I am relatively new to Blender but with a few years experience in 3D modelling in other softwares, but I LOVE blender!
I was wondering if anyone could give me a steer on how I might tackle modelling something like this ice cave, and then what kind of procedural materials settings to use to get the translucency.
Hi res and low res suggestions welcomed!
could we have a look at your ice shader’s node tree if you don’t mind ?
Anyway, keep going
I think geometry nodes would help you with modelling, to get all those small details would take a while by hand but they are patterned enough that they’d work well procedurally
For modeling you might want to check Geometry Nodes and
Mesh to Volume →
Volume to Mesh workflow. It lets you join and remesh lots of unconnected geometry of various sizes and mesh density.
@Silex said, volumes are really cool for caves.
Thanks everyone… this is really cool, just the kind of shapes I’d like to base my model on… but I’m not sure what I’m looking at… what is the process here, or could you point me towards a good tutorial for this technique? I really appreciate the help!
You get an SDF if you add an offset to an ‘inverted’ distance field.
A few basic SDF’s
An SDF of a sphere does look like that …
Just plug the result to a Volume Cube node, and you will get a volume modell.
We could get a cylinder SDF from a sphere SDF. Just project input coordinates 3D to a 2D plane.
Booleans could be realized with math nodes, using “Minimum” and “Maximum”.
Blender does offer “Smooth Minimum” and “Smooth Maximu…
its based on this.
voronoi (icicles) and brick texture (cave) + noise booleaned out of a cube.
Then I scatter some points on cone, (more icicles)
Then I remesh the whole lot, (base mesh)
fully procedural, and fairly art directable.
material is glass and rock mixed by a 3d sphere gradient.
denoiser and lots of transparency. bounces.
@lil althou SDF method is very good too, it can be harder if you want to merge and remesh couple simple objects from a collection.
Here is a simple example of joining two objects:
Or you can mix joining objects with entire collections:
For better surface quality you need to play with
Mesh to Volume and
Volume to Mesh parameters.