I am trying to create a flat/modern looking icon. The visual style I am aiming for is

enter image description here

Here is what I got so far with my icon.

enter image description here

As you can see it is missing the fake shading and fake shadow. Is there some way I can achieve this?

enter image description here

.blend file

  • $\begingroup$ That is easier to achieve in a 2D application $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Jan 28, 2015 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Yes but I am trying to do some animation with it as well. And that is not easier in a 2d application :D. $\endgroup$
    – Vader
    Jan 28, 2015 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ It might be better to make the logo in a 2D application (inkscape?) then use it as a texture or something. That said, here's what I came up with: pasteall.org/blend/34054 $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Jan 28, 2015 at 20:50
  • $\begingroup$ You could build a geometry for the shadow, blur it and do the alpha fade in post. $\endgroup$
    – p2or
    Jan 28, 2015 at 20:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The "shadow" is just a plane with a gradient. Use a color ramp affecting a black color and alpha value mixture, and you should be all set. $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Jan 28, 2015 at 21:03

3 Answers 3


Using Blender Internal.

Why fake it with the power of 3d at your fingertips ;)? Although these icons have a flat style, there is still some depth to them for that realistic feel.

Add a sun lamp, adjust the angle (45+ degrees is good), set it to Ray Shadow, increase the soft size and samples, change the shadow color to a medium gray and enable ambient occlusion (use a small value). You would be surprised the control you have over the shadow. Also increase the height of the actual logo so it can cast a longer shadow. The base object needs to catch the shadow but in your example you have it set to Shadeless, if you still want that flat look, change the shader model to Fresnel. Finally set the camera to an orthographic type if you don't want the final render to be affected by perspective.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ note that the "ray shadow" option from the "shadow" options block is only available in Blender Internal, and not in Cycles (I was searching for it) $\endgroup$
    – gordie
    Nov 7, 2016 at 12:15

I created the shadow by using a Material Index pass on the white object (a Object index pass would work for this method too).
icon with shadow

The nodes in the two frames are two different methods of creating the shadow. I left both in the image because they both work, but create different shadows.

First set up a Material Index pass of 1 (because it is set to one there is no need for a Id mask node) on the white object in the icon.
Onto the nodes. After the invert node, in both frames, I take the black and white Material Index pass and blur it to make a shadow. Next the Screen node acts like a mask, it cuts out the shadow on the white object, by using the un-inverted Material Index pass. Then the Multiply node adds the shadow over the icon.
Click for full size compositor nodes


this is a easy task if you use the compositor editor (nodes)

here the file with basic configuration to obtain this:

enter image description here

obviously you need to change basic configuration in order to improve some best shadows

blend file

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ yhoto, PasteAll only hosts files for a few months. By the time summer shows up again, your post will contain nothing useful for people who read it. Posting .blends is useful to people now but also adding an explanation here helps to keep threads relevant in the future. $\endgroup$ Jan 29, 2015 at 6:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your file link is now dead, and as warned your answer is now basically useless. Please edit your answer, not only to update the link but to add the important pieces here (example a picture of the nodes.) $\endgroup$
    – David
    Dec 18, 2015 at 5:27

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