3ds Max + V-Ray: Materials Masterclass
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3ds Max + V-Ray: Materials Masterclass

Use 3ds Max to create professional, photoreal materials. Shaders include V-Ray, Corona, Mental Ray, V-ray for SketchUp
Best Selling
4.4 (58 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,358 students enrolled
Created by Adam Zollinger
Last updated 9/2015
Curiosity Sale
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Create photoreal 3d materials using a professional workflow
  • Take the principles from this course and begin applying them in 3d to improve texturing skills
  • Better understand settings of various different types of materials, in various render engines
  • Apply texturing principles in standard 3ds Max materials, mental ray, corona, V-Ray for SketchUp, and V-Ray
View Curriculum
  • You will need to know your way around in 3ds Max (or similar).
  • You will need to have basic Photoshop skills -- If not check out my beginner course for Photoshop
  • You will need access to 3ds Max and a V-Ray demo in order to follow along directly
  • Have a basic knowledge of V-Ray or other render engines will be helpful, but not essential
  • If haven't used 3ds Max, or if you need to sharpen your skills before focusing specifically on textures, check out my 3ds Max PRO in 6 hrs course first.

**Taught by a practicing professional

**The teacher is always available to help

**More real world examples / demonstrations to follow

**Get early access now before pricing goes up

**Join this course and get HUGE discounts on other courses from this instructor

Improve Your 3d Materials Workflow -- Achieve Photorealism

This course will dive into the details of 3d materials, showing you all the important tips and tricks necessary to achieve photorealism. The course will be demonstrated within 3ds Max, and the textures will primarily be created using V-Ray materials. Other types of shaders will also be demonstrated, but the class generally teaches you principles that can be applied across several different platforms. You will learn settings, shader types, map creation, etc., all while seeing real time demonstrations of materials being created and rendered.

In short, take this course if you want to vastly improve your ability to create photoreal textures, and streamline your workflow.

Here are some of the benefits of this course:

  • You will learn the professional way to do things, making you fast and efficient
  • The quality of your materials will immediately begin to improve as you apply my professional tips and tricks
  • Your renderings will take on a much more photo-realistic look, as materials are one of the most important elements for realism
  • You gain a deep knowledge and familiarity with V-Ray (and equivalent render engines) and its settings.
  • After taking this course, you will understand many principles that you can then experiment with to make your images more professional
  • The instructor is great at supporting the students by answering all questions and offering valuable feedback
  • By joining this course you will also get discounted access to all the other courses offered by this instructor (see coupons in bonus section)
  • And so much more...

Join the class TODAY

and get instant access to the class. You will join a community of over 7,000 total students (across all my courses) who have been satisfied with their 3d learning. And remember, I work hard to support all these students effectively by answering questions and helping them solve their problems. Here is a comment from a satisfied student:

"I must begin saying that over time Adam has gotten better at creating courses and explaining everything in a simplest manner possible.

1. Overall video and audio quality was great.

2. The amount of information was just enough and the quality of it all was amazing. I learned more than i expected to.

Bought it almost as soon as i could knowing that it will for sure be worth it. I'm already planning on recommending it to some people that would love this course and i already can't wait for a course on lighting.

Great job on the course!"


-Adam Z

Who is the target audience?
  • You should take this course if you want to make better materials, regardless of the program you use
  • Do not take this course if you are completely new to 3d, I have another course for that
  • Take this course if you want to gain a more intimate knowledge of V-Ray shaders and their settings
  • This class is great if you know the basics of 3d, but you are looking to take your images to the next level with advanced textures
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
33 Lectures
Promotional Video: In Case You Missed It - Course Overview
1 Lecture 02:01
Course Introduction: Advanced 3d Materials (3ds Max, V-Ray, SketchUp, Photoshop)
3 Lectures 05:31

I am a practicing 3ds Max + V-Ray professional, working in architectural visualization. Here I will show you some of my work so you know what I am all about.

Preview 01:39

This is an advanced level course about making beautiful 3d materials, therefore, you should already be familiar with 3d programs and their basic functions. I will try to keep the course fairly generic (not too program specific), so that regardless of what program you are familiar with you can gain something from this course.

Preview 01:37

This course won't be too software specific. I am hoping to make it beneficial to everyone interested in 3d, regardless of program. That being said, I use mostly 3ds Max with V-Ray. I will teach with the intention that the principles can be directly applied to mental ray materials, corona, V-Ray for SketchUp, and also architectural standard materials in 3ds Max. I will occasionally break from my V-Ray settings, and show how to get the same effects in these other softwares, but we will always be inside of 3ds Max. We will use both 3ds Max and V-Ray shader types.

Preview 02:15
An Overview of 3d Material Principles
2 Lectures 06:46

Here I will show you the basics of getting around in the material/map browser inside of 3ds Max. I will talk briefly about the different things available, and how we will use both the map types and material types.

Preview 03:23

I learned materials before the slate view existed, so I am very comfortable using the standard view. That being said, the slate editor is much more intuitive and powerful, so I teach you how to use it effectively. I will use both methods throughout the course, but focus more on slate view.

3ds Max: Standard Material Layout vs. Slate View
Maps: Bitmaps, Procedural, Composite, etc...
10 Lectures 58:51

There are a lot of procedural maps available, but I don't use all of them. Some of them just aren't very useful. Here I will start to talk about the essentials available with 3ds Max, and I will also discuss some of the instances were I use procedural maps as opposed to bitmaps.

Preview 01:16

Now I will show you specific examples of how to use some of my favorite procedural maps effectively. We will start with maps that can help to add randomness to your materials.

