I decided to figure out how to render a bubble in DAZ|Studio, via the Reality plugin through LuxRender. To my surprise, it wasn't as hard as I had feared it would be, but it did require a little research and one custom texture to accomplish the look I was going for.
To create the effect for yourself:
- Select the surface of the figure you wish to make a bubble. For my image, I used a sphere primitive, so there was only on surface. For more complex figures (like Genesis), there may be multiple surfaces you'll need to select, or some you may have to set to "null" in Reality in order for it to render correctly, like the jaw and mouth surfaces of most figures (usually hidden by the face surface, but since the bubble is translucent, it'll show through and look... well, weird).
- Set the Lux Material to "Glass," then copy the settings in the image. I looked up the index of refraction (IOR) and film thickness of soap bubbles, so this will save you the work of finding it yourself.
- Make sure Glass Type is set to "Architectural." This gives the best bubble effect. Otherwise, it looks more like a glass sphere than an airy bubble.
- Set your Reflection and Transmission colors to white, then select a multicolored texture for your Reflection Map. For your convenience, I will share the texture I made for the reflection map (circled in red on the image; see below for a link). You know how bubbles have all those pretty colors? Setting a psychedelic reflection map is a good way to simulate this. It's easy enough to make your own in your paint program of choice: swirl around a rainbow gradient over a pale yellow background, then blur to taste. You can also find images of bubble solution online, but I find this works best (and avoids copyright issues).
- Leave all other settings ALONE! This is important: KEEP THE OPACITY AT 100%! Yes, bubbles are translucent, but the Lux Material takes care of that for you, so there's no need to mess with the opacity (otherwise, it looks like a poorly superimposed picture).
- Render as usual. Render your scene as you normally would.
On a side note, in my experience, shiny objects like bubbles, plastic, metal, etc. tend to benefit from IBL lighting, because it gives them more scenery to reflect back.
I hope you found this tutorial useful!
A comparison of the bubble with and without the reflection texture applied: