Help glass render!


I would like to get similar results. But i dont know much about glass renders. How can i get similar results? C4D, Blender ?



There’s no one size fits all answer to this. Believable glass depends on a handful of conditions.

  • Lighting and setting are crucial. Similar to mirrored surfaces, glass doesn’t work well without something to reflect or refract. A glass cube up against a matte white background is pretty much nothing. Set on a backdrop or surrounded by other items, you get a more believable effect. Likewise, shadows can greatly contribute to the realism.

  • Glass has thickness. No pane of glass is 1 atom thick. Even the thinnest goblet or jar is measurably thick. Model with that in mind. Light bounces in that surface and bends through it. Even a 0.125" thick pane of glass will render more believably than one that’s only 1-poly (0.0") thick.

  • Bevel your edges. Nothing is 100% sharp. Even the most perfect cube has some edge/corner rounding in real life. Beveled edges catch shadows better and contribute to better glass.

  • Beware your sample sizes. Fewer samples might render quicker, but might also end up looking grainier. Some post-process noise is great and can make your render look more realistic and less CG-like, but a grainy render from having too few samples just looks ugly.

  • Be mindful of certain shader or render effects such as fresnel or chromatic aberration. Real world glass can bend light to create a variety of effects, both internal and external. It’s too complicated to go into here. Just research your material shading options as they relate to glass.

  • Surface imperfections are important. IRL, glass sometimes dimples or warps. In some cases, depending on how the glass is blown or cut, you may also end up with sharp or frayed edges. Little defects can amount to greater believability.

  • Realistic and believable aren’t the same thing. If you’re going for technically accurate glass then realism is your goal. You’re going to want to cross every t and dot every i. However, if you can fake your way around the problem and save render time without sacrificing the visual then do so. Games, for example, use all sort of fakes. Your glass doesn’t have to be 100% physically accurate to look good. The end result is the name of the game sometimes.

FWIW, that example above is good, but not perfect. It is very CG looking. I would probably use real world glass as your reference point. Real glass is going to be more complex, but also more subtle. The best effect is the one that you don’t notice.


Thank you so much for your reply!! It would be a great help if you share some Lights and techniques…


It’s all situational, unfortunately. As I said, there’s no universal solution. A material or lighting rig that works in one scene might not work as well in another. It’s sometimes this way with skin shading too. It’s all about context. More over, beyond lots of manual tweaking, getting the “perfect” result can often come down to post-processing. You might get good glass straight out of the box, but getting the best glass might come down to a few extra post passes. Again, that can be said of any render. There are a bunch of basic tutorials on Youtube and on sites like BlenderArtists. Follow along and tweak to your situation/model.

As for lighting in general, a studio setup is pretty simple. A basic backdrop can be made by taking a L-shaped 2-quad shape and beveling out the shared edge with multiple subdivisions. For the lighting, a traditional 3-point setup will work just fine. That’s your key light, the rim light, and a fill. Depending on your setup, you might only need 2 lights. Just make sure that your key is the one providing the (strongest) shadow. Shadows on every light isn’t strictly necessary. (It can be used to fake global illumination, btw.)

Anyway, I’m positive that I’ve got tons of share worthy examples both in C4D and Blender. I just have to dig them up. My current work is realtime (game) related and that won’t help you. I do have some non-realtime scenes related to this project, but I can’t share that with you for obvious reasons. Again, I have stuff that I can share. I just have to sort through my archives. Lemme see what I can dig up.


I appreciate that. I am currently trying that in c4d. If i get any example from you ( which you can share) that will be great!