Demo of Anisotropic Shader

Hi all,

i put in some days to check out Blenders lates Anisotropic shader option to produce brushed metal like highlights.

here is the link to the demo file:

For those who are interested in it few thing you have to keep in mind.

As explained by broken, Blender has no anisotropic shader, but rather is apply to stretch any specular light shader along the tangent when you uv unwrap a model. for that unwrapping as a cylinder works the best.

rotating the unwrapped mesh in the uv editor will rotate the specular highlight.

you can see teh difference with the spheres and the cylinders. the highlights go eitehr vertical or horizontal.

you need quite some high poly count to get smooth and linear highlights.

because you CUT open the mesh at the seam you will see a broken highlight in case it flows over that edge. try to hide that edge on the back side of you model. at the left cylinder and at the two objects in the foreground you can see that rendering problem.

sometimes i create a cube cut away the top and bottom face unwrap it and than add loop cuts. than i start moving away the top loops. extruding toop loops seems to produce bad results. maybe this is a bug in blender.

the two object in the foreground are produced this way. also sometimes when you extrude you need to cleany unwrap again the extruded objects to get highlights which will smoothly flow over the surface. when you unwrap try to do that from the side view.

when working with cylinders which have closed pole caps DO NOT close the pole cap via merging. this will produce bad results. rather scale down the last ring so much that the opening will be smaller than a pixel. this way your specular highlight will be much better.

creating the pole caps is also another thing. i would not recomend selecting all faces and unwrapoing it as a cylinder. instead unrwap the cylinder, add a loop cut at the top and than scale down the top loop/ring to model the pole cap. this will not only help with teh highlights but also will help preventing texture distortion and produces circular pattern textures as you can see on the left cylinder. the other two cylinder have the pole cap faces unwrapped as from view looking perpendicular down onto the pole cap.

all cylinder and cone objects in the scene do have OPEN ends and you do not see it.

because you work with UVs you can also but rotating selected faces change teh direction of the highlight and thus simulate brush patterns which go into different direction on one and the same object.

in the demo file i added a secon specular highlight to simulate more the reflection i see on my real life test objects. i found that more accurate than a single specular.

the nice part is you can select any specular light model in blender to produce the highlight. ward very sharp to phong very soft.

messing up the UVs can also produce so crazy highlights.

unwrapping as a sphere from top view of a cylinder object produces perfect continious highlights but not typical highlights because the outer ring would be u and the inner ring would be v and they are parallel. but the look is quite nice.

I hope you find the blend file usefull.


Astounding. Really impressive.
I was wondering though, why do you render the x and the y parts in 4? Why not do it all in one pass?


ah good question, i did not notice that :wink:

Ok wait a minute here.
That looks nothing like the file you sent me.
What version of Blender did you use?

that is some good shading :smiley:
very impressive results and interesting technique.
Brushed steel is one of those things that I really find hard to achieve

Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:

Thanks for the blend, cekuhnen. :slight_smile:

That’s probably because Blender 2.42 defaults to rendering in 4x4 parts.

Using a 2.42 RC should work.

Impressive! thx for the detailed description. :slight_smile:


i switched back to x and y = 1 and guess what, blender took three times longer. with xy=4 it took around 1 minute with xy=1 it took over 3 minutes.

a test with xy=2 was alsofast but slower than xy=4.

so that somehow means that xy=>1 renders much faster.

I don’t understand what you did on first reading, but I’ve been trying to simulate brushed steel for my latest lightsaber model. Yoda LS wip


Thanks for the blend file, and all the effort you put in!!

I’ll second that and say thank you for your contribution.

he he he stay tuned for the next version.

i am tweaking the final shaders now.

the new metal shader is made out of 6 surface shaders all composed together to produce blured and distorted refelctions.

but Blender 242 R3 crashes so often :wink:

I can’t even open the Zip file… It asks me for the next disk of the compilation.

That is, however, really good brushed metal.

mh i is an os x zip archive. it should work on pc.

mh i can upload the blend file when i finished updating the new shader.
i need to change some UVs than the new brushed shader is done!
it looks so fricken awesome!

I only can say it again, that new Preview render option is the biggest blessing!!!

>>> new Preview render option is the biggest blessing!!!

cekuhnen, thanks for that little piece of advice, that will certainly some in handy. Does this theory continue if it is set to xy=16, and so on…?

Ok, here is the new file,

the highlights are very smooth from a distance but very detailed when close pluse the reflections are blured and loosing strength over distance!!!

feel free to explore and play with it!

changing teh size of the faces in the UV edior will also change the size of the bump map. this is a nice and fast way to change the maps when you zoom in or out to increase or decrease detail!


here is the blend file:

ah ja and sorry for the big screen shots :wink:
i work on a 23" system :slight_smile:

ah ja and sorry for the big screen shots

No! Big screens are good for stuff like this.

Hey, nice approach, Claas - I remember your great wood material.

Brushed steel like this is very useful in product presentation. Thanks for sharing.

By the way: your link says ‘.blnd’ istead of ‘.blend’ :).