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I'm trying to make a nighttime blizzard snowstorm scene with particles and wind, but I'm currently having trouble getting the particle material to render in a realistic way.

I followed this tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IShp0PSLBOA&t=1s

enter image description here

My scene is set up so that there is a point light source to the upper left of the camera. The snow on the upper left side of the image seems correct, but the snow that is closer to the ground is completely dark, which isn't realistic.

Here are my material settings: enter image description here

The material the person in the tutorial creates noticeably doesn't have a diffuse component, which is probably why the particles are darkened towards the direction of the light source, however I have tried to implement a diffuse component of this material with little success.

In short I'm trying to make the snow cluster material:

-Diffusely reflect the light source

-Translucently interact with the light source (transmit light through the material when the light source is behind the object)

-Have a transparency component that gives the snow clusters soft edges

enter image description here

When I change the world color, the darkened areas of the snow clusters change to match it. However, the scene I am making must take place at night for it to make sense in the game I am making.

So is it possible to achieve the look I am trying to get?

[EDIT] I have an update.

I managed to get both Diffuse and Translucent effects on opposite sides of each snow particle with the following configuration:

enter image description here

enter image description here

However there is still the issue of shading on the snow particles as shown below:

enter image description here

Snow particles generally don't have obvious shading on them like this. Is there a way to control how much shading is rendered on the material? I've tried using emission but the correct configuration evades me.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hello, if you are in Eevee, as you're using a Transparent node, did you make sure that the material was set to Blend Mode > Alpha Blend instead of Opaque? $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Oct 22, 2023 at 8:52
  • $\begingroup$ Yes it is in Alpha Blend mode $\endgroup$ Oct 22, 2023 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe share your file? $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Oct 23, 2023 at 8:43
  • $\begingroup$ Blender File has now been added. $\endgroup$ Oct 23, 2023 at 16:11

2 Answers 2

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The Diffuse node creates a shadow, as for the Translucent, it only works if you have a light behind the object, which is not the case here, so your flakes appear rather dark. Also maybe you should give a Subdivision Surface modifier to your icosphere in order to have a more spherical flake (or use a UV Sphere instead of an Icosphere) and therefore a more spherical shadow.

You could still try to fix your current setup, or create another lighting in your scene, but you could also try a mix between an Emission node and a Transparent, with the Layer Weights as factor, it can be more complicated (example mix your Emission with a Diffuse) but I think it already works pretty well:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for looking into the issue. Unfortunately I didn't want to use Emission because then the material doesn't react to any external light source. Fortunately, I managed to figure out how to fix the core issue and posted my answer. $\endgroup$ Oct 23, 2023 at 18:50
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    $\begingroup$ Sure, it's not the ideal solution, it's just a quick one ;) $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Oct 23, 2023 at 19:02
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I found out how to manage the shading on the particles by changing the properties of the light source

enter image description here

I changed the radius of the point light, and in doing so, smoothed out the shading on each particle. I initially had it set to 0, which is why I was getting such stark shading.

In addition I changed my material nodes to the following configuration:

enter image description here

Which allows for some transparency through the visible part of the snow particle. The result is below:

enter image description here

I can't say this the exact material I will use in the end, but it's looking much more realistic for the setup.

[EDIT] Lastly, one can use noise to vary the transparency edge on each particle as follows:

enter image description here

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