#59: SHADOWS & LIGHT (Vue)
#58: ADVANCED DIRT MAPPING (Vue)
#57: SSS IN VUE 9, AND THE "SPECKLE" PROBLEM
#56: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL OF ART
#55: FIXING POSER CLOTHING
#54: MAKING "FOREST WAR - GOBLIN SHAMAN"
#53: MAKING A STUDIO RENDER FOR VUE
(and other apps)
#49: NEBULA MKIII (Vue)
#48: RENDER SETTINGS FOR VUE (Vue)
#47: POSTWORK - MAKING A RENDER INTENSE (Any)
#46: MAKING RIVERS THAT FOLLOW TERRAIN HEIGHTS (Vue or Bryce)
ANTIQUE STEEL AND IRON IN VUE

  Steel and Rusty steel is a very useful material to have available for your renders. For me as a fantasy fan, they are common, but also for industrial, urban, sci-fi...well it can come in handy ;)

  Vue comes with a rusty steel, but frankly it’s not that good. It’s too much like a chrome ball bearing with patched rust, or maybe a galvanized tincan. Usually when an object rusts, the amount of rust, and over all oxidation varies highly, they also are rarely very highly polished. Depending on how the object has been exposed to moisture or corrosion, you can also see rust amounts low down, in dips etc.


  Real world iron and steel for centuries was NOT the smooth, highly polished *stainless* steel we so often see today. It was usually handmade resulting in hammer marks, large, very shallow indentations, dents from use etc, except on the most expensive, highly polished work (in which case they ground it down for many days).
I personally don’t have enough info to work out how steel/iron should reflect light and this set colours and so on, but you can come up with some nice tweaks in Vue for a nice “olde worlde” steel or iron.

First, lets make an antique looking steel.

Load STAINED SILVER, good start point.
Change the COLOUR production function, from Basic Repeater, to Filtered Fractal, Cellular, Vornoi. Largest feature 10, smallest 0. Roughness 0.5.
Remove the link to Colour output. Add a Maths function: Multiply (by about 0.25 or so)
Link this to Colour.
Now for the BUMP, add a texture node, and look for a texture. You want something elongated, lined. Best one is actually some barks, or if not make one using thin lines mostly in one direction, add some small blotches, blur it all. Hand made iron/steel has patina and lines from work/grain and folding.

Then set the SCALE of colour and Bump to 0.1
This should give a nice non-regular, look to the metal.

Set the Depth of the bump to about 0.85. Save your metal material.

Now we want to make a good Rust material.
Load up the Rusting Steel Material. Problem with this is we only want the rust, and rust is a features that pushes OUT from the surface, not in. Rust eventual eats into metal, of course, but it "puffs" up in crust when it forms...so you get pits where it has fallen away, and puffs where it's forming.

Connect the BUMP to the COLOUR fractal function.
Remove the other functions (reflection and highlight).
Now Edit Reflection in the normal material editor, set it to 0.
Save your RUST material.
Note that altering the colour and highlight colour can lead to variations on this theme.

Next step: make a new material, start with Antique steel, make it a MIXED material, add the Rust material.
This is where it gets funky, adjusting the BLEND modes can have very varying effects. Cubic bump makes thick blotchy rust, but stick to normal, set blending to about 60% and you get a varied, weathered rusted steel.
Also, you can set environment influences, OR use a texture to drive Distribution function, that way you can get rust build up in only specific areas etc.

And there you have it! :)

Note this same method can be used to make interesting corroded bronze etc.


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All original art, writing on this site, copyright of Steven James, "Silverblade the Enchanter" ©2012