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Creating a polycarbonate/ sand blasted glass type material

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    Creating a polycarbonate/ sand blasted glass type material


    I'm wanting to create a material in Revit akin to the glazing used in projects of Steven Holl. They appear like polycarbonate or sand blasted glass. My attempts at recreating these end up either too transparent and always too dark. This is what I'm after:
    1474446394_2006831nama--0141.jpg 2006822SWSS_-0795---W-PROJE.jpg 713845730_2006831nama--0356d-copy-528x391.jpg

    If anyone's created something similar your help would be much appreciated!

    Here is a thread I found dealing with similar issues. Translucent Skin Detailing

    Ice is a good illustration of the light qualities I'm after in the material.


      First off, welcome to the forum!

      I find the trick to getting a material working correctly is to first remember the swatch isn't everything, and can only ever be indicative of what the material might look like under typical/ideal lighting conditions. Take your example photographs for example - they're all being illuminated - so to replicate that effect (or get near to it) you're going to first need to be in control of your lighting - and the exposure settings in your render outputs.

      That all said, you should be able to get close enough to creating the material swatch using a fairly lightly textured bump map (one of the stucco patterns should suffice as a start) applied to material with translucency set around 70-80%, with very little-to-none relectivity. You could even try applying the same bump map inverted as a self-illumination map... the trick is to start with one of the more versatile material styles that allow you access to all of the "extra" controls.

      I know it's a cop-out; but there's some good reading to be had HERE :thumbsup:

      Great username by the way, although I did feel somewhat hesitant to reply incase you work for one of our rival Newcastle outfits!


        Thanks for the welcome and quick reply. Geordie is actually my name, I'm from New Zealand so not many people here make the Newcastle connection! Also I'm currently completing my MArch(Prof) and am unemployed, so you may consider me a friendly rather than a rival!

        I had been trying to modify glass materials and even the polycarbonate one under plastics, but trial and error kept leaving me with materials too dark. Will try from scratch with a more versatile material as you suggested.
        Last edited by geordieshaw; December 6, 2011, 09:39 PM.


          Originally posted by geordieshaw View Post
          Thanks for the welcome and quick reply. Geordie is actually my name, I'm from New Zealand so not many people here make the Newcastle connection!
          Brilliant! Next you'll tell us Shaw is your surname and ALL THIS is purely by chance!

          I think we've a material similar to what you're after at work, when I'm in tomorrow I'll have a quick poke around and post it here if I find it...


            Yep it really is my last name... my parents lacked the foresight to know about a terrible reality show which would appear 22 years after naming me! At least it didn't happen in High School.

            Thanks, I'd appreciate that if its not too much trouble.


              Got much closer to what I want now. TranslucencyFinally.JPG
              Facade is the polycarbonate panels with a sort of warped tubular steel grid set back 1m behind it.
              And just daylight coming from the removal of the parallel rear wall.


                Honestly I've struggled for a long time to get a good looking sanded / sandblasted plastic in Revit. we actually use that material often, so it's a pain that I can't nail it just right.

                Problem is that to do it 'right' you'd need something like Subsurface Scattering, which Mental Ray in Revit doesn't have. So you fake it using a bump, which kind of works, or you make a generic white material that's just slightly transparent and hope it looks OK. You can get close but not perfect. Of, if you can get perfect, please let me know because it's something I've struggled with for years. ;-)
                Jeffrey McGrew
                Architect & Founder
                Because We Can, a Design-Build Studio
                Check out our new sister company Model No. making sustainable 3D printed furniture!


                  Hey could you explain how you created that material, Im trying to create a similar effect for one of my designs. Thanks


                    For sandblasted glass you can just add a high density Speckle bump to a standard glass material. Play around with the Speckle settings and the bump amount, until you are satisfied with the result.

                    And welcome to RFO BTW!
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                    Klaus Munkholm
                    "Do. Or do not. There is no try."


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