A couple of people have asked me about creating a material to simulate an alucobond building facade. I won’t pretend to know an exact setting for this type of material. However, I think I can give some info that will get you going in the right direction. If nothing else, maybe it will make for a decent starting point. Read on for the details.
As someone that isn’t terribly familiar with this material the first thing I did was Google some reference images. I found several different looks to this material. Some more reflective, some less reflective…some were more glossy than others, etc. Example 01, Example 02, Example 03, Example 04
That being said overall it looks like a fairly basic glossy aluminum material (IMHO). But of course I may be oversimplifying the material since I don’t have any in front of me at the moment.
To begin, the first thing to consider here is the scene environment. As with any reflective material it will only look as good as what you give it to reflect. So I setup the test scene with a nice early am/late pm panoramic HDR image.
From there I started on the alucobond material. I used an A&D material and set it up in a basic glossy metal configuration like this:
I fired off a render with this setup and here’s that result:
It seems to look alright. Perhaps a bit too new or shiny, but then again some of the reference image were more reflective and less glossy than others. So this may work for some types. Another thing I noticed about the alucobond material is that some of it appeared to have a clear coat type layer. If you want that, then you can use this configuration as a base material in a blend/shellac material.
For my renders here I’m using iray. Unfortunately, iray in 3ds Max currently does not offer a way to put a coating/layer on a material. However, it’s not too difficult to achieve by rendering a black reflective layer and overlaying it onto the original render. That’s exactly what I did for this next image:
That’s about it I guess. Like I mentioned at the beginning, this may not be the exact look you’re after but it could be a good starting point. For example, if you wanted a darker, more glossy look you could decrease the reflection glossiness and darken the diffuse color a bit for this:
While I used iray in my examples here you can recreate this with most any render engine. Scenes like this are perfect for iray since it’s very quick for glossy reflections and exterior type scenes. Regardless of the render engine you use please keep in mind how important the environment map is on reflective objects.
One last tip, you may also want to add a bit of noise/distortion to the panels since nothing is perfectly flat.