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Is it possible to make a transparent Material in cycles render? How is it accomplished?

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Alternatively an image texture with alpha/transparency data can also be used to make transparent materials. Do note that in order for alpha textures to work the image file format requires an alpha channel. In my experience I have found the PNG image format to handle alpha best.

The following node setup is a functional example:Node Setup

In the example; the Transparent Shader is set to white #FFFFFF which produces full transparency. This is then connected to the top input of 2 Mix Shaders.

Alpha from Image Texture is connected to the factor input of first Mix Shader. This takes the alpha data from the image & essentially applies it as a mask.

The color data from the image is not used in this case. Though, when applicable, can be connected to the color input of a shader. (ex: Hair)

The first Mix Shader connects to the bottom of the second. This allows control of the overall opacity.

Note: The shader used for color can be changed as desired and/or needed. This will also work with volumetric shaders as well. However do understand that volumetrics work a little differently than surface shaders. Any further detail on that would be getting a little too far off topic.

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  • $\begingroup$ Also you can create standalone image intended to be a mask, where everything that should appear is drawn in white, while eveything that should not - in black (so 2-colors image), and that image connect to Factor input, $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Aug 9 '15 at 20:53
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You can add a transparent shader, and with the mix node you can control the transparancy

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Your method works, but the Glossy BSDF shader does have the alpha channel in the Color field. I tried setting the alpha there -- it doesn't work. Any ideas what that alpha is for? $\endgroup$ – Sibbs Gambling Dec 27 '16 at 22:45
  • $\begingroup$ I don't understand what you are asking? Do you want the glossy shader to be transparent in combination with the diffuse shader? $\endgroup$ – gladys Dec 29 '16 at 10:15
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I wanted to make a transparent glossy plastic for a packaging in blender cycles and ended on this thread. Someone in reddit recommended this setup but I wanted it to be transparent. This is my node setup. I hope it works for you.

i.imgur.com/UZpiUhE.png

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