Hi All,

This is a project that I was originally involved in years ago, while at GMJ design Ltd.

I have had to remodel most of the architectural details for the sole purpose of this exercise!

The idea started years ago when I first pleaded with Matthias ( then, working as a Director of product integration, @ mental images) to develop a plug-in that could aid professional 3D Visualisers to integrate their 3D elements into Photomontages; verified views and general external shots!

Then, I used to “struggle” particularly with external daylight scenes.

My desperate plea spurred Matthias to single handily develop a ground breaking plug-in that is now known as RichDirt.

In addition to being ultra-fast to render, it also provides users with a variety of options to plug/ mix with other proprietary shaders, and a variety of Max’s procedural maps such as cellular, smoke; Mix; Noise; Speckle; etc.

It is currently designed for Max/ mental ray only. However, since users can efficiently output its effects as multiple elements (i.e. rendered passes); it is possible to overlay the elements in post, whilst using other rendering engines (i.e. Vray; Maxwell; FPrime; etc).

It is also worth mentioning that it is currently being developed specifically for Vray, Maya, Maxwell, Cinema4D; etc.). So keep an eye out for it.

Having tried and “stress tested” the product, personally, I find it to be the best suited product to address the technical “nightmares” highlighted earlier.

In fact, there is an in-depth article/tutorial about its core functionalities:

I hope you find the rendered results interesting!

Kind Regards




What about Mental Ray for maya?


I just checked it, and I think it’s a great plugin. But… it supports only one map! It’s quite not enough. What about using different maps for those effects, also with crashing both the effect and faloff to get more abrupt variations? Have you seen Neil Blevins DVD on this subject? For now this plugin looks more like a more useful AO, but few effects are there. What about making 1-press button paint chips effect, and so on? I have many ideas about what kind of effects could be used.


[font=Verdana]Hi mister 3d & AtahanZugul,[/font]

[font=Verdana]Thank you both for your feedback here!![/font]

[font=Verdana]As mentioned in the article, one can export the rendered element effects from one rendering engine to another…and blend it in post![/font]

[font=Verdana]The article also focused on using multiple rendered element effects with the current available parameters/functions. [/font]
[font=Verdana]There was also a suggestion of its potential usage with procedural maps from Max (i.e. speckle, cellular; etc.) in order to create other exquisite effects.[/font]

[font=Verdana]Finally, it was also mentioned that the plug-in was currently being specifically developed for Maya; Cinema 4D; etc.[/font]

[font=Verdana]Thanks for your feedback again![/font]




Jamie, let me be frank: your plugin is not much different from vraydirt. Of course not all people use Vray. But today people need solution to make some more interesting effects rather than occlusion with one map. I understand you can use noise and speckles etc., but that can be done with Vray too. What could be beneficial is either developing good procedural generators, or using hi-rez textures, which would come with plugin. For example, “optical flares” uses this approach. I don’t see what exactly your plugin offers you can’t do manually with usual ambient occlusion.



i understand mister3d, and matthias is working on a great workflow for his Shader, but i can´t say more. At this Version is Rich Dirt a great Dirt-Map and not more, but it works with “Render Elements”, “Network Rendering”, “Composite-Map” and and and. I understand, when some guys say, after the 10 projects, looks all the same. But this Tutorial can only give a small overview. I like Rich Dirt, and i can´t wait of the next Version.

hot chip


Even if the shader is really nice (I use ctrl_occlusion for similar things now), the product website is turning me off it in as little as 45 seconds with all it’s lengthy explanations and bolded claims etc. It looks like it’s trying really, really hard to convince me. Just show what features it has with some brief descriptions!


for me it is very handy. shure i can use the ctr_occlusion Shader, but RichDirt give me the functions in a short time, and i don´t need a very big shader tree. I think the tutorials on the website ok. I can make Dirt, Rain-Dirt (oh my english) and i can use different streaks. I can only say, it is a time killer, not more.


