Metallic materials

Owlet comes with the library of metallic materials of various types, but here we’ll create some from scratch so you get a better idea of how it is done.

We’ll start with an empty scene by adding a sphere and material and assigning that material to the sphere. We’ll also add a simple plane object with a checkers texture as a floor:

Default sphere with default material in Owlet

Metallic surfaces reflect, so we activate Specular layer option. We won’t need the diffuse part of the layer, so we also uncheck Diffuse layer box:

Switching material's layer type to fresnel

OK, we’ve got a soap bubble, cool. Let’s make it more metallic. First of all, metallic material should not let rays under the sufrace, so we set Transmission parameter to black, effectively blocking any light from entering the medium. You can do the same by leaving transmission white and settings the medium type of the material to “Opaque”, or you can do both.

Changing medium type to opaque to make material visible

Now it looks like a black plastic ball, not a metal yet. Let’s now switch its IOR type to “Complex” which we use for metals and adjust its N and K parameters to be “5” and “10”:

Adjusting layer's N and K parameters to make it metallic

Now it’s a metallic ball, job done! The higher is K, the more metallic is the layer. You can fine-tune the material appearance by adjusting botn N and K parameters.

So basically that’s how metallic materials are made in Owlet. Let’s make it gold by changing the reflection color to something gold-like:

Making gold in Owlet

That’s all!

Extra colors

You can add some features to your material by enabling Reflection 90 field to make a nice reflection gradient.

Making complex reflections in Owlet

Here I set Reflection 90 Level to 40 and modified both Reflection and Reflection 90 fields to make the reflection better.

Soft reflections

As with plastics you can make softer reflections by using Roughness parameter:

Soft reflection material in Owlet

The more roughness level is, the softer is the reflection. Setting roughness to 100 makes almost diffuse material.

Anisotropy

That’s how you make brushed metal. Anisotropy affects the direction of reflected rays, so if you use a proper texture map, you’ll get quite a nice effect:

Brushed metal

Here we loaded a linear brush texture to the Angle field and set Anisotropy to 20. You can use radial or linear brush textures to add nice brushed finish to metals.

Anodizing

You can use thin film interference effect to add anodizing effect to metals:

Using thin film interference to add anodizing effect to metals in Owlet

Here we simply enabled the effect and set Thickness and N parameters to make anodized ball. By adjusting these parameters you can vary the color of the effect. Refer to the effect page for more details.