Here's a tutorial on how to create a glass material. For my example,
I'll use the Brazil renderer inside 3dsmax, although there are
equivalents in any renderer that allows raytracing.
The basic ingredients are as follows:
Here's the max file that made the image above, max5, brazil
The first material in the file is a Brazil Advanced Material. Set the diffuse to Black. Add a falloff map to the reflect slot set to fresnel with an IOR of 1.5. Check the checkbox beside the Opacity map in Basic Surface Properties rollout, that will change it to Transparency (Tx). Add your color to the transparency. Set IOR for the transparency to 1.5. Make sure 2 sided is on under Base Shader. Turn off specular highlight if you want to use real raytraced reflections only and not light the scene with specular lights.
The second uses the Brazil Glass Material. Basically the same thing, it automatically has no diffuse, turn the reflections on, set to fresnel, IOR 1.5, set the transparency to the color you want, IOR 1.5. Turn off specular highlight if you want to use real raytraced reflections only and not light the scene with specular lights.
Make sure that there are at least 8 refraction bounces, if not more.
This will ensure a lot of raytraced bounces inside the glass before it
returns the background color.
Remember, half of what makes a material
look like a particular material is the environment it's in.
A wise man said reflections only look as good as the environment the
is reflecting, keep that in mind. For this scene, have a light
background and a dark foreground. That way, the brighter back shows off
the transparency of the object, and the dark foreground from behind the
camera gets "caught" in the refractions. And of course, place a few
illuminated white cards near your camera to appear in reflections.
cards have an output map in the diffuse slot, and a higher then 1 RGB
which blows out the cards to values above white, making them appear
Here's a clear glass. Identical to the file above, except the color has been removed from the transparency.