined by their normals.

Translucency – Determines if the front or the back side of the material is more visible in the rendering process. By default this value is 0.5, which means that both sides are equally visible. When this parameter is closer to zero, the material facing the camera is more visible, when it is closer to one, the back material is more visible. A texture can be used to control the variation of the effect.

Mult. by Front Diffuse – When enabled, the translucency is multiplied by the diffuse of the front material.

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Bump

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This option gives the ability to add bump map and normal map effects when using any material.

Bump – Enables or disables the bump or normal effect.

Mode/Map – Specifies the bump map type.

Bump Map – A height map should be used.
Bump Texture Channel – It is most commonly used for Round Edges effect. Edges texture is used as a bump.
Normal map – RGB map should be used with this option. If a Bitmap texture is slotted its color space must be set to Rendering Space (Linear).

Normal Map Type – This option is available only when the Mode is set to Normal Map. It specifies the space for the Normal Map.

Tangent Space – Uses tangents set to each individual face.
Object Space – Uses each object's local coordinates. 
Screen Space – Uses a flat projection along the camera direction.
World Space – Uses world coordinates.

Amount – Multiplier for the bump/normal map. 

Delta Scale It specifies a scale for sampling the bitmap when Bump Map is selected. The exact value is calculated automatically by V-Ray, but can be changed here.

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Displacement

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Displacement1 – Enables or disables the displacement effect.

Mode/ Map2 – Specifies the mode in which the displacement is rendered.

2D Displacement – Bases the displacement on a texture map that is known in advanced. The displaced surface is rendered as a warped height-field based on that texture map. The actual raytracing of the displaced surface is done in texture space and the result is mapped back into 3D space. The advantage of this method is that it preserves all details in the displacement map. However, it requires the object to have valid texture coordinates. You cannot use this method for 3d procedural textures or other textures that use object or world coordinates. The parameter can take any values. 
Normal Displacement – Takes the original surface geometry and subdivides its triangles into smaller sub-triangles, which then are displaced. 

Amount – The amount of displacement. A value of 0.0 means the object appears unchanged. Higher values produce a greater displacement effect. This parameter can also take a negative value, in which case the displacement pushes geometry inside the object. 

Shift – Specifies a constant, which is added to the displacement map values, effectively shifting the displaced surface up and down along the normals. This can be either positive or negative.

Keep continuity – When enabled, tries to produce a connected surface, without splits, when there are faces from different smoothing groups and/or material IDs. Note that using material IDs is not a very good way to combine displacement maps since V-Ray cannot always guarantee the surface continuity. Use other methods (vertex colors, masks etc.) to blend different displacement maps.

Resolution – This option is available when the Mode/Map is 2D Displacement. It determines the resolution of the displacement texture used by V-Ray. If the texture is a bitmap, it is recommended to match this resolution to the size of the bitmap. For procedural 2D maps, the resolution is determined by the desired quality and detail in the displacement. Note that V-Ray also automatically generates a normal map based on the displacement map in order to compensate for details not captured by the actual displaced surface.

View dependent – When enabled, Edge length determines the maximum length of a subtriangle edge in pixels. A value of 1.0 means that the longest edge of each subtriangle is about one pixel long when projected on the screen. When disabled, Edge length is the maximum sub-triangle edge length in world units.

Edge length – Determines the quality of the displacement. Each triangle of the original mesh is subdivided into a number of subtriangles. More subtriangles mean more detail in the displacement, slower rendering times and more RAM usage. Less subtriangles mean less detail, faster rendering and less RAM. The meaning of Edge length depends on the View dependent parameter. The slider's minimum range is set to 0.4. Using lower values is still possible by manually typing them in the input box but it may cause significant render delay.

Max subdivs – Controls the maximum sub-triangles generated from any triangle of the original mesh when the displacement type is Subdivision. The value is in fact the square root of the maximum number of subtriangles. For example, a value of 256 means that at most 256 x 256 = 65536 subtriangles will be generated for any given original triangle. It is not a good idea to keep this value very high. If you need to use higher values, it will be better to tessellate the original mesh itself into smaller triangles instead. The actual subdivisions for a triangle are rounded up to the nearest power of two (this makes it easier to avoid gaps because of different tessellation on neighboring triangles). 


Water Level – Clips the surface geometry in places where the displacement map value is below the specified threshold. This can be used for clip mapping a displacement map value below which geometry will be clipped. 

Level Height – Value below which the geometry is clipped. 

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Materials need to be applied to objects (groups/components) to have working displacement. If various materials are applied to different faces of an object, the displacement from the top-level (group/component) material will be used on all of them. Normal Displacement will take into account the texture size of each different face material, while 2D Displacement will ignore them.


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Raytrace Properties

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Visible to Camera – When enabled, makes objects using this material visible to the camera.

Visible to Reflections – When enabled, this option makes objects using this material visible for to Reflection rays.

Visible to Refractions – When enabled, this option makes objects using this material visible for the Refraction rays.

Cast Shadows – When disabled, all objects with this material applied do not cast shadows.

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Override

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Shadows – The material that is used when a shadow ray hits the surface.

Reflection – The material that is used when a reflection ray hits the surface.

Refraction– The material that is used when a refraction ray hits the surface.

GI – The material that is used when a GI ray hits the surface.

Environment – The texture that will be used instead of the scene environment maps.

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V-Ray and Revit Materials

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It is always recommended to use V-Ray native materials.

V-Ray supports Revit materials by internally copying their attributes and "translating" them to a V-Ray material in order to read them. That is why, although Revit materials by default do not have that many options, when shown in the Asset Editor - they have additional V-Ray options.

Note that this additional V-Ray data stored for each material can only be read in V-Ray, not in Revit itself.