Iridescent Nacre Material for Cycles (Updated)

  • October 02, 2013
  • Blender 2.6x
  • Render: Cycles
  • Creator: ata4
  • License: CC-0
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A bright and clear nacre material with some simulated iridescence. Suitable for the inside of many kinds of seashells and any products made of it, including pearls. Includes an iridescence node group that could be used for other kinds of iridescent materials.

Requires the wavelength node that is available in Blender 2.68 and higher. 2.69 or higher is recommended for better SSS results.

First preview image features the downloadable blend, the second one is the Spiral Shell by 3dphotosystems and the last one is using B.M.P.S from the Blender material test folder.

Updated (21.10.2013):


<li>Now uses three iridescence passes with different parameters to simulate color interferences and material irregularities.</li>

<li>Tuned down subsurface scattering a bit.</li>

<li>Cleaned up iridescence node group and improved the node layout.</li>

<li>Old version of the material is included in blend as "Nacre v1".</li>



  • FayZee profile picture

    The material looks gorgeous in your render.

    When I tried rendering with your default .hdr output settings, it came out with speckling in and around the ear, right eye and nostril, plus I couldn't open the .hdr file.

    I tried again with .png output and the amount of speckling was the same.

    Could this be due to my graphics card? NVIDIA Corporation G92 GeForce 9800 GT, Kernel driver in use: nouveau.

    Written October 03, 2013
  • ata4 profile picture

    The material uses a subsurface scattering shader, so at least in 2.68, it can't be rendered with the GPU. You'll need to switch to CPU for now.

    Written October 03, 2013
  • FayZee profile picture

    Thank you, but I am already using CPU because GPU isn't available for my machine set-up.

    Written October 03, 2013
  • ata4 profile picture

    Ah, I see. The Blend was saved with 2.69-testbuild1 and uses square samples, so actually 64*64 = 4096 samples. You'll need to increase the samples in the "Sampling" tab.

    Written October 04, 2013
  • FayZee profile picture

    Ah, thank you. The version information was the key, I'm glad I asked. Now my render is as perfect as yours. I see you have added the version 2.69 recommendation to the description. If mofx has added v2.69 to the upload option selection list then it would be good to edit that as well.

    There are more settings available in 2.69-testbuild1 and these are what I used:

    Blender Version: v2.69 Test (labelled v2.68.5 across top of window)

    Render Engine: Cycles Render

    Render Samples: 64

    Square Samples: Activated

    Lights/materials sampling method: Path Tracing

    Output file format: .png

    Image Format Colour Mode: RGB

    Image Format Colour Depth: 16

    Image Format Compression: 100%

    Performance Tile Size: 16x16.

    I'm very impressed with both the new Blender developments and your material. Thank you for sharing.

    Edited October 04, 2013
  • elbrujodelatribu profile picture

    Awesome material! It goes to my library.

    Edited October 07, 2013
  • iskandarshah16 profile picture

    is it compatible for Maya?

    Written February 22, 2015
  • diabla profile picture

    Wow, that's a beautiful material. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    Written January 30, 2016
  • oscarluis48 profile picture

    Thank you for sharing. That is a great looking materiel.

    Written July 26, 2016
  • billhails profile picture

    That is so beautiful, and a very challenging material that I've struggled with unsuccessfully myself in the past, so thank you very much!

    Written April 14, 2017
  • mintslime profile picture

    Still functional and looks amazing in 2.93, thank you very much!

    Written June 08, 2021
  • a.d.vertise profile picture

    For some reason some of the nodes show up as missing for me in 2.93. Did you find any compatible ones for them in your render?

    Written March 15, 2022
  • carinea2 profile picture

    Even years later, so nice material! For the render and for the eyes, many thanks.

    Written November 25, 2021