3D in Blender #4 – Material Basics (Smooth)

Since i’m not doing animation, i’m going to use the default bottom panel to host the texture system. In the bottom window swap it to be the Shader Editor. In the Materials Tab on the right, select ‘Use Nodes’

Most of my reading indicates that most basic smooth materials are going to be partially Glossy and partially Not.

Delete the Principled BSDF Node, and using the Add tab, create a Glossy BSDF Node, a Diffuse BSDF Node and a fader to to slide between Gloss and Matt textures.

This is going to ramp up quick. A shiny version of the goblet in the previous set of notes might look like this (the colour inherits from a separate node, and the Mix Shader takes far more from the Glossy than the Diffuse):

The Glass Shader is pretty good on its own (right hand glass). My attempts to create a transparent blue plastic take the Glass Shader and Mix it in as follows:

At this point, this is for me trial and error, but i’m getting a sense that this could become very addictive…

Important Update:

I think the node blending above is definitely very useful to learn, but i’m also informed that the Principled BSDF shader does most of this in one go.

In the image below, the Gold Glass on the left uses the Principled Shader, and the one on the right is the material as created above:

Likewise, the Glass on the left uses the Principled Shader – Transmission set to 1 (this seems to be what controls the transparency – there are undoubtedly a lot more subtleties to get to grips with). The first video below seems like essential viewing to me.

Here’s the Render of the Gold and Glass using the two different methods. The glass on the left isn’t identical in the render, which I think relates to the subsurface colour, and its position in the scene, but this is certainly good enough to move forward.

Going forward, as much as I like connecting Nodes together, it feels to me as though the Principled BSDF is the best way having used the older way to get to grips with the principles.

Useful Videos: