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..::soft drink (cola) material::..

Enlarge Screenshot Open up the softdrink_start.max file included. In this scene we have a basic scene set up with a gradient background (the effect wouldn’t work well against a black background) and basic photometric lighting system with reflection cards set up for a studio lighting environment. There is a snapshot of fluid geometry which you will use to assign the material you will set up next.
Enlarge Screenshot Add a new Glass (physics_phen) material to a blank material slot. Label the material Normal. Set the Light Persistence colour to RGB 0.6, 0.2, 0.05 (colour was sampled from an online cola image), set the Index of Refraction to 1.333 for water and the Persistence Distance value to 30mm. Using this shader gives a nice representation of cola so you get darker areas where the geometry is thicker and nice intense colour falloff on the perpendicular.
Enlarge Screenshot As we are dealing with fluid shading, to get the end result looking nice, some additional parameters need to be enabled, namely motion blur and/or depth of field, depending on the proximity of the camera to the fluid object. In this image (and in the final scene) the fluid to the right has the amended Persistence Distance value, giving a more watered down appearance.
Download the max file! Zip file to accompany.

..::quick tip::..

As this is a Mental Ray material solution using physically accurate materials, lighting, correct scene scale and environment reflections play a big part in the result.

Initially published: 3D World magazine, Issue 92, July 2007.

Copyright Pete Draper, July 2007. Reproduction without permission prohibited.