Square Enix © Goodbye Kansas

Table of Contents

This page provides a tutorial on how to make realistic translucent fabric with VRayMtl2Sided.


Objects like cloth allow light to pass through them even though the actual substance they are made of is not really transparent or refractive. The light passing through the cloth is described as translucency. When a light is placed behind a piece of fabric then the back side characteristics of the fabric strongly affect its overall appearance.

VRayMtl2Sided is the best choice for representing cloth and other thin translucent objects like paper, leaves etc.

In this tutorial, we examine how to use VRayMtl2Sided to create a translucent fabric material.

VRayMtl2Sided works best with geometry that has no thickness. In this tutorial, the geometry for the fabric is single-sided and has no thickness.

Step 1: Create the front material

Let's create the Front material of our translucent fabric. Open the Hypershade and go to Create panel > VRay section > VRayMtl (or press Tab on the keyboard to create a node).

Then link a File texture to the Diffuse Color slot of the Front material. Depending on how tiny you want the details of the texture to be, adjust the Repeat UV parameter to a preferable value. Here, we set the parameter to 8.

– set the Reflection Color to grey to introduce mild reflectivity.

– decrease the Reflection glossiness to 0.7 to blur the reflections.

– unlock and decrease the Fresnel IOR from the default 1.6 to 1.3 to reduce the strength of the front material's Fresnel reflection.

– keep the rest of the parameters at their default values.




Here's how the front material looks on its own when rendered.


Step 2: Create the back material 

Let's create the Back material.

Just like in Step 1, we need a VRayMtl but with a different diffuse texture. Keep the default values of the VRayMtl's parameters.

Here's a render of just the Back material on its own.



Step 3: Create a V-Ray 2-Sided material

VRayMtl2Sided has Front and Back materials that are applied to the shaded surface according to its polygon normals. If no Back Material is used, then by default the Front one is applied on both sides.

Then, link the Front and Back materials that were created in the previous steps to their respective slots in VRayMtl2Sided.

Step 4: Adjust the translucency

Translucency determines which side (front or back) relative to the camera is more visible in the render.

Select the VRayMtl2Sided node. In the Parameters rollout, set the Translucency color to the desired value. Note that darker colors make the VRayMtl2Sided look more solid, while lighter colors make it more sheer and allow more light from the back side to pass through the object.



Move the slider below the image to see a few different examples of the Translucency value in the 2-Sided material.


Translucency is set to black. No light is passing through and the back material is not visible.

Translucency is mid-gray, allowing light from the back to pass through. making both materials visible.

Translucency is set to white, allowing all the light to pass through. Only the back material is visible.

Move the slider to see the example renders.