Brushed or rough metal, how to?


Hi all,

I just was wondering if you could help me out finding the right material settings for a rough metal look like Paul did in his Chromey and Rings images at his Brazil4Rhino section. Jim had a similiar metal used with his brushed aluminium look for his digital camera image a while ago. I had always problems to find the right look in the past so i ask here for advise.
I like to use not always shiny metals that´s why i ask. It would be great if someone could give me a clue. I posted here because i think it could be a nice W.I.P. session if folks like to help and participate.

Thanks in advance


There is a blurred reflection section in EI which will give you that look to some degree. If you can show me a link to images you are refering to (I’m not sure which those are), I’ll help you out.

There are a number of ways this can be approached. Using Glossy setting in the GI window, blurred reflections to blurring HDRI’s…and of course the Anisotropic shader (this is very robust and I miss it in other apps I use).

By the way, do you have MForge? If not, I’ll skip any reference to that.


Thanks for your help Paul, i really appreciate this!

Your images i was refering to are those in here (no. 50 and 69)

I don´t have MForge (yet) because i don´t know if it works with the light plane shader in 6.5.
A must for me prior deciding to buy MForge.

With the Anisotropic Shader i have not much experience.

Ok. so i will start to blurry the reflections. I had also problems in the past with the falloff settings below 1.0, which i thought will give me that look, but it darkens the color to much when used in the diffuse channel.


Those images are strictly blurred reflections.

I think you can experiment with the blurred reflection control in EI (second tab in the reflection section) to get close. Make sure to have a reflection map present. Without the map it does not look right.

The Anisotropic shader is your best friend for getting this look:-)

Using the gradient shader to control the fall-off is also very useful.

I would start by getting a nice shiny (not heavily contrasted though) material set up…that gives you a stable place to start from. Then start blurring the reflections. Try the aniso shader but with small amounts - it gets very hot quickly with reflection maps as it is an additive shader.


One thing to note.

The blurred reflections in EI take some time to calculate…much time!

You can fake the look using blurred reflection maps and the aniso shader…also using bump maps scaled along one vector to give the scratched look. Far, far faster render.

I use the blurred setting for chrome in Brazil because the “Chrome” material is heavily optimized for speed and I’m using a quad processor so I get instant MP without having to set this up in Renderama just for tests.


I never thought that those materials in the images are only stricktly blurred reflections. COOL! Thanks alot for your useful advise! So i have to learn and practice a bit more and harder…

Thanks again!


Yes, no problem.

Actually the Chromey image has just one material on everything and an HDRI in the environment (reflection map). That’s it. Not even one light present in the scene.

All lighting is created with the reflection map - reflection/refraction maps are the secret to good looking chrome or glass.

Do you use EI V7? HDRI is very useful!


Quite superb your gallery and always an inspiration!

No, i don´t have V7, i will wait for V8 and then decide if i upgrade. To much is going on in the 3D front, software wise. Which is good but makes it also hard for me in deciding which way to go in the future. (but i will stay with the EI community! :-))




With a combination of blurred reflections, reflection maps and the aniso shader I am certain you have sufficient tools to get the look you are after…have fun!


Thanks alot for your tips, i will do my best to archive this look.



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