How to make a bubble shield?

Hello blenderartists. I wasn’t sure what section to post this in since it is not technically modeling, more like texturing… (and this is for an animation, not the game engine) Anyway, I am trying to make a bubble shield complete with transparency and hexagonal plating. Here is an example of what I am referring to:

I have a work-in-progress model, but I can’t get it quite right.
http://cdupload.com/files/​169562_fetqx/hexSphere.ble​nd
and another attempt: http://cdupload.com/files/​169565_zwvsm/hexSphere.ble​nd

I would much appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

Just my opinion, and I am not an expert, but get rid of the hex faces on the sphere. also the smoke inside is sort of funky. Try to add some caustics instead. Well, you asked didn’t you?

What smoke are you referring to? I don’t believe I wanted any smoke or caustics.
Also, I am keeping the hex faces, since my goal is to replicate that picture I posted and it has hexagons…
Thanks for the input though!

Well I cant think of what its called but it looks like there’s some sort of texture mapping technique that warps the image behind it. Like a lense kind of effect. Not sure blender could do that, especially not in realtime.

The warping technique seems to be refraction, but it is only happening on the lines between the hexagonal plates. I am not sure how to have the sphere only refract on a certain portion of the object without using a separate material for the lines between the plates. Also, this does not need to happen in real-time as I said that my project is not for the game engine, but rather for animation/still rendering.
Thanks for the input!

@ Minifig
It looks quite good. I don’t understand what trouble you’re having with it.

Ok, you got me, I just skimmed over your post XD
And yes, refraction is the word! Would it work to use normal maps to create a kind of lense shape?
So it would look something like this, the middle section being flat, thus not effecting your refraction. The edges, being curved, would warp the image though. Obviously this normal map wouldnt fit exactly, I just found it on google images quick :smiley:

see thing is its impossible to create a perfect sphere out of hexagons. you can create what is called a Truncated Icosahedron, but with that you will get some pentagons along with the hexagons.

you can however, make a hemisphere-like object. it will come out slightly deformed, but it should be just fine for animation purposes.

Attachments

hexHemi.blend (388 KB)

Why not just use a texture with normal or displacement maps? There would still be the problem of not being able to line up the textures right (since like you said, you cant make a perfect sphere out of hexagons) but with a well placed seam, it could be close to unnoticeable.

you could, but you have more flexibility with using a deformed hexagon array. for example suppose you wanted to make the places where the hexagons meet up sharp for some reason…

Yes! this is exactly what I have been looking for! Thank you very much!



Thanks everyone for your assistance. This forum is extremely helpful.

One last question: where would be the appropriate section of the forum to ask a question like this if I ever have another?