enter image description hereHello I’m trying to make an effect like the red cubes in this scene but I can’t get the same effect. So far I’ve tried using a bigger glass cube and a small cube with an emission shader inside of the bigger cube.

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    $\begingroup$ there is a lot of things that are being used in this scene, things like emission in the cube's wireframe, volume scatter and absorption, noise texture and maybe using glass isn't the best idea, because in cycles its really hard to get a good glass effect with the default glass shader. Just search more about nodes and play with them, it will help you. $\endgroup$ – Diogo Valadares Oct 5 '18 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ Could you link a node setup or blend file $\endgroup$ – user61431 Oct 5 '18 at 22:03

One object, one material solution



For this method to work you will need to use current Master branch of Blender 2.79 or 2.8. You can find them here: https://builder.blender.org/download/

This is because we will be using Bevel node for edge detection. Without it there are some workarounds in Blender 2.79b like for example using Bevel modifier and second material for bevels.



Let's break it down to the most interesting parts.

Inner Cube

This is my dumb version of clipping vectors. What it does it basically using Color Ramps to clip axis vectors from left/right, top/bottom, and front/back to make smaller cube inside mesh. So two for X, Y and Z. You can tweak them in the same manner to get smaller or bigger cube. Those Color Ramps.

Volume Noise

It's noise. In Volume. Added to the Inner Cube. Nothing much here except that you will need to use grey color for one of the handles to make it darker than cube itself.

Edge Mask

This is why we need Master branch. We are using here Bevel node to detect edges and use it for mixing Glass with Emission.

Glass and Edge

Nothing fancy here. A bit optimized Glass shader and Emission for edges. Remember to use small Roughness value. I don't know if it's a bug or 'feature' but without it Master and 2.8 are going nuts with simple Glass.

  • $\begingroup$ Very nice job! I though this is literally only possible with the volumetric node. $\endgroup$ – Amir Oct 5 '18 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Amir Did you mean Principled Volume? $\endgroup$ – cgslav Oct 5 '18 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, yes that's what I meant. $\endgroup$ – Amir Oct 5 '18 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Amir so in this case, as far as I tested this one, it's just built in 'node group' of things which are existing in Blender for a long time. It looks like nothing more than Volume Scatter, Volume Absorbtion, Emission, Blackbody and Attribute nodes. It's nice and convenient though ;) $\endgroup$ – cgslav Oct 5 '18 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ @user61431 if this answer was good enough, you can accept it and up vote ;) I'm glad I could help. $\endgroup$ – cgslav Oct 7 '18 at 13:50

Emission shaders are also volumetric. You can create the smaller cube proceedurally to have a glowing volume inside:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Basically same thing I did. With less Color Ramps ;) $\endgroup$ – cgslav Oct 5 '18 at 21:56
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I wouldn't have posted if I saw your post. I was doing a few things at once and took my time there and I did not notice your answer. $\endgroup$ – Martynas Žiemys Oct 5 '18 at 22:12
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    $\begingroup$ The more the better ;) Out of curiosity, whats the reason to use Combine XYZ as a part of Vector Add? I saw this method couple of times before but I can't comprehend what is going on there. $\endgroup$ – cgslav Oct 5 '18 at 22:31
  • $\begingroup$ I just don't like the vector mapping node. It is huge, has no inputs and gets in the way all the time, at least visually. It distracts me. That's all - no real reason. The combine node is only for the values to be visible at a glance. I have a vector mapping node group with all inputs that I use ( blendswap.com/blends/view/83465 ) , but I didn't want to introduce unnecessary confusion. $\endgroup$ – Martynas Žiemys Oct 5 '18 at 22:42

I am not an expert but this is the closest I could get using a combination of Principled Volumetric/BSDF shaders and emission shaders. I'm sure experts in Cycles rendering can combine the nodes in a better way so that you'll get the same exact effects.

To be able to use the Principled Volumetric shader you need to download/compile one of the latest experimental builds of Blender 2.79 (maybe from August 2018 onward). The Volumetric Shader is not available in 2.79b. You can download the experimental builds of Blender from here. Here's the final result with 18 samples in preview mode:

enter image description here

Here's the node setup for the outer cube:

enter image description here

And here's the node setup for the inner cube:

enter image description here

And here's the .blend file:


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