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Hello mates im in Search of the answer to how to create a Material that looks like sci fi energetic/plasma/force field in Cycles.

Here some Pictures of what i mean in general

Perfect example of what i mean look at that door screen taken from marvel heroes 2015

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You could try a setup like this:

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If you animate some of the mapping nodes, you can get an effect like this:

The essentially part of the rather largish setup above is in the screenshot below. The only difference between the nodes below and the largish shader is that the latter has a texture controlling the intensity/color of the emission shader.

enter image description here

These nodes mix an emission shader with a transparent shader based on the angle of the surface to the camera (details here). It also makes backfaces (faces facing away from the camera) transparent.

The large setup has a mixture of procedural textures controlling multiple emission shaders which are added together in place of the single emission shader in the setup above.
Of course, you can use any texture setup you want, even image textures.

Making a hexagonal procedural texture will probably be tricky with the current selection of procedural textures available in cycles, so you are probably best off either making the object's topology in the shape of hexagons, or using an image texture.


Note that if you have a more complex object in place of a sphere, skipping backfaces might not be enough to avoid rendering faces not directly visible to the camera.

By using the setup from my answer here, this can be made to work on more complex objects:

To get rid of the geometry behind the rest of the model, you can use the Transparent depth output of the lightpath node (note that this output is only available in the latest development versions of blender, but it will be in 2.71)

This value goes up based on the number of "transparent bounces" (a transparent bounce refers to the sampling ray passing through a transparent layer/surface of the mesh). Since we only want to see the top layer, we can use a Less than math node and a mix shader node to make every bounce past the first bounce (bounce 0) will use only the completely transparent shader (Transparent Depth is never negative, so this is basically testing if it's equal to 0).

enter image description here

For comparison here is a gif demonstrating the difference between only hiding backfaces and hiding all faces invisible to the camera:

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  • $\begingroup$ That is looking verry good but it surely would be better if i would understand that Nodetree so i can adjust it to my belongings. What i had in Mind is exact this same Blue Shield but with a Octanogonal Pattern (Honeycomb) but altleast i have a approach now ^^ $\endgroup$ – TheCycleOfBlend Sep 10 '14 at 20:21
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    $\begingroup$ @TheCycleOfBlend Working on it ;) My answer on gd.se is a bit more detailed atm, but I'll finish editing this in a bit. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Sep 10 '14 at 20:25
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    $\begingroup$ I started with this: blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?277291-Cycles-Plasma but your nodes are awesome. $\endgroup$ – stacker Sep 10 '14 at 20:37
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    $\begingroup$ Where do I nominate this to the Node's hall of fame? $\endgroup$ – cegaton Sep 10 '14 at 21:11
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    $\begingroup$ @TheCycleOfBlend Edited $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Sep 10 '14 at 22:40

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