Aluminum like texture

Hi All,

I’m designing and machining small aluminum parts. I do all my CAD work in Alibre (Solidworks clone).
I’ve been playing with blender for a week now and I’ve picked up some basic skills. I try to render a part to look like as close to the original (alu finish) as I can. I don’t have much luck with aluminum. There are tons of tutorials for chrome like finish but I’d like replicate aluminum. Here is the rendered image how could I improve on it?

Here is the original milled part:
I don’t expect to see the toolpath on the rendered image but something closed to a polished alu finish.

and here is the stl file (5mb)


Trying rendering it in Indigo. Indigo is great for rendering Glass and Metallic type materials.
Although the BI render you have posted looks pretty damn good I must say.

Actually it’s jafray. I didn’t know about indigo. I’ll give it a try. I don’t understand the blocking effects on my render (only on flat surfaces) The sphere render looks great. But the flats are not. BI didn’t have the blocking but the image looked a bit dull compared to yafray.


To me it looks like you need some brushed Aluminium finish - which is not easy to do. Anisotropic reflections will help here…although, it depends on which rendering engine you want to use. For BI, here are some starting points: (look at Tangent shading, a quick search on Blenderartists should provide some more information).

For Yafray…well, it does support an Ashikmin Shader but it is only accessible via .xml editing and I have no experiences on how to use it.

I mentioned Indigo because it’s a great rendering engine, plus it already has Aluminum as a built in texture. You simply select Aluminum as the texture, set the amount of reflectiveness and you’re good to go. You can find Indigo here…

Or if you want you can post the Blend file and I’ll render it for you.

What he said.^^ :stuck_out_tongue:

[Edit] BTW, you just reminded me to upgrade my Alibre to 10.0.:slight_smile: (I have the pro version at a student discount for about $300.)

I did some research on Indigo and I have to tell my initial results are better than with Jafray. My poor dualcore Athlon was sweating over the weekend with rendering indigo.
One thing was hard to figure out is how to import a regular jpg into Indigo becase Indigo only takes UV mapped images. But I figured it out with a bit of a help.
I’ll keep playing with Indigo I found that for newbies like me it give better results. Although there is lot room for improvements.

50nlt: You are welcome to improme my image. You can change the background image if you have better ideas. All I’d like to see is Aliminum like parts on a table or on some other neutral surface.
The idea is that I could reuse this scene for other parts.

Alibre is Cool I paid $500 for design only I’m not a student anymore :slight_smile: I already installed v10 but didn’t start learning the new features yet.

Here are my results:
Jafray render:
(Not realistic)

( a bit more realistic but washed out, probably I should use less light source)

(wood texture for background maybe I should try a darker background)
Blender image:
(with the imported stl files from Alibre)
(here is the part I try to render)

I use
Blendigo v9 beta 4
Indigo 9 test4
Blender 2.44