Architectural Visualization with C4D and Octane: Creating Conductors In Octane and C4D

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Instructor Brandon Clements

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  • Duration: 13:14
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  • Made with Release: 18
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This video explains proper creation and ideas behind physically based conductive materials.

Note: Due to the file-size of the project files. It has been split up for easier downloading.
Project File without tex can be found here: Using Substance Plugin
Tex, Part 1 can be found here: Creating Dielectric Materials
Tex, Part 2 can be found attached to this tutorial.



In this video, we'll be picking up where we left off from the previous in creating chrome, metallic legs for this chair. Okay, so this video is going to focus on how to create physically based metallic shaders inside of Octane and Cinema 4D. So, let's wait no more time and go ahead jump in and create a new shader. I'm going to select the Octane Material and let's go ahead and name this ChromeLegs. And we'll go ahead and choose the Glossy model. For metallic surfaces we absolutely do not see any type of diffuse color, so everything for a conductor is basically going to happen here in the Specular. So the color, the tint, will actually be driven by the Specular channel, so you can even turn off the Diffuse channel if you'd like. What we'd like to talk about here that's more complex is the index. So, with the dielectric materials, we could use the refractive index to be able to find and calculate what the actual index number is based on observations and reports from scientific data. But, as you can see, let's go ahead and change this to METALS, and once this loads up, we will be able to examine different types of metals here. The only problem is the refractive index number is set to 1.0972 and we have this Extinction coefficient, which is basically a way to derive more detail from the research data. Okay, so in Octane, we don't actually have this k value to plug it in. In renderers like Maxwell, and some other renderers that actually use this data more closely, we can actually use the Extinction coefficient. But, how do we actually use this number now? If we take a look at the Index, and let's just go ahead and put it to 1.09, you can see that this is not at all exhibiting a material that would be very reflective and shiny, as a metallic surface would. So, how can we utilize this website? Well, it's actually not as hard as you would think. We can come down and actually look at the Angle of incidence graph right here. What this is showing, we're going to be looking at the green line. The green line is non-polarized, so this is just a way that they were extracting the data between polarized and non-polarized. Okay, so this green line actually indicates the way that the Fresnel effect is actually happening. So, from the facing angle all the way to the glancing angle, you can see that this value stays relatively the same, just examining the non-polarized data. It stays very, very similar until we get towards the 60s through 80, and then it actually comes back and it's very reflective on the outer surface here. So the way that we can actually use this data is copying this R value. So let's go ahead and store this, we'll copy it into our clipboard just by hitting Ctrl+C, and we're going to change this Index to exactly one. What this will do is actually take away the Fresnel effect from the shader in Octane, so now every single part of this sphere that we're examining is equally reflective 100%. We need to actually put that graph and the data back into this, so we can go into the Specular channel, as we talked about in the last video, this Specular channel and the Index are linked very, very closely. So I'll go ahead to the C4Doctane. We're going to use the falloff map, and you can already see, straight away, that this looks similar to a plastic. So, the only thing that we need to do is just paste that value from the R, from the reflectance part of the graph, into the Minimum value. And this will allow us to have that same type of reflectance angle from the facing fading back, and again, being very bright on the Fresnel glancing angle. If you look at the graph one more time from the data that's listed on this website, let's go ahead and change it to something like Lead. And you can see that this graph is very different from the very reflective aluminum that we had before. So let's just kind of examine what this looks like. We'll go ahead and copy this, go back and paste it into the Minimum value. And again, you can see this is less reflective type of metal look. Let's go ahead and use the aluminum model, and this will give us a good base for a chrome type of material. Let's go ahead and apply it so we can look at it in Octane. I'm just going to go ahead and drag that onto the crossbar, which is labeled as a support, the chair leg, and the other one. Okay? Then I will go ahead and probably just refocus this camera so we're just looking at the legs there, we'll just focus on that. And I'm going to go ahead and reload this back into Octane and you can see I got my region render up just so we can focus on this area of the legs. So I can kind of be able to utilize just this area for rendering. So far it's looking okay. It's a very reflective chrome surface, and if we look at the