To my big surprise, I couldn’t find any recipe to make snow in Cycles… Neither here, nor on the whole web! When you hear about snow and Cycles, it’s always about fireflies and the unwanted grain in the renderings but never about materials. At least, my Google powers failed on me. So I made my own. My first test at 200 samples:
There is still some work to do altho I found the result quite nice already. Another test at 400 samples:
My major problem is the glitter. It’s still not powerful enough to my liking and I’ve already resorted to using an emissive shader in the mix but I can’t increase the power of the light or the glitter turns to ugly when in the shadows. A glossy shader for the glittering pixels would be better… if I could “turn the pixels” towards the light! Without that, the glitter turns into dark spots depending on the direction of the “pixel”. (I can’t believe I’m trying to create fireflies in Cycles…)
The second lesser problem is that the material is very dependent of the color of the sky/environment. The whole material kinda takes the color of the sky. It can be fine… as long as the sky is blue.
The last glitch I must take care of is to add a scale factor to the whole thing. There is no problem with various objects of different sizes in a scene but the material needs to be scaled according to the scale of the scene. I encountered the problem when I appended the material from my test file into the scene with the gift boxes. The snow looked like a uniform bluish material because the boxes are like huge buildings compared to the snowman.
(Before I forget…) The node tree. Still quite simple.
Opinions, critics, ideas… (I’ll share the blend file when I’ll be more satisfied by the result or tired of working on it.)