Sunday, 2 November 2014

3ds max: VRayPattern

(Full HD with custom captions/subtitles)

Hi All,

Recently, I was involved in a project for a  3d visualisation company called The Visualiser. 

The initial brief from the client was to create an exquisite high rise building, with a specific pattern throughout its external surface.

After having exhausted all options  while trying different techniques and using alternative applications such as Zbrush, AutoCAD, etc; we've finally decided to outsource the 3d modelling to an external company renown for creating complex 3d models, very quickly!

Few days later, they've returned back to us with the disappointing news that, after having tried numerous techniques/approaches, they simply wouldn't be able to deliver on their original promise.

The shocking news left us with no option but to look for an alternative solution, immediately!
With the invaluable help of an outstanding senior artist by the name of Vempalle Sudhakar, we were able to create and visualise the building accurately, and according to the client's specific requirements.

The complex building patterns were accurately created, by using an outstanding plug-in called VRayPattern.

This easy to use plug-in allowed us to quickly create one set of pattern in 3d, to be later wrapped around the organic shaped building structure.

While the VrayPattern plug-in can be used in a variety of different ways, and for numerous purposes, we've quickly achieved our results by doing the following:

1-We've begun by first importing a specific AutoCAD pattern supplied by the client

2-This AutoCAD drawing was used as the basis to create the exquisite building patterns.

Before introducing the VrayPattern, users are required to first create the relevant pattern and the building shape, in 3d.

In addition, it's worth noting that, the 3d pattern needs to be smooth enough to fit the building structure accurately.   

a- We've started by creating a 3d plane and setting its "Length and Width segments" to about 100. 

Please note that, the value of 100 worked well for the amount of smoothness required. 
However, feel free to use different values, if necessary. 

b-Next, we've begun recreating the circled patterns using the "circle" shape.        

We've also ensured that, its default "interpolation" value  was set to 100 "Steps", to achieve a smooth and accurate surface, as described earlier.

While increasing the "steps" value improves the quality of a surface, it will not affect the display or the rendering performance.

The subsequent shapes were created by simply  unticking the “Start New Shape" function, and creating new circle shapes. 

The shape was later extruded and booleaned against the plane created earlier. 

4- Once the building pattern was created, we've used some of the drawing splines to create the organic building shape/shell.

It was achieved, by first selecting one of the drawing's splines/shapes, followed by opening the "Modify" panel.
Next, we've enabled the "Cross Section" function and selected/attached each relevant building spline in a "top to bottom" sequential order.
To exit adding/attaching splines simply right click. 

To finalize the building shape/shell, we've simply applied a surface modifier on top. 
Note how the building gradually decreases in size, from top to bottom.

5- The final stage was to create and wrap the exquisite building pattern, with the help of  "VrayPattern" plug-in.

a- In the "Geometry" command panel, we've opened its dropdown list and selected the "Vray" command from its list.

b-In the "Object Type" group, we've selected the "VrayPattern" function, followed by clicking and dragging/scaling its icon in the viewport to create it. 

c- While the "VrayPattern" was still selected, we've opened its "Modify" panel.

In the "Base parameters" group, we've enabled the “in the scene” function, followed by selecting the previously created "plane008" in the scene viewport. A gizmo should immediately appear around the "plane008" pattern/shape.

b- In the "Surface" group, we've picked the building surface/shell, previously created.  


It's worth mentioning that, the "Pattern" (i.e. plane008) works like a tiled bitmap over the "Surface" (i.e. line003). For this reason, users are required to apply a "UVW Map" modifier onto the "Surface"(i.e. line003).

For this project the mapping parameters depicted in the image below worked best. However, users are often required to tweak with its values (quick test renders) to achieve the desired results.

Furthermore, the "UVW Map" length and width values need to be entered in the "VrayPattern" crop size values.     

Note: By default, the colour/ material of the rendered building with the pattern, comes from the "VrayPattern" icon in the scene. To change this, simply apply a nice Vray material to the "VrayPattern" icon in the scene.

For this project, we've applied a nice Vray metallic finish to it. 

Moreover, it's worth noting that, the Vray pattered building cannot be converted into a mesh. Therefore, any changes/tweaks need to occur on "Surface" and/or "pattern" level.

For more information about its easy to use parameters and installation process, please visit the following page:

The circled window details (i.e. circled frames) were created by using some of the techniques covered earlier.

Finally,the remaining building details were physically modelled on top of the building itself (i.e. Line003).

Please see below the complete rendered image, with lights and other features.

I hope you like the final result: 

Check out my New Tutorial on how to turn any Exterior scene into a Photorealistic Render, in minutes. Full Video and Project files included.

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  1. wow, the pattern following around the corners is quite smooth indeed.

    Do you know of any plugins like this for other renderers?

  2. Hi Retort,

    Thank you very much for your feedback here. It's much appreciated!

    No, I have not yet seen any similar plug-ins for other rendering engines.
    However, I'll make a quick web search to find out!

    Thanks again!


  3. Couldn'y you just use Patch Deform after you've modeled and booleaned the facade?


  4. Hi Djordjevic,

    Thank you very much for your feedback here. It's much appreciated!

    Vempalle Sudhakar tried your above suggestion; and unfortunately, it didn't work as well as the client had wished (i.e. very smooth curves/edges). Especially on the curved areas of the building!

    Vempalle Sudhakar even went as far as to use Zbrush's accurate displacement maps...and still, the edges of the curved areas were NOT smooth enough to be signed off by the client( i.e. jagged/artifacts)!

    Yes, VRayPattern was our last/winning option!

    Thank you again, for your input here. It's much appreciated!

    Kind Regards,


  5. Hi Jamie,

    We'v done alot of parametric facade design using this tool. If you had that problem then it could have been a problem with the surface you were paneling or the line>cross-saction>surface geometry. Usually if the topology of that surface is bad and that can be checked if you apply an edit poly over surface to it, patch deform doesn't work well and starts braking things and bits.

    But anyway nice project and nice approach!


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