would simple diffuse work?

here’s the pic: TALKING ABOUT THE SNOW

i tried it myself, but then i couldn’t really tell…
all i did was make a mid-poly cube; then displacement modifier, + material of plain white diffuse, and it looked nothing like what i wanted, i didn’t post a pic, cuz i assume that everyone knows that it wouldn’t work
it looked like me looking at a crumbled paper

Is there would be any displacement, it would be so fine and subtle due to the ice crystals that you might be better off just using a bumpmap instead.

Also, snow would also have a scattering and glossy component, so if you’re using Cycles, you will need to mix in a glossy node and an SSS node as well.

I find snow has such a high reflectivity that it doesn’t hurt to “cheat” and add an emission shader. (Possibly a bit faster than using scattering, even if SSS may be more accurate.) The emission should have a really weak setting though, just enough to bring brightness up without it noticably glowing.

Still it’s tricky to explain some stuff that’s going on, so here’s a .blend file:

i would be using your material as a base, thank you
if you do not reply an objection, then i would claim it as a permission for using it;
i’m doing this out of percaution becaused i was once sued for using another person’s " intellectual property"

If you’re going to use the emission shader to cheat, do be sure to mix it in according to a simple light path equation to prevent it from actually adding illumination to surrounding objects.

Because the cheat will just make your image look fake if you actually see it behaving like a weak lamp.

Vin, sorry if this post is not as helpful as the others, but when I was working on a snow material myself I eventually came to the conclusion that it’s impossible to separate that particular material from its environment. That is to say I could not get any material to look like snow no matter how complicated, when it was in a neutral environment and then when I put it in an outdoor sun and blue sky environment even the simplest combinations were pretty convincing. Diffuse plus translucent plus a little sparkly (glossy) noise and a fine noise shallow bump mixed with a coarse noise bump.

Just trying to help out, and feel free to do whatever with the material. If I was worried about anyone borrowing it, I wouldn’t make it available like that. Besides there might be some other tweaks it needs to be even better and I could learn something from that.

As for what moony mentions, that is likely a better way. Probably costs less in terms of rendertime because it obviously doesn’t add any unwanted light to the scene. I’ll have to take notes myself, as there’s always something else to learn in this particular craft. (And it often seems like there’s a dozen ways to get the same result too.)

But if going the emission way like I did, keep in mind it’s something more suited to bright scenes or scenes strongly lit over a large area. It’s because the light from a very low emission over a large area is hard to tell apart from what would be reflected and scattered light. (Incoming light from sun or moon that penetrates snow can go sideways a foot or two before coming back out, which is probably explains why the emission cheat looks “good enough”.)