Voluminance MCG

11 votes
Date Updated: 

Voluminance calculates the amount of light each vertex receives taking into account the distance traveled inside a mesh. A longer distance traveled inside means more of the light got absorbed resulting in a darker vertex color.

To view the result in the viewport enable the 'VertexColor channel display" in the object's properties dialog. For rendering you can you use the vertexcolor-map to drive material parameters.

Basically this is a very quick way of getting a sub surface scattering look and feel that renders in seconds.

Additional Info: 

Usage from scratch:

1) create mesh
2) in mesh properties enable 'vertexcolor channel display'
3) apply VolumetricToVertexColor modifier
4) pick a light
5) adjust multiplier to set the effect's strength

(A quickstart demo scene is attached as well.)

Tip: For organic meshes use effect on a low res mesh an then apply a turbosmooth modifier for faster results.

3ds Max Version Requirement: 
volumetrictovertexcolor_1_1.zip8.17 KB
voluminance_demoscene.max244 KB


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niknastev's picture

Great job as always Jona!

Great job as always Jona!

vusta's picture

viewport gratification

ah ok, I was after instant gratification...ie. I wanna see the colour/SSS effect in the viewport !!!

Thanks. I'm looking thru your compounds, doing my head in...

Just for other ppl reading, if they don't have an Intel CPU (modern one at that) does Embree fall over ?


Jonathan de Blok's picture


Multiplier is indeed a bit clumsily named, it multiplies the absorption factor,not the light.

Color you can get using a vertexcolor-map and a mix-map.. use the grayscale values to drive the mix amount between two colors. So you use the vertexcolora to drive material parameters, not directly.

(I can't read the light color/intensity using MCG, and there isn't a color input either, else I would have added it directly in the UI)

vusta's picture

Multiplier and colour ?

Hi Jonathan,

looks really pretty..but why is it that when I increase the light multiplier...it gets darker ? Also, if I put some colour
in the light to make it even prettier....it remains black/white and not scattering my colour ?


Alaa alnahlawi's picture

That's cool, thanx for

That's cool, thanx for sharing.

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