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How to create "soap bubble" graphic effect?

Some reference pics :

alt text

And more reflective:

alt text

Any ideas? My initial thought was particles, but it seems they would be too detailed and involved for a particle renderer. Would it be better to use a mesh with shaders? How would you get the "shimmering" effect often seen in moving bubbles?

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asked Mar 30, 2010 at 06:43 PM

dhendrix gravatar image

dhendrix
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3 answers: sort voted first

It depends on the level of detail, vs. the number of bubbles you want. If you actually want to be able to have bubbles which look similar to your pictures (i.e. fairly large on screen, with a reflection), you'll need to use a mesh and a shader which gives you a reflection. You'd then need to render a "cubemap" to act as the reflection, which should be a decent approximation of the scene within which the bubble will be.

Then you'll need to use a shader which supports both transparency and cubemap reflections. None of the built-in shaders do this, but this "Window Shader" on the Wiki looks just the job!

However, if you want quantity rather than quality, you could use a static image with a particle system, making sure that your image uses transparency to make the bubbles partially see-through. Here are some examples of transparent bubble images that you could use: http://dirt2.com/resources/spheric-bubble-gem-clip-art/

Enjoy :)

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answered Mar 30, 2010 at 07:51 PM

duck gravatar image

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Nice! Up voting both answers since they both have great info.

Mar 31, 2010 at 12:14 AM dhendrix
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Yeah. A mesh with shaders is definitely the way to go. Check out this link and this one for some shaders that might be a good starting point. Although, on second thought, you might create a bubble image and put that on a particle system. That probably won't give the effect you're looking for, though. Hope this helps?

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answered Mar 30, 2010 at 07:42 PM

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e.bonneville
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My other answer: What Duck said!

Mar 30, 2010 at 07:56 PM e.bonneville
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did you find any reflective transparent shaders? getting some blue red green color shaders to twirl on it too would be good.

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answered Jun 22, 2011 at 07:01 AM

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asked: Mar 30, 2010 at 06:43 PM

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Last Updated: Jun 22, 2011 at 07:01 AM