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it's quite frustrating when you're not able to achieve the wanted result. It seem simple, but for this object I can't afford a good looking glass/plexiglass shader. hope someone can help. Sphere Clock

download blender scene from here


After playing with Nishita Sky + Musgrave bump on glass + some settings, this is the result. I'm quite happy with that! Thank you all for suggestions

rendered image

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3 Answers 3

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For perfect glass, have no roughness and crank up the transmission.
However, perfect glass looks fake, so unless this is the look you are going for, you need to add imperfections.

One easy way is to plug a scratches texture like this into the roughness, (controlled with a color ramp, of course) but make sure to keep it subtle.
Scratch texture example

You could also add a little roughness to the transmission, to make it look a bit more milky, like plexiglass.

Another way, as excellently demonstrated by Ian Hubert, is to use a musgrave texture with a bump node for the normal. This adds warbles to the surface, keeping it from looking perfectly smooth.

I hope this helps!

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you!!! I'll try imperfections. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 7:01
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Apart from surface imperfections as mentioned by @aidan-j-rhoden it is always helpful to give glass objects things to reflect to make them appear more realistic.

You have a single point light and a boring uniformly grey background. If you have no real environment in your scene, using HDRI images in the world shader can help, here are just a few examples:

clocks with different HDRIs

The only thing I changed in your scene was deleting the point light, trying different HDRIs in an Environment Texture in the world shader, and setting the Base Color in the glass object's Principled BSDF to pure white i.e. value = 1 instead of the default 0.8 light grey, because this takes away a lot of light passing through the glass and therefore darkening the clock face. Oh, and I've set the Roughness to 0.02 instead of perfectly smooth.

And in this case it was not necessary (although it would have made a tiny difference), but if parts of glass sometimes look too dark, you should increase the maximum bounces for Glossy and Transmission in the Render Properties under Light Paths > Max Bounces. Be aware that you have to increase the Total value as well because it limits the separate channels (except for Transparent).

max bounces

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you!!! very helpful $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 7:00
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    $\begingroup$ Well... tweaking some settings ad playing with Nishita Sky+Musgrave bump on glass, I think I'm pretty close to what I have in mind. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 7:19
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If you're talking about the noise and fireflies, try the old standby:

*IOR should be 1.5 for glass, most likely

enter image description here

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