October started with a great news from our Monaco office, asking me to develop a set of most essential materials for Product visualisation, using Maxwell ... obviously.
Materials itself are pretty standard - glass, chrome, cream, liquid and etc - but the tricky part is that those have to be the ones that are used specifically in cosmetics / FMCG manufacturing.
After dozens of technical articles and documentaries about manufacturing process, few chemistry lectures (online, obviously) and a few marketing videos from Chinese factories about new innovations in glass manufacturing - I'm feeling more confident on visual look and feel I'm after .. as a bonus my social media feed is now filled with "relevant opportunities" and "special offers".
So not just glassy glass 🙄, but a very specific type of glass with very specific Nd value and attenuation distance, tint, coating thickness, Abbe value and etc.
Same goes to Chrome - turned out that regular Chrome is not bright enough in comparison to what is normally used in manufacturing for all those metallic caps, pumps and other elements of perfume bottles. Especially in ray-entrapment areas. 🤓
That's actually where Maxwell's approach to defining index of refraction out of two parameters (Nd + K) comes in very handy. So while keeping the Extinction coeficent (K) at regular range while reducing the Nd - really helps to define that ray's refraction - effectively making ray more focused - which makes them visually lighter when they bouncing back and forth - in other words - super handy for situations like mine where I needed something closer to Zinc and aluminium alloy - which will hold the metallicity and be highly reflective but at the same time have this unique aluminium "lightness" in it - with sharper reflections and tighter spotlights.
Thinking about the process and what I'm getting as a result - makes me very happy that I'm doing it with Maxwell, as in most render engines - if you set everything right but still not happy with the way your material looks - there is very little you can do (before you start doing post-processing tricks and patches) - while here in Maxwell there is almost no end to experimentation and exploration - due to nature of its material editor and general Maxwell's unbiased approach to simulation light.
Anyways, October couldn't get more interesting than that - will post some results once we done with this little research.