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I want to produce an object that looks similar to this:

Bubble

It's basically a plain and simple sphere. I know how to adjust the reflections and transparency using the material properties, but, how can I make it look like its full of smoke? The smoke inside is static, so I don't think its necessary to use the smoke simulator. I just want to have something translucent inside with the same appearance.

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you using cycles or BI? $\endgroup$ – PGmath Nov 10 '14 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ It's a new project, I can use any engine I want. $\endgroup$ – Xocoatzin Nov 10 '14 at 15:32
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    $\begingroup$ Personally I would use cycles since you are going for photorealism, but that isn't really a fair opinion since cycles is the only engine I use. I have posted an answer on how to do it in cycles. I will add some screenshots and a render or two when I have access to my normal computer. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Nov 10 '14 at 15:39
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If you are using cycles render engine (and blender 2.7+)

You actually want to create two different spheres, one for the smoke and one for the glass. The reason for this is because you don't want the sphere to be solid, but the smoke should be, i.e. you don't want smoke inside the thickness of the wall of the sphere but within the sphere.

So I simply created a sphere, duplicated it in place, and gave one of the spheres a solidify modifier with a thickness of -1/8in. The "thickened" sphere simply has a glass shader. The other sphere will contain the smoke and has the following node tree.

enter image description here

It is primarily a volume scatter shader with a little volume absorption added in. The scatter is given a variable density with a procedural noise texture. The color ramp node makes the noise more distinct and the multiply node controls the overall density.

Here is the final render:

enter image description here

A couple of notes:

This is for cycles, I do not do much (anything) with BI, but I would recommend using cycles for this since you are going for photorealism.

You must be using blender 2.7+, previous versions of cycles do not support volumetrics.

You need to knock up the volume bounces under properties editor > render > light paths.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Just make sure you are using a recent version of Blender. Blender 2.70 supports volumes in cycles, and Blender 2.72 supports GPU rendering for volumes. $\endgroup$ – VRM Nov 10 '14 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ You can actually join the two spheres, or go into edit mode before duplicating. As for the iridescence, the question is about how to make the "smoke", he said he knows how to do the surface. I could add something (using a technique similar to this or this) if you would like though. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Nov 12 '14 at 0:04
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Use Cycles, and Blender 2.7+ This is a quick node setup for Cycles, and is a good place to start. You should be able to get the result you are looking for by playing around with the various values. enter image description here

Here is how it renders, feel free to change to fit your needs. enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Pretty much, but yours wasn't very in-depth. I can edit yours and add this info to it if you want. $\endgroup$ – VRM Nov 10 '14 at 21:53
  • $\begingroup$ This is a very good approximation! How to make the "smoke" white? I change the color in "Volume Scatter" and still looking dark. Other than that it's pretty good! $\endgroup$ – Xocoatzin Nov 10 '14 at 23:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Xocoatzin the reason it looks dark is because you need to crank up the volume bounces, see my answer. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Nov 10 '14 at 23:59

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