Advanced Glass Shader in Cycles – Blender Tutorial

    Simulating a glass shader with dispersion, caustics and other wizardry in Cycles can be tedious. The architecture of vanilla path-tracing engines like Cycles just doesn’t work well with caustics. So… is there a workaround?

    In this Blender tutorial we’ll explore the tips and tricks of creating the advanced glass material in Cycles, without compromising the quality (too much).

    Download the Project Files

    Advanced Glass in Blender – Tutorial Highlights

    WARNING: To be able to follow along the tutorial, a decent video card is required. I have GeForce GTX 1080.

    glass shader tutorial gpu rendering

    Advanced Glass in Blender – Cycles Material Nodes

    cycles glass shader

    Advanced Glass – this is a broad overview of all the blocks of the shader

    cycles nodes glass shader

    Refraction and Dispersion

    glass tutorial blender cycles

    Reflection and Subsurface Scattering

    Absorption (Raylength-based)

    fake caustics in cycles

    Fake Caustics

    how to create a glass shader in blender

    Volume, Bump and Speed-up Hack

    Advanced Glass in Blender – Some Renders and Tests

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    Links

    Creating a Dispersion Shader in Cycles (CGC Weekly #17)

    Absorption in Cycles by Gottfried Hofmann

    Rendering Caustics in Blender with appleseed by Gottfried Hofmann

    Cycles Spectral Rendering on BlenderArtists

    Gemstone Shader Breakdown by Anthony Pilon

    Christoph S. @AlphaX_ on Twitter

    Introduction to SPPM (Stochastic Progressive Photon Mapping)

    LuxCoreRender

    YafaRay

    appleseed

    Over to You

    Now it’s time to download the project files or maybe start from scratch and create your own uber glass shader in Cycles. Or maybe it’s time to test one of the spectral renderers like LuxRender?

    p.s. Also I would recommend to take a look at this thread at BlenderArtists, it’s full of clever hacks related to spectral rendering within Cycles.