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Creating a light cone effect in Blender

Michal Franczak 2022-04-25 10:05 tutorial  > Blender  > texturing

Making a simple alien spaceship scene with fancy light materials.


This scene is inspired by Mateo Maravalle scene and it is rather a proof of concept than a finished art. The purpose of creating it was to research how to make a light cone material with a texture and fresnel effects that weill work in both Cycles and Eevee render engines.



This is an overview of the material. From the left: a texture coordinations with mapping node that control the overall scale of the material, then we see two pattern groups for texturing the material, we mix them together and add a color ramp group to make the cone fade near bottom and at the end we add fresnel group for creating more prominent light edges.



Pattern one is based on two mixed textures: musgrave and wave. They are mixed together and then go into Color Ramp node which controls contrast. This node goes into Factor input of Mix Node that mixes two shaders: emissive and transparent. So we have a light material which opacity is controlled by these two procedural textures. As for the light color, I chose to input color ramp with different shades of green. So far, so good.



This is the effect of this first group - we can see that we have a cone with wavy light patches and transparency.



The second pattern is similar - this time I used only one wave texture and a blueish tone for the light color.



This is the effect of the second pattern.



Two patterns are mixed together. As a factor I used Laer weight node which allows to blend materials depending on their facing to the camera. 



This "Transparent bottom" group uses a common trick - I used "Separate XYZ" node to get the vector information and input it into color ramp. The result is black and white gradient aligned with the world Z axis. If we mix our light material with transparent shader using this gradient the result will be as on the image above - our shader will dissapear near the bottom.



As the final touch I used another light shader that is mixed with the previous one. It is light blue and it appears only on the edges of the cone. I used fresnel as a factor to achieve it.



I added another cone to the scene that uses volumetric material to increase the atmosphere look.

You can check the scene yourself - download Blend file of thiws scene here.





Author: Michal Franczak Editor: Michał Franczak
Tags: alien blender shading shader
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