Enticed by OSL, wanting to learn material-making RIGHT

A bit of background: in the recent past, I used a program called Poser. What I enjoyed mostly about it was material-making in a Python scripting tool called Matmatic. It allowed you to access the Poser material room via Poser Python and generate mt5s and mc6s by writing Python code (there’s more to it than that, but simplified, that’s what it did). Whilst Firefly (I believe it’s a REYES-type renderer) did not support caustics and true fresnel or refraction, one could still create some pretty nice materials with it.
One of the things I learned through this experience was that the characteristics of core materials can generally be expressed as math formulae. What Matmatic did was build a shader from the most appropriate mat-room nodes based on those formulae. Since the developer of Matmatic was himself a mathematician, the outcomes were really quite good, well, to me, anyway.

But now, I want to do something similar in Blender… with some significant rule-changes. First, the material-set already developed for Cycles is quite sophisticated, and what remains to be done is more than likely beyond my scope of development skills.
Anyway, I’ve been having a sticky-beak at the wiki, DingoTo’s discussions on the subject, following that mammoth Brecht’s Easter Egg thread (some of which is a fair bit over my head atm :eyebrowlift2: ) and trying to get a grip on making Blender more and more my own (by which I mean: compiling my own copy from svn in Mint 13). I’m including all this to be able to offer enough information for someone to be able to suggest what I should be focusing on, what I should be studying, etc. I’ve dabbled a bit in C, so I think the syntax of OSL won’t be too foreign, but I’ll have to admit to a fair bit of ignorance to light theory (except that I did code for gamma correcting materials and conservation of energy between the different light behaviours … reflective/diffuse/etc).

Have to say: I’m keen as mustard, and quite happy to get back into studying the Kerkythea material Guide, if that helps… or tomes like it!

Thanks for reading… :slight_smile: