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I'm trying to model something like this (sorry for the small picture)

porous microparticle

that is basically a half sphere made of sintered or aggregated smaller spheres, like a thick multilayer. I was wondering if this could be achieved by simulating gravity with lots of smaller particles and them emptying the core, or with a particle system of any kind, or even with a solidified sphere with a porous texture, any idea? I'm not that knowledgeable in Blender.

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    $\begingroup$ if you have a close-up picture you could use it as a bump map, or as you say, particles, but actually your picture is very low quality so it's hard to say $\endgroup$ – moonboots Jul 3 '19 at 15:48
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    $\begingroup$ Particles are very computationally expensive and likely overkill, unless you are going to do some serious closeups. Otherwise you could probably do away with displacement, micro-displacement, bump mapping, or even a good diffuse texture might suffice $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Jul 3 '19 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ I actually need a closeup, I will try with a particle system (few thousand only) and if not, micro-displacement. Thanks for the insights. $\endgroup$ – alex Jul 3 '19 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ and don't forget that with particles or displacement you can bake to make it much lighter ;) $\endgroup$ – moonboots Jul 3 '19 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ For porous objects like that, maybe the tissue add-on would work. $\endgroup$ – cegaton Jul 3 '19 at 18:42
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Solved!

I followed this tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gM8yEMFMjg, where the author is using a sphere as a volume container, and then sets up a particle system emitting from the volume. I haven't managed to run the physics simulation to avoid particle overlapping, but in my case should be good enough.

final render

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