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Wanting to model a pomegranate kernel, I modelled two objects

  • The outer shell (red outer watery covering)
  • The seed (inner opaque whitish seed)

    two objects with parent child relation, pomegranate kernel in material preview mode

The seed

current node settings for the seed

I want this to be opaque, but I don't want it's edge to have 100% opacity. I want it to blend with the outer shell more.

The outer shell

to left of base color is a color ramp node, not in relation with it, different color gradient for a lot of such kernels

I played with IOR, transmission, alpha, subsurface scattering, roughness and specular. I reached a point where I know what all these terms mean but I still am very indecisive to move forward. I feel there is something that I am doing wrong. few renders with different settings

Desired result

some pomegranate kernels with the look I want to achieve

Conclusion

I looked at various transparency node settings, tried using them but I am still not getting the fundamentals of nodes. How to use a particular node, how to decide which one to use over the other and how to cascade two or more nodes.

I am relatively new to CG, there are a lot of things that I am not aware of, nodes being one of them. Any sort of help or introduction to new concepts or link to articles/videos is welcomed.

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    $\begingroup$ Principled BSDF is a good all-in-one solution that covers most basic cases, but some times it is insufficient and you get better results and more fine grain control by by manually combining other nodes with a Mix Shader and some gradients $\endgroup$ Feb 20 '20 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ Which renderer are you planning to use? It looks as if Cycles volumetrics might have a place here $\endgroup$ Feb 21 '20 at 10:48
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Let's think like a photographer.

enter image description here

  1. Proper lighting is essential - white background, strong backlight, fitting HDRi
  2. Shader - Principled BSDF will do (let's keep it simple)
  3. Use post-processing - adjusting midtone contrast, color-corrections

enter image description here

Outer Seed shader:

  • Roughness - pretty low, it needs to reflect environment and not obstruct transmission
  • Clearcoat - just an artistic choice, as the outer seed has a thin glossy skin
  • Transmission - full 1
  • IOR - 1.6
  • Trans. rougness - 0,1 to distort the light a bit more

Notes:
When going for proper realism you'd use Volumetrics, Subsurface scattering and some textures for a more organic look.

But all things considered, proper lighting is everything here :).

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