I am realtively new to Blender. I want to make an animation of a cell, but I don't know how to set up the nodes for that. I would like to have a microscope-effect, with a prism-like refraction on parts of the cell (other cells in the background).

I found an old video that shows kind of what I want:


But with nearly the same node set up in 2.8 (.blend file was in the description), it didn't work. Unlike in the video, I want to keep the color of the cell.

Here are some examples which can show what I want: https://youtu.be/TTbS7_vZLNg enter image description here enter image description hereenter image description here enter image description here

Thank you for your help. If somone has a good idea how to make the cell inside that would help, too.


1 Answer 1


You can make texture from these images, using alpha for the outside of the cell. After creating a mesh with sufficient subdivisions, make it like a lens and add caustics to it with cycles. (Render Settings -> Lightpath). It may create this effect through regulation of the lens thick in the center.

This is cycles and a glass shader.

  • $\begingroup$ Coustics was already activated, and with a lens I was not able to find the wanted refraction :( I tried to make the lense with a glass shader and with a BSDF shader with highest transmission. $\endgroup$
    – Lothar
    Sep 19, 2019 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Lothar I try to create this, as I understand: imgur.com/rtSuMRq this is cycles and glass material. $\endgroup$
    – tdhster
    Sep 19, 2019 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for creating this. The animation looks great. But the refraction I meant, is to split the light into spectral like colors depending on where the light comes from. I am sorry for bad explanation, I can't express myself that good in English. $\endgroup$
    – Lothar
    Sep 19, 2019 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Lothar you may use color ramp with spectrum colors and separete normal from geometry node or camera data depend on wishes. $\endgroup$
    – tdhster
    Sep 20, 2019 at 9:10
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, how can I separate normal from geometry? $\endgroup$
    – Lothar
    Sep 20, 2019 at 11:55

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