How to create realistic leaf or grass material?
Here are some guidelines for creating realistic materials for leaves or grass:
- Use curved geometry for leaves and grass blades instead of flat planes so it can reflect light naturally
- Use textures instead of flat colors for diffuse and translucency
- Use translucency, but not too much (usually fraction value at about 0,1 - 0,3)
- Put diffuse texture into translucency slot and tweak its appearance using Color Correction map (for example make it slightly more yellowish)
- Use high reflectivity but low Fresnel IOR value (Fresnel IOR at about 1,3 usually works well)
- Tweak glossiness value until the material looks realistic and doesn't produce visual artefacts (See: I can see bright pixels in grass!)
- Interactive rendering is very helpful when tweaking parameters of materials (See: How to use interactive rendering?)
- Do not use subsurface scattering for objects with no thickness. For grass / leaves it is best to use translucency.
See: How to use subsurface scattering?
- Do not use refraction for leaves/grass materials - use translucency.
Example grass material setup:
Example leaf material setup: