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I'm trying to simulate this effect in cycles with materials

The opposition effect seen on earth

This phenomena is called "Opposition Surge/effect", and is a result of the phase angle between a light source (sun) and the observer approaches zero. The effect is mostly seen on rough surfaces, as the shadows of said surface disappear when the observer is directly between the surface and the light source

This is something I've been trying to simulate in cycles with materials. Now this effect should in theory be achieved simply by creating rough physical geometry, however, it is not very practical for large scale scenes as the physical geometry takes up a lot of memory. Can anyone think of a way to simulate this effect within a material?

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  • $\begingroup$ The opposition effect and image uniformity are a direct outcome of a single sunlight scattering by the object surface, and there is no need of further assumptions or models to justify it. urila.tripod.com/Poster-17-02-20.pdf References therin. $\endgroup$ Mar 5 '20 at 5:23
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You can create dense geometry only where needed with Adaptive Subdivision and displacement in Blender. It's still an experimental feature, but seems to work quite well.

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    $\begingroup$ I've experimented with this as well, the only issue with this method is that it wouldn't work when the camera far away from said surface, for instance - asteroids and planetary bodies still exhibit this effect when seen from large distances away because their surfaces don't change depending on distance, hence why i was looking for a material solution $\endgroup$
    – walrus18
    Jul 23 '19 at 20:17
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Or you can create gravel with a particle system or use linked duplicates.

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