Simulate Early, Simulate Often... In Rhino
I finally got around to playing with V-Ray last night. I was wondering what material to put on one of the objects when I wondered if the VRML file exported for 3D printing would work.
It came in perfectly, the texture mapping 100% OK. The material is of course Rhino based (not V-Ray) and I had to tone down the brightness of the *wrl.png texture in Photoshop (50% but in retrospect, more would have been better).
The next step will be to see if the material can be converted to V-Ray.
I have a big thing about being able to move fluidly between different rapid prototypes (virtual, additive, subtractive and traditional), so the ability to photorealistically render or animate SnS results opens up new options for non-technical audiences.
For all I know I'm the last person to realise this, but I think it's pretty cool! :-) Render and reference photo attached.
Adding to my own post...
I was being silly - there was no need to export/import the VRML file... just bake with textures.
Nevertheless, it niggled me that I had to manually tweak the texture map and fake in a shadow below the FEA object - it doesn't look 100% and useless for animation.
So after a a couple of hours of playing, here's how to convert the Rhino material to V-Ray and get everything working properly.
(1) Export the mesh with texture. Save the image file somewhere you can find it if necessary.
(2) Don't touch the advanced or custom UV channel settings in Rhino - it is on channel 1 by default. Touching any of this, even opening up the dialog box, caused the channel to be dropped. A bug? Don't know.
(3) Create a V-Ray material and go to Diffuse Mapping. Load up the texture map you saved. Set Texture Mapping to Explicit, keep Channel-1 default, switch Bitmap Tiling off. (I inverted the texture just to check it was working then flipped it back once I was sure it was).
(4) Select the mesh, set material to Plug-In, Browse and load the V-Ray material you created.
That's it! Easy! You now have full V-Ray control of your SnS'd object.
Your next question of course is how to handle multiple SnS objects with multiple channels. Will have to figure that out.