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      Please help us for July   06/30/2017

      This month we're hoping for a little bit of a boost this month or next, in addition to covering the regular bills, we could benefit from some hardware upgrades. STEX Collector's Set gifts can now be sent to you via digital download as well as regular mail if you wish! Every donation dollar goes toward keeping Simtropolis online and humming along. Your contribution counts! Hardware Upgrades As our website community software improves with more and more features, and as we bolt on additional features such as chat, the increased load to handle all these new toys is taking the server a bit to task. You may have noticed that we'd been forced to temporarily disable the chat as we worked out allocating resources for more optimal performance. Following this, we've applied a number of 'soft' changes such as caching options and experimented with server configurations (nginx as proxy, for example), so the hardware aspect is also an area we'd like to focus on. The last time we upgraded hardware was back in 2012, prior to the release of SC13. Your contribution means a lot! Your donation will go toward helping us to 1.) migrate to a newer server or 2.) at least get some ram/cpu/storage updates and any other infrastructure hardware or services. Donate and Get a Gift or Donate Any Amount Thanks so much! - Dirktator & The Admins
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    Raytraced Reflections in 3d Studio Max


    ILL Tonkso

    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.

    tutor1ux0.jpg

    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.

    tutor2yr1.jpg

    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'.

    tutor3pb4.jpg

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

    tutor4uy1.jpg

    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.

    tutor5fz1.jpg

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

    tutor6rp7.jpg

    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.

    weindowtut1yl3.jpg

    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.

    weindowtut2mt6.jpg

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

    weindowtut3jl8.jpg

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

    weindowtut4jc9.jpg

    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.

    weindowtut5uy6.jpg

    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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