Resource: Index of Refraction

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In 3D modeling and animation the goal is often realism.  Duplicating reality in the virtual world requires more than just modeling skills it requires some understanding of why things look the way they do.  Why does water look the way it does, for example.   Why is it colorless and clear in a glass but looks blue in a river or lake?  Why do objects look distorted.  The answer lies in physics and figuring this out requires being more than just an artist, but also a bit of a scientist.  Being a geek, I love that.

But in practical terms, what most 3D modelers really want to know is just how to make something look the way it should.  When dealing with transparent materials, making things look the way they should means using the correct IOR setting.   IOR stands for Index of Refraction.  Below is a reference list I put together of various substances and their IOR which might be used in 3D modeling.

Common Liquids

  • Acetone — 1.36
  • Alcohol, Ethyl (grain) — 1.36
  • Alcohol, Methyl (wood) — 1.329
  • Beer — 1.345
  • Carbonated Beverages — 1.34 – 1.356
  • Chlorine (liq) — 1.385
  • Cranberry Juice — (25%) 1.351
  • Glycerin — 1.473
  • Honey, 13% water content — 1.504
  • Honey, 17% water content — 1.494
  • Honey, 21% water content — 1.484
  • Ice — 1.309
  • Milk — 1.35
  • Oil, Clove — 1.535
  • Oil, Lemon — 1.481
  • Oil, Neroli — 1.482
  • Oil, Orange — 1.473
  • Oil, Safflower — 1.466
  • Oil, vegetable (50° C) — 1.47
  • Oil of Wintergreen — 1.536
  • Rum, White — 1.361
  • Shampoo — 1.362
  • Sugar Solution 30% — 1.38
  • Sugar Solution 80% — 1.49
  • Turpentine — 1.472
  • Vodka — 1.363
  • Water (0° C) — 1.33346
  • Water (100° C) — 1.31766
  • Water (20° C) — 1.33283
  • Water (vapor) — 1.000261
  • Whiskey — 1.356

Common Gases

  • Air (–15 ℃)  — 1.00030942
  • Air ( 0 ℃) — 1.00029238
  • Air (+15 ℃) — 1.00027712
  • Air (+30 ℃) — 1.00026337
  • Air (+60 ℃) — 1.00023958
  • Carbon dioxide — 1.000
  • Hydrogen (gas) — 1.000140
  • Hydrogen (liquid) — 1.0974
  • Methane — 1.0004478
  • Oxygen (gas) — 1.000
  • Oxygen (liquid) — 1.221
  • Vacuum — 1 exactly

Common Transparent Materials

  • Butter (40 ℃) — 1.455
  • Butter (60 ℃) — 1.447
  • CD/DVD — 1.55
  • Eye, Aqueous humor — 1.33
  • Eye, Cornea — 1.38
  • Eye, Lens — 1.41
  • Eye, Vitreous humor — 1.34
  • Glass, Arsenic Trisulfide — 2.04
  • Glass, Crown (common) — 1.52
  • Glass, Flint, 29% lead — 1.569
  • Glass, Flint, 55% lead –  1.669
  • Glass, Flint, 71% lead — 1.805
  • Glass, Fused Silica — 1.459
  • Glass, Pyrex — 1.474
  • Lucite — 1.495
  • Nylon — 1.53
  • Obsidian — 1.50
  • Plastic — 1.460 – 1.55
  • Plexiglas — 1.488
  • Salt — 1.516

Gemstones

  • Agate — 1.544 – 1.553
  • Alexandrite — 1.746 – 1.755
  • Almandine — 1.75 – 1.83
  • Amber — 1.539 – 1.545
  • Amethyst — 1.532 – 1.554
  • Ammolite — 1.52 -1.68
  • Andalusite — 1.629 – 1.650
  • Apatite — 1.632 – 1.42
  • Aquamarine — 1.567-1.590
  • Axenite — 1.674 – 1.704
  • Beryl — 1.57 – 1.60
  • Beryl, Red — 1.570 – 1.598
  • Chalcedony — 1.544 – 1.553
  • Citrine — 1.532 – 1.554
  • Clinohumite — 1.625 – 1.675
  • Coral — 1.486 – 1.658
  • Crystal — 2.000
  • Crysoberyl, Catseye — 1.746 – 1.755
  • Danburite — 1.627 – 1.641
  • Diamond — 2.417
  • Emerald — 1.560 – 1.605
  • Emerald Catseye — 1.560 – 1.605
  • Flourite — 1.434
  • Garnet, Grossular — 1.72 – 1.80
  • Garnet, Andradite — 1.88 – 1.94
  • Garnet, Demantiod — 1.880 – 1.9
  • Garnet, Mandarin — 1.790 – 1.8
  • Garnet, Pyrope — 1.73 – 1.76
  • Garnet, Rhodolite — 1.740 – 1.770
  • Garnet, Tsavorite — 1.739 – 1.744
  • Garnet, Uvarovite — 1.74 – 1.87
  • Hauyn — 1.490 – 1.505
  • Iolite — 1.522 – 1.578
  • Jade, Jadeite — 1.64 – 1.667
  • Jade, Nephrite — 1.600 – 1.641
  • Jet — 1.660
  • Kunzite — 1.660 – 1.676
  • Labradorite — 1.560 – 1.572
  • Lapis Lazuli — 1.50 – 1.55
  • Moonstone — 1.518 – 1.526
  • Morganite — 1.585 – 1.594
  • Obsidian — 1.50
  • Opal, Black — 1.440 – 1.460
  • Opal, Fire — 1.430 – 1.460
  • Opal, White — 1.440 – 1.460
  • Oregon Sunstone — 1.560 – 1.572
  • Padparadja — 1.760 – 1.773
  • Pearl — 1.53 – 1.69
  • Peridot — 1.635 – 1.690
  • Quartz — 1.544 – 1.553
  • Ruby — 1.757 – 1.779
  • Sapphire — 1.757 – 1.779
  • Sapphire, Star — 1.760 – 1.773
  • Spessarite — 1.79 – 1.81
  • Spinel — 1.712 – 1.717
  • Spinel, Blue — 1.712 – 1.747
  • Spinel, Red — 1.708 – 1.735
  • Star Ruby — 1.76 – 1.773
  • Tanzanite — 1.690-1.7
  • Tanzanite — 1.692 – 1.700
  • Topaz — 1.607 – 1.627
  • Topaz, Imperial — 1.605-1.640
  • Tourmaline — 1.603 – 1.655
  • Tourmaline, Blue — 1.61 – 1.64
  • Tourmaline, Catseye — 1.61 – 1.64
  • Tourmaline, Chrome —  1.61 – 1.64
  • Tourmaline, Green — 1.61 – 1.64
  • Tourmaline, Paraiba — 1.61 – 1.65
  • Tourmaline, Red — 1.61 – 1.64
  • Zircon — 1.777 – 1.987
  • Zirconia, Cubic — 2.173 – 2.21

Metals

  • Aluminum — 1.39
  • Copper — 2.43
  • Gold — 0.166
  • Mercury (liquid) — 1.620
  • Mylar — 1.65
  • Nickel — 1.08
  • Platinum — 2.33
  • Silver — 1.35
  • Titanium — 2.16

 

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