View Full Version : Mother of pearl

06 June 2002, 09:51 PM
Just curious. How would you go about creating a mother of pearl material in Max? Is it hard?
The idea struck me one day. It seems pretty difficult as mother of pearl is a rather complicated material, if you zoom close enough you'll see it has thousands of small "sparks" in it, each of them one of the colors of the rainbow.

Awaiting your answer.

06 June 2002, 09:48 AM
Hmmm.... very tricky texture indeed. Extremely tricky...
I think the only way to do it would be to control the colour channel with gradients that are visible only according to the incidence angle of the light. I don't know if Max has gradients, though... does it?
Because if it does, then you could layer various images of mother of pearl, and control each ones visibility with a light-incidence-gradient. That way, if the light shines on it from one angle, you will see one image, but if the light moves to another angle, you will see another image. It's the only way I can think of for doing it.

06 June 2002, 10:39 AM
Thanks for the answer. I haven't got Lightwave, only Max, so I can't see if this works but it sounds reasonable to me but I don't know much about this so I might be completely wrong.

06 June 2002, 10:57 AM
Well, the good news is that I have discovered that Max does indeed have gradient ramps that you can control images with. The bad news is that I have absolutely no idea how to use them :sad:
In the past half hour, I've tried some things out, and my method does actually seem to work, although it still needs a bit of refining and experimenting.
Basically, just take a few images of mother of pearl, and in each one, bring out a certain colour that is stronger than the rest - in other words, each image has a particular overall tone to it. The layer them on top of each other, and between each of them, put a gradient ramp that works as an alpha channel. Make sure that the gradient ramp works according to the light incidence (not camera incidence), and when you move it around, it should create that mottled effect ;)

06 June 2002, 10:58 AM

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