Has anyone been able to come up with a really cool & realistic looking snow material that includes the sparkles as it is viewed at different angles. I cannot seem to get it right. any tips are appreciated.
Try subsurface scatter Material (Fast Material) through Mental Ray. I get good results with a bluish scatter color, and try cellular material in both bump and specular color to get the "frosty" look. Make sure you drop the scale conversion factor way down, and use a warm "sun" light at about 1.3 multiplier, and a couple of bluish fill lights to represent the reflection of blue sky on the shadow areas. Color is very important, so take care to get it right. Look at a lot of references.
Instructor, Illinois Institute of Art, Schaumburg, Illionis