Procedural Maps: Noise, Cellular and Smoke

The gradient map is an essential tool, because of its power and versatility. This lecture will be dedicated to its settings so that you can achieve a mastery of it.

Procedural Maps: Gradient Ramp

Bitmaps will be your most useful type of mat, being used on most materials / textures that you ever create. Bitmaps also give you the most control over the look and feel of your materials. This is where you can really make your materials shine...with custom painted bitmaps.

The Most Essential Kind of Map to Master...

This is an advanced course, so I will not be showing you everything you need to know about creating tileable maps, as I assume you already have a good handle on Photoshop (If you need more training, check out my course: 3ds Max Advanced Modelling). However, I will show some of my process here in order to give some advanced tips.

Bitmaps: Creating Your Maps in Photoshop Part I

Applying Our Bitmaps

Composite maps are another powerful tool which allows you to combine different bitmaps together in a layer fashion, similar to Photoshop. This can be a quick and easy way to start layering different effects on top of each other in order to add detail to your materials, without having to go into Photoshop to paint custom maps.

Special Maps: Composite

Now for some more V-Ray specific maps. V-Ray has a lot of proprietary maps that are very useful. Here we will discuss a few of them, discussing their settings and what kind of effects you can get with them.

Special Maps: VrayEdgeTex, VrayDirt

In this section we learned the basic of maps. Hopefully, you have a good understanding of what they do and how to use them. We have only touched on some of them in this section, but they are some of the most essential ones. I do encourage you, however, to explore some of the other types of maps. Be creative and think of ways to use them in your workflow.

Recap and Takeaways From This Section

Assignment: Use Maps To Make Something Cool
Materials: Blend, 2 sided, SSS, etc...
8 Lectures 53:47

In this section we will start applying our maps to materials and also start learning about the various different materials options within V-Ray and 3ds Max.

Preview 01:34

V-Ray materials are awesome and powerful. Of all the different shader types I have used throughout my career, V-Ray materials are my favorite. They have all the power you need in a very streamlined and easy to understand UI. I will introduce you to all the features here in this lecture.

Standard V-Ray Materials Explained -- Everything You Ever Wanted in a Material

Can't fit all of the power of V-Ray materials into one lecture, so here is another. You need to understand the capabilities as fully as possible.

Standard V-Ray Materials Part II

Much like you plug maps into materials, you can also use some shaders to plug materials into materials. Blend and MultiSubObject materials are two such shaders. You will use them often, so I will explain how to tap into their power here.

Common Standard Materials: Blend and MultiSubObject

V-Ray 2 sided materials are great for certain things. Personally, I use them for tree leaves and lamp shades, but they can be applied in many different ways. Take a look at their capabilities in this lecture.

Special Materials: V-Ray 2 Sided and Self-Illumination

This is a great material for any thing that you want to have a metallic flake paint look to it. We'll cover the basic settings here.

Special Materials: V-Ray Car Paint

V-Ray has sub-surface scattering built into the standard V-Ray material, but it also provides some shortcuts (as in they render way faster). Vray fast SSS is great for skin, water, wax and other SSS materials.

Special Materials: V-Ray Fast SSS

In this section we got really familiar with the V-Ray material. We also looked at some of the nice shader options that come standard with 3ds Max. Finally, we looked at the power of some of the special V-Ray maps. Most other render engines have similar features to these special V-Ray maps. In the next section I will briefly show you how to apply some of these same techniques in other programs.

Materials Section Recap
How To Use These Techniques With Other Software (V-Ray for SketchUp, MR, Corona)
3 Lectures 14:43

If you have followed along with this course and understand V-Ray materials, you can also work in Corona, which is nice, cheap alternative to V-Ray. In this lecture I will show you a basic Corona texture, and explain how our V-Ray principles can be applied to it.

Create Similar Materials Using Corona

Many people love to use SketchUp for modeling. That is great, but when it is time to render, if you want photoreal you will need to look elsewhere. Fortunately, there is a such a thing as V-Ray for SketchUp. Your other option would be to export to 3ds Max then just render with V-Ray, but this lecture is about creating the textures within SketchUp with V-Ray as a render plugin.

...and V-Ray for SketchUp

This lecture will use the Architectural material which comes standard with 3ds Max and is optimized to work with Mental Ray (also standard). Again, everything we have learned up to this point will still apply.

3ds Max Architectural Materials
Real World 3d Material Example: Advanced Leather Material
3 Lectures 22:47
Photoreal Leather Texture, V-Ray Material, Part I

Photoreal Leather Texture, V-Ray Material, Part II

Photoreal Leather Texture, V-Ray Material, Part III
About the Instructor
Adam Zollinger
4.3 Average rating
1,432 Reviews
26,269 Students
9 Courses
Digital Artist & Instructor - 3ds Max / V-Ray / Photoshop

Digital Artist - 3ds Max & Photoshop

Adam has been working as a professional (and award winning) 3d artist for over 10 years, but his expertise does not stop there. He has also authored / illustrated a children's book, and created graphics for numerous mobile games. He has expert knowledge in the following programs:

  • 3ds Max
  • Mudbox
  • Photoshop
  • V-Ray
  • After Effects
  • Various other software programs and plugins

Most importantly, he has dedicated himself to lifelong learning, and he loves to teach others as well.

From the artist:

"I mostly work in the Architectural Visualization industry. This a career which I almost entirely taught myself, and have perfected over several years. In order to save you the trouble of learning the hard way, like I did, I wan't to offer my expertise to you."

Join one of Adam's courses today to benefit from his years of experience creating high-end, professional graphics.

*Follow the social links to connect with Adam on the internet. Keep up to date with the latest course discounts, and free resources available from Adam.