Roughness channel, a value Float of zero, and absolutely no color in here is not going to be physically correct. There's really not any surface in the real world that is this flat and has absolutely no micro detail to it, so it's going to make this look very CG, just way too perfect. So, what I'm going to do is go ahead and load up a Texture map into this. Okay, so I found a dirt texture that I'd like to use, and I suggest everyone create a archive of general, just, texture maps that you can use from project to project. As you can see, this one's very hi-res, so what we're going to be able to do is just change this to Float to be able to conserve some more VRAM. And if you don't need a texture this large, I would suggest that you take this into Photoshop and just make it a 2K or 4K texture depending on your needs, but I'm just going to go ahead and leave this one very large. I'm going to be using this on some other materials as well as we move forward. Okay, so let's go ahead and look at it inverted. The other thing that we need to do is, and this is something that I like to do with almost all my objects that I know that are going to have a texture that's going to be repeating, is just go ahead and select the material tags, and I like to go ahead and set it to Cubic. Then once it's in that Cubic mode... Sorry, just kind of messing around with some of these windows, get them out of the way here. With this support, I would like to just select the sweep, and I'm going to select the tag. I'm going to go into the texture mode, and then be able to right-click and say Fit to Object, and I'm going to go ahead and hit Yes. What that will do is kind of align this up just a little bit more, so let me go ahead and try that one more time and just say No, and there we go. That's exactly what I wanted, I wanted it to fit perfectly around those chair legs. And we can get in closer and make this a little bit easier to see, but for now, I'm going to go ahead and just quickly go through and do the same steps to these subobjects. That's a great thing about Octane is that we'll be able to get in close and see exactly how that is mapping and make some changes. Let's go ahead and just kind of zoom in and I'll go ahead and take off the region render, and then refocus the camera by holding Ctrl and middle-click to set the focus point, and then I can just go ahead and create a region render. All right, so looking pretty good. We'll go out of this. What I'd like to do now is just create another ClampTexture just so I can control exactly what the values are going to be, so that at its darkest point, it will be 0.15, and at its brightest point, it will be around 0.5. Take note of the area outside of the region render. As I move these numbers closer together, the overall grunge is going to be less apparent. Effectively, we are lessening the contrast in the image. Okay. And we can adjust the tiling. Let's go ahead and try something like 30%. Okay, and that allows us to have a little bit more repetition on our object. We may even want to try, let's say, 10%. Okay, so I went ahead and split the difference just at 5, just so we can get this, kind of, repeating, and I'll do that for the other parts of the chair as well. Okay, so another thing that I would like to do again, this is something I do with the dielectrics, is we're just going to make sure that when we multiply this shader, we're going to have very glossy, reflective falloff. So, we're going to add a invert node. Inside of the invert node we need to add a falloff map. And then we're going to decrease this to, say, something like 1.4, to kind of rope that off. And you can see as I pull this down to 0.4, that this effect is picking up more dramatic. You can even see from the glare that the outside edges of this are becoming very reflective. So let's try something like 0.8. Okay, very nice. You can see the glancing angle is highly reflective, and that facing angle is still pretty irregular. It's not as glossy as the outside edges are. So that's looking pretty good. Another thing I'd like to do is just come into the Multiply again, and take the texture here, and copy it and be able to use it on the bump as well. And, of course, this is going to be way too big of an effect, so I'm going to scale this down by clamping it once again. You can tell that I use the Clamp texture a lot. It helps to just really dial in the exact look that you want for your materials. And you can see there we get a lot more detail. I think this effect is just a little bit too noticeable, so let's try 0.18. We might want to even pull these and reverse these over so that the...we're essentially inverting the map now with our minimum being higher than the max. Okay, so I liked it before, so let's go ahead and, kind of, leave it how it was so we get a little bit of bumpiness across this surface here. Okay, so we're just going to go ahead and tweak just a little bit more. I believe the bump could come down just a little bit, just get these values a little closer, so let's do 0.1, and let's say 0.11. Okay, and there we go. Now you can see, along this edge right here, that it's not so bumpy, it's not so irregular. You still get a little bit of shine, but you still get a little bit of the scratches that show up on the legs. In the next video, we'll continue creating some more shaders for our arc vis interior. Thanks a lot, and we'll see you in the next one.
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