(very) simple lightbulb

I’ve been having to use Maya recently since I’ve started studying 3D on a design course. I like using Blender where I can, and would like to keep my Blender skills up on par with what I can do in other applications.

Here’s a fairly crappy mock-up of a light bulb.
Blend file download: http://www.tinyurl.com/2dbg34

Just a couple of basic shapes and material settings taken straight from the Noob2Pro Wikibook http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro/Every_Material_Known_to_Man

I would be interested in knowing the kinds of things that should be done to make the bulb more realistic. Different styles aside, I’m referring to…

  • The glass is currently one solid shape. How should I go about defining the thickness of the material? Do I have to boolean cut a smaller bulb from the inside or is there a way of defining “surface thickness” to the overall mesh (Maya does this).
  • How should I go about building a “screw in” section at the bottom base part like this…?
  • What is a good way to go about making the spring filament in the middle?
  • …anything else people would like to point out.Okay, going to bed now. Looking forward to see what people suggest.

might want to check out this tutorialhttp://www.telusplanet.net/public/kugyelka/blender/tutorials/drillbit/drillbit.html
ur odd choice of lighting made it look mor unrealistic to,
i just changed the light and materials a bit and i´m kinda happy with the result


I think the glass needs to be thicker.

Flashes of light seem to be a bit too large for a glass (IMHO of course).

Thanks for all your feedback. I modified the bulb according to what people have written and I also used some new glass settings based on the same materials wiki site…


  • I’m moderately happy with the screw tool. Took a bit of practise, although denshidan nailed a certain problem which I had been having here: http://blenderartists.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-66553.html
  • My previous lighting scheme was based on having a main keylight, a side fill light and a rim light to highlight an edge that had been a bit dark. Why is this odd, blenderizer? I have now mucked around with my key light (changed it to a spot) and also built a cube “environment” although it’s still needing work. In Maya I would add a procedural smoky cloud bumpmap to the glass to add a slight ripple, so the highlights would not be quite so smooth. Can blender have a similar bump?
  • I changed the glass specs to an alternative on the mentioned “Every material” site. Still way not happy with the result. My glass is black. Are the blaring obvious setting improvemets? Is the online wiki material simply bad?
  • I’ve also double-sided the glass with inner and outer surfaces. I’m not happy with this as it will bump up render times horribly. Is there a setting in blender materials to have “surface thickness” for transparent materials?New blender file from: http://www.tinyurl.com/2deud9


Older glass settings are perhaps a bit better, but are too plastic and don’t look like glass. Still not happy about doubling up the glass faces to get inside / outside edges. You can download the blend with the older glass shader at: http://www.tinyurl.com/yv7wzo

i just find the blue and yellow colors to make the bulb looking wierd

I am not sure if you’ll agree but if I were you I’d finish all modeling- whatever is there to be modeled, then lit it better and only then work on shaders (with env. mapping for sure). Many of your problems might be caused by fact that lighting seems to be very simple.