Easier Fresnel Node

I just happened to come across this on blendswap, which then pointed me to a youtube video that shows how to set up a node group that gives you some much easier (and probably more realistic) control over fresnel reflections, taking roughness and minimum reflectance into account :)

The author of the video didn’t provide a link to download the node group, so I figured I’d copy his setup and upload it here.

Download node group

Licence: CC0

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Pointiness Output


Woooo! I have to say I’ve been waiting for this for years!

It’s basically the same as dirty vertex colors, but on the final geometry (after modifiers) and without all the hassle of adding it to every single mesh.

The commit from Sergey [227a9407]:

Cycles: implement pointiness geometry attribute

This attribute means how “pointy” the geometry surface is, which allows to do
effects like dirt maps and wear-off effects on render geometry. This means the
attribute is calculated for the final mesh which means no baking (which implies
UV unwrap) is needed. Apart from this the behavior is quite close to how vertex
dirty colors works.

The new attribute is available as an output socket of Geometry node.

There’s no penalty for the render time, only some delay on scene preparation
(the delay is linear of the mesh complexity).

Reviewers: brecht, juicyfruit

Differential Revision: https://developer.blender.org/D1086

Equi-Angular Homogeneous Volume Sampling


    This adds an option in the Volume Sampling panel, which helps rendering lamps inside or near volumes with less noise. It can also increase noise though and needs improvements to support MIS and heterogeneous volumes, but since it’s useful in some cases already (especially world volumes) it’s there now.
    Based on the code in the old branch by Stuart, with modifications by Thomas and Brecht.

-Brecht, commit

Thomas rendered the image above with just 10 samples! Cycles isn’t as slow as you thought ;)

Saturdoodle: Tower (2)


There’s an uncanny resemblance to my last Saturdoodle here… I seem to have a weakness for lonely medieval structures.

I found a random image on Saturday morning, which seems to be a 3d model for sale, and decided it could be fun to recreate. After a couple hours of modeling, the fun slowly wore off and once again I felt like I was actually working. I was however looking forward to texturing it, so I pushed on and eventually (after UV unwrapping it about 4 times) enjoyed the last part of the modeling and then stretched those old Cycles muscles I felt like I haven’t used for so long.


As you can see, the bricks are not modeled in, but in fact a displacement. Modeling them by hand would be painful, but it nearly came to that.

Instead, I created the displacement map by “modeling” each brick in 2D, tracing over a CGTextures image, and giving them a random value. A little tweaking to make sure it’s tileable, render that, blur it a bit, and you have yourself a displacement map for randomly jutting-out bricks.


Take this texture as CC-0 :) use it as you please – it goes with BrickOldRounded_0236 from CGTextures. After all, the tiny statue in the center of the front wall was sculpted by Ben Simonds and released as CC-0.

Crits and comments are welcome as always.

Hope you all had a nice relaxing weekend :)


Volume Test

volume_spot (1)

A long time ago in a version far far away, an anonymous user named ‘storm’ wrote a patch for volumetric rendering in cycles.

Recently, Thomas and Stuart (them crazy coder guys) made some changes and cleanups to the code – meaning it’s possible to download a patch, compile Blender and render some volumes!

Don’t get too excited just yet though, in it’s current state there’s no way to give it any fancy voxel textures from the smoke simulator or anything – all in due time!


Images courtesy of Thomas Dinges, because I’m too lazy to compile it myself

Cycles changes license to accommodate for other 3D software

Good news posted today on the Blender Development Blog, the code for Cycles has been released with an Apache 2.0 license.

What does it mean?
Well basically it allows other 3D programs to use Cycles for rendering.

Why do we care?
More people using it means more potential developer involvement, which means more features, and more artists to provide professional feedback.

What will change?
Nothing bad.

“Note that Blender Foundation and Blender Institute remain committed to further developing Cycles as a render engine for Blender. We welcome other developers to integrate it in other applications, and especially to get involved with the Cycles development team at blender.org.” –src

Cycles will still remain as it is now, be developed just the same by the Blender devs, and probably gain additional improvements anyone makes for it outside of Blender context.

Read the full story on the Development blog: