Started this…still trying to learn materials.
How does this look for a lightbulb? Should I switch to cycles? Any suggestions on how to make the filament better?

give the filament kinks. its too straight. If you look at a real lightbulb youll notice the filiment has a kind of ^-^-^-^ look

I added some kinks to the filament, and I made it a little thinner. Still not liking the base much, though…need to make the metal look better.

if you still in blender internal, try adding some mirror, and then changing the area color, remember that when your mirroring something in BI, it needs something to reflect, or else it just seems flat

Its a good start. Cycles would definitely render this better than BI, but if you have a slow computer(like mine),which doesn’t support GPU rendering, i recommend sticking to BI.
As for the lightbulb, what type of render are you trying to achieve? Photo realistic? Cartoonish? a little of both? To me, it looks like something in between. If your going for photorealism, there are a few things that could be improved. The filament, for one, should be curled(if its a modern day incandescent light bulb), and brighter…unless your going for a sort of semi-lit bulb.

The actual glass bulb itself, as well as the cap, should be slightly reflective, as most light bulbs are.
Thats all i can think of right now. Your off to a good start anyway so keep working on it. Good luck!

I’m trying to go for an antique style bulb without all the modern tech. However, I want to try to make it somewhat photorealistic/believable. My computer is brand new and pretty powerful, but it seems that CUDA GPU rendering is making the renders slower than just using my CPU. I think I’ll switch to cycles.

The filament is more like a thin spiral. You could use a simple circle (not to much vertices, ~ 8 are enough) and than add a screw modifier. For more help see the manual page:

cycles will definately make it much more realistic. You might want to try mixing a gloss and glass and see through material for the glass part, and a metal and gloss material for the metal part. with the filiment you should go for a emission material. sorry i cant say what the see through material is, not at home and dont have blender currently :stuck_out_tongue:

I decided to stick with blender internal after cycles didn’t really pan out for me…
I added some reflectivity on the bulb itself, and reshaped the interior wiring slightly.
Changed some materials, and this is the result.

There are some pretty dramatic changes here, and it’s getting better. Thoughts?

I worked on the environments, and made the world a little bit darker. Adjusted the camera placement, and I think this is very close to a final version…

Maybe you should use a little Fresnel effect on the bulb, and maybe add some reflection more to the bulb glass, and add Fresnel to the reflection effect too, possibly.
Another thing that may help is setting the bulbs alpha value to 0, then using reflection (with Fresnel) and refraction to make it visible, maybe that will help make it more real looking.

What exactly does fresnel do?

Fresnel changes transparency or mirror based on viewing angle (if you were to look at a lake from a deep angle you would get more reflection than from looking at it straight down from above) , helps make things more realistic. (Really helps with car paint)

I turned the fresnel to 5 on the reflection (which is set to 1). Still looks the same… not much difference.

Try setting the Fresnel to about 2 or 1.5, I think 5 would just about remove all the reflection.
I think you would notice the Fresnel most if you used it on the transparency on the light bulb.

hi…im not great with BI materials but ive had a go at creating a glass material for you

blenderglass.blend (905 KB)

produces something along these lines:

give the bulb something to reflect like in the file ive uploaded…also give it some solidity using the solidify modifier :slight_smile:

hope i helped…

Final Render:
Here we go, I believe that this is the final!

I like how you darkened the background to contrast with the lightbulb, :D.

Thank you. I thought it would help with the effect.