Shadow Matte with V-Ray

Ever wondered how to create a proper ‘Shadow Matte’ material when working with the V-Ray rendering system in 3ds Max? There’s a simple, straight-forward solution:

  1. First, launch the Material Editor (M), select a material slot and click on the “Get Material” icon.
  2. Choose VRayMtlWrapper, change ‘Base material’ to ‘Standard’, enable ‘Matte surface’, change ‘Alpha contribution to’ -1.0.
  3. Then enable ‘Shadows’ and double check if ‘Affect alpha’ is off.

3ds Max 2011 introduced the Slate Material editor which offers a slightly different workflow:

  1. First, launch the Slate Material Editor (M), right-click on View1 and choose Materials > V-Ray … > VRayMtlWrapper.
  2. Double-click this newly generated material to edit its settings: change ‘Base material’ to ‘Standard’, enable ‘Matte surface’, change ‘Alpha contribution to’ -1.0.
  3. Then enable ‘Shadows’ and double check if ‘Affect alpha’ is off.

With these settings you have exactly the same material behaviour as the well known standard ‘Matte Shadow’ material provided by 3ds Max – but now for V-Ray and not just for the default scanline renderer. You can also turn off all additional surface properties when you don’t need caustics or GI.

This entry was posted in 3DSMax, Rendering and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Shadow Matte with V-Ray

  1. avshash says:

    Mate, you saved my a**s ! thanks for this :)

  2. raqwinter says:

    thank you!

  3. Parag says:

    thanx alot dude .. u really saved my much timeeeeee

  4. Safeer Sidheek says:

    EXCELLENT..! , please one more note on you tutorial, "tick on shadows".
    Thank you very much dude.!!

  5. bertl says:

    saved my day, thank you !

  6. Abhijeet says:

    Thank you so much ……..

  7. patrik says:

    Awesome, works with vrayshadows, while a standard matte/shadows material will only take shadow maps.


  8. shorty says:

    Thanks a lot man.. But what about the reflection.. If you want the reflection on the floor.. What to do then ?

  9. Matee says:

    I dont know why but it does not work for vray rt

  10. guest says:

    thanks for the little tutorial! anyways, the 3d object still soes not reflect its own shadow. and in case I want a reflection of my 3d object on the floor I am in trouble, too… any suggestions?

  11. rog! says:

    Because this tutorial is not working. Use a wrapper with a matte /Shadow to reflect Shadows as well!

  12. Mridul says:

    Thanks a lot. Great Tips

  13. alex says:

    i love u man!!! u saved me a lot of trouble!!

  14. mattu says:

    loco! me salvaste la vida! mil gracias!

  15. ReMo says:

    but the alpha channel still remains empty… :(

  16. Eugene David says:

    Thanks a lot friend.This tutor helped me.

  17. Sabah says:

    how can we eliminate the matte shadow if ther is a parallel road.I am asking this because I am doing a road project and rendered the interchanges and roads without cars.While doing mat cars in vray I am getting 2 shadows from the car which is on the bridge

  18. Terefere says:

    OMG! Why i hadnt founded it ealier, i tried many times, and couldnt it work for me :D the problem was "alpha contribution -1"

  19. martensen7 says:

    Awsome, thanks a lot for this tutorial.

Leave a Reply