Translucency & Photorealism

Hey everyone! Not sure if this is the right forum (project finished for now, but may work on it more later) . . . but I would like some C&C.

Recently set about creating 3D versions of some of our company’s products for use as web graphics & in print ads. After many days, I finally achieved something I’m happy with. The image below is meant to give the appearance of a colored liquid inside of a translucent plastic bottle:

(EDIT: original image is gone, this is the final from a later post.)

Is there anything in particular about the bottle (ignore the background) that falls short of photorealism or believable translucency?

Any thoughts would be appreciated, as would any tips or techniques anyone may have for getting these effects totally in blender (image required a small amount of touch-up in PS). Image was rendered with Internal . . . would YafRay be better?

Thanks in advance!

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The cap is the weak point, but no crits. the angle made me feel uneasy about the leftmst lighter edges of the container, and it slightly seem as if the edge of liquid along to the container is seen, which is not true, of course, i just tell you the first impression.


jackj: Thanks for your comments. And what you said about YafRay, I feel the same. Figured with a lot of work I would maybe get only a little improvement.

Yeonil: I know what you mean about the cap, it was bugging me too (I’ll be tweaking the material on that some more). Not quite sure what you mean by the angle/edge point. Maybe the fresnel is too strong?

Anyway, I will be tweaking the bottle material a bit. I think there are places where the liquid’s edge is apparent . . . small IOR should fix that. Thanks for the feedback!

One suggestion, try to add some kind of lettering on the bottle itself, like 12.0 fl. oz. in the plastic. Using Nor. or Disp. You know what I mean?

As a matter of fact, these bottles do have raised measurement markings on the left side (the side that’s not visible). So I will add them eventually, for the sake of accuracy when the bottle is rendered from other angles.

Thanks for the reminder!

I remember the other one you posted of this.
Did you say that you rendered the fluid and the bottle independently.

What I’ noticed was that the backside looks like it has too much light.
Makes the edges a bit too glowy.
it also softens the shadows a bit too much.
Still, very good render.

Yes, the image in my earlier post consisted of three different rendered elements that were composited later:

  1. Empty bottle (w/ some transparency)
  2. Liquid inside bottle (frame 1 of a fluidsim w/ bottle as obstacle)
  3. Liquid pouring from bottle (later frame of totally different fluidsim)

At this point, I’m not dealing with any fluid outside the bottle. I’ve finally got a decent look using translucency for both the bottle & liquid inside.

But you’re right, the edges need work (wrestling with it right now). It’s not a lighting problem, I think it’s the fresnel settings.

Oh well, back to blenderin’ . . .

Thanks to all for the comments so far.

Maybe a little bit more transparancy

The bottle is fine. But the staging of the shot … the background, the foreground, the stuff in the picture besides the bottle itself … is austere. And as such, it detracts from the bottle. The background is blown-out to pure white.

Put a nice, contrasting backdrop behind the shot. Give us a little shadow action around it. The usual three-light setup. And then, I think the bottle will prove itself to be entirely satisfactory.

it looks pretty good to me, although the fluid seems far away from the top left “corner” of the bottle in the shot…

also make sure your image texture has filter turned right down?


I realize the scene as a whole needed work . . . that’s why in the original post I asked that the background be ignored. I was mainly concerned with any thoughts on specific characteristics of the bottle & liquid.

Since the first post, the materials of the bottle/liquid have been changed significantly. Still haven’t done an any actual environment though - the images will most likely be on a solid white background in a web page.

Thanks for the feedback, though.


I think the distance issue you mention is an effect of the bottle’s shading. The liquid is a uniform distance from the bottle’s inner surface. But again, recent changes have eliminated that problem (may post an update soon).

On the image texture, I believe you’re refering to the label? The image map has it’s filter setting as low as possible. For some reason, images still come out a little blured anyway (I’ll just sharpen them in PS).

Thanks again everyone for all the input!

The bottle and liquid are quite convincing. It is, all in all, quite a satisfactory product shot.

I think that the cap is just a slight bit too shiney

The bottle itself seems good, however the sticker label doesn’t to me.

The label is perfect, whereas in real life there are at least slight ripples or other imperfections. Since this is a product, you want it to look as perfect as possible, so maybe you have it just right for the situation.


Well, here is an update.

I’m finally close to the right look . . . the version originally posted had a nice feel to it, but was not visually accurate (esp. on any background other than white).

This bottle/liquid is close to realistic, under lighting conditions that work with other materials as well (cardboard box, foil bags, etc.).

The materials and lighting (and probably environment, too) will be further tweaked for final product shots, so those will be posted later.

Let me know if there are any thoughts . . . thanks!

Hmm the front plates of the products look so sad and gloomy, maybe you could light/warm them up a bit? :]


Yeah, I will definitely have to get creative with the lighting to make the products appearance more appealing.

But this setup really was just to work out the realism of the materials. The products are going to be rearranged and relit.

Any thoughts on a particular lighting setup that might make a good ‘studio’ product shot?

Those purple bags or whatever they are (on the right) look pretty two dimensional to me.

Hey, very good work so far. It looks like maybe you are using white lamps right now, which can unfortunately really deaden the scene.

I would try a pale orangeish-yellow lamp and a fill lamp that’s a cool blue. Then, depending on your background and how you feel about the scene, you may choose to add a rim light (could be a light purple to complement the packaging over to the right).

Great work though. I love how you have all the products lined up like that. :slight_smile: