I am working on creating this scene using Blender I would like to make the white sail of the sailboat look 3d, as it looks a little flat right now, especially the top part of the sailboat, where there is no light reflected. I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to do that. Currently, I am just using a white base-color principle BSDF with a glossy shader. I was thinking of possibly using cloth simulation, but I am new to Blender and I'm really intimidated by it (although I will use it if that's the best thing to do). Thank you in advance for your insight!
You can use one of these 2 solutions:
The Sculpt solution:
- Create your sail, curve it a bit:
- In Sculpt mode, select the Mask brush (don't use a Subdivision Surface modifier for the moment if you want the mask to be visible), paint the 3 corners:
- Select the Cloth Filter brush, keep the Type > Gravity, paint until you get this kind of result:
The Cloth solution:
- Create your sail, select vertices on the 3 corners and make it a vertex group, give the object a Cloth physics with the group as Pin Group, give it a constraint > Copy Scale, here on the X axis and with the edge as Target:
- Create an edge under the sail, create a Force Field > Wind with a Strength of, for example, 3000:
- Play the animation, the wind will blow on the surface, scale down the edge so that it folds a bit the sail, scroll in the Timeline, when you're good, apply the Cloth modifier:
To give a material more depth, a 3d look, often it's enough to use the slots of the Principled BSDF, namely Base Color, Roughness, and Normal.
A very basic setup is to mix the Ambient Occlusion node and some noise for these slots. Play around with the scale value of the Noise Texture and Color Ramp values, and the mix factor. Something like this:
If you want to have a more organic/wax-like/milky-transparent look try the Subsurface Scattering value. A low value like 0.05 is a good choice (for models in real-world sizes).
The light setup also has a very big impact on the look of materials. Try an (outdoor) HDR image for the world color (How to hide hdri background?). It will add reflections to materials (like in the material preview mode, image above).
If you're using the Eevee render you still need to add some lights to your scene to have objects cast shadows on other objects. It's not necessary for Cycles. Also, make sure your models have real-world scales because a 100 m big sailboat will look different than a 10 cm sailboat in the same light setup.
The Cloth simulation (or Cloth brush in the Sculpt mode which does a local mini simulation) is good to add wrinkles to fabric materials. (moonboots just added an answer for this)
Last but not least, a Solidify modifier can add some depth. It comes out better on fabric in close-ups than in long shots.