3D World

HOW CAN I CRE­ATE A SNOW MA­TE­RIAL US­ING BLENDER?

Olivia Wil­son, Scotland

- Pi­etro Chio­varo replies Programming Languages · Programming · Science · Tech

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.

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