DriveWorks Pro 17: Glass [send feedback...]

Glass - Render Property

The Glass render property is a specific render property for creating glass like objects. Glass like objects have certain characteristics that this render property takes into account. These are effects like light refraction and chromatic aberration.

Using the Glass render property can improve the look and feel of your 3D models. It can add another level of realism and accuracy to your design that makes the 3D object more realistic.

The Glass render property uses similar settings to the Bump render property. This means that it is possible to apply a Diffuse, Specular and Normal texture to the Glass object. This gives the glass object even more surface detail. Effects like refraction and chromatic aberration also work with these textures to provide more detail. The Normal (Bump) Texture will cause the light to refract more at these areas.

The Glass render property can be used for almost any object that is transparent and even some translucent objects. The Glass render property gives you great looking transparent models and can improve the look of your 3D models.

Without the Glass render propertyWith the Glass render property
3D model without the glass render property.3D model with the glass render property.
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Render Properties

The following properties are available on the Bump render property:

  • Diffuse Color (R, G, B, Alpha)
  • Ambient Intensity
  • Diffuse Intensity
  • Specular Color (R, G, B)
  • Specular Intensity
  • Reflectivity
  • Index Of Refraction
  • Chromatic Aberration
  • Texture Transforms
    • X Scale
    • Y Scale
    • Angle
  • Texture Offset
    • X Offset
    • Y Offset
  • Diffuse Texture
    • Texture
    • Source File Path
  • Specular Texture
    • Texture
    • Source File Path
  • Normal Texture
    • Texture
    • Source File Path

Setting up an Appearance to use the Glass render property

In each Appearance there is a property in the Information Panel called Render Properties.

  1. In a DriveWorks 3D Document, navigate to and select an Appearance.
  2. In the Information Panel there will be a drop down of Render Properties.
  3. Select Glass from the drop down list.

Using the Glass render property

The Glass render property can be used in several ways. A Glass appearance can be used with a Diffuse, Specular or Normal Texture, or without any of these textures. You can also use combinations of textures depending on the outcome you need.


Diffuse Color

The Glass render property can be used without any textures to create smooth Glass like objects. No textures need to be applied. You can simply just use the Diffuse Color, Index of Refraction and Chromatic Aberration to setup and create your glass object. This basic method will give you great looking transparent objects. This method is used in the lighting model below. The round objects refract the light nicely and give a realistic finish to the model.


Diffuse Texture and Normal Texture

Diffuse, Specular and Normal textures can also be used with the Glass render property. The Diffuse texture can be used instead of the Diffuse Color.

A Diffuse texture adds additional detail to the Appearance and the surface of the model. For a glass object, the diffuse texture will need to be transparent or semi transparent for it to become see through. In the image below the glass wall is using a Diffuse texture for the blocks and a Normal/Bump texture to add detail to the surface.

The Normal/Bump texture effects the result of Glass and causes further refraction. This distorts the image further and allows you to create effects that you would see in glass, such as frosted glass in doors and windows.

Glass render property Diffuse Texture with Normal Texture

The textures below were used to make the glass wall above.

Note: A background color has been added to the first image above so it is visible online.

It is also possible to just add a Normal texture. A diffuse texture is not always required. The Normal texture can give a nice effect on its own. For example the table in the above image only has a normal texture. This is enough to give it a glass effect and refract the light.

Working with Glass

Glass is a great way to improve your models look and adds realism to your scene. There are some things that you need to look out for when using the Glass render property.

Render Order

The Glass render property renders models in a specific order. It has to do this to work out what needs to be transparent and what to show behind a transparent object. DriveWorks calculates the render order using each model/geometries origin. It puts these origins in distance order from the camera and renders them in that order.

This can however have an adverse effect on the resulting rendered image. Sometimes models can appear to disappear behind a transparent object. If a model disappears behind a transparent object it is because of the model origin order in the 3D scene.

This can be resolved by either reordering the scene or splitting up the scene into smaller models with separate model origins.

Glass Examples

Other Glass Examples

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