Rendering Glass in Shaderlight
We often get asked about how to render glass – a difficult question to answer as it really depends on the type of glass you are trying to create. For example a double glazed frosted window would require different settings to a single pane of glass.
The simplest way to render a glass material is by using the SketchUp Translucent Presets in the Material Editor. These will then be set to ‘Auto’ in the Shaderlight Material Editor giving you glass. Alternatively, you can change the Shaderlight finish type or use any other material and change it to be Transparent or Translucent to get the effect you want for your final image.
Transparent material is opaque and can also be coloured. It will produce reflections in the same way you would expect for normal glass.
Thin Glass Vs Thick Glass
What is the difference between Thin and Thick Glass?
The main difference between the two is that thick glass will refract where as thin glass will not. Refraction means ‘The bending of a wave, such a light as it passes from one medium to another medium of different density.’
So if you are wanting to render an object which has more than one face, for example a double glazed window, then it would be best to use Thick Glass to that the light is refracted and reflected in the window. If you are creating a single sheet glass panel, then Thin Glass would be suitable.
Here is a render showing a wine bottle & glass. The colour used is just ‘white’ then in the Shaderlight Material Editor I have set the glass to be ‘Transparent’, ‘Thick Glass’.
A little Tip…
We often have questions about glass material not showing as ‘opaque’ on all sides. SketchUp will see a single sheet as having 2 faces – a front and a back so you need to make sure that all the faces of your object are set to the same glass material for it to render correctly.
When you have a box or cube which you want to be glass, the same applies that each face has a front and back. So if you find one of the sides is not showing as opaque glass in your render you need to check all the faces are set to the correct material. There are 2 ways in which to do this:
1) Select the face so that it highlights in SketchUp, right click Reverse Faces. This will then flip that face round to expose the other side so you can check the material settings.
2) If the object is big enough navigate until you are inside so you can see the internal faces to check the materials.
Translucent Material is generally more cloudy and therefore does not reflect as much as Transparent Material. It can be used to create a frosted window or anything where the glass is to be less opaque. Again, Translucent Thin material will not refract the light, where as Translucent Thick material will refract.
The image below has been rendered using a ‘Translucent’ finish on the window. When you are creating a moody scene, I find that the Translucent finish often adds a nice feel to the overall render as it is not so shiny and reflective.