I am trying to achieve a realistic render of a water drop on a piece of grass in cycles. Here is my render:enter image description here

The water drop looks kind of bland and fake right now; it is too dark. I want it to look more like this:

enter image description here

How can I that glare effect on the water drop in blender?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ For the glare I'd recommend using the compositor (a glare node is probably what you want). As for the darkness, make sure you have a nice bright environment (sky) with a sun lamp. It also looks like your glass shader might not be set to white. Setting to white or almost white (e.g. .99) will help with the darkness. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 3:29
  • $\begingroup$ ^^ Exactly what he said, lighting is crucial. $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not that good with the compositor, how would I do that? $\endgroup$
    – HoltH
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 3:48
  • $\begingroup$ lmgtfy.com/?q=how+to+use+the+glare+node+-+blender $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 4:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If you are after realism try using a HDRI environment. $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 5:27

2 Answers 2


The environment and lighting setup is very important, especially for specularly reflecting and refracting materials such as glass or water.

It looks to me like you don't have a bright enough sky. You could use a HDR sky image via the environment texture node, or the built in procedural sky texture, which can give decent results too (particularly when you don't actually see the sky directly):

enter image description here

For this scene I used a procedural sky texture for the background color with a strength of 4:

enter image description here

I also used a sun lamp to get some directional lighting (see Should I add a sun lamp when using an hdri environment?)

For the compositing setup I only used two simple glare nodes:

enter image description here

The de-speckle node is only to get rid of some fireflies that were appearing. Normally I'd clamp them, however in this case I wanted to leave the render un-clamped, in order to preserve any values greater than 1 for use by the glare node.

Lighting and environment aside, also ensure your glass shader is set to white. When added via the properties panel, it defaults to .8 grey, which can result in the object looking too dark.


Seems like your HDRI map is wrong for this, as there is no visible sky in the refraction. That's one of the things that would help sell the illusion.

Also, to get the dispersion effect, try this: http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?242119-Cyles-Dispersion-glass-materal


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