Tag Archive for: Render

If you’re new to 3D graphics or looking to level up your skills, you’ve come to the right place. PBR materials allow you to create realistic surfaces in your 3D scenes. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the basics, but first,

What are PBR Materials?

PBR stands for Physically Based Rendering. Unlike traditional rendering techniques, PBR materials simulate how light interacts with real-world surfaces. This means your materials will look more accurate and lifelike.

“Hang on, materials and textures are different?!”

PBR materials are basically a collection of textures that are designed to be connected as maps into a Arnold/Redshift/<insert your renderer>StandardMaterial. “Hang on, materials and textures are different?!” Yup, read “Difference between Textures, Shaders, and Materials” for disambiguation.

How to Use PBR Materials:

  • Texture Basics:
    • PBR textures include maps for Base Color, Roughness, Height, Normal, Metallic, and Ambient Occlusion, each defining different material properties.
  • Material Setup:
    • Import and map the texture files onto your model in Blender or Maya, ensuring proper UV unwrapping. Be sure to interpret Base Color as sRGB, and the other maps as RAW data.
  • Connect Maps:
    • Link the maps to corresponding inputs of the Principled BSDF shader: Base Color to Base Color, Roughness to Reflection Roughness, etc.
    • If you need a video guide on connect maps, you can find it here.
  • Specialized Properties / Limitations:
    • Certain real-world material properties cannot be properly mimicked by game engines, hence they are not commonly supported as PBR materials. And we’d need to rely on offline renderers like Arnold or Redshift. Like believable murky liquids, colored glass, sheen etc.
    • Examples of specialized material properties
      • Implement opacity, translucency, and double-sided rendering for realistic leaf materials.
      • Implement thin film for oily, iridescent, or pearlescent materials.
  • Surface Imperfections:
    • Enhance material realism with surface imperfections like smudges, fingerprints, and water droplets, adjusting their blending and strength accordingly.
    • These maps can be layered on to supplement the base PBR material that has been pre-designed.


Using PBR materials is a reliable and predictable way enhance the realism of your 3D projects, and you can find them for free at PolyHaven. With a bit of practice, you’ll be creating realistic materials in no time. For a more detailed guide on doing this Blender, please visit “How to use PBR Textures in Blender”. Also, I’ll write about the common misconceptions of PBR Materials, just to help student-types out a little bit with all the confusing terminology and less intuitive features. Happy rendering, and stay tuned!

Developed this iridescent glass shader in Maya / Redshift based on IG @odddough ‘s request at work.

  1. Start with the Redshift “Glass” present.
  2. Create a RS Fresnel and remap its values into rainbow hues.
  3. Optionally, if you’ve used MASH Color to have varying colorSet values for each part of your geometry like this toy gun example, you can add a Redshift Color Correction to this resulting information, remap colorSet to 0 to 360 and use it to drive the hue variance of the Color Correction node.
  4. Feed the resulting information into the refraction color of the Glass Material
  5. Increase the Dispersion Abbe number to 1 or 30 to taste, it creates iridescent refraction
  6. Enjoy the results!
An example of what this material can achieve.
The lighting setup for this example render. Some volumetric atmosphere and a couple cylindrical mesh lights with volume contribution
Iridescent Glass Material Shading Network
Screenshot of my screen as I was working on this material. While the render at the start of this post has some simple compositing, from this screen shot, we can tell that it looks pretty good right off the bat, without any comp work.

Corals, grew them in Houdini FX and rendered in Redshift3D recently. My buddy, Perry wants to have some compositing fun on the render output so I’ve uploaded the files here, in case you’d also want to have a go at comping this!

Look at that comp aqua magic! Totally feels underwater! Perry the beast!

Starting a series of renders in Feb/Mar 2020 to do experimental shaders and materials on basic forms, colours and composition. It’s back to basics guys!

Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year all! I’ve set some goals and directions for the studio and we’re going to make it happen. May foresight be 20/20.

And I wish to set some directions and goals for this website.

  • Rebrand to ‘Animation Director’ because my experience serves better as an animation director.
  • Write a series of 12 articles following the good response to “Guide to Singapore Animation Industry” in hopes to provide more support for the student community of animators in Singapore.
  • Prepare 12 refreshing visuals to accompany the blog posts every month!
  • Update CV to include recent award-winning projects and to document involvement in projects as Creative Direction at Masonry Studios

Rendered a bunch of photographic illustrations using Houdini and Redshift for Inktober 2019 using Jake Parker’s official prompt list. I think the spirit of Inktober is meant to revisit a fundamental form of creating illustrations to reignite the passion we artists had when we start out! With that, I purposely designed my “3D-tober” to be entirely void the the compositing process.

Everything was rendered directly using Houdini and Redshift, and using Redshift’s Post Fx for flares, and blooms. I must say, it’s VERY fun! Till the next October! Meanwhile, here are some work in progress images / screenshots of my process. Cheers!

Ronald Fong Inktober 2019 - BTS - 24 Dizzy
Ronald Fong Inktober 2019 - BTS - 25 Tasty
Ronald Fong Inktober 2019 - BTS - 27 Coat
Ronald Fong Inktober 2019 - BTS - 29 Injured
Ronald Fong Inktober 2019 - BTS - 31 Ripe
Ronald Fong Inktober 2019 - BTS - 23 Ancient

Tag Archive for: Render