I need to know how to make the buttons in my blender project look the same as in this photo. Mine all look pale, even with the emission material. Is there anyway I can get my buttons like this?
reference image

  • $\begingroup$ I would reccomend a mixture of Translucency and Volume scatter $\endgroup$
    – J Sargent
    Feb 18, 2015 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


Cycles is a physically based render, and often the best approach is physical recreation.


  • Light source
  • Light cover

Light Source:

This would simply be an emission shader since it is literally a lightblub or LED. I took the button model, and scaled it down slightly on the X and Y axis. I then drastically scaled it on the z axis, and moved it down so the top of the source would to be flush with the of the panel that the button was set into.

enter image description here


The cover allows light to pass through it, and is therefore Translucent so a simple translucent node will do the trick. It is also colored, which can be emulated by giving the translucent node a color:

enter image description here

The shape is also important: I added a small bevel to the edges to help see the look.

Final Image

enter image description here


After some experimentation and some research, I discovered that using Sub Surface Scattering (SSS), and placing the light under the button instead of inside, would produce more accurate and better looking results. And it sure did... it also produced exponentially longer render times... even on GPU (using test build)!

Image with SSS:

enter image description here

enter image description here

The major difference is that the light source is under, not inside the button, and is scaled down on the X and Y axis. This method fixed the artifacts that were occurring on the corners, and is more technically accurate. I'd still use the first one, it is way way faster.

  • $\begingroup$ That's amazing! Thank you so much. Also how do you get the text like that? $\endgroup$ Feb 17, 2015 at 1:06
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @BoratSagdiyev See the .blend file for the text. Also, if this answered your question, please hit the check mark to accept it, to let other know the question has been answered (I also get some points :D) $\endgroup$ Feb 17, 2015 at 1:07
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    $\begingroup$ Nice you added the SSS correct solution, wanted to add this answer back then but forgot:) +1. $\endgroup$ Apr 27, 2015 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ @SC_Chupacabra Its not transparent, its translucent. $\endgroup$ Oct 26, 2015 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Jerryno If you're going for accuracy then you should colour the emission instead of the SSS. $\endgroup$
    – SchoolBoy
    Apr 12, 2016 at 19:32

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