Creating Mastering Vray style shaders in Maya

I’m a subscriber of Mastering Vray by Grant Warwick and I’ve been trying to implement some of his techniques in my own shaders. Since Grant is using 3ds Max I’ve been trying to adopt his techniques in Maya. Which is easier said than done sometimes. Mostly because Grant relies heavily on both the Falloff map and Bercon Maps, none of which exist in Maya. Especially the Falloff map is something that bugs me that Maya does not have any equivelent node of. Grant is using the Falloff map to create curves instead of plain numbers for the IOR. IOR values can be found at http://refractiveindex.info/. One way of doing this in Maya is using the Custom Fresnel Script created by TheRenderBlog. You can read more about it here: http://therenderblog.com/custom-fresnel-curves-in-maya-part-2/. This creates a fresnel curve using a Remap Value node. It works great if you want the correct physical values, but is not very easy to modify if you want to tweak the values later. I also used the Remap Value node to create my fresnel curves, and it worked okay but I really missed a Bezier handle which the Falloff map in Max has. First you need to create a Sampler Info and connect the Facing Ratio to a Reverse node. The output of the Reverse goes to the Input Value of the Remap Value node.

Anyway, here is some of the shaders I have created so far:

Plastic

Plastic

Gold

Gold

Green_Paint

Green Paint

Paint_Green_NodeTree

This is how complex the node tree for the Green Paint shader ended up.

Gold_NodeTree

And here is the node tree for the Gold shader.

  1. Emma

    Nice shaders!

    Great you’ve been able to adopt Grants tutorial to Maya. I just subscribed to the course and I’m already struggling with lesson 2 to apply it to maya. I’ll try your approach right away. Thanks for sharing!

    Yes, v-ray is v-ray, but still in practice I’m finding out it’s not that simple to make his workflow work on other software than 3dsMax. Even small things like the yellow color of the plastic material he uses, when I input the exact same numbers (hsv 25 255 255) I get an orange color instead of yellow. That bugs me.

    May I ask how you got the shader ball for maya? I only got the max files with the course and can’t use it in maya obviously. I can’t equally asses my efforts at this time regarding to Grant’s results due to not having the same shader ball scene to work with.

    • Magnus

      Thanks!

      Nice to hear someone else applying his techniques to Maya as well.

      I checked my Maya scene with my yellow plastic material and compared it to Grants Max scene and found something interesting. If you input his RGB values (255, 150, 0) instead of HSV you will get the correct yellow color. Your Hue value in Maya will not be 25 however, but 35.294. So it seems that Max hue values may not be the same in Maya.

      I simply exported all the geometry as OBJ and recreated the lights and materials manually. I really wished there was an easy way of exporting a Max scene with Vray lights and materials to Maya but so far I haven’t found anything that works well. So the only reliable way is doing it manually.

  2. Adel ken

    Thanks Mangus for your explain its helpful
    I’m following Grants tutorials its hard to take it work in maya so please can you explain more to how to make the gold shader or if you can put the shader network from node editor and thankx a lot .

    • Thanks Adel. Sorry for the late reply, haven’t checked my site for a while…
      Hopefully I can publish more and better material about how to create shaders in Maya in the future. I’ve added the shader network for the gold shader in the post now. Hopefully it will help you.

  3. Travis

    Magnus,

    I am really struggling with converting the shaders from Grant’s workflow in maya. Would it be possible if you could share your shaders. I am a willing to send you some paypal cash as I have been working at this for days and they just aren’t coming out.

    • Sorry to hear you struggling Travis. I wished it was more straightforward to follow along as well. Perhaps in the future I can publish some shaders here on my website, but I don’t know how to do that just yet. But if you send me an e-mail using the Contact page I can send you some shaders with WeTransfer? There’s no need for you to pay anything.

  4. Joe Cyriac

    Hey Magnus,

    I’ve just started taking the course and I’ve had trouble replicating shaders in Maya as well. Your notes are very helpful, maybe it’d be a good idea to create a thread or subforum in the Mastering Vray page to help Maya users? I imagine this is a common problem. Thanks again.

    • Hi Joe.

      Yeah, there is a lot of workarounds when creating shaders in Maya. I actually checked the forum on the Mastering Vray page a couple of days ago and found a thread called Falloff for Maya. It is located under Lesson 2. Basically the answers is the same as in my blog post, but a little bit better explained perhaps…

  5. Joe Cyriac

    Hey Magnus,
    I’m curious about the ’Bercon noise baked’ maps you have in the green painted metal shader network. Did you end up baking them out of max, or did you replicate them in some other way?

    Thanks!
    Joe.

    • Hi Joe,
      Yes, the maps are baked out of max. It was mostly to try Bercon noise and follow along the tutorial. Switching between softwares just to create procedurals is not a workflow I would use in production.

