Physically Based Custom Fresnel - Cycles Node

  • July 06, 2015
  • Blender 2.7x
  • Render: Cycles
  • Creator: JohnsonMartin
  • License: CC-BY-SA
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Time to throw out the Layer Weight node and start using this, a custom Fresnel node. When it comes to making materials in Cycles, the built in Fresnel nodes just don't cut the cake. The settings are just too limited and non-physically accurate.

I can't take credit for the inner workings, but I did create the node and the 3 shaders also included inside the Blend. The settings for the node are pretty easy to figure out, so I won't explain them. You can use this just like you would the "Layer Weight" or "Fresnel" node.

I also included three simple shaders to show how easy it is to get nice shading with this node.


  • gregzaal profile picture

    Do you have a link to the original inner workings? Or at least an explanation of why this is better than the built-in fresnel?

    Written July 09, 2015
  • kilbeeu profile picture

    Yup, I'd like to read up on this as well.

    Edited July 09, 2015
  • JohnsonMartin profile picture

    Sure, here's the link:

    This isn't really any "better" than the built in Fresnel, as this is based upon it. But this gives the artist more control without having to add a bunch of nodes. Normally to archive the "Facing Limit" you would have to add a "Color ramp" or "Color Mix" node and change the values. And everything is done with math, so you don't have to worry about human error.

    Edited July 09, 2015
  • SreckoM profile picture

    Yeah would like to now that too.

    Written July 09, 2015
  • JohnsonMartin profile picture

    See above.

    Written July 09, 2015
  • piergi profile picture

    In your group node you put a "value" node labelled "root" with the value of 1, providing no effect ( x^(1/1) = x ) That should be removed and the "divide" node should be connected to the "power" input of your group, as explained in the video of CynicatPro.

    Written July 10, 2015
  • JohnsonMartin profile picture

    Oh! Dang it! Thanks for pointing that out. Uploading corrected now...

    Edited July 10, 2015