Fun With Vue and Render Settings

It’s been a while since the last post here.  I’ve been trying to refine the textures for the XB-51 in Vue Studio.  Unfortunately, Vue doesn’t really know what to do with Mental Ray materials.  So, I’ve had to go back and re-do almost everything.  I also bought a module that allows one to have more control over the material function editor in Vue.  This took a little time while I noodled-around with its myriad of settings and connections.  I’m getting happier with the results now, where previously I’ll admit to being a bit frustrated.

XB-51
XB-51 (©John Matthews)

My intention was to have different levels of reflection and gloss for groups of panels.  That had to be done using several layers of texture maps, with different reflection, highlight, and anisotropic value levels.  Sometimes that resulted in just a patchwork of gray panels.  However, the longer you twiddle around it the better it starts to look.

XB-51
XB-51 (© John Matthews)

Lots of contrast here in the panels, and some specular color tossed in.  So, you get going from one extreme to the other and start working toward the middle.

XB-51
XB-51 (© John Matthews)

These represent a lot of very boring changes in specular highlight and reflection settings ( I thought I won this battle in the “Great Mental Ray War of 2016″… Ha!).

XB-51
XB-51 (© John Matthews)

Specular highlights are too high here.  But, you see a nice differentiation in the various panels on the plane.  There’s also something else I noticed; sometimes, in reflection and transparency, Vue renders black globs.  I’m not certain why this happens, but I’m guessing it’s a render quality adjustment.  Going higher with render quality settings means much longer render times though.

XB-51
XB-51 (© John Matthews)

The dark lines are grunge around the rivets on the airframe, which need to be toned-down a notch or two…

XB-51
XB-51 (© John Matthews)

This is the most recent rendering.  The quality settings were turned-up kinda high, which likely accounts for the 67 hour render time.  But, lots of clouds, and a shiny metal plane that reflects everything in the world, could also be the culprit.  Looks like I’ll need to adjust the settings for the texture to the cones in front of each engine.  Both of them look white, when they should have a very dull metallic look without a ton of reflection.  So, a bit more work to do still.  Until next time…

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