I have set myself a challenge to create a glass globe with sand blasted land mass and totally transparent sea.

Creating the globe is straight forward enough but I'm not sure of the best way to create the land. I've tried adding a UV map but the glass always becomes solid even where the sea is...

Can anyone suggest the simplest way to do this? Or, better still, an example for creating a sandblasted effect on glass.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you add a reference? $\endgroup$ – Omar Emara May 2 '16 at 17:39

Where exactly are you encountering a problem? What do you mean the glass becomes solid over the sea?

Is sandblasted glass like frosted glass, something like glass with a rough surface?

This should be relatively straightforward thing to accomplish, the only real challenge may be correctly unwrapping your mesh.

Check how to correctly unwrap your mesh here

Then all you have to do (assuming you are using Cycles render engine) is use a Mix Shader node to mix between the frosted or sandblasted glass and regular plain glass driven by an image texture of the earth globe connected to the Factor socket.

Use a Glass shader node with a roughness value > 0 to simulate the land parts and one with zero roughness for the sea.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your help.. Your example is exacly what I am after.. I will try to reproduce your model and see if I get similar results.. Does your PNG file have an alpha layer for the land element ? $\endgroup$ – Digger May 3 '16 at 12:53

Find or create a black and white texture which separates the parts you want to be "sand-blasted" from the parts you want smooth. For example, this public-domain land-mask from here.

Open the mask image in a texture node. Plug the generated output of the texture coordinate node into the vector input of the texture node, and set the image node's projection to Sphere.
This avoids the need for a UV map, and prevents artifacts near the poles.

Plug the texture into the roughness output of a glass shader, optionally using a mix node to adjust the min and max roughness:

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Wow ! You make it sound so simple :-) I will give this ago later and hopefully will get similar results.. Thanks for sharing your expertise and knowledge.. Makes life easier for newbies and keeps us hooked !! $\endgroup$ – Digger May 3 '16 at 12:49

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