Are requests on how to simulate certain materials (e.g. asphalt, ice, water, etc.) on topic here?

We've had questions like this before which seemed to have been received well, e.g.

But some more recent question have not. e.g.

So are these questions on-topic or not?

Related: Should we expand our scope to allow simple howtos?

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure, but I think it is a tutorial request; However, I can spot a difference, in those which have been well received - they have at least an initial try. $\endgroup$ Dec 23, 2014 at 22:32
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    $\begingroup$ @someonewithpc Well, not all of them. But I do agree that it's nicer when the OP at least makes an attempt before coming here, as then they can ask about what they specifically had trouble with (e.g. "how to add cracks a material", or maybe something even more technical than that, like "Why isn't my normal map affecting my material"). $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3 Mod
    Dec 23, 2014 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ Well.. I thought all did; But still, that's exactly what I mean - it shows effort, and allows for more technical questions. $\endgroup$ Dec 23, 2014 at 22:51
  • $\begingroup$ I think it would depend on simplicity. $\endgroup$
    – ruckus
    Dec 24, 2014 at 1:47
  • $\begingroup$ I would go as far to say that if some would be accepted, than why not all. I hadn't seen the other I don't think. $\endgroup$
    – ruckus
    Dec 24, 2014 at 1:57

1 Answer 1


I think that those question regardless of how well they were received are good questions to have answers too. The problem with some of these questions is that they require a lot of work. Frosted glass is an easy one but others, e.g. asphalt or procedural marble would require some R&D.

Most cases OP will not have made an attempt to create the material themselves, which is why it takes a lot of effort to answer these questions. So that there question is indeed a request.

I think we should allow all material questions to stay under the following conditions:

  • complex shader questions need to show work, this is not a request site

  • simple shader questions like frosted glass do not need to show work

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  • $\begingroup$ Where should we draw the line between simple and complex? $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3 Mod
    Dec 24, 2014 at 8:29
  • $\begingroup$ Well unfortunately it is not all black and white. But a rough way to do it is that anything that requires you to download textures and create something 'procedural'. $\endgroup$
    – Vader
    Dec 24, 2014 at 8:44
  • $\begingroup$ A small part ot me says that someone might be working on said complex shader only to have the question closed, wich would be icreadibly dissapoiting... I think these are answerable, and the kind that will get ALOT of upvotes when posted. $\endgroup$ Dec 24, 2014 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ Don't draw a line. They should all be allowed. Those who know just need to be cautious about their answer. I think they can all be answered without sounding like a tutorial. $\endgroup$
    – ruckus
    Dec 24, 2014 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 Supposing a new cycles user asks a question about a material, how would he know if it was a simple or complex shader? To a new user every node with more then a few nodes is complex. I have files called something like "large cycles material," but when I go back and look at them now, they do not look all that large or complex. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Dec 24, 2014 at 21:29
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    $\begingroup$ I think it's not so much simple vs complex but rather question vs request. $\endgroup$
    – Vader
    Dec 24, 2014 at 21:41
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    $\begingroup$ That's a good point, there is a distinction between "gemmeh teh nodez" and "my nodes don't do what I want.. Why??". $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3 Mod
    Dec 24, 2014 at 23:54

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