I have trouble making glass look like glass

I don’t have much experience with materials, but I am comfortable with the node system now. My trouble is with trying to make a canopy or a curved windshield on a car.

Part of my question might have to do with modeling, but hopefully someone can clear it up for me to be sure.

I don’t have a model, I’m just experimenting with primitives and basic shapes.

My questions -

If I want to make a canopy, should it be a single plane thick or do I need to extrude it?

What material setup should I use, where after I set it up, I can easily change the tint of the glass. I would like to have it look as realistic as possible.

and at last, does anyone have a sample blend I might be able to look at, with a simple curved glass that renders very well.

So far, I’m starting to work with materials and procedurals and I’m not texturing yet. Right now, I simply have a transparent object with a light color near white for the tint. Looks very bad, it looks like a paper with a drop shadow.

I prefer Cycles, but Blender Internal is just as important, so any render engine tips can help, thank you.

You do need thickness to get glass to look right. If you use, for instance, a UV sphere primitive and give it a glass shader, the shader treats it like a solid chunk of glass. If you use a solidify modifier or some other method of defining a surface it will treat it like a spherical shell of glass.

Other than that glass is pretty simple to set up. You can get more complex if you want to use tricks to reduce noise and such, but there’s a glass shader for a reason.