[font=Verdana]Hi All,[/font]


[font=Verdana]Thank you all for your feedback here![/font]


[font=Verdana]First of all, I also use Vray extensively in my normal projects…and can assure you that neither Vraydirt nor the standard AO from mental ray can do streaks and other effects as naturally, quickly or as efficiently as the current Richdirt:[/font]


[font=Verdana]1-RichDirt has the same complex AO as Vraydirt and the mental ray AO[/font]


[font=Verdana]2-In addition to that, it also has IO (inner occlusion)…which is a ground breaking feature that I am yet to see anywhere in the CG industry (please read the article ).[/font]


[font=Verdana]3-Furthermore, it has its own procedural rain/dirt streaks…which are similar to what was done in the movie “KingKong”, by Peter Jackson.[/font]


[font=Verdana]The rain/dirt streaks essentially follow the aesthetics of geometry…in a natural and realistic away.[/font]


[font=Verdana]To top that, one also has the option of using the IO and AO in conjunction with the procedural streaks…if desired.[/font]

[font=Verdana]Coupled with numerous parameters to emulate almost any natural weathering effect…it’s a “god sent”. [/font]


[font=Verdana]Of course most good CG artists can go through the trouble of painting textures and/ or mixing it with their current standard AO/mental ray AO/Vraydirt, etc…for days, in order to achieve a similar effect, or a specific look.[/font]

[font=Verdana]Or, they can simply use RichDirt to achieve good or probably better results in minutes…without compromising the integrity of their renders…and save hours/days of painstaking work.[/font]

[font=Verdana]The above consensus was gathered from dozens of professionals across the board that took the time and the trouble to actually test the product: Vray and mental ray users alike.[/font]


[font=Verdana]In fact, Matthias is in the process of posting on the website, the numerous quotes made by many reputable companies and ultra-talented artists
after using the product. [/font]



[font=Verdana]I can understand that this plug-in may not be appealing to every USER
depending on their scope of work, everyday projects, aspirations, etc.; but what I find utterly astonishing, is for people to make derogatory statements about any product without even testing it first, or even give themselves time to learn more about it…before going on a rant! [/font]








How does IO differ from “inverted normals” function in Vraydirt? I assumed it’s the same thing, as it looks like it.



Looks like a very powerful tool imao. But I’m wondering can you render to texture it? I’m interested in using this as my base dirtmap then using it as a mask with a blend material.


Here’s a comparison. So what’s really unique about it? You can output passes in Vray too. You can adjust as much AO passes as you wish, and render them in one go.


My apologies - i thought you meant it was being developed for Vray in Maya…

I dont understand why everyones ripping into this plugin - its quite useful. Edge selection is not AO - it allows you to select regions based on curvature rather than proximity to other objects - which means you can in effect make things like paint chips procedurally - which takes a while when you’re having to paint them into a texture. When doing things procedurally or when you’re dealing with geometry numbering in the hundreds (pain to UV and texture) - you really do need the ability to select edges based on curvature of geometry as well as proximity to other objects (AO) in order to place textures in specific places.

For what its worth there are a few scripts (at least for MR maya) out there that do in part do this, but not to the extent or with the ease of control that this plugin seems to offer (gonna have to wait on the maya version on my end to test). For instance the raylength_te and md_curvature scripts can be found on the highend3d website. But these are rarely maintained nowadays and dont offer you the best control and flexibility in making a selection.

Theres even a node - raylength node in the mental ray production shaders, that can select edges which ive seen used by Boaz Livny in his work.

Personally ive used AO and curvature selection scrips/nodes in my own work - mainly when working with environments or robots with lots of little pieces of geometry id rather not UV coz they number in the hundreds - and i can see this little script comin in real handy - So hurry up with the maya version already!! Cheers.


It doesn’t matter if it’s AO or edge selection or inverted normals, it’s the same effect. What I’m trying to find out how it an be useful to me, and how it differs from what Vray for example offers. I’m sorry to hear mental ray users don’t have an immediate access to such tools. I agree that the tool has a good interface and adjusted to go from the start. I for now don’t see how it differs from what Vray offers.


Hi All,

Thank you again for your continuous feedback in this thread!!

Alexander: if you’re happy with the current results and options that VRayDirt has to offer; then you probably don’t need this plug-in.

However, if you have always wanted to push the boundaries; overcome certain “bottle necks” and explore other artistic possibilities, then, this is the right plug-in for you.

Having used, and continue to use VRayDirt
for a while, we both know its limitations
especially with the current “invert normal” function (…since you have brought the subject up):

1-Have you ever tried having the VrayDirt to trace the rays inside(invert normal on) and outside (invert normal off) simultaneously?

2-Also, having both options with separate/individual capabilities of tweaking its parameters?

3-Furthermore, the option/s of plugging in other shaders, textures, procedural maps, etc, into both invert normal on/off toggles?

Probably not!

In addition to all the above mentioned, the current RichDirt also offers an extra option of adding procedural streaks with extra parameters/toggles on top of the IO and AO.

And it doesn’t stop there; IO and AO are only some of numerous complex functions available, in a long list of tools and options
each with its own toggle, parameters and multiple functionalities.

As described in the article, the possibilities are infinite
and ever expanding!

If you have never considered exploring some of the above mentioned possibilities
and much more (Peter Jackson’s King Kong type dirt effects; etc.); then this is not the plug-in for you!

There is nothing worse than acquiring a product you have never aspired to have.

For those interested in the product, but currently using a different rendering engine or/and platforms:

This plug-in was designed to be used in addition to one’s current tools; not as a substitute! Therefore the conscious decision to develop it to a variety of different rendering engines,platforms; etc!

Fear not: Nobody is trying to sway you from you beloved rendering engines’ and platforms (i.e. Vray; Maxwell; Maya; etc)

As mentioned in the article, users can currently output multiple passes from Max/mental ray, to be later blended in Photoshop;AfterEffects; etc, while using other rendering engines as the main renderer.

Louis Boka: I have not tried rendering to texture yet, but I cannot see why it shouldn’t work?

Atahan zugul: Yes, the Maya version should be out soon!

Thanks again for All your feedback here!





…by the way, thank you very much for your feedback Thorsten!




It’s a good plugin for those who need a fast, one-pass result for architecture. I think Vray inverted normals is not limited, it just needs a minute to adjust, as opposed to yours, which works from the start (I agree yours works well). So this plugin is aimed mainly at users, who use other engines than Vray. I mainly use AO as a dirt effect for games, so I need separate passes to flexibility. Also I’m looking for plugins, which would create more versatile effects, as I do not only concrete buildings. Good work though, it just doesn’t fit exactly to my needs.


[font=Arial]Hi Alexander,[/font]

[font=Arial]I am actually going to take this opportunity to thank you again, for your constant feedback here![/font]

[font=Arial]Also, to ask [font=Arial]you and other users about the features they would have liked added and/or improved, in next version of RichDirt?[/font][/font]

[font=Arial]It would be some sort of a “wish list”?![/font]

[font=Arial]This will be greatly appreciated as we would like this Plug-in to appeal to [font=Arial]EVERYONE (…a bit of a dificult task…I suppose:banghead: )![/font][/font]

[font=Arial]If [font=Arial]Matthias was able to deliver my past “wishes”…he will certainly be able to deliver YOURS! [/font][/font]

[font=Arial]So keep them coming…please!!!:)[/font]

[font=Arial]Thanks again for everyone’s feedback here…so far![/font]





…Finally,with regards to the query about "rendering to texture":

Here’s a quote from Matthias:

"5 Steps are required :

  1. render setup -> override material - use a single material everywhere (note: this keeps original materials).

  2. drag this mtl into the material editor

  3. in the material editor assign the so called ´mental ray´ material.

  4. in the mental ray material drag a RichDirt to the ´surface´slot

Note:When texture baking we dont want lights, shadows etc.

Using the surface slot one can bake an arbitrary texture, like RichDirt in an unshaded way.

5)Select a diffuse map in RTT - since the surface slot is directly connected to RichDirt diffuse isn’t shaded (no shadows etc), so we get the right values into the baked texture.

I will add a short tutorial on the website that describes this process".





You should maybe check out fRDirt from Cebas as part of finalRender. This has tons of options including gravity to help with streaks - there’s now a free demo on the Cebas website I think