View Full Version : Amber transparency / reflectivity

12 December 2011, 07:12 PM
I'm having an issue with transparency and reflectivity maps in Maya while using Mental Ray.

The center of this staff is supposed to have an alien creature trapped inside a piece of amber. I want to be able to see the alien, but my opacity maps don't appear to be working when in mental ray, and neither do the reflectivity maps (I only want the amber to be reflective)

I am a Max user and I'm really finding Maya's Hypershade features to be cumbersome and confusing. This could be something as simple as needing to check an option box, but I feel like I'm just spinning my tires right now.

Aside from that, does anyone have any suggestions on how to achieve a nice amber effect?

12 December 2011, 11:40 PM
Which type of shader are you using? If you are plugging your opacity map into the transparency and nothing is happening, it may be because of the option 'Alpha is Luminance' on the fileTextureNode. Maya first looks to see if an image has an alpha channel and wants to use that to drive things like opacity, you have to tell it to use the luminance of your RGB texture.

01 January 2012, 07:58 PM
If you're using the mia_material_x, which you should be if you're using mental ray, then be aware that there are multiple slots for transparency-related effects. The Transparency slot itself may not be your cure. You might want to be using "Cutout Opacity" in conjunction with the Transparency slot.

For example, if you were rendering leaves with an alpha cutout, you'd put your alpha image file in the Cutout Opacity slot, and then raise the Transparency level to .2 or .3 depending on how much light you need to pass through your leaf. Obviously, amber will be a bit different than a leaf.

Are you going for photorealistic amber?

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01 January 2012, 07:58 PM
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