How to create a simple glass reflection effect with Blender Environment Texture

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to create a simple glass reflection effect with the Blender Environment Texture.

1) First start up a new Blender project, change to Cycles Render then create a plane below the default cube and scale it up to 3.5 time.

s 3.5
scale the plane to 3.5 time

2) Next under the property panel select world and then under the Surface sub panel click on the Use Nodes button to create new node. Select Environment Texture from the button besides the Color palette. Load the texture which you wish to show up as the background image for this project and set it’s strength to 5.

use environment texture to light the scene
use environment texture to light up the scene

3) Next delete the default lamp (Right click on the lamp then press x and delete).

4) Now select the plane and create a new material under it’s Material menu, leave everything as default but change it’s surface shader to Glossy BSDF.

use Glossy BSDF
use Glossy BSDF

5) Next switch back to the world menu and under Ray Visibility uncheck the camera checkbox so we can now hide the background image but still using it to light up the scene.

Hide Background
Hide Background

6) Next under the Render menu turn the background scene into transparent.

set background to transparent
set background to transparent

7) You might also want to complete the following steps to reduce the noise and the fireflies effect on the object.

Sampling Menu
Sampling Menu
Light Paths Menu
Light Paths Menu

Now the cube will float on top of a shinny glass as shown in the following image.

Blender Glassy Effect
Blender Glassy Effect