Ingmar Franz (duerer)

3 answers · asked @ video mark 7:17 · Lesson: The Principled Shader · Course: Fundamentals of Blender Materials and Shading

IOR for solid materials

I understand what IOR for transparent materials means: Index Of Refraction. But if the "Specular" value determines the IOR for solid materials, I have difficulties imagining a refraction. I associate "Specular" with "Glossy" and understand the value for "Specular" as the strength of that reflection. With the "Clearcoat" it's different. I can imagine this as a transparent glass or plastic layer with some refraction. But you described it in this video as a second mixed in "Glossy Shader" so that there isn't any layer thickness and therefore no IOR.

  • crew

    But if the "Specular" value determines the IOR for solid materials, I have difficulties imagining a refraction.

    Yep, it's very weird. So IOR actually refers to the Complex Refractive Index and not just the Refractive Index. The Complex part of that refers to also taking into account the Extinction Coefficient, which is negligible in transparent materials but becomes important once light starts getting absorbed. You can read more about that here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refractive_index#Dispersion 

    With the "Clearcoat" it's different. I can imagine this as a transparent glass or plastic layer with some refraction. But you described it in this video as a second mixed in "Glossy Shader" so that there isn't any layer thickness and therefore no IOR.

    I think I misspoke then - clearcoat is just added on top and not mixed in. Not really physically correct, but it works. You're right though that it's not influenced by the specular value or IOR.