How would you make these crystals to look more like ice?

This is my latest project I’m currently working on with Nomad, and I’m almost finished, trying to figure out how to make the blueish crystals resemble more to ice. This is in render mode, so this would be how it would look like when doing the final rendering:

However, it doesn’t give me the feel of ice, they seem more like sapphire or some mineral. I’ve tried to change the color to something more white or clear, but then it looks just like crystal. This is the closest I’ve been able to get to an “icy” feeling modifying the parameters I know of.

These are the settings I’m using for paint and material:

I’ve tried also to add some absorbption, and it makes it look different, but doesn’t get any “icier”:


I still have to play a bit with lighting to get the final result, so if you think tweaking lights could help, this won’t be a problem.

What would you change, or how would you do it to make it look more “icy”?

Thank you so much!

Use absorption

What do you mean @MiniwattStudio? I’ve already tried that, as it says in the post, but I cannot get any closer to an icy look. Is there another parameter called absorption somewhere else?


Absorption is under refraction. I would suggest getting on line and looking up on how materials work.

Thanks @MiniwattStudio, but as I already pointed out in the comment it’s already explained in the original post: I’ve already tested this option, and although it adds some kind of depth and a different visualization, it’s still very far away from anything looking like ice.

Thank you for the suggestion, though!

In your screenshot you’ve not ticked Absorption though

Also, Ice has lots of bubbles and cracks in it if it is not clear. But if it is clear It would likely look pretty similar to crystal anyway. I think maybe what you mean by look like ice is really referring to the imperfections? So adding bubbles/cracks variation in the surface shape could help?

Ice is a little tough. But possibly turn your roughness down (or off) and use a little less blue?

Also, perhaps if there’s a certain trait of ice you want to bring out more, describe that? Maybe there’s something in specific you think it’s lacking?

Just played with a couple shapes and got this:

It has a little more transparency and less bluing. Since you can’t really see through a transparent object to see other objects so well, the angles on the back of the object seem to add a little more “transparency“ look because you can see corners and angles really well.

But not sure what exact look you’re going for.

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It was unchecked because the render I posted had it unchecked. Anyway, I think that’s the issue! I had in my mind some kind of options to bring that blurriness and imperfections to it, but it’s clear that I have to sculpt those myself, or use PBR textures to get it (which is what I’ll end up doing, I think).

Thanks for your answer!

The thing is I don’t really know what I’m expecting, just that I know it doesn’t feel like ice right now. It’s like knowing something’s wrong but you don’t know exactly what (maybe everything altogether).

Your shape looks much more icy than mine and I think the blurriness is a key factor in there, so I’ll try to replicate that. However, I think I’ll also try to use some PBR maps as I don’t think I can get anything really ice-looking without using some texture images.

Thank you for your advice!

Reference, always have reference from real world images, concepts or drawings. Having it in view while sculpting will help you to identify where its not looking quite like how you imagined

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