lava lamp

I’ve been working on this lately. It’s modelled after the one sitting on the table beside my bed. I’m not sure what else to do with it, but I don’t want to leave it like this either. Any ideas?
NOTE: I think what I most need help with is lighting. I haven’t really gotten the hang of it yet.

a few things:

  1. it’s hard to see the top part-change the background
  2. you can add a few halos around some parts so it will look like little lamps
  3. maybe set it smooth? because where the light hits at the buttom of that lamp, you can see the parts

it’s pretty good anyway…i like the table :stuck_out_tongue:

I also noticed that. I set it to smooth, but it still renders like that. Anyway, thanks for the suggestions, I’ll work on it.

It needs red lighting around the lamp, If wax is covering the source then the only light you get is red.

Hey I tried one of these back in the summer. then I forgot about it when I discovered some weird Nurbs rendering bugs… which have apparently been fixed for the next release. oh well.

Tips: you might want to use ramp shaders on the lava, but I didn’t. I did use translucency, and I made the light on the bottom emmissive, using radiosity… hhhmmm… AHA! here it is:

It’s a lot trickier than I thought it would be. I still haven’t finished it, but I might start another one from scratch. I used metaballs to model the lava, then deformed it with a lattice.

I haven’t really done any “advanced” blending before. What I consider advanced is pretty much everything you said. I’ve never used ramp shading before, although I was messing around with it a little last night. Lattice? Sorry, I don’t know what that is lol. For the lava, instead of using meta balls (which I really don’t like) I just used normal meshes. The ones in the center are just spheres, while the top and bottom are subsurfaced cubes.

I appreciate all the help here, and if anyone knows a good tutorial for halos or ramp shading, that’d be awesome.

Ok, so I was toying with ramp shading a little more, and I found that it’s really not that hard. I added some ramps to the glass on the lamp and to the “lava.” I also played around with the lighting a little more, and I think it looks better.

I was going to put a background on it, so I got a picture of the wall and slapped that on there.
I thought that it looked kinda dumb, so I did one without it, too. I think I like this one better. Whatever, you decide.
Either way, I think the lamp itself looks a little phony when compared to the table. Maybe it’s just me. Anything I could do to fix that?

you got the lava down for sure! looks goooood. hm… did you try adding a texture to the lamp that changes the way the light hits it? something like a noise bumpmap that makes it look dusty? I’d try that.

I think the lava is still too shiny though. I went back and looked at my file, I had 0 spec and hard, and it turns out I did have ramp shaders on the lava. It also had a high translucency value, to make it glowy, but that depends on the lighting setup… The shape is pretty good. Is the glass refractive? it doesn’t look like it, but it’s hard to tell…
I like the one with the background. I think it adds to the picture.

looking good, man!

I’ve noticed that the lava is shinier in newer lava lamps. I don’t know. The one on the table over there is pretty shiny… :wink:

As for the background, it’s the actual wall behind the real thing. I added a red filter on it in the Gimp to make it look like the light was actually on it, ya know? I tried to get the same angle, too.

Right after I posted last, I thought, “Hey! I could bump map it to make it look more realistic!” So, I’m gonna have to do that.

With the glass (on the lamp) I turned the alpha down to about 200, then turned on Z-transparency, and added ray mirror. I put that and a lamp on another layer so that it would be shiny.

I’m going to mess around a little bit more with the lava and see if it doesn’t look better with low spec. I’m really glad everyone likes this. This is the first good blender pic I’ve ever made. :smiley:

Why not use Ray-transp? then you get REAL refraction… if you want to have the lava cast red light around the room, you could use radiosity. Basically, it lets a mesh emit light. Be warned though, it may take a bit longer to render (in my experience anyway) but usually looks cool…so… i dunno…
hmm what else could you add to this scene? I had a glass hash pipe on the table beside mine (I was gonna have a crumpled bag of Hostess chips, or maybe a plate with crumbs too! but never got around to it), but it was a NURBS model and so it got caught by a weird rendering bug… also, the translucency didn’t get rendered by Yafray and the radiosity rendered differently so i couldn’t use yafray to fix that…

I don’t know what the problem is, but when I apply ray mirror along with ray transparency, it jumbles up the bottom half of the glass. I changed the settings a little bit, adding to the fresnel and such, and finally got it to look half decent.

Here’s the pic with ray transparency + ray mirror:
And here it is with Z-transparency + ray mirror:

looks good. you can also tint the clear plastic a little, from what I remember of lavalamps they tend to be translucent, rather than transparent. Also, work more on the plastic base and top of the lamp, they’re falling behind the rest of the image.