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Working with specularity

From: Blender 2.6 Essential Training

Video: Working with specularity

Specularity basically shows the highlights or the shininess of a surface. Specularity can also be used to show the character of a surface, such as the roughness. If you can imagine a service that's fairly rough, it would have kind of modeled or diffuse type of specular highlights. It also can be used to show the shape of an object. So specularity can be very important in the way that we create materials. So in Blender we have a number of options for specularity.

Working with specularity

Specularity basically shows the highlights or the shininess of a surface. Specularity can also be used to show the character of a surface, such as the roughness. If you can imagine a service that's fairly rough, it would have kind of modeled or diffuse type of specular highlights. It also can be used to show the shape of an object. So specularity can be very important in the way that we create materials. So in Blender we have a number of options for specularity.

As we've seen before, we can change the color of our specular highlights, so if I were to click here and basically make it a color, somewhat like teal, we could see how that shows up. If I hit F12 to render, you can see that on my actual object. Now I'm going to go ahead and turn my specularity back to white, and let's take a look at some of the specular shaders that we have. Now we have a whole list of specular shaders here, and this is actually pretty cool because Blender allows us to mix and match our diffuse and specular shaders. A lot of software doesn't allow us to do that.

So this actually gives us maximum flexibility in the way that we construct our materials. Now, in this case the default material is called CookTorr or Cook Torrance, and this is a good overall shader. It can be used for a lot effects. It's pretty good at doing plastic or kind of shiny-type surfaces, and it has two options. As with all specular shaders, we have an Intensity. As we have seen before, if we turn the Intensity down to 0, it goes away.

If I turn the Intensity up, you can see how it gets very intense here. And we also have a Hardness control. So this basically controls this soft edge between the center of specular highlight and how much it falls off. So if I turn the Hardness down all the way, you can see how it basically can consume the entire object. If I make it very, very hard and I turn it way high up, say to around 200 or so, you can see how you get a very, very hard highlight, and you can see that in the rendering as well.

Now by default, this is set to 50, and so let's go ahead and set it back there. And let's go ahead and set our intensity back to 0.5. Now the next one is called Phong and again, it's very similar to Cook Torrance. Phong is actually used a lot in glass. It actually is a little bit softer. So if I increase the intensity, you'll notice I don't get as much of a hard circle in the center. But it's basically about the same as Cook Torrance in that it has a Hardness control as well as an Intensity.

The next one is Blinn. If you've used other 3D software, this is a very popular one there, and it's actually probably one of the more natural ones. You can use it for a lot of different options here. So in addition to Intensity and Hardness, we have another one called IOR, which is Index of Refraction. Now Index of Refraction is just another way of doing Hardness. If I bring this up fairly high to, say, 10 and I'll also bring my Hardness up, you can see how I can get a very, very tight highlight here, and that's almost like kind of a glassy ceramic-y type surface. But I can go the other direction too.

I can bring my Hardness down and drop my Index of Refraction down, and you can see I can get kind of nice dull kind of shine type of surface. So this actually is just another way to create custom types of specularity. Now, the next one is Toon. Now this is pretty straightforward. It's very similar to the Toon diffuse, and basically it has the same controls. It has a Size as well as a Smooth, so the Size will basically just control how big that is.

In other words, where does it fall off from the specular highlight to nothing? And then the smoothness, we can go from hard edge here all the way down to a softer type of highlight. Now, one of the cooler things about the Toon specularity is that you can use it on other diffuse shaders, so you don't have to use it on the Toon shader. Obviously if you use with a Toon shader you can use it together, but you don't have to.

You can use it with the Lambert or an OrenNayar, really any one. This is a good example of where you can mix and match specularity and diffuse shaders. Now the last one is called Wardlso and again, it hasn't Intensity control and it also has a Slope control. So if I turn up the intensity a little bit here, this Slope control is kind of a cross between feathering the Hardness control and the Index of Refraction. And again, it just gets a little bit of a different effect.

