I have several pieces ensambled ones with anothers, and I need to see them transparent to see´(in the work view) how they fit together and modify it as needed. For that, I need them to be semitransparent. Specifically I´m looking for the same effect that you get in Maya when you apply to a mesh the X-ray shader.

I´ve been looking for tutos and answsers buy none of what I found looked as I am looking for.

In the file, I have a material formed by: diffuse + transparent bsdf connected to a mix shader connected to the material, but I still does not see the pieces transparent in the work view nor in the rendered view (in render circles).

Any way to do it? or any idea of why I don´t see the material transparent?

Thanks a lot

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ If you can show us how it should look like it would be much easier to properly answer and not to guess based on different result from google. $\endgroup$
    – cgslav
    Jan 13, 2018 at 17:53
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Some of us don't speak mayan, It would be helpful if you added an image that show what you are after. $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Jan 13, 2018 at 18:45

4 Answers 4


First option - Cycles in Rendered view.


You can mix Transparent with Diffuse or in this case Emission shader by Layer Weight > Facing. Additionally you can add Color Ramp to have even more control over Facing falloff.

This material is added to the monkey mesh.


Second option - X-Ray in any other view.


This option will allow you to see chosen object trough everything else in the scene. You will need to check X-Ray under Object tab > Display section > X-Ray.


This option is turned on for the sphere mesh.


Since I can't yet comment directly on Ana's followup answer: that shader is cool but that is not the only step necessary to see the transparency in Material view. The steps are indicated in this topic:

How to see Cycle's material transparency in 3D View

Specifically the answer from TimCollinsMedia.

At least, I assume that's what Ana did, because simply setting the shader she specified did not give me transparency in anything except the rendered view.

Edit: this is what the effect looks like with Ana's shader, Material view, Viewport Alpha set to "Alpha Sort." The object needs to be deselected, if it is selected you will see a wireframe.

xray material view suzanne

  • $\begingroup$ It's still not working as in @Ana example. Wireframe is visible with this method. $\endgroup$
    – cgslav
    Jan 13, 2018 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ The wireframe will be visible when the object is selected. Try unselecting it to see the alpha effect. $\endgroup$
    – risingfall
    Jan 13, 2018 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ Now try to put some mesh inside the mesh with this setup and select the new one. It's not gonna be visible. These method is working... kinda working. imgur.com/a/ggh9Q Can't see additional value of using this with all those glitches, invisibility and wireframe after select. Rendered for preview and wireframe for work seems to be a lot better idea. $\endgroup$
    – cgslav
    Jan 13, 2018 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ I agree, it is glitchy, and I think I might only use it in certain circumstances - maybe when Rendered view was much, much slower than Material view. "Alpha Clip" seems to be more reliable when intersecting objects are selected, but it's not as pronounced an effect. $\endgroup$
    – risingfall
    Jan 13, 2018 at 20:48

Those are good ideas. Bonus option for non-rendered views: set the "Maximum Draw Type" to "Wire" in the "Display" section of the object's "Object" tab. You will probably want to change the color of the unselected wireframe wires to something that is more visible. Do this in the "Themes" tab of "User Preferences", specifically the "Wire" setting.

wireframe monkey head with solid sphere in center

Now, when your 3D View method is anything higher than "Wireframe," the objects you've set the "Maximum Draw Type" for will still be displayed as wireframes.


Sorry but I´ve just found the way I was looking for (sorry to have posted the question just before finding it but I was searching for days). The matherial configuration would be this one with the results of the viewers (non rendered and rendered views): enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Did you checked if this is working in viewport just with this node setup? $\endgroup$
    – cgslav
    Jan 13, 2018 at 19:27

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