After seeing some renders by Oscar Leif via BlenderNation, I decided I’d try my hand at some of the techniques on display there: environment lighting, some simple node materials, and using texture nodes to create a checkerboard effect. After playing around a bit, this is what I came up with – a lineup of rooks using different materials and then rendered with environment lighting from an HDR map.
The two rooks on the right are materials of my own make, and the three on the left were created from the post Oscar made about his own chess scene materials. The glass rook, as it turns out, just uses the default glass shader.
This was an interesting study in material nodes, and I enjoy practicing with them. Improvements I would consider making are adjusting the color of my dark rook material to be more black, like Oscar’s, and adjusting the lighter wood texture on the board a bit. I’d also like to spend some time making the rook model better, and maybe eventually modeling an entire chess set.
Like my updated Parks render I posted recently, this HDR map comes from the HDRLabs HDRI archive, this one being the Bryant Park map.