How V-Ray 3.4 brings realistic metallic and glistening surfaces to life.
Sparkling or glittering surfaces have always posed a big problem for computer graphics. The issue lies in the fact that the microscopic mirror-like flakes which give surfaces their glittery, sparkly properties (such as metallic car paint, or snow, or sand) are hard to render in a way which doesn’t look artificial from a distance.
With V-Ray 3.4, the issue is solved with the VRayStochasticFlakesMtl. This material acts just like a real sparkly surface, and even allows for colored flakes, without any of the memory or tiling issues which nixed previous attempts to create such surfaces.
The ever-reliable fxguide has a complete technical breakdown of Chaos Group’s groundbreaking work in this field, and it even explains how it relates to realistic human skin.