materials iconIntroduction to Anisotropic Shading

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Tags - Photorealistic
Software:
  • Blender 2.65
Discover How To:
  • What Anisotropy is
  • When to use it
  • How to use it to create a realistic saucepan

Chapter Marks (Full Length )

modelling icon35.17materials icon8.38icon-texturing13.48icon-texturing17.08
Software:
  • Blender 2.65
Discover How To:
  • What Anisotropy is
  • When to use it
  • How to use it to create a realistic saucepan

Chapter Marks (Full Length )

modelling icon35.17materials icon8.38icon-texturing13.48icon-texturing17.08

If you’ve heard the term “Anisotropic” thrown around the blender community recently, it’s because the last release (2.65) included a new shader called Anisotropy.

This new shader allows you to create some complex materials like brushed metal, vinyl, saucepans, kitchen sinks and other materials which have been sanded.

It’s kinda like the glossy shader but nerdier.

In this tutorial I’ll be giving you some in-depth information on what it is, when it should be used and how to use it.

Finished Result

Download the HDR kitchen lighting probe used in the tutorial here.

 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you create something cool, post it in the comments below :)

Summary

Not a fan of videos? I’ve summed up the tutorial into this easy to read text version:

What is Anisotropy?

Photo by Kurtis Garbutt

A real world example of Radial Anisotropy. Photo by Kurtis Garbutt

Anisotropy is similar to a glossy shader, only it pulls the reflection in a certain direction:

Comparison of a glossy shader and a (linear) Anisotropic Shader

 

Take this example:

Viewed from the side, the reflection is stretched sideways.

But when viewed 90 degrees to the right, it creates a very different reflection:

 

So Anisotropy allows us to (finally) create materials like; brushed metal, CDs, vinyl, fry pan bases, kitchen sinks etc.

Photo by Guido Muermann

Brushed metal. A real world example of Linear Anisotropy. Photo by Guido Muermann

Using the Anisotropy Shader

For this example we will be applying both linear and radial Anisotropic shading to a saucepan. Modelling the saucepan isn’t really part of the core lesson of this tutorial, so I won’t write it out, however it’s covered in the video version at the top of the page.

 

With the saucepan selected add a new material, and from the shader dropdown, select Anisotropic BSDF.

 

Go to the node editor and you should see the Anisotropic Node. Here’s a brief description of what each setting does:

 

 

Set the Roughness to 0.05 and the Anisotropy to 0.95.

 

The saucepan should now look like this:

Pretty easy right? Well the base is finished, but technically the walls aren’t correct yet as it’s using the default radial anisotropy when it should be using linear.

Creating Linear Anisotropy

So we need to make another material and only assign it to the walls.

 

Linear shading needs UV coordinates to know which direction the light should stretch. So before we can continue, we need to UV unwrap the saucepan.

In front view select all the vertices, press U and select Cylinder Projection.

 

Then select the base of the saucepan and from top view, press U and select Project from View (Bounds).

 

If you look at the UV view you should now see this:

The anisotropy will stretch the light vertically along the UV coordinates. So if you’re using this tutorial for another purpose, make sure to rotate the uv coordinates according to which way you want the light to stretch.

Now that you’ve UV unwrapped it, go back to the Node Editor (making sure the Linear material is selected) and add a Tangent node (Input>Tangent). Set the type to UV Map and select the name from the drop down box:

Throw it in a scene and you’re finished!

 

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