Refining shading materials for objects

You can refine the shading materials in the scene to make the objects appear more realistic. In the next steps you connect (or apply) a procedural texture to the counter, and a ramp texture to the apple. These textures are connected to the color attribute of the shading material for each surface to provide natural surface variation. When you connect textures, you create shading networks. You’ll learn more about shading networks in a later lesson.

A procedural texture is a 2D or 3D texture calculated based on an algorithm or mathematical formula. It can be useful for creating random patterning. A ramp texture is a 2D texture or color gradient in which the color or grayscale value changes across the image.

To connect a procedural texture to the counter surface

  1. In the perspective view, right-click the counter surface and select Material Attributes.

    The Attribute Editor for the counter_lambert material appears.

  2. To the right of the Color slider, click the Map button

    The Create Render Node window appears and lists the various textures you can connect to the Color attribute of the Lambert material assigned to the counter surface.

  3. In the Create Render Node window, select Maya > 3D Textures > Granite.

    The procedural texture gives the counter the look of a stone granite counter top when it is rendered, and provides the context for the scene.

  4. Press 6 to see a shaded and textured display of the granite texture on the counter top surface.
  5. In the Attribute Editor, under Granite Attributes change the Filler Color from the default reddish-brown to a beige color as follows:
    • Click the color box to the right of Filler Color.

    • In the Color Chooser window, select a beige color.
      NoteMaterials and textures displayed in the perspective view do not show their true appearance. To see the accurate appearance of the texture you must render the scene.

To connect a ramp texture to the apple surface

  1. Right-click the apple and select Material Attributes from the marking menu.

    The Attribute Editor updates to display the appleSkin_blinn material properties.

  2. To the right of the Color slider, click the Map button.

    The Create Render Node window appears and lists the various texture patterns you can connect to the Color attribute of the Blinn material assigned to the apple.

  3. Select Maya > 2D textures > Ramp.

    This texture creates a gradation through a series of selected colors. Applying the ramp texture provides the apple with a realistic variation in surface color.

  4. In the Attribute Editor, under Ramp Attributes, change the Type to U Ramp.

    The Ramp Type indicates the direction of the color gradient. A U ramp applies the gradient in a linear, vertical direction across the object.

  5. Add another color component by clicking within the ramp.

    A new set of color handles appears in the ramp, for a total of four color components.

  6. To change the ramp colors, click the top circular color handle (to indicate which color you want to modify), then click the color box to the right of Selected Color to display the Color Chooser window.

  7. Click inside the color wheel and drag to a very dark brown for the first ramp color.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the other three ramp colors. For the two middle ramp colors, select a dark red. For the last ramp color, select a deep olive green.
  9. Use the circular color handles to reposition each component as shown below:

    The position of these handles and the corresponding colors affect the location and breadth of the color within the gradient on the apple’s surface.

  10. Save your work.

    In the next section you render your scene to view the textures and materials you’ve assigned to the objects.