I'm asking about the glass found in old windows. It is not just dirty, scratched, or with varied roughness, but it has irregular imperfections in the glass that make all sorts of distortions. Both when looking through the glass (like in the image below), but also and to a greater extent when looking at the reflections.

example of old glass with imperfections
Image by TTaylor on wikimedia commons

example of old glass with imperfections
Image by Stanzilla on wikimedia commons

Take a look at the pictures on this site or this page to get more of an idea what I'm talking about in the glass.

So how do I make this type of glass in a cycles material?


1 Answer 1


for this kind of things you will want to use either a normal map (using the normal map node under Add node>vector>normal map) or a bump map (using the bump node found under Add node>vector>bump) and feed the normal output into the normal input of your refraction or glass shader

Here is an example setup:

enter image description here

And the results this gives:

enter image description here

If you make a proper texture to acomodate for the distortion you are looking for then you should be able to get identical results to the images you provided.

If you decide to use normal maps then you will need to use this fix: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlOtXtQSxd0

  • $\begingroup$ If you want the same distortion to show up on your reflections you have to feed the normal output from the bump or norrmal map node into the normal input of your glossy shader too $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 0:50
  • $\begingroup$ That looks a little more like heat distortion than reflection distortion. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 1:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @GiantCowFilms An image texture can be used, instead of noise, to get the desired effect. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 1:24
  • $\begingroup$ Looking cool! The final effect reminds me the photoshop's aquarelle artistic filter :). $\endgroup$
    – Paul Gonet
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ This looks like an Impressionistic oil painting. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 14:36

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