So, I imagine to illicit the effect I'm looking for will be a rather complicated node setup...

I'm currently working towards animating a fountain at night with multiple nozzles, or inflows. At each nozzle I would like to have a light of sorts to illuminate the water with different colors (for clarity one color per nozzle, but a different color at each nozzle). I've messed around with emission objects and I can't seem to get the effect I'm looking for. I'd like for this animation/render to look as realistic as possible and have the volume of the water to glow with the corresponding color. I achieved this effect by doing away with emission objects all together and instead having an emission shader plugged into the volume of the material output for my water (albeit with the strength turned wayyy down).

This method works fine with only one inflow... Except I would like the color to fall off the further you get away from a predetermined position, or rather the further away you get from the inflow, aka the nozzle with the light.

Also... If at all possible my end goal would be to have this same effect for each nozzle. Each one having a different color and lighting up the fluid with the color/emission falling off to zero the further you get away from each nozzle/inflow.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ or you can use a gradient node set to location like in @RayMiarlot lego sim video. $\endgroup$
    – ruckus
    Apr 7, 2015 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ Ya, the particles don't look nearly as realistic. I haven't tried a gradient node or know much about them. I'll have to look into that. Thanks Vince Scalia! $\endgroup$
    – Joe4556
    Apr 7, 2015 at 17:08
  • $\begingroup$ What about using the light emitters like you tried but mixing some Translucent shader into the water? $\endgroup$ Apr 7, 2015 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


Eureka! Thanks to Vince Scalia's suggestion of using a gradient node I figured it out and the results work perfectly. enter image description here

Now this was just for testing so it's a really simply case but you can see this material now simulates a light illuminating only the inflow.

I'll show a picture of the node tree for clarification:enter image description here

So the mapping nodes are for the coordinates of where we want the illumination to be. You need to have both the x-y location as well as a separate node for the height (z) of the inflow. Set the gradient texture node to spherical as well as your scale; a math node to combine each of them... input that into the factor of your mix shader with glass and an emission node and viola! Then you can add as many other lights as you want by just duplicating the entire node setup, changing your coordinates in the mapping node and adding another mix shader to combine them. Input all this data into the volume parameter of the material output. With this scheme you can now illuminate a fluid at any location any number of times with varying colors and best of all you can animate the whole thing with key frames!

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    $\begingroup$ Couldn't have said it better myself. :D $\endgroup$
    – ruckus
    Apr 7, 2015 at 20:15

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