trouble with creating realistic bubble material

Hello everyone,

I’ve been trying to recreate this image bellow that was taken with a camera:

With my current (and very simple) node setup I get this result:

The background noise and the blurry bubbles are not important at this stage, but I still would like to get the bubbles to look as realistic as possible. My node setup looks like this:


Any tips on how to improve my render would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

Would you not be better off modelling it as it occurs in reality (i.e. create spheres embedded within a water material).

If you create a cube and give it a water material (clear glass with IOR 1.33). Then create a particle system inside the cube and instance a sphere object to make each particle a small sphere. Give the spheres the same material as the cube.

The final trick is to invert the normals of the sphere you are instancing. This tells cycles that the bubble goes water to air to water (rather than air to water to air).

See these threads:

The rest is down to lighting and camera settings (depth of field). The bubbles in that photo look like they have been side lit, but the photo taken against a black background.

This is something I just knocked up in a couple of minutes:


Tweaked version - modified the lighting a bit to better reflect the photo - and added some variation in bubble size.


Thanks for the tip !

I still can’t quite reproduce the photo perfectly but flipping the normals and choosing a glass material helped a lot. Thanks !

If it helps - this is how I set my scene up. The plane to the right has a white emission material. The planes above and below have a white diffuse. Ignore the sphere - that is what I used to instance my particles to.

The only other settings I changed was to set colour management to filmic, medium to high contrast - and I set the camera depth of field radius to 0.025 - focusing on an empty which was placed near the front face of the cube.


the bubbles in the first image are not bad
compared to the pictures they seems a little less black, more lighted from right and there is tha absence of depth of field

My render now looks like this. I used some basic postpreprocessing and a script instead of a particle system to generate the bubbles, because I needed to label the position of the bubbles.




In blender I tried to reproduce the setup that I used to take the real photos.


I’d try with 2 area lights
one smaller and brighter to make the reflex and another bigger and lighter for ambient