  6. Joe Cyriac

    Ah, thanks for clarifying, I’m finding that hard to replicate, so far I’ve got decent results with Substances. If at any time you were to make a step by step or video for the gold or metal materials, I think it’d be a great help – I’d be happy to support it on Gumroad for instance. I’ve still not found a good way to replicate his results.

    • It was a while ago I did these shaders actually so I don’t remember if there was anything particular I struggled with regarding baking the Bercon maps. Yes, there is definitely other options out there for procedurals. I think Mari has really good procedurals for example.

      Reading all the comments here encourages me to do a more proper tutorial on how to do these shaders. Hopefully I will find time to do that in the near future.

  7. Hampus

    Hi, I’m also trying to follow Warwiks tutorials in Maya. It’s hard but I after some long search did find bercon textures for Maya. But I cant get them to work properly.
    They are included in Vray(atleast in vray 3). But they can be really hard to find.
    But if you go under the tab Creat- vray- from V-ray plugins- textures. You will find alot of hidden textures including the bercon nodes. They look a bit different then they do in Max. I found this link which try and explain what everything does, but it does not do it well.
    http://help.chaosgroup.com/vray/help/maya/sdk22/vray_plugins/TexBerconNoise.html
    It seems to me some of the attributes for these nodes are locked and hidden and I cant unlock or unhide them for some reason.

    I have been trying to figure this out for some time now with no luck. Found your site so thought I might share what I found.

    Maybe you guys will have better luck than me trying to get the bercon noise to work.. Would be nice to have.

    • Hi, I’ve recently found out about the Bercon maps in Vray 3 as well. I haven’t had time to try it myself yet but from what I heard it’s not working very well. My experience with the nodes in the Vray plugins is that they are not always reliable. I remember being happy to find a Color Correction node there only to find out it was very buggy and practically useless.

      Thanks for sharing. Bercon maps for Maya feels like a hot topic so I’m sure more people will try this once they find out about it. I intend to try it properly myself as soon as things calm down a little bit at work…

  8. Hi. Great work with the materials! Where can I find/download the vray material ball? Been looking everywhere but cant find it. Regards Johan

  9. Christopher Beale

    I found this great tutorial for converting Max VRay materials to Maya VRay.

    http://www.fxfx.net/how-to-use-3d-studio-max-v-ray-material-in-maya-v-ray/

    C

    • Hi Christopher,

      Thanks for sharing! I remember trying something similar years ago but didn’t find it reliable. Hopefully thinks have improved today. Will try it out next time I need to convert something.

  10. David

    Hi Magnus, im also using Vray for maya and viewing the Grant tutorial, and i manage to make a falloff curve whitout so much nodes.
    the principal diference whit your form to create the Falloff is that, I use the SamplerInfo inside of a Ramp and you connect the output: FacingRatio in the Input: VCoord (From the uvCoord), and the ramp finish just like the falloff from Max.
    and to spit the curve in the 3 channels (for the Gold) I use a RemapRGB in the Output of this Ramp.
    i dont know if i was clear or is a way that i can upload an image whit the node editor to makeit clear?
    any way thanks for your time, and im apologize for my english, is not my natural lenguash….:)

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for sharing! I think I get what you mean, but I need to try it out for my self. I don’t think it’s possible to upload images here in the comments. Need to look into that and see if it can be done.

      If you’re using Vray 3 you can use a OSL shader for the reflections as well. You can read more about it here: http://viscorbel.com/vray-materials-part-3-metals/. I’ve been playing around a little bit with it, but not enough to comment more on it.

  11. David

    Hi Magnus, i cant find a way to upload images, so Iv deside to upload a Project in Coroflot. Whit the Images, and Whit the form that i use the VrayOslTex in Maya.

    http://www.coroflot.com/David_Abadia/Vray-for-Maya-Advanced#specialties=8&sort_by=5

    I hope It can be helpfull. and if you likeit Please Share it 😉

  12. Macky

    Note sure if its been mentioned but Maya has the exact falloff node as max…

  13. Hi. Is it possible to get the Maya scene of the shaderball for download?
    Thanks

  14. Kevin

    ”Hi, I’ve recently found out about the Bercon maps in Vray 3 as well. I haven’t had time to try it myself yet but from what I heard it’s not working very well.”

    With a bit of fiddling, I was able to extract almost the same amount of functionality out of the VRay Bercon shader as is available in the Max version. The problem that I’ve found is that the UV displacement texture doesn’t seem to work. Does anyone here know a work around for this?

    • Hi Kevin, nice to hear about your progress with Bercon. It’s been over a year since I tried using it so I guess it’s time to revisit it again. What version of Vray did you use when you tried it?

      If I find some answers I will make sure to post something here.

  15. Serge

    Ahoy everyone, I am generally a max user but depending on a company work in Maya as well. I find it really difficult sometimes create complex shaders in Maya when one can create them rather easy in Max if you lnow what you are doing (especially composite shader in max versus layered texture in Maya).

    My real reason for post is this though, thought you might appreciate it –

    V-Ray falloff texture
    Generate falloff and fresnel effects based on viewing direction.

    Important updates to V-Ray 3.3 for Maya

    • Hi Serge,

      Thanks for posting! Great to know about the falloff texture. I’m still using V-Ray 3.1 for now but hopefully I can try out the new version soon. Lots of exciting stuff in this release I think!

  16. Eunice

    Hey Magnus!
    Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been trying to translate the way Grant uses some maps to create some variations on the reflective glossies of the material. And sometimes he mix a map on a composite with the falloff. I was wondering how did you achieve to create those variations on your shaders and if it might be possible for you to share the shaders to have a better idea of how you handle that =DD

    • Hi Eunice,

      In Maya you can use a Layered Texture to mix multiple maps together the same way you use a Composite map in 3ds Max. That’s what I used for the Green Paint shader for example.
      I’m happy to share these shaders with you. Please email me using the contact form on the website. I just want you to be aware that these techniques is what I used for a year and a half ago. Today there’s various updates like GGX and OSL that I would use for creating shaders. Since there still seems to be a lot of interest for this topic I can hopefully update this post in the future.

  17. Hey Magnus!

    Currently I am doing the Mastering Vray Course and I am really excited about Grant’s teaching.
    But I also have hard time, converting the materials in to Maya.
    Currently I am fighting with the translucent materials. At first the SSS function in the Base VRAyMtl for Maya is not working as in VRay for 3DSmax. Actually the result after playing with the settings has nothing to do with SSS material.
    1.Do you have some experience with this?
    I tried also to use the VRayFastSSS2 with better results, but still not satisfied. I couldn’t experience the flexibility of the SSS Function of the basic material in 3DSmax. Main problem is the absence of blurred refraction, which is obvious in Grant’s renderings.
    I would share with you my materiel and would be glad to have your opinion.

    Best
    Christo

    • Hi Christo!

      Sorry for the late reply! I’m assuming that you are trying to follow along lesson 7 with the translucent materials. I haven’t actually tried to recreate those shaders in Maya and not compared SSS shaders between Max and Mays so I’m afraid I can’t be off much help to you.

      I have sort of a plan to do a more comprehensive series of blog posts where I recreate all the Mastering Vray lessons in Maya. Currently I have only done one for lesson 2. But it all depends on my time and energy and if people show their interest or not.

  18. Burce Boran

    Hey Magnus! I am trying to follow Grants mastering vray course and it would be really helpful if you can share your shader files with me. Thanks!

  19. vincent

    Hi

    Interesting test and discussion, thanks for sharing your exploration.

    Do you mind to share with me your scene please if it’s not too much to ask ? 🙂

    Many thanks
    vince*
    bout.de.lune@gmail.com

    • Hi,

      You’re welcome. Please check out my updated post about this topic: http://www.magnus-olsson.se/?p=243.

      I’ll share the scenes with you. But the scenes have been updated according to the new post I mentioned so it won’t be exactly as they are in this post. Just so you know.

      /Magnus

  20. Youre website has been a massive help im currently trying to figure out Bercon maps in Maya!

    Thought I would drop by and share my method for creating custom fresnel curves.

    I put down a sampler info node and connect the facing ratio to the x input of a reverse node, then using the output x value from the reverse node as the input value in a remap value node you can then connect this output value into your reflect colour or reflect colour amount, using this method you can create your own reflectance curves that work exactly like the ones in max!

    I’m going to be working on a script soon just to lay down and connect those nodes together just to cut out the process, only problem is Maya’s remap value node doesnt seem to have bezier curves for adjusting the curvature, its either spline smooth or linear. This seems bizarre as its such a basic fundamental feature, any ideas if there are any bezier curves in mays remap at all?

    Thanks,
    -Nathan

    • Hi Nathan,

      Thanks for your input here. Please check out my updated post about this topic: http://www.magnus-olsson.se/?p=243. I hope you will find that interesting as well.

      Yes, I agree that the lack out bezier curves in Maya is really unfortunate and makes it harder for the artists to create shaders with these methods.

      /Magnus

  21. Santosh Nagarkoti

    Hi there,
    I am very excited about Grants mastering vray course and thanks for your efforts. Lately, I’m studying Texturing and Lighting and really want to know about the shader settings in Maya 2016. It will be helpful for me if you can share your shader files. Thank you!

  22. Eric Lee

    Hi Magnus

    Your website looks awesome!

    If you don’t mind could you share the Mastering V-Ray shaders inclued Green Paint please?

    Thanks,
    Eric

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