Tutorial: Rendering

Learn about the basics of rendering: materials, labels, and lighting.

In this lesson you will learn how to:

  • Apply materials from the Material Library
  • Create custom materials
  • Position textures
  • Work with labels
  • Create custom lighting environments using emitters
  • Modify the default environment

Open the File

  1. Browse to C:\Program Files\Altair\2021.1.1\InspireStudio2021.1.1\Evolve\Assets\Scenes.
  2. Open the camera_display studio pack file.
    A prompt is displayed asking if you'd like to extract the pack to the same location as the pack file.

  3. Click OK.
  4. A dialog is displayed confirming that the pack has been extracted. A folder with the same name as the pack file is created in the same location as the pack file.
  5. Click OK.
  6. The scene is loaded.

Add Cameras

  1. In the view controls, click the Camera List icon.
  2. Click .
    A new camera is added to the 3D scene. It is identified by progressive numbering (Camera #1, Camera #2, etc.) in the camera list and Model Browser.
  3. See Move the Camera.
  4. Set the selected view as the Home view by holding down Ctrl while clicking .
  5. You can set up additional cameras to create rendering shots from different angles.

Add Materials

There are several ways to apply materials to objects in Inspire Studio:

  • Select preset materials from the built-in material library.
  • Create simple materials.
  • Create custom materials using different color, texture, and map combinations.

Apply a Customized Material from the Library

First, let's see how to apply a preset material and edit the color and roughness.

  1. Select the top portion of the main hair dryer body.
  2. On the ribbon, click the Rendering tab.
  3. Click the Material Library icon.
    The Material Library dialog is displayed.

    Note: To resize the thumbnails: Hover over the bottom of the dialog box to bring up the Preview size slider. Drag the slider to zoom in or out.
  4. For this tutorial, we will start with the default Anodized Gold material. Double-click to apply the material to the selected object.
  5. Close the material library.

Now let's customize the preset material by editing the default material properties.

  1. Turn on one of the Interactive Rendering modes (press 6), so you can see the changes as they are applied.
  2. Double-click the Anodized Gold material.
  3. In the Control Panel, click the Full tab.
  4. Click the color thumbnail and edit the values as desired. For this example, let's change the color to a rose gold.
    RGB 183 110 121.
  5. Add some roughness to make it look realistic.
  6. Change the name of the material to Anodized Rose Gold.

Apply the Saved Material to Other Objects

The Anodized Rose Gold material is now ready to be applied to other surfaces.

  1. Select the surfaces in the modeling view.
  2. In Model Browser, on the Materials tab, expand the section Objects Without a Material to see the highlighted surfaces.
  3. Drag and drop these surfaces onto the Anodized Rose Gold material group.

Create a Simple Material

Next, we will look at creating a simple material.

  1. Select the front air vent.
  2. On the ribbon, click the Rendering tab.
  3. Click the Material icon.
  4. In the Control Panel, select Simple.
  5. Change the Color to almost black with Roughness of 35.
  6. Change the name of the material.
  7. Click the green check mark to confirm.

Clone a Material

  1. In the Model Browser, select the material you want to clone.
  2. Right-click the material, and then click Clone Material.
    A clone is created with no objects assigned. This material can be tweaked to your liking.
  3. For this step of the tutorial, let's clone the front vent and assign it to the back parts of the hair dryer.

Add More Materials to Other Parts

We can apply some more materials from the library to the hair dryer's On/Off and speed buttons.

  1. Let's assign a molded plastic with bump map.
  2. You can adjust the bump effect.
    Note: This does not affect the material in the library, as a local copy is created for your use.

Add Labels

The Texture Positioning tool allows you to quickly add multiple labels to surfaces with a high degree of control.

In this tutorial, we'll use a saved PNG logo file.

  1. Select the surface.
  2. On the ribbon, click the Rendering tab.
  3. Click the Texture Positioning icon.

  4. In the Control Panel, click the Labels tab.
  5. To add a label, click , browse to the desired folder, and select the file.
  6. In this tutorial, we'll use a planar map to project the PNG from the Front view. Adjust the rotation to match the view you want and interactively drag the label to its location.
  7. You can resize the label using the graphic manipulators in the modeling window or by entering values in the Control Panel.
  8. You can also assign Roughness and Reflectivity to each label.

Create Dramatic Lighting

Here are some tricks for creating dramatic lighting.

The final look and feel of the materials rely on the lighting and environment. Inspire Studio offers a lot of flexibility to create very dramatic lighting by leveraging the surfacing tools.

In this tutorial, we'll create a quick replicate of a plane around the hair dryer and assign an emitter material to it.

Note: Make sure the Combine Output option is enabled for the replicate object. This will allow us to assign one material to all copies.

Create Emitter Lighting

Assign an emitter and change the wattage as required.
Tip: Use the Invert Light Direction option of the emitter material if the light is facing the wrong direction.

Modify the Default Environment

For basic rendering, Inspire Studio contains high-quality HDR environments that need little to no tweaking. For advanced rendering, you can edit several aspects of the environment such as the illumination map, background map, and so on.
  1. On the ribbon, click the Rendering tab.
  2. Click the Environment icon.

  3. Lower the Intensity to reduce the illumination of the map while retaining other aspects such as reflection and refraction.
  4. For a clean effect, add a custom background map with a solid color.
  5. Most advanced renderings have multiple light sources just like in real life. Let's create a plane and assign another emitter material to it, but this time adding a light blue color to give an illusion of a skylight.
  6. Using multiple view layouts, we can easily assign materials in one view and modify objects in another.
  7. Set the planes that are emitting light as ghosts so that they'll still emit light but won't be rendered:
    1. Select the planes that are emitting light.
    2. On the Rendering tab, select the Object Properties tool.

    3. Turn on Ghost.
  8. The default Background mode is Finite Dome, where a ground plane is drawn to catch shadows and reflections. Change the Background mode to Infinite Sphere to make the object float in the air.