Cycles faked Volumetric Glass Shader

  • April 13, 2013
  • Blender 2.6x
  • Render: Cycles
  • Creator: Mr_Lamppost
  • License: CC-0
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Here is a handy, easy to reuse cycles shader group for glass with faked volumetric falloff. The reflection colour is also separated so that reflections at the surface of coloured glass will not be tinted as happens with the default cycles glass shader. The falloff uses an exponential function controlled by two parameters: Fade Colour and Fade Distance; the Fade Colour is the maximum tint the glass will ever reach and the Fade Distance is the depth at which the glass will be tinted half way to this colour. This function while not completely real is similar to the one used by POV-Ray which I always found easy to set up to give artistically good results.

Text is included in the blend giving a description of the shader group inputs.

The blend contains various examples of the shade group applied to a simple vase object (Sorry this test object was not made to any sensible real world scale, at 1 blender unit to the metre it's 1.6m high :) ). there is an eight frame animation which just swaps vases making it easier to render the example images; 5000 samples so not quick.

As the volumetric elements are faked it is not meaningful to pass textures into the Solid Colour, Fade Colour, Fade Distance or IOR inputs however textures can be passed to the Surface Colour, Roughness and Reflection Colour inputs to good effect as shown in the last two examples.


  • oldtimer profile picture

    Very useful. I'll look into the blend file to learn more about Blender. Thanks for sharing.

    Written April 15, 2013
  • borini profile picture

    Thanks! It looks good.

    Written January 17, 2014
  • Armins54 profile picture

    Thank You for this one, so nice material!

    Written January 24, 2015
  • User1234567 profile picture

    Nice glass, cool material - thanx!

    Written March 20, 2015
  • Matrix1 profile picture

    it cool

    Written January 15, 2019
  • digtalzombie profile picture

    thank you

    Written March 30, 2019