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Does anyone know how this type of an orb could be created using Blender?

this

I've tried using Glass material with an invisible Emission object inside that would emit tiny spheres but without an Environment it looks weird and very bleak.

No matter what lighting I experimented with I don't get such a nice-looking orb. Any suggestion is highly appreciated!

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you post your images with BSE's image tool? I can't see it. $\endgroup$ – JakeD Aug 23 '16 at 15:43
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Final result

final

It's extremely simple setup. The one from your image.

Steps

  1. Create UV Sphere and add to it Glass Shader.
  2. Add Plane with choosen image, use Emission Shader for this. You can use Images as Plane Addon then you need to switch from Diffuse to Emission.
  3. Place Plane behind Sphere and...
  4. That's it.

Scene

Final thoughts:

If you want clear background behind the orb, select Plane and in Object tab > Cycles Settings, uncheck Ray Visibility > Camera.

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It would help to see what you consider "bleak".

There are a couple options for a similar effect. You could try creating a particle system within the sphere

  • make a small icosphere inside the globe
  • add a particle system and
  • unselect "even distribution"
  • Set "Random" in "Velocity" to 1.0
  • turn off "Emitter" in the "Render" section
  • in "Field Weights" set "Gravity" to 0
  • Select the glass globe, on the physics tab turn on collision
  • Press Alt+A and watch particles bounce a bit, and Alt-A again to stop
  • For the globe, give it a Volume material: Point Density Material

And voila enter image description here

For something fancy, you could add more particles and maybe some force fields. And yes, for a much better look, add an environment map. If you want, you can make the environment map only appear in reflections and not behind it by using the lightpath node's "is reflection ray"

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  • $\begingroup$ Try rendering with transparency and get a nice "bubble" that's not mostly dark. Try putting some item/particle system inside and if you get a radiant image like I've provided - please tell me how you did it. If you'll render your current image you'll just see a mostly dark ball, similar to what I'm getting $\endgroup$ – Creative Magic Aug 23 '16 at 9:17
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    $\begingroup$ please try to improve the result, at the moment it is a bit too far from what the OP wanted. Then it's easier to illustrate what the magic buttons are. $\endgroup$ – aliasguru Aug 23 '16 at 9:48
  • $\begingroup$ By "with transparency", you mean you want the background to be an alpha channel? Or do you not want to use an environment map for some reason? The example image has some blue / red spilling from outside the sphere, which could be achieved with another object that has only volume emission. $\endgroup$ – tschundler Aug 23 '16 at 19:49
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Maybe this Video could help improve it. It covers most things to do with IOR and Environment. You will need an environment map to create that awesome effect. Volumetrics are also used in that pic. https://youtu.be/kSp3pHA_tRM

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