Brand new to blender, and I'm trying to make a metallic object that is reflective. There are lots of tutorials on youtube, however none of them are compatible with blender 2.71 with the cycles render.

Here are the tutorials I have tried:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_d7aT39mHQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1QLNPPOsR0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKj_Rc8UA7E

All of these tutorials have a 'transparency' and a 'mirror' option in the outliner menu that I just don't seem to have.

How can I make this object reflective? Am I missing plugins or some other menu?

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up vote 32 down vote accepted

To do this in cycles, you'll want a glossy shader.

You can do this from the properties menu like this:

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But this actually will create the corresponding material nodes in the material node editor:

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At least in cycles, the node editor is a lot easier and faster to work with directly once you get used to it, allowing you to create more complex setups quickly:

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See the wiki for a complete list and description of all cycles nodes.

To help make it look more realistic, use a non-uniform/textured environment to avoid flat looking reflections:

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Shiny objects are tricky. The materials could be just a glossy shader.

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But having a reflective material is just half the battle.

If there are no reflections on your object, it will look a bit dull.

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Try adding a big surface outside of the camera view that has some kind of emitter (or just white) material.

Look for images of gold, metal and glass objects (or cars) you'll realize soon enough that what matters is what's being reflected on to them.

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My gold is a bit more complicated than the simple glossy ones, but in my opinion a little more realistic.

It's simply two glossy shaders, mixed with a Layer Weight node: gold-material-nodes

gold-material-result

The colors I used are #FFFFC0 and #FFE0A0.


If you want a nice copper, try #FFC080 and #FFA060:

copper-material-result

(I used the BMPS scene from Blender 2.61, which you can get from the archives—see this question.)

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