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AutoCAD 2002 Tutorial: Create A Mirror-Like Material

By Alireza Parsai, August 28, 2002

Are you familiar with rendering 3D models in AutoCAD? If yes, you also know that materials you can assign to your models are a limited number. Fortunately you can define new materials based on the current materials. Take a look at the following picture (Figure 1). There I have used a custom material to show the effect of mirrors. Let's create this material step by step.

FIGURE 1

1. Invoke RMAT. You can invoke the command by clicking its icon on Render toolbar (i.e. ). The Materials dialog box appears. Select Standard from the drop-down list on the right side of the dialog box and click New button (Figure 2).

FIGURE 2

FIGURE 3 - Click on image to enlarge

2. Type a name for the material (e.g. WHITE MIRROR).

3. Make sure Color/Pattern radio button is selected in Attributes column.

4. In Color section remove By ACI tick mark. If you select this option the color of material will be the same as the color of the selected object.

5. Enter 1.00 in Red, Green, and Blue boxes (Figure 4).

FIGURE 4

6. Select Reflection in Attributes list. Set the value to 0.5 or higher to guarantee a good quality for the reflected light (Figure 5).

7. In Color section make sure that both Lock and Mirror are selected. Lock option makes the color of reflection light the same as the color of object. Mirror creates a mirror-like material (Figure 5).

FIGURE 5  - Click on image to enlarge

8. Set the Roughness and Transparency values to 0. Click OK.

Now the mirror material is ready to use. Attach it to a proper object. Set the scene and invoke RENDER command. Make sure that Photo Raytrace rendering type is used. This is the rendering type that enables viewing light reflection.

You can download a library of mirror-like materials at: http://www.geocities.com/cad_tips/downloads.htm. You can also download a drawing file there to test the topics discussed here.

About the Author

Alireza Parsai is the founder of cadpanel.com. He is a mechanical engineer with more than 12 years experience with AutoCAD. Alireza is an Autodesk Authorized Author, the AutoCAD consultant for Al Khawarizmi Institute, a contributing editor for Augiworld magazine, a writer for CAD Digest, an instructor for AUGI Training Program, and an elected speaker for Autodesk University 2002. He has written 7 books in Farsi, 3 booklets in English, and more than 30 articles for different magazines and newsletters. You can reach him at alireza.parsai@cadpanel.com or visit his website www.cadpanel.com.

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