A 3D Studio
To make a good
glass you must know about a few things. Not only the material
is important, but also geometry of your object and lighting.
Your object which
will have glass material must have its thickness, without it
no glass will look natural. Usually you make glasses using one
or more splines and lathe modifier. So when you prepare your
splines make both sides of your object at once (look at picture
Ok, object is ready.
Now the lighting. Almost in all scenes you use more than one
light source, and also for good glass you need a few lights.
I usually use one strong spot light and 2 or 3 darker spots
as fill lights. Also you can put one or more omni lights to
make more speculars (glass material is highly specular). To
do so go to omni properties and uncheck "Affect diffuse",
leave only "Affect specular" on. Now use Place highlight
tool to position your omnis so they produce speculars on proper
areas of your object. Pictures below shows how I put my lights.
And finally the
material... Go to material editor and make material with parameters
similar to those on picture below.
I prefer metal
shading for glass material, but blinn shading may work ok too.
2-sided material produce much more realistic glass so turn it
on. Diffuse color should be rather dark, perfectly transparent
glass should have black diffuse color, every change of this
color will tint your glass. It is very important to keep opacity
of your material at 100%.
The most important
part of your glass material is refraction map - use standard
in MAX 2 raytrace texture. You may experiment with it's parameters
to improve rendering time and quality. For rendering time the
most important setting is trace depth - the higher value here,
the longer rendering time, but if you reduce it too much render
quality will be very poor (black areas on parts of rendered
picture may appear). Use 60-95% amount of raytrace map - depending
on how transparent your glass should be.
One more important setting is in extended parameters: RayTrace
IOR - this is index of refraction - this defines how much light
refracts when going thru glass. Common glass IORs are from 1.6
to about 2.
you can make a test render to check how good your glass is.
For test renders you may want to turn off antialiasing to speed
up rendering. Test render should look similar to this one:
You see lots of
pixels with different colors that look terrible. This is because
there is no antialiasing on edges and surface of the glass.
If you turn on antialiasing in rendering preferences to improve
edges quality. And to improve glass surface quality turn on
Supersample in basic material parameters. But remember that
both antialiasing and supersample increase rendering time very
And yet a few words
about glass: some areas of rendering above look too clear. Glass
is highly refractive, but also reflective material. You can
apply raytrace texture for reflection map, but combining raytrace
map for both reflection and refraction is a killing combo for
any CPU :) So you can fake some reflections using bitmap with
environment/spherical mapping. Use some landscape texture preferably
with dark colors for best reflections. Amount of those reflections
you must find yourself because it is different for every material
MAX 2 scene ~12 KB