Rubber Material
By Neil Blevins
Sept 23rd 2005

Here's a tutorial on how to create a rubber material.

The basic ingredients are as follows:

Here's a photo of real rubber (a care tire).

Reference 1

How To Make A Rubber Material In 3ds Max

First off I made some simple geometry and gave it a dark color...

Figure 1

Then I changed the shader to Oren Nayar, and set the roughness to 0.7. The Oren Nayar shader brings some of the ambient color into the diffuse area of the shader, which simulates what a very rough material would do. Note, if you use the Oren Nayar shader inside of regular 3dsmax, sometimes you'll get unwanted colors on your material. For example, if you choose a blue color and use Oren Nayar, sometimes you'll see a slight yellow color on your material. This is a bug in max, and only appears in some lighting conditions. Which is why I highly recommend using a different Oren Nayar shader if you can. For example, Brazil has it's own Oren Nayar shader inside of the the Advanced Material that doesn't have this problem.

Figure 2

Next comes the highlight, Blinn with a wide base, but a small height. Another possibility is to use a real reflection of a white card or the environment, but for this lesson, we'll just use a regular highlight. Also note, different types of rubber can be more or less specular, for example, the tire photograph above has very little specular, so adjust the strength to match your reference.

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 4a

Now comes the bump, I just used a noise map set to fractal, and a very small bump size...

Figure 5

And here's the final result...

Figure 6

Here's the max file that made the image above, max7:

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