What's the best node setup for a windows glass material?


I’m trying to find the best node setup for a windows glass material. I do understand that every scene has its own artistic purpose and lighting nuances, but there must be a generic setup that works OK for most cases.

At the moment I’m using a following node setup by Andrew Price:

Are there any better alternatives?

I’m using this as the simplest possible glass to use as thin architectural window glass:

RGB curves mimic fresnel with IOR 1.55. Nobody would notice the difference in reflectivity. I don’t understand what the “hack” is doing if no refraction is used in the first place. Seems pointless, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

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it avoids having all light behind glass rendered as caustics - which is slow

I use it in a similar setup: ‘Camera Ray’ directly into the ‘Mix Shader’.
My understanding is that then everything else gets the transparent, only the camera ‘pixels’ render the complicated glass
Not sure what is the advantage in Andrews setup

Anyway this is a interesting and underrepresented topic - hope someone else chimes in…

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Here’s a part in his video where he describes this approach:

By the way, Steve Lund uses the same node setup:

Yes. But he isn’t using a glass shader in the shader setup which he described when discussing the noise trap :smiley: A glass shader contains refraction, and I would agree the trick has a point. But he is only using glossy and transparency - there is no glass or refraction, so no noise trap. I’m pretty sure it came from here, except in that case it makes sense because proper glass (uses refraction which is opaque to shadows without caustics calculations) is used.

@CarlG Is your setup suitable for interior scenes?
I’ve tried to recreate your setup, but window glass isn’t transparent at all:

Should be, sure. Mind sharing the scene? Looks awfully overexposed, so I’m wondering what is going on.

Oh, It was my fault. World background was set to grey.