HOW CAN I CREATE A SNOW MATERIAL USING BLENDER?
Olivia Wilson, Scotland
I will show you a simple and powerful way to create a snow material using Blender. This scene is characterised by many elements – the lighting, models, reflections, the smoke simulation, the fog, glow and obviously the materials. There are many methods for creating a snow material – for example, with the use of image textures – but in this article I would like to explain how to create a snow material in a procedural way using the nodes in Blender.
Before we start, we have to first create the mesh in which we will apply the material. In this case, I created a simple deformed rectangular shape with some dunes, which I then duplicated and placed in all the parts of the environments where the snow usually settles.
Once we have done this, we can start the creation process. First of all, we have to open the Shader Editor panel (Node
Creating procedural materials is always fun, you can generate different effects and create new materials simply by changing a few parameters
Editor in the previous versions of Blender) and add the Texture Coordinate input, the Musgrave Texture, the Colorramp (placed in the Converter section), the Subsurface Scattering shader, the Glossy BSDF shader, the Mix shader, the Displacement and obviously the Material output. These are the main elements of our material.
Now we have to connect them and set the values. We can start connecting the Texture Coordinate with the Musgrave Texture. If you have unwrapped the mesh, connect it with UV; if you haven’t done this, connect it with generated, normal, object, camera, window or reflection.
In the Musgrave Texture we have to enter a value of -0.600 in Scale, 16.000 in Dimension, 16.000 in Detail and 2.000 in Lacunarity. To give more realism to the material, connect the Height with the Displacement (in the Material output). Now we have to connect the Colorramp with the Subsurface Scattering, and after that we need to mix it with the Glossy BSDF using the Mix shader. Next we can link the Mix shader to the Material output in Surface.
At this point we can set the following parameters to achieve the same result of this winter scene. In the Colorramp we have to select the colours that we want for the snow material, in my case I used a mix of white and grey. In the Glossy, set the roughness up to 0.750. For the Subsurface Scattering, we have to set the scale at 0.200 and use the same value for the Mix shader, being careful to place the Subsurface Scattering as the first shader of the mix with the Glossy BSDF.
That’s all, in just a few minutes you have a snow material perfect for your projects. As always I suggest you also continue to experiment with different parameters to achieve new effects.