Blender 3D: Noob to Pro/Light a Silver Goblet

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Note that the images are outdated.

Techniques[edit | edit source]

You should know how to:

  • Perform actions discussed previously in the tutorial.

This section will recap or introduce:

  • Reflective material
  • Positioning camera and light
  • Editing the World colors

Objects in the Scene[edit | edit source]

Create the goblet discussed in Model a Silver Goblet or load it if previously made. If you haven't already made the goblet, feel free to try the tutorial using a sphere or something else instead and you will still get a good outcome. In Object Mode with NUM 7 view, add a plane mesh. Scale the plane to a very large size and make sure the goblet is sitting comfortably on top of it.

Select the camera and move it so that the goblet, and its reflection in the plane will be seen or else if you want. You can see the numerical location of the camera by bringing up the Transform Properties window by pressing NKEY in the viewport. In my example where 0,0,0 is the bottom center of the goblet, the camera is located at 27, -21, 19 XYZ with a rotation of 63.5, 0.62, 46.7.

Create a Sun with Shift+A → Lamp → Sun. And (in the lamp properties "Object Data") set "energy" to "0.5", and place it above the goblet. Move it at around 80 points on the Z-axis. It is very important that you place the lamp on the right spot cause it will give your goblet anon 100 times more true to nature when you will give your goblet a silver texture. You can try placing a point or another lamp but it's very difficult to get a realistic image then. If you choose a different lamp click on the World button in the "Properties" header (the section where you can edit the sky). Check the Environmental Lighting box. Set energy to "0.800".

The rendering of this scene yields:

Current render Old Picture.

Adding the Atmosphere[edit | edit source]

In Object Mode, select the goblet and go to the "Material Properties". If no material is linked to the goblet, add new material. Rename the material 'cup' or something similar. The area of interest is the Mirror window. Highlighted below are the mirror options we'll be playing with. Press the Mirror button to make the material act like a mirror and reflect light.

Move the "Reflectivity" slide to 0.85 or type it in after LMB on the number. This is how reflective the surface will be. A low number of 0.00 means that it reflects little while a high number of 1.00 reflects everything.

Also change the Fresnel slide from 0.0 to 1.4. This will increase the power of the Fresnel function. What this means is the color of the material will be strong because the light source is taken into consideration. If the Fresnel wasn't used, the object would appear dark because the light source isn't directly calculated in the mirror. Also, change the color of the goblet to white. Using a light color will give your goblet an interesting patina if you so choose.

No material linked

Make the goblet reflective

Next, select the plane and modify the material, add if it is not there. We want the plane to be dark and shiny. Set Diffuse and Specular to near black for the color. For reflectivity, turn on Mirror to about 0.15 Reflective and ignore Fresnel this time.

Edit the materials of the plane

There is only one more thing to do before rendering the scene: change the world. Under the "Properties" Header is the "World" panel. Here you have Paper Sky, Blend Sky, and Real Sky buttons. There are also options for changing the color of the horizon (Horizon color), zenith (Zenith color), and ambient (Ambient color). We're interested in these two windows at the moment.

Using Real sky and Blend sky will affect the way the horizon and zenith interact. Experiment with them to see what they do in the preview. In this example, Real and Blend are turned on.

The Paper button works a little differently in that what you see in the preview will essentially be the background of your render. This effect is most noticeable when your camera is rotated. Despite the camera rotation, the preview would still be 'wallpapered' on the render.

For our world, set the color close to black for the horizon, zenith, and ambient.

World shading

That was the last step! Make sure the camera is in the right spot and render the scene. Here is the output of this example

Final rendering

Creating a metallic texture for the goblet:[edit | edit source]

The metallic look can be achieved by these steps:

  1. Materials > Diffuse. Set color Hex value to: C7C8CB or you can set it completely black for dark metal. Set intensity to "0.8".
  2. Materials > Specular. Set color to white(Hex: FFFFFF). Change Intensity to "1.000", left of the color-swatch, set the specular shader to CookTorr. Also change the Hardness to value around "16".
  3. Materials > Mirror. Make sure the Mirror check-box is checked. Set Reflectivity to 1.000 and color to white(Hex: FFFFFF). Make sure that under "Gloss" the "Amount" is set to "1.000".
  4. (not compulsory but it may be required) Use the texture from this earlier tutorial: Procedural Wood Texture on the planes that are below and behind the goblet as in the picture below. It will give you a much better contrast.


Problem: When I render I see brown where I have used "Shift-E" and "G" and I followed everything. Answer: Please remember, the author did say play with the settings a bit, this tutorial should be used as a guide. We are learning how to use all the tools that Blender has to offer, that is the important thing. It is up to us to experiment more with the settings set forth in these tutorials. If the settings in these tutorials do not give us the same results, that is OK, we should be changing them anyway to express ourselves! Also remember, NEVER strive for PERFECTION, but ALWAYS strive for EXCELLENCE. Perfection only leads to frustration, and it is frustrating enough, at times, to learn something new. Have fun learning, I know I am.

Noob Question: I managed to get it looking like the first picture above. How do I get it to look like the second?
Pro Answer: Change the reflection settings. a higher depth and a larger raymir value will make the goblet more "mirror" like as in the 2nd picture. the other settings should be left alone, or you can experiment with them to achieve the effect that you want. lighting is also important. the object that is to be reflected has to be illuminated as well as the object that is doing the illuminating. Different lights (don't use a hemi if you want it to be realistic) at different angles will give you a more realistic effect.

Noob Note: On the answer above, I didn't manage to do it with any of the things the pro said in the answer here, I found out that the key is to change the color of the material which is white (or close to white) in the upper picture. In the lower picture the color is set to black (or close to black). This eliminates the "un-metallic" whitish sheen that the goblet in the upper picture has.

Noob Note: I don't know about those using lower versions but those using v2.5x have a choice of different shaders both for diffuse and specular colours. I strongly suggest that for the same object one should try playing around with the shaders. They can create different effects. for eg. here if you change the diffuse shader type to oren-nayar and the specular shader type to wardiso, the goblet will have a glossy , finished look.