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5 Tips to Improve V-Ray Textures

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Interior CGI of a apartment block in London

Improve your V-Ray Textures using these 5 top tips!

We are often asked for guidance on how to improve the quality of V-Ray textures, so we want to give you our 5x top tips which will supercharge your workflow and boost the realism of your work!

1. Never leave the reflection colour as black

Reflections are visible in almost every material – there are very few exceptions to this in the world around us.

black and white photo of grand hallway

Consequently, as CGI artists, we need to represent this within our work and ensure that our materials are always programmed to reflect light.

Interior CGi fo exeter development of bathroom

As you can see, when we have our reflection colour set to black, we do not see any reflections…

vray editor reflections

Whereas when we set our reflection colour to white, we see really intense reflections.

vray editor reflections and specular

Note the difference between reflection intensity and reflection glossiness...

Video showing material change in vray editor

We get into reflections in much more detail on our Complete Guide to V-Ray for SKP course.

Key takeaway to improve your V-Ray textures: always change the reflection colour from black


2. Pay attention to repeating textures

Repeating textures are a huge giveaway that your work is computer generated...

material placement in sketchup

A well resolved material could be ruined if it repeats itself too often, and you can see visible repetitions within your work

 making a brick texture in the vray editor

We must take measures to prevent this from happening… there are a few things that we can do.

Try and use the largest scale images possible for your materials. Think large-scale!

brick texture creating in vray

This fundamentally reduces the number of times that a material must repeat itself on a given surface.

We can also use something called Stochastic Tiling

video showing deifference in material settings

Using this technique, V-Ray automatically randomises the positioning of your materials – reducing the tiling effect!

In-case you were wondering, most of the preset materials from Chaos Cosmos already have this feature applied. That said, for any materials that you make from scratch, you will need to consider this! If you would like some more reassurance, we look at wrapping and randomization on our Complete Guide to V-Ray for SketchUp.

Key takeaway to improve your V-Ray textures: use large-scale maps & add stochastic tiling


3. How to fix glass errors

Does your glass sometimes show up as black, or just generally looks strange?

glass texture not working in vray

You’re not alone!

You may have glass applied to back faces – V-Ray hates this! Turn on the monochrome face style to check.

glass not working in sketchup

V-Ray requires 2x faces of glass, with front (or white) faces facing outwards.

modelling glass in sketchup for vray

We also recommend using one of the preset glass materials found in the Chaos Cosmos library – they work great!

If you follow these rules for glass, you will never have any more issues with glass!

Key takeaway to improve your V-Ray textures: glass in V-Ray requires 2x faces, with front faces facing out. Check this using the monochrome face style

exterior cgi of devon home by water


4. Add specular or gloss maps into the reflection glossiness texture slot

Do your textures look uniform and flat?

flat textures in vray for sketchup

Have you ever seen one of these maps before?

gloss and reflection maps in vray

A specular map dictates where on the material we will see glossy or matte reflections.

Add them into your reflection glossiness slots to create varying levels of gloss across your material. Note - other black and white maps can be used here, including reflex and even bump maps.

specular added to texture map in vray

If required, you can wrap these gloss maps in a colour correction to enable to adjust this further

editing a vray material showing reflection

We can see the comparison between a material with & without a map inside the reflection glossiness slot.

slideshow of different types of reflections

Check out more on how to do this on our blog on how to create realistic textures!

Key takeaway to improve your V-Ray textures: using maps to control your materials’ glossiness makes them more realistic

An advanced V-Ray material


5. Add imperfections to your textures

Nothing is ever perfectly smooth…

phone screen scratches

Not even seemingly ‘flat’ surfaces…

car scratches on side paint

Motes of dust, minute scratches or greasy fingerprints – top-level CGI artists look to add these details to their finishes.

Interior CGI showing reflections in vray

It is possible to add black and white alpha masks into the reflection glossiness and/or bump slots.

Scratches map in V-Ray for Sketchup

Wrap these in a colour correction, and tweak the brightness and contrast of these maps to achieve the desired results.

vray editor showing final material result

Key takeaway to improve your V-Ray textures: use alpha masks to simulate surface imperfections.


Want more tips like this?

This is an abbreviated look into the Materials section of our Complete Guide to V-Ray for SKP.

Join our community for more professional, technical content like this as well as offers on courses, updates about upcoming webinars and prize giveaways!


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