Old School Blender Shader

So, some of us were talking on IRC and I mentioned about making a nice reflective shader in old versions of Blender, prior to raytracing.

So here it is:


Now, the question to you all, can anyone figure out how this was done?

Here is some information on settings that I did not use:

a) No envmaps.
b) No raytracing
c) No world textures
d) All Buffered spot lamps for lighting, (so no AO)

Have fun thinking about this one. :smiley:


Assuming you say no world textures meaning no textures for the sky.

I’m guessing you assigned it a texture and set it to reflection coordinates in the material panels?

I’d agree on that - however, I came too late to get the first reply here :wink:

i agree also but came even later :frowning:

Icoxo is right. I saw a tutorial on how to do this before when I was beginning Blender. It doesn’t give very accurate reflections during animation though…

plz tell us how you did it, i have no clues.

Perhaps you could read the first four posts. :wink:

You are all basically right. There are some other minor setting there that are necessary, but I bet you all can figure them out based off mapping the texture to the REFLECT channel.

Good stuff guys. You all get a cookie.


I use this technique still, for subtle effects on metals and glasses that I’d rather not raytrace. If they’re highly reflective, it’s not good enough, but if the reflection is more of a hint, it’s a fast way to add a nice effect.

You can see it in motion here (5MB DivX):

The effect is applied to the breastplate and helmet. Gives it a mildly reflective look with almost no render cost.

Here are the material and texture settings for that:

Also, I used this technique on the glass elements I textured for Elephants Dream (the lenses in the big walking cameras and the jars in the tile room). The ED guys may have replaced it with raytracing later, I didn’t check, but that’s how I set them up originally.

yup. i use this all the time too. i try to stay away from the whole raytracing business :slight_smile:

and about ED textures, i doubt they got replaced. if i’m not mistaken, raytracing wasn’t used much in anywhere on the movie. emo needed it for the eyes… i think. but that’s it :slight_smile:


Thanks, I’ve been wondering how you do that.

This was the way MaSta/Blengine would make his sweet chrome rims in pre-BF days

O, tricks from the memory lane. I used to use blend mapped as nor and cloud mapped as ref to break it a little for metal-wannabe parts. Iirc when Blender 2.3 came out there was something done in render engine and stuff would render brighter as in 2.28c (or what was it) and shadows would be different and I was pissed up considerably.

There really is no nostalgia like geek nostalgia.

do any of you geeks actually document all these wonderful ways to USE blender, maybe like in a … i dunno…a User’s Manual?

PS-Ralph Lauren paints just came out with metallic flakes as a paint additive to make gold and silver and copper sheens just like you all rendered here. It’s always nice to see when the real world catches up.

If you lower the color value in the map input panel, you’ll be able to have the base color show through. This looks very similar to HDRI, except it renders extremely quickly!

view attached

This was rendered in less than 3 seconds- don’t you just love optimization?


Ah, back in the day where we were told that blender might just have a raytracer by version 2.5.

These often look better than raytraced versions, I still have a chrome map of some random image made black and white. Gives a very cool chrome look without having to make an environment.

For trickery like that even if it raytraced, tuhopuu3 was still the king with ashkimin/minnaert and some spec modulating thrown in not to look too uniform (and a gui which was cool to work with). I managed to work without any considerable lag on a pIII box and a compilation with my “king of the hill” optimized flags and some neat patches - check my posts if curious.