I want to make a clay material like in this photo. Not a clay render, a clay material; something for my sculptures I model in Blender. How could I make something like the material in this image?

enter image description here

I have been trying to make this material for hours and it's driving me crazy. please help!

this is what i have gotten after playing around with nodes:

enter image description here

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Could you show what you've tried so far? Might be a better learning experience for you if someone points out your mistakes rather than just present you with a final solution. $\endgroup$
    – user27640
    Dec 17, 2017 at 0:30
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    $\begingroup$ Yep, this site is more geared towards helping solve a problem, rather than making it for you. $\endgroup$ Dec 17, 2017 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ a clay render is not at all what i need. for better understanding i edited the question. $\endgroup$
    – cgperfect
    Dec 17, 2017 at 1:43
  • $\begingroup$ See blender.stackexchange.com/questions/4938/… $\endgroup$ Dec 17, 2017 at 1:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Optimus I agree with you that this is not a duplicate of the marked question. However, my suggestion stands, show what you have tried so far. I.e. screenshots of node setups you've tried and/or how your scene is lit. I'm sure a lot of people here can replicate the material from your image, but just giving you a ready made solution is counter productive, as it doesn't teach you a lot and it will be less useful to others. $\endgroup$
    – user27640
    Dec 17, 2017 at 2:16

1 Answer 1


Try using textures to add some subtle displacement and/or normal mapping. Box mapped image textures or procedural textures are perfect for this. For example, here's a simple procedural texture consisting of some high frequency details mixed with a few larger features, normal mapped onto a diffuse shader (plus a touch of displacement):

enter image description here

enter image description here

It may be helpful to throw in some image textures to get some more irregular larger-scale features.

Note that true displacement is required to get those tasty bits of self-shadowing near the terminators prevalent in your example. Displacement is still currently an experimental feature, so to use it you'll have to switch enable experimental features in Properties > Render > Feature Set. Once that's done, be sure to set the displacement method to True in the material settings.

Displacement means the actual geometry is being displaced, so for it to work you need a sufficiently dense mesh. Adaptive subdivision is ideal for this; to enable it, add a subsurf modifier and enable Adaptive under Render.

See Blender Cycles True Displacement for more details.

Also keep in mind that lighting is just as (or perhaps even more) important as the material itself. Part of what makes your example distinctive is the long light-to-shadow transitions which show off the fine details of the material.

Try playing around with lights and different lighting setups while making the material to get a sense of how it behaves under different conditions.


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