Creating a Semi-Transparent Plastic material

Materials

There are two ways to create a Semi-Transparent Plastic material.

The 1st one is the Single-Sided that can be used to visualize materials like plastic wrap for example and should be applied to very thin surfaces.

The second one considers the object to be a solid surface and is ideal for thicker surfaces. A plastic chair for example.

01. Single Sided

  • Create a Basic Layer
  • Add a Diffuse Color and
  • Use the same color in the Translucency Channel but brighter.
  • Use a white color in the Reflectance Channel and
  • Increase Roughness to 5%. (Image 1)

Now with our Translucent Plastic material ready, we need to make it Semi Transparent and to do that we will add a Thin Film layer and set it in Mix Mode with the Basic Layer.
To Mix those two layers together, select the Thin Film layer and press the Down button.

This basically means that we have 50% of the Basic and 50% of the Thin Film layer. (Image 2)

As an extra step, we can also add a Coating on top to increase the reflections (Image 3)

02. Solid Surfaces

  • Create a Glossy Layer and set both Reflection & Transmittance color to white. (image 5)
  • Create a Basic Layer with the following settings… (image 6)
    • Diffuse Color – any color
    • Reflectance Color – White
    • Translucent Color – Same as Diffuse but brighter
    • Absorption Color – Same as Translucent
  • Finally, add a Coating Layer to increase Reflectivity (image 7)

Now that we have the basic setup ready, we can use their Layer Weights to create variations.

To make the material more transparent, increase the Layer Weight of the Glossy Layer while decreasing respectively the weight of the Basic Layer. In the following example, we have used the following layer weights:

90% Glossy – 10% Basic