Material Ramp

Hi there, i was working on a new project containing feathers in Cycles. I wanted to convert a hair-particle-system into a mesh and then apply the material, but i can’t figure out how to make a hair like effect when all the materials are mixed in together. Is there an option to get a material ramp? i wanted the hilt slightly transperent then a fade to the main colour of the feathers and a fade out to the top.

hope you guys can help me with my problem and please bare with my bad english ^^


In the new versions of Blender there is a “Color Ramp” in the “Convertor” section.
It can be used as input for the Diffuse Shader.
If you put the output through a “Color to BW” convertor, you can use it as an input for a mix node.

Hi Kono, welcome to BA.

You inspired me to play with this a little, and I think I have something workable. Essentially, you should create a single strand of hair first, then create the material setup for it. I used 2 different gradients as maps for the transparency and the color of the hair. There is a tighter gradient for the transparency, then a more gradual one for the color. I used blue and red to enhance visibility of the effect. For the transparent material, I just used a transparent BSDF to save on compute time. I thought about using glass, but didn’t think it was necessary. I also mixed in a reflective pass to give the strand a little bit of shine. Here’s a screenshot:

Now, you’ll want to create another object, and a hair particle system for that object. You’ll change the render type from strand to object, and set the object as your hair primitive. Under materials, you will need 2 - one for the scalp (with all the verts assigned to the scalp material), and the bring in the existing hair material from the hair primitive. Back to particles, set the render material to the same slot as the hair material, and you should get something like this:

Here’s my blend file if you want to take a closer look:
hairTest.blend (544 KB)

I don’t quite understand how the textures work in this. I donwloaded you file to see if i get a different result but it’s still one coloured and not transparent at the bottom. Can you explain to me how the textures work for this object.

In this tutorial:
Andrew Price goes over how to unwrap a model and use the color ramp aproximately at 37:30 into the video.

Ok, now i understand how this works after additionaly seeing this video on alpha mapping thanks alot guys i’ll show you how i used this in my project as soon as i can :slight_smile: