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The open-source 3D graphics suite Blender now offers Cycles, a rendering engine that adds a new degree of realism and professionalism to your projects. In this course, George Maestri introduces Cycles, and reviews its lighting types, materials, and render settings. Learn how to layer shaders, enhance surfaces with texture and gloss, and add lifelike lighting and shadows to your scenes. In the final chapter, follow along with a small, self-contained project, where a simple architectural interior will be rendered.
Let's take a look at how to create more sophisticated surfaces and in this case let's go ahead and create a Glossy Surface. So, I have my Table and when I render it here, you'll see that it renders kind of flat. I am not getting much of a reflection of this bowl in the scene. So let's go ahead and add a Gloss or a Sheen to this to make it look a little bit shinier. In this Material here I have got this Image Texture going into this Diffuse into my Material Out here.
So you can see that here I have got a Diffuse with an Image Texture, but I want to add a little bit of shine. So, I can add in a Glossy Shader and mix it together with the Diffuse to create my shiny table top. So I am going to do this in the Node Editor. I am going to go ahead and add in a Shader and I am actually going to add in my Mix Shader and I have to zoom out here, because sometimes it comes in underneath. Zoom in. Go ahead and just rearrange these here.
So what I want do is basically put the Diffuse into the Mix and into the Material Out. Now let me show you a little trick here. If you grab this and drag it over the line--notice how that shows up as orange--and let go, it will go ahead 00:01:23.10] and automatically rewire it and that can actually be very, very handy. A lot quicker than rewiring that by hand. Now I've got a Mix Shader with the Diffuse going into it, but we also have our second Shader, which is missing.
So let's go ahead and add in another Shader and in this case we are going to add in the Glossy Shader and I'm going to go ahead and wire that into my Mix. Now notice how as soon as I do that, this table top gets a little bit of a highlight on it. So let's go ahead and take that off. You can see that when it's off, this is pretty flat and then as soon as I plug that in, I get a bit of a reflection here.
This Glossy has a number of different ways to be reflective. One is with Beckmann. In fact, let's go ahead and turn our factor here up to one so you can see exactly what's reflecting here. This is what's reflecting off of this Shader. I've got Reflections here. Then this is a reflection of the bowl and this white here is a reflection of the light, but that's also coming from the Color Channel here.
So if I change this color, you can see how it changes that highlight color and then the Roughness again-- that's Roughness of the Shader. Now this Roughness here is how much it reflects, so when this is at absolute zero, I get a perfect reflection. As I start dialing it up--the Roughness--it starts to get more Diffuse and not so reflective.
Now we have a number of different ways to reflect, so you remember here I've got a Glossy Shader here with a Beckmann. If we go to GGX--that's just another way of reflecting--that you can see how that changes in that again I can add in Roughness if I want. So this actually creates a much higher highlight and then if we go to Sharp, that creates an absolute mirror effect and it's almost the same as if you just dialed down the Roughness completely on one of the other ones here.
So I am actually going to put this back to Beckmann and actually I do want to get a pretty sharp reflection, so I am actually going to make my Roughness fairly low. So now that I have this and I have the reflectivity the way that I want it, I can go ahead and dial back my factor here to add in the actual Table itself. So now you can see how the actual Granite is now reflecting this bowl and so I have a much glossier surface.
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