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I've started working with Blender a month ago, so have very little if any understanding of it... Currently I'm working on a grass for my forest project. Down below will be link to the final render of kinda photorealistic grass, and texture node setup. It doesn't look too bad, nor realistic enough to me, so, please, any advise/tip on how to improve it would be great. Thank you.

enter image description here

Texture node setup

Here is a reference image for what I am trying to achieve:

enter image description here

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The biggest thing that stands out between your reference and render is variety. There is so much variety of plant species in the reference, but little to none in your render. You need to get to modeling several versions of many of those species to start getting something that looks nearly as good or photorealistic. Your biggest problem is not your material, but your models.

Another (smaller) suggestion I have is to use an add shader for the translucency. You can use a setup like the one below to control the brightness of the translucency (connect a mix shader to the translucent node and nothing else, then run that to an add shader that adds it to the rest of the material...the mix factor on the mix shader will control the amount of translucency). Have you noticed that a leaf with translucency isn't generally any darker on the front side as one that is not translucent? I don't know the physical reason why, (perhaps a good question for physics.se), but it certainly seems to be true at least visually. I first learned this trick by looking at the Grass Essentials marketing material by Andrew Price.

enter image description here

For another example of photo-realistic grass, the Cosmos Laundromat benchmark scene has the Blender Foundation's grass shader which if I recall correctly uses simply a mix shader. They also have much more detail in the texturing than your shader currently has, but I don't know what type or style of grass you are aiming for anyway.

I would reference the Gooseberry project (and Andrew's materials if you have the money). Disclaimer: although "The Grass Essentials" is insanely successful and well-rated, I do not own it myself, so take my recommendation with a grain of salt.

You may find more good reference materials on BlendSwap:

https://www.blendswap.com/blends/search?keywords=grass&is_fan_art=1&blend_license=&render_engine=Cycles&sort=downloads&direction=desc

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your unswer. I have one free grass from grass essentials, got it from one of Andrew's tutorials (wanted to use the texture from there as a reference, but it seemed too complex for me now). So instead took some node setups from Cosmos Laundromat's shader, but only some, to get the gradient texture right and give it a bit variation. Would have added a photo of grass Im trying to recreate, but it wont let me add more than 2 links... Anyway thank you for your unswer once again, will try it out right now :) $\endgroup$ – Onekke Jun 29 '17 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Onekke Please see my updated answer. $\endgroup$ – JakeD Jun 29 '17 at 14:30
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, Im aware of that. For now Ive decided to first model it one by one. As I finish the simple grass and be sattisfied with that Ill move on to all the other types of green, then the grounf and finaly trees. Since Ive just started, I thought it might be better to learn separately how to model and texture all the parts on their own, before assembling the final image :) $\endgroup$ – Onekke Jun 29 '17 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Onekke I fear that this is not a good use of your time. That could be likened to carving and polishing one leg of a table when the other three legs and top aren't even cut out. You have a decent start at a shader, I wouldn't put much more work into it until you have more models and have decided on time of day, indoor/outdoor, HDRs, etc.... $\endgroup$ – JakeD Jun 29 '17 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ Well, you are absolutely right, I only wanted to fix the plastic look it had, when was first rendered... dropbox.com/s/7ekr7tgnuhte7rh/Grass%203.png?raw=1 $\endgroup$ – Onekke Jun 29 '17 at 14:46

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