You can see how I have that, so if I turn it way up, let's say I turn it up to 0.4, you can see how I can get a very nice diffuse one. And if I turn all the way down, let's say to almost 0 or just above 0, say 0.05, you can see how I can get a very, very hard highlight. So I find this one to be a very flexible one, but really, they all have their own characteristics and their own benefits. Probably the best thing to do is just to play with them and experiment with them to see what works for you.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Blender 2.6 Essential Training
Blender 2.6 Essential Training

90 video lessons · 21976 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 3m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Downloading Blender
      34s
    4. Using Blender on a Mac
      42s
    5. Using Blender on a laptop
      36s
  2. 30m 32s
    1. Overview of the Blender interface
      6m 6s
    2. Understanding 3D view windows
      5m 23s
    3. Navigating in 3D space
      6m 35s
    4. Configuring user preferences
      6m 24s
    5. Creating custom layouts
      6m 4s
  3. 32m 29s
    1. Selecting objects
      6m 12s
    2. Moving objects
      4m 35s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 48s
    4. Scaling objects
      2m 16s
    5. Understanding transform orientation
      3m 53s
    6. Changing an object's origin
      5m 27s
    7. Selecting pivot points
      3m 22s
    8. Using Snap to move objects precisely
      3m 56s
  4. 44m 15s
    1. Creating mesh primitives
      6m 36s
    2. Selecting vertices, edges, and faces
      4m 48s
    3. Editing mesh objects
      7m 39s
    4. Proportional editing
      3m 52s
    5. Sculpt mode
      4m 45s
    6. Working with edges and edge loops
      3m 42s
    7. Extrusions
      5m 18s
    8. Smooth shading objects
      2m 23s
    9. Subdividing meshes
      5m 12s
  5. 50m 31s
    1. Working with modifiers
      5m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision surfaces
      3m 48s
    3. Creating a simple creature
      7m 54s
    4. Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier
      8m 21s
    5. Joining mesh objects
      3m 37s
    6. Stitching vertices
      4m 52s
    7. Finalizing a simple creature
      4m 48s
    8. Creating text
      3m 29s
    9. Boolean tools
      2m 59s
    10. Vertex groups
      4m 51s
  6. 22m 36s
    1. Using the Outliner
      8m 22s
    2. Using layers
      4m 30s
    3. Creating groups
      2m 48s
    4. Working with scenes
      4m 2s
    5. Creating hierarchies
      2m 54s
  7. 54m 26s
    1. Assigning materials to objects
      8m 4s
    2. Diffuse shaders
      6m 47s
    3. Working with specularity
      5m 56s
    4. Using the Ramp Shader options
      9m 45s
    5. Additional shading options
      2m 37s
    6. Creating reflections
      8m 29s
    7. Adding transparency and refractions
      6m 49s
    8. Subsurface scattering
      5m 59s
  8. 51m 48s
    1. Adding a simple texture
      6m 11s
    2. Using bitmaps
      6m 53s
    3. Mapping textures in the UV Editor
      8m 28s
    4. Using UV projections
      5m 56s
    5. UV mapping a character
      6m 11s
    6. Fine-tuning UV mapping
      6m 7s
    7. Creating Bump and Normal maps
      3m 15s
    8. Displacement mapping
      3m 48s
    9. Using the Node Editor
      4m 59s
  9. 53m 9s
    1. Adding lamps to a scene
      8m 44s
    2. Fine-tuning ray-trace shadows
      4m 32s
    3. Using spot lamps
      4m 20s
    4. Fine-tuning buffer shadows
      6m 19s
    5. Using Hemi lamps
      2m 32s
    6. Working with Area lamps
      5m 17s
    7. Creating sky and ambient light
      4m 49s
    8. Adding background images
      3m 19s
    9. Creating sunlight
      6m 6s
    10. Ambient occlusion
      7m 11s
  10. 30m 8s
    1. Working with cameras
      4m 47s
    2. Creating camera targets with constraints
      3m 43s
    3. Render properties
      5m 7s
    4. Rendering animation
      5m 13s
    5. Adding motion blur
      4m 10s
    6. Creating depth of field
      7m 8s
  11. 32m 30s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      4m 3s
    2. Animating objects
      6m 26s
    3. Animating properties
      4m 0s
    4. Editing animation in the Graph Editor
      8m 36s
    5. Using the Dope Sheet
      4m 53s
    6. Path animation
      4m 32s
  12. 39m 59s
    1. Facial animation using shape keys
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding armatures
      6m 2s
    3. Fitting an armature to a creature
      7m 23s
    4. Deforming a character with an armature
      3m 49s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      3m 53s
    6. Controlling the hips and body
      2m 1s
    7. Animating in Pose mode
      2m 47s
    8. Creating a test animation
      9m 24s
  13. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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