# How can I make a surface look wet in cycles?

I am trying to recreate a wet road with lights reflecting off of it. I started by making the object glossy but this did not give a very realistic look

I think I need to increase the specularity of the reflection to make it look more real but I can't find this option anywhere in cycles. Also what other techniques can I use to make a surface look wet in blender? I can link directly due to licening but this is what I am trying to recreate.

• I think the roughness is actually the specularity but is still does not really achieve the effect of water – Qwertie Jul 9 '14 at 13:32
• Try using a HDRI for the skydome, because rigth now it's reflecting the gray sky; That might be why it doesn't look realistic. Also, you might want to use normal maps, and displacements. – someonewithpc Jul 9 '14 at 14:15
• Andrew Price has a good tutorial on this topic: youtube.com/watch?v=XEZYcyi7JC0 Also, here's another tutorial of his that might be helpful: youtube.com/watch?v=W07H7xeUnGE – Justin Jul 9 '14 at 14:39
• To make it look real, you need way way more detail. Once the scene is correctly lit, it will improve. add more geometry, and you'll see even more improvement. – GiantCowFilms Jul 9 '14 at 16:06

You need larger bumps. Using only the roughness from the glossy shader gives too smooth a result.

With a very quick setup:

The diffuse node represents the asphalt/road underneath the water. By mixing this with a glossy node based on the IOR of water (~1.33), it appears as if there is a thin film of specularly reflecting material (water) on top of a very bumpy diffuse material (road).

This could use a bit more large variation (cracks and large features, etc.), so you may want to use an image texture instead.

• Nice! why GGX over Beckmann? – GiantCowFilms Jul 9 '14 at 19:18
• @GiantCowFilms I just liked the falloff better :P – gandalf3 Jul 9 '14 at 19:30

I've manged to get a shader working. Here is the result that it produces:

In more detail: The key is to have a very low roughness value. also, it is hard to achieve realism without to correct amount of detail. The bump, spec and normal maps were created in crazy bump. Texture form http://www.cgtextures.com The water puddles are a separate plane, with a glossy shader with a roughness of .08 on it. Based of of blender gurus tutorial called secrets of realistic textureing.

• this looks really nice. Sorry but I got a question instead of an answer, but I think the case is closed. Because you got an awesome render ;). My question: This is a shader used in Blender. Is it possible to extract this shader so it can be used in OpenGL as a vertex/fragment shader? Hope someone can answer me even if its nearly a year old thread. – CuriousUser May 20 '15 at 9:55
• @CuriousUser You'd need to look into texture backing in cycles, but that won't quite give the correct result. For the most part I don't know anything about OpenGL rendering, sorry I can't help. I'll ask on chat to see if anyone know anything – GiantCowFilms May 20 '15 at 14:18
• @CuriousUser You could also ask this as a question on the main site, linking back to this post... I think somebody may be able to recreate this in Open GL. – GiantCowFilms May 20 '15 at 14:33