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How are Specularity and IOR linked?

Hi everyone

I recently read this presentation: https://jesshiderue4.wordpress.com/real-time-rendering-an-overview-for-artists/

In it, there is a section that relates specular to index of refraction. Quote: The only times you should change specular is to control the index of refraction for very specific cases like ice, water and skin.

I don't understand the relation at all. Could someone please explain that?

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asked Oct 02 '17 at 07:19 AM in Rendering

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Index of Refraction defines material's specularity at normal incidence. Specular material input allows your to control the IOR in a more or less artist-friendly manner with a values from 0 to 1.

Default specular value roughly corresponds to IOR of most dielectric materials, so in most cases, you do not need to touch it. The exceptions are materials with high IOR, like gemstones(ruby,sapphire, various crystals etc). You would want to crank up specular on those. You mentioned water and ice and skin. These ones are quite close to default specular value, and you can safely leave specular unconnected for those. Last but not least, you can use specular control to reduce specularity in crevices/cavities.

Please note, that IOR input for translucent material's refraction is completely separate thing, that has no effect on shading.

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answered Oct 02 '17 at 04:14 PM

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