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I am trying to make a material that is translucent at the surface and opaque in the middle. How can I control the gradient?

I would like the gradient to correspond with the mesh; i.e. not simply radiate from the origin or something like that. (If my model was a tree, the leaves and bark would be translucent while the branches and trunk, under a couple inches of bark, would be opaque.)

For reference, I am trying to replicate this glacial ice:

enter image description here

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blender.stackexchange.com/questions/8130/… is similar to what I'm asking but the answers were unclear. –  splic Jul 31 at 1:18

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The absorption node seems to be what you are looking for.

enter image description here

You can also add surface shaders on top of the volume shaders, for example:

enter image description here

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