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enter image description here

Any way I can make the light more realistic? Probably just a bit less opaque. Probably some tips to reduce noise too, thanks!

The light is a cone with the nodes on the left. Lit up with spot. Made in cycles.

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    $\begingroup$ The opacity is caused by the fact that 93% of your material is an Emission node. If you have a spotlight already shining into the volume cone, you shouldn't need an Emission node at all. $\endgroup$ – Scott Milner Feb 26 '17 at 5:12
  • $\begingroup$ You could do something like this blender.stackexchange.com/a/72010/29586, using an image in the shape of the torch emission. $\endgroup$ – Rich Sedman Feb 26 '17 at 10:09
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You could use the material created for this answer https://blender.stackexchange.com/a/72010/29586 and use an image to mimic the lens of a torch such as this :

torch lens

Adjusting the material variables can produce a result like the following :

final

Blend file attached

To include the material in your own project, simply download the Blend file, open your own project, got to File, Append, select the 'torch' Blend file and navigate to the material ('Material'). Set the two Image nodes to your torch lens image (use the above one if you don't have anything more suitable) and adjust the various variables (the material nodes marked in Cyan) until you get the desired effect.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, but I don't follow... I got lost at "Set the two image nodes..." I got to locate the material all right, but after that, I don't know what to do. After I click "Append from Library," I see nothing happen. If you want to see my project, here it is: blendswap.com/blends/view/87677 $\endgroup$ – Blenderinator Feb 27 '17 at 4:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Blenderinator It is a complicated material - and it's dependent on the Object coordinates being aligned with the edge where the image shows on the surface. Create a mesh to act as the 'domain' of the rays (a cube or cuboid will be fine - no need to shape it as a cone) and set the origin as mentioned in the original linked answer. Within the material are two image nodes - set those to the circular image of the torchlight emission; one acts as the image on the surface and the other is spread through the volume as the rays (adjustable via the nodes coloured cyan in the material). Hope this helps $\endgroup$ – Rich Sedman Feb 27 '17 at 8:58
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If you are looking for realism... then emulate reality. In real life a cone of light is visible because a light source illuminates the particles suspended on the environment. Volume is not emitting and scattering at the same time.Create an environment (or some geometry that works as "domain" for volume scattering) and put the light to shine through it: then the ray of light will be more "realistic". Moreover what makes your scene unrealistic is that there is not even a Light Bulb emitting light on the flashlight.

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