In this section, you
will use Hardware Shade to render a
scene, and create shaders for the caps, bottles
1 of the tutorial.
Opening the tutorial file
- Choose File > Open to open the File Browser.
- In the File Browser, locate the CourseWare directory and set it as
the Current Project.
- Open the file called Render_Basics.wire, located in the wire directory in the CourseWare project.
For information on how
to open a file, see Opening the tutorial file.
A dialog box appears,
asking if you want to delete all objects, shaders, views, and actions. Click Yes.
If your values for construction
tolerances differ from those in the Render_Basics.wire file, you
are presented with a dialog:
New Settings to use the construction tolerances in Render_Basics.wire.
The file is opened. The
scene has two shower gel bottles in different positions, one with the
cap open, and one with it closed.
Viewing a Shaded Scene
When setting up a model
to be rendered, it is useful to work interactively with a rendered view.
For this exercise, you will use Hardware Shade to
work directly on a shaded scene.
- Maximize the Perspective view.
- Choose WindowDisplay > Hardware Shade ❒ to open the Hardware
- Choose All Geometry from
the option window and click Shade on at
the bottom of the option window.
The bottles are now visualized using the Hardware
Choosing a Shading Model
The bottles are using
the Default shader, which has the Blinn shading model. There are four
types of shading model in Alias:
- LAMBERT is
useful for representing matte surfaces like plaster walls, paper,
- PHONG is
more complex, and gives highlights suitable for high-gloss plastic,
glass, and metals.
- BLINN provides
more flexible highlights that can be adjusted for softer plastics,
satin finishes, and natural materials.
- LIGHTSOURCE makes
the object look like it emits light, like an incandescent bulb or
As you gain more experience
with shaders, you will understand which Shading Models will produce
the results you want.
Next, you will create
three new shaders one for the bottle, cap, and label. After that,
you will choose the right shading model for each one.
Using the Visualize Control
For this part of the
tutorial, you will use the Visualize Control Panel to create and
- At the top of the Control
Panel, choose the Visualize option.
The Default Shader is
shown in the Resident Shaders section.
If the name of the Default Shader is not shown
underneath the grey shader ball, you can turn on the icon labels
in the General Preferences.
- Choose Preferences > General Preferences ❒ to open the preferences window.
- The Interface section
is opened. Check the Icon labels box to turn on
the icon text.
The Resident Shaders section
in the Visualize Panel now shows the
name of the Default shader underneath the
shader ball icon.
It is good practice to not use or modify the
default shader, as you will copy it to create new shaders.
So first, you will create
a shader for the bottle.
Creating a Bottle Shader
- Click the Default shader to
the resident Shaders section, there are four icons. Click the Copy
Current Shader icon to create a shader.
- Double-click the new shader icon to open
the shader editor.
default settings are shown.
- Change the Shader Name to Bottle,
and leave the Shading Model set to BLINN. This
will give a soft highlight for the bottle plastic.
Now, you will choose a color for the bottle.
- In the shader editor, open the Common
Shader Parameters section.
Click the grey color chip to open the Color
- In the Color Editor, choose a color for
color chip updates, and the Bottle shader shows the new color.
Now, you will Assign the
new shader to the bottle surfaces.
- Select the bottle surfaces by using the Pick
Objects option on the Bottles layer
All the bottle surfaces are selected.
- Click the Assign icon
on the Visualize Panel to assign the
new shader to the bottle surfaces.
The bottle surfaces are now shown in the new
Now, you will repeat this process for the cap
- Click the default shader to select it.
Then, choose the Copy Current Shader tool to create a second
- Double-click the icon of the second new
shader to open the shader editor.
Change the Shader Name to Cap and
the Shading Model to PHONG.
In the Common
Shader Parameters section, choose a color for the cap.
Now, you will assign the shader to the cap surfaces.
- Pick the cap surfaces using the Cap layer
- Assign the Cap shader
to the cap surfaces using the Assign icon in the Visualize Panel.
A small bright highlight appears on the caps
illustrating a glossy plastic material.
- Close the shader editor window.
- Choose Pick > Nothing to de-select the label surfaces.
Modifying Shaders in the
The most common parameters
for a shader can be accessed in the Visualize Panel.
Now, you will give the
cap a more shiny appearance, and the bottle a softer finish.
- Click the Cap shader
to select it and open the Shader Parameters section
of the Visualize Panel.
- Modify the Shinyness value
to make the highlight on the cap smaller.
The cap material should look more shiny.
- Click the Bottle shader
to select it.
- In the Shader parameters section,
modify the Eccentricity and Spec.
Rolloff values to make the bottle plastic look less shiny,
with a softer surface finish.
The two images below show the changes you will
see in the materials.
Only the most commonly
used parameters are shown in the Visualize Panel
To access all the parameters for each shader, either double-click
the shader ball icon, or use Render > Multi-lister
Saving your work
Now, you will save the
scene as a new file.
- Choose File > Save As to open the File Browser.
- Save your work in the wire directory of the Lessons project.
- Name your file myRender_Basics1.wire.