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Raytraced Reflections in 3d Studio Max


Creating that extra sense of realism with reflective glass

Many of the 3d Studio Max users at Simtropolis now use raytracing to create reflective windows, but how is it done? This tutorial shows you how.



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Here is a large pane of glass, set to about 70% opacity, the standard setting used by most modelers in the BAT. Unfortunately it doesn't look too real because real glass would reflect that tree.

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Well, in the material properties box, there is a reflection setting. The reflective setting is defaulted to 'none', we want to change this. To do this we will click on the box labeled 'none'.

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This gives us a list of options, for the reflective properties we want, we will click 'Raytrace'.

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Now we have reflective properties installed, but there is one final thing we need to do to ensure it fits in with Sim City. We will click on the 'Parent' icon shown here.

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To finish i am going to set the reflection to 60%, this will prevent the glass from becoming a full mirror.

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And here it is, a reflective pane of glass.Tutorial created by Ill Tonkso. PM him with any questions



This tutorial builds on Part 1, and teaches you how to reflect the sky onto any window texture. For this tutorial i sill use my 110 Bishopsgate model.

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We begin in the materials rollout. This is my window texture, the diffuse colour determines the map you applied to the material, the texture in its basic form. The reflection, is done in the same way we did it in Part 1, i have also set this to 20%, which looks right with the sky i will be using. Yours may be differant, and can be adjusted at the end of this tutorial. Finally you may notice i have the opacity set to 70%, the same applies here, adjust it to your own needs at the end of the tutorial.

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Hit 8 to being up the Environment and Effects box. Under envornment maps, which is defaulted to 'none', click the box to bring up...

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...this box. Where we will double click on 'Bitmap'.

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This allows you to select an image for your sky, just as you would any other texture. We are now ready to render and see how it looks.

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And there we go, realistic looking windows. Additionally, as i have done here you an select half of the windows (it's easier if you select the night lit ones) and change the opacity of the texture, this gives the impression of blinds in the windows.Please PM Ill_Tonkso if you have a question on this tutorial.


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