I have searched many different terms and phrases to try to learn a way to create the effect of the thermotropic liquid crystal paint (kind of like a mood ring) which is similar to a heat map. I can't seem to find much about it. It doesn't seem like that's a question here, either. Does anyone know how I could:

  1. Make a procedural material of this effect?
  2. Make only certain areas show the heat map like effect and leave the rest a dark color, if that's possible? (Similar to how it looks when you touch only a part of a surface painted with thermotropic liquid crystals.) I assume I would mask it out, but how?

I'm using Blender 2.92 on Windows 10.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ can you please share an example of the effect you are trying to achieve? it seems pretty easy with a color ramp, but an example could help to help you better. $\endgroup$
    – Sanbaldo
    Aug 1, 2021 at 21:37

1 Answer 1


here's an idea of how to get that temperature ramp effect with nodes:

here's the final effect:

enter image description here

here's the node setup: as you see it's just a textures connected with a color-ramp node (I also added a noise texture to make it a little bit more random and some math nodes to balance the final values to match the color-ramp that need a range of 0 to 1 range input)

enter image description here

here's the blend file if anyone want it

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much Sanbaldo! This is the effect I wanted to create! I mostly understand the material setup, but if you would, could you explain a couple things? I just want to understand the following: 1) Why did you add the subtract node to the noise node? And why a value of 0.3? 2) The math nodes that come from the image texture: Why did you use an Add and then Subtract node? And how did you know what values to set them to? I'm still a little new to this, so I just want to make sure I get it so I can use this idea in the future for other materials. Thank you for your time! $\endgroup$ Aug 1, 2021 at 22:47
  • $\begingroup$ if you want to get the right values of the math node, you just need to experiment. The ColorRamp gets as input a value between 0 (white) and 1 (black). So if you add some noise to the texture, you'll shift the input values and so it would be useful to fix it using a math node (substract) to shift the values back to a good range. Please note that you can avoid using "add" and "substract" nodes and you can just play with the ColorRamp node. $\endgroup$
    – Sanbaldo
    Aug 1, 2021 at 22:50
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, that makes the concept more clear for me. $\endgroup$ Aug 1, 2021 at 23:44

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