Another boring rendering question

I’ve gotten the hang of most materials with regards to rendering except for one: brushed metal. I use Maya with Mental Ray and use an anisotropic material, which is close to what I want. However, the materials always look more like a CD than a brushed metal.

I’ve tried various combinations of color maps, reflection maps and just playing with the settings, but I’m still not happy with the results.

Has anyone here had good luck with brushed metal materials? If so, what are your techniques?

Are you trying to be able to make these shaders from scratch? If so, I would say that a blinn or phong tweaked to look brushed will be more what you’re looking for than anisotropic. Anisotropics, no matter what you do, will have that chromatic abberation that cd’s have.

You can always download shaders and use them from sites like They have a pretty good set of Maya shaders.

I would look at some of the metal shaders from there and see what they did to make them and then apply that to what you’re going for. If I was at my computer with Maya, I would take a look and see what techniques work well, but I thought I’d suggest checking other’s shaders out in the meantime.

I had the same problem way back doing that teaset render. Turned out it was the anisotropic material. Now I use blinn.

well if you want to do it as a bitmap you can easily make very realistic brushed metal in photoshop.

Start with a medium-gray background and add a new layer. Switch the foreground color to black and select add noise. You can try different setting to see the results.

Then do a horizontal motion blur to the noise and it will look like the brushed metal grains. you can then adjust it as needed and save it out for use.

in a similar manner, depending on what form you’re rendering, you can use a distorted water uv procedural inside alias instead of cooking one up in photoshop.

I’ve used blinn shaders with a photoshop map applied. The problem is that the surface doesn’t have the scattered highlights that a real brushed surface has. It’s a similar problem to metallic paint, but I had more success with those. There I used a blinn shader and used a specular map (if I recall correctly, I just import that shader every time I need it now).

Has anyone used a map on a blinn shader to creat a good scattered highlight effect?

I’ve not bothered, but why not apply the map as a bump or displacement?