Rhino Tutorial – SSS Material

How to use SSS Material in Rhino – by Gianluca Muti, Learnvray Student

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For my scene I decided not to dwell on a global environment, a room or an exterior but on a single object. A bit like art, in which simple inanimate objects, thanks to the wise use of lighting, shadow and color, become a classic pictorial representation – a ‘still life’.

In my rendering “Grapes” I used V-Rray for Rhino (3.4) and I created SSS material to better enhance the main focus of the image, a Caravaggio-style bunch of grapes.

A translucent material, called SSS Material (Sub Surface Scattering, explained in lesson N° 29 of Learnvray Course for Rhino) proved to be a very simple and useful tool to simulate the typical translucency of grapes. To create the SSS material, click in the materials window, as shown in Figure A. In Figure A1 we can see the values used to obtain it.


 Fig. A Fig.A1

In Overall Color, Diffuse Color and Scatter Color I put the grape texture (Figure B). I left the default values, except the one from the Scale. Generally, the value of the Scale is 1, but bringing it to 1.6 allowed me, in this case, a greater passage of light through the object. I came to this result after a series of tests and evaluations. You can see the result in the following figures (Figure C – Figure C1).

 Fig. B

 Fig. C   Fig. C1 – detail

In the scene, I just put a rectangular light (Figure D) by varying its directionality to 0.8, as can be seen in Figure D1. This type of light, combined with the monochromatic choice allowed me to give the scene intensity and character. The choice of light and position, in this case, is important to make the appearance of the SSS material more visible and unique.
For the curious, I have included in the D2 figure the balance of the lights with the Override Mtl setting, which can be activated simply from the V-Ray settings panel (Figure D3).

Fig. D – Plan view of the 3D Model

Fig. D1 – Rectangular light panel settings

Fig. D2 and Fig. D3

To reinforce the theme of the monochrome composition I also decided to make a variant with red grapes. The procedure is the same; it is only necessary to replace the texture in the SSS material, as shown in Figure E. Then I launched the renderings with V-Ray for Rhino obtaining the result visible in figures F and F1. For the final renderings I used the low setting, which is generally used for quick tests at Very High (Figure D2).

Of course the translucency effect is so effective because, as Ciro Sannino teaches in the 5SRW Course for V-Ray, the materials are always the result of the lighting. In this case the grape is getting light from side-back and this allows the light goes through the grape, producing this nice visual.

I hope this tutorial will help you to try this. Have fun!
Gianluca Muti

Fig. E – SSS Texturing & Material

 Fig. F   Fig. F1

The 3D model is by Evermotion (Food 17 AM76 Archmodels), which you can buy on the official website.

Please visit our educational offer: 5SRW ApproachV-Ray for Rhino (Study program)