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Layering of materials is done for instance when building a shader for a mirror like here or a shader for car paint like here. But how do you build the "composite shader" ? Is this done by creating two node groups and making the node group of the lowest layer an input for the node group of the top layer or using an Add Shader ? How would you for instance create the mirror shader combining the glass shader and the Silver Coated Aluminium shader of this Post ? I hope this is not a dupe ...

Maybe my language is not very precise when talking about combining materials. In this PBS tutorial about building shaders CynicatPro "combines" two node groups to create a car paint shader.

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Now, when having the shader for Glass and the shader for Silver Coated Aluminium I am not sure what to do ? I have read the article about when to add the shaders together and when to mix them: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/420/… but at the moment I don't understand how to produce the mirror shader .... Add/mix shaders ? Or "combine node groups" ?

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  • $\begingroup$ You don't combine the glass shader and silver shader, they are different meshes on top of each other - different physical materials. In cycles you can only composite shaders by adding them or mixing them (also posible with a mask). Every shader is different - what you want to ask is when to add the shaders together and when to mix them: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/420/… $\endgroup$ – Jaroslav Jerryno Novotny Feb 4 '16 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ I hope I made my question more clear / specific ? $\endgroup$ – Old Man Feb 4 '16 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ I see now what you mean with combining the node groups. They are called pass-through shaders but they are nothing more than visualization helper. If you would go inside them, there are ordinary mix/add shaders inside, nothing fancy. Mix or Add shaders takes 2 input shaders - this is just grouped with one of the inputs exposed so it is easier to work with. $\endgroup$ – Jaroslav Jerryno Novotny Feb 4 '16 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Jerryno Would you mind telling/explaining me if I have to add or mix your Mirror and Aluminium Shader ? I think Add ... because I think you want to add the qualities of the two materials and not mix them $\endgroup$ – Old Man Feb 4 '16 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ What are you trying to create? Some sort of glass silver alloy? That does not exist. You do not want the surface to be both transparent-reflective (glass) and reflective (silver) but you want 2 surfaces with different properties on top of each other. See my first comment. Btw. you don't usually want to add shaders together but rather mix them as adding them does not preserve energy. See the link in my first comment. $\endgroup$ – Jaroslav Jerryno Novotny Feb 4 '16 at 16:20

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