Dragon Gems

I know it looks bad on the white background, but actually that’s alpha. These renders are meant to be decals over another pic.
Especially the translucency on the Ruby one.

Feel free to use any of these or the blend itself for your own projects.

Any advice on making the materials more realistic would be much appreciated.
Basically I want them to look like real gems.

In the Blend, one model has all three materials.
Just select which one you want in the material panel.
(I have them set permanent so they’ll stay with the blend whether or not they’re attached to a mesh.)

Feedback and critique is most welcome.
(Be as harsh as you like.)

Also an unrelated (and rather dumb) question:
How to set the Render resolution within Blender?


Needs more definition on the colours, sharper edges etc they are gems right?
render resolution is on the render panel (f10):

Yeah but that sets the size of the pic.
I need to increase the dpi.
Unless I’m missing something here

Try working out what the resolution is.

A quick update.

I turned on RayTransparency. (The agonizingly slow Awesome button)
And got some excellent results.

I tried to sharpen the texture, but the result was too choppy, so I tried warping a marble texture through the clouds.
That didn’t work, but I got some pretty interesting results.

The texture on wings still isn’t showing well; I think because the mesh is too thin there, and the Subsurface is interfering…
But I want to keep the wings thin.

What do you think?


It looks good, but the render has a very low contrast. You might want to change the background.

Try SSS. This adds to the mix since back-light can transfer through the material and gems tend to be not 100% solid.

Subsurface Scattering. Yes, I’m using that, but I think it’s set too high

Also, how much transparent and/or reflective do you think a ruby would have?

Thank you all for your advice.

Hey not sure where I get the *.blends for this. I want something to put as a kind of pattern on and anime mesh cloth shirt I am doing - I think your pattern could get me there. Great work BTW.

EDIT: if you want I can pm you my email address.

Transparency should not be too high. The transparent effect comes mostly due to scattering inside the crystaline structure and this is most probably better done using SSS. You could though add internal faces and set them to transparent with different fresnel factors. This should yield more scattering. Reflectivity itself depends on the outer skin. Since this one is man made I assume it’s smooth and polished. Reflectivity is tricky since it depends on those inter-crystaline faces resulting in the reflection. I would go with a lower reflectivity but broad.

EDIT: Some ruby ( ruby.jpg )

Here is a blend of what I have so far.

Check out the Lavastone material.
(Works great under really high light.)

I’ve been happily destroying the amethyst, so hope you don’t need that one yet.

Odjin: Thanks for the advice. I will definitely be using that.

Feel free to use the materials, but keep in mind, they render slowly. Especially the ruby.
(Especially since it thinks it has to render the subsurface twice, for some reason.)

Since this one is man made I assume it’s smooth and polished.
Well, smoothed and polished by the dying flames of generations of dragons.
But I need man-made gems too.


DragonGem.blend (379 KB)

hmmm you do realise that if you want it to reflect light like gems you could just set it to solid mode and turn off sub surfacing…

Erm… WTF?! … o.=.O

They look kind of dark, maybe some more brilliant lighting.

These stones are the heart of the dragon nation.
Each dragon draws its flame from the heart of its ancestors.
As each dragon dies, as all creatures must do,
His flame goes to join that of his ancestors.
These stones are the incarnations of that flame.

Not sure entirely what this will end up as, but that’s part of the story of a baby dragon and his gnome guardians.

Brighter light helps, but contrast is difficult because the translucency is blending it into the background.

Here are some updated screenshots:


The left one is definitely better and in a shape which I would consider it usable.

See parallel discussion of attempts to capture the base gem here:
Thank you all for your advice, it’s helping a lot.

I really think it’s making progress here.


No, now it’s backwards. It looks now like it’s made out of glass not crystaline. A ruby is not that translucent. That is unless you want a glass look.