Blender: Bottles for Oddities

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Introduction: Blender: Bottles for Oddities

3D model and render a collection of bottles.

Supplies

Blender; free 3D modelling program. I am using version 2.90.1. Download here.

This is a beginners tutorial. I do recommend having some familiarity with the Blender viewport before following this tutorial.

Step 1: Begin

You will start by modelling the bottle. Open a general blender file. Delete the cube from the basic scene (select the cube, press x, and delete).

Step 2: Add a Cylinder Mesh

Use keyboard shortcut "shift + A" to add a cylinder mesh to the scene. Modify the cylinder immediately after adding it to the scene to have 16 vertices.

Step 3: Scale the Cylinder

Select the cylinder mesh. Use the keyboard shortcut "S + Z" to scale the mesh along the Z-axis. Scale it until it matches the intended height for the body of your bottle.

Step 4: Extrude

Hit "tab" to enter edit mode. Select the bottom ring of vertices and click "E" to extrude them downward along the z-axis. Click "S" to scale the extruded vertices so that they are slightly smaller than the rest of cylinder body. Follow these steps once more to extrude the bottom ring of vertices and scale it down until the bottom of your cylinder is slightly rounded.

Repeat this process with the top of the cylinder. In this case, aim for the top to be more pronounced and rounded.

Step 5: Create the Neck

After making the top of the cylinder pronounced and rounded, extrude the top ring of vertices to create a neck on the bottle. Continue to extrude and scale to create a ridge at the top of the neck.

Step 6: Shade Smooth

Select the bottle and right click to open the Object Context Menu. Click shade smooth so that your bottle is rounded.

It may look a little awkward at this stage. Press tab to enter Edit Mode. Use keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+R" to Loop Cut, and add additional edges to sharpen the creases in the bottle. Add the edges around the base of the neck, the underside of the rim, and the top of the rim.

Finally, select the circle of vertices in the center of the top of the bottle. Use keyboard shortcut "x" to bring up the Delete menu. Delete Face, to create an opening at the top of the bottle.

Step 7: Revise & Modify

Look at your bottle and edit the shape to your liking. Switch back and forth between Object and Edit mode to see how the vertices affect the shape. Add and scale vertices/edges as needed to make the bottle rounder, taller, thinner, etc., until it is a shape that you like.

Select the bottle and click the blue wrench icon on the right sidebar to open the Add Modifier menu. Add the modifier titled "Subdivision Surface". This will increase the number of vertices that your mesh uses, making it smoother. Set the levels for the viewport and render to 2.

Look again at your bottle and edit the shape again to sharpen creases as needed.

Add another modifier called "Solidify". this will thicken the interior of your bottle. Edit the thickness slider until the rim of your bottle looks correct. Click "Ctrl+A" to apply the "Solidify" modifier. (Applying a modifier cannot be undone later, so make sure you like the thickness). Do not apply the "Subdivision Surface" modifier, so that you can easily edit the model later if needed.

Step 8: Materials

You will now begin creating the glass material. Materials can be more specific and complicated. If you simply want to recreate my settings, read on. If you're more interested in learning how to make your own glass materials, I'd recommend starting here.

First, click on the render properties tab on the right sidebar. Confirm that you are using Eevee as your render engine.

In the same tab, click the checkbox to turn on "Screen Space Reflections". Open the dropdown for this setting and turn on "Refraction".

"Trace Precision" should be 1.000. "Max Roughness" should be 0.500. "Thickness" should be 0.1. "Edge Fading" should be 0.075. "Clamp" should be 1.000.

Using the buttons on the top right of the viewport, change the shading mode to viewport shading. This will show your bottle in the lighting based on your scene.

Step 9: World Settings

To achieve a realistic lighting set-up, import and HDRI image as the background.

HDRI Haven has lots of open-source HDRIs. Select the one you like and download it. The overall color of the image will impact the color of your model. This is the one I am using.

In Blender, go to the shading tab. Use the dropdown menu labelled "Object" and switch to the "World" panel.

Use "shift+A" to add an "Environment Texture" node. Connect it to the color of the "Background" node.

Upload your selected HDRI to the "Environment Texture" node. The HDRI should fill the world space. At this point, you can delete the default lights if you'd like.

You can also add (shift+A) a plane mesh underneath and behind your bottle so that it's easier to see against a plain background.

Step 10: Material Settings

Click the "Material Properties" tab on the right side of the viewport. Your bottle should be using a default material.

Click "Surface" and change it from "Principled BSDF" to "Glass BSDF". In the "Settings" dropdown menu, click the check box to turn on "Screen Space Refraction".

Switch to the "Shading" tab to edit the nodes for the material. Copy the node settings pictured above or use the following steps to replicate the glass material I used.

  • You will see the "Glass BSDF" node attached to the "Material Output".
    • Edit the sliders on the "Glass BSDF" so that "Roughness" is 0.000 and "IOR" is 0.950.
  • Use "shift+A" to add open the "Add" menu. Add a "Glossy BSDF" node from the "Shader" menu.
    • Edit the slider so that "Roughness" is 0.000.
  • Use "shift+A" to add a "Mix Shader" from the "Shader" menu.
    • Place it between the "Glass BSDF" and the "Material Output", so that the "BSDF" socket (on the "Glass BSDF") connects to the "Mix Shader" node via the top "Shader" socket on the left.
    • The "Shader" socket on the right should connect to the "Surface" socket on the "Material Output" node.
  • Connect the "Glossy BSDF" node to the "Mix Shader" node by connecting the "BSDF" socket to the lower left "Shader" socket.
  • Use "shift+A" to add an "RGB Curves" node from the "Color" menu.
    • Connect the "Color" socket from the node to the "Fac" socket on the "Mix Shader" node.
    • Edit the point on graph so that X is around 0.3 and Y is around 0.8.
  • Use "shift+A" to add a "Fresnel" node from the "Input" menu.
    • Edit the slider so that "IOR" is 0.870.
    • Connect the "Fac" socket from the node to the "Color" socket on the "RGB Curves" node.

Once all of the nodes have been added, connected, and edited, look at your bottle to confirm the glass looks the way you want. If not, edit the sliders across the various nodes until your material looks correct. It may be helpful to put a differently colored object behind your bottle to gauge the refraction.

Step 11: Accoutrements

Now that you have created a bottle, you can create objects to fill it with. This tutorial will not cover the specifics of that.

For the insects and corks, the images above show the material node setup. For the moss ball and peppercorns, I used the "Particle Properties" tab as pictured.

Good luck & happy rendering!

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