Website powered by

Soap Bubble + Bubble Buddy

I find bubbles to be quite charming to look at, especially the way the soapy surface reflects a vibrant array of swirly color. I wanted to try and create this myself, and to some degree I think I accomplished this. During the process of creating the texture, I was reminded of the cartoon TV show SpongeBob SquarePants. They had a few episodes air with a character named Bubble Buddy, and I though it could be both fun and challenging to try and make him in a more realistic perspective. I quite enjoyed playing around with Unreal's material nodes and learned a lot from it.

4K material applied in UE4 on a simple sphere. Lit with a simple lighting setup and an HDRI.

4K material applied in UE4 on a simple sphere. Lit with a simple lighting setup and an HDRI.

The Bubble Buddy mesh with the bubble material applied.

The Bubble Buddy mesh with the bubble material applied.

Included Bubble Buddy's fedora also featured in the show.

Included Bubble Buddy's fedora also featured in the show.

Bubble Buddy Wireframe

Bubble Buddy Wireframe

Reference Image

Reference Image

The character Bubble Buddy from the TV show SpongeBob SquarePants. This was used as the reference when shaping the mesh in Maya.

The character Bubble Buddy from the TV show SpongeBob SquarePants. This was used as the reference when shaping the mesh in Maya.

Albedo, Roughness, and Metalness maps.

Albedo, Roughness, and Metalness maps.

To get the distorted, swirly and mixed soap pattern I warped an Anisotropic noise with several different other noises.

To get the distorted, swirly and mixed soap pattern I warped an Anisotropic noise with several different other noises.

The rainbow-ish colors of the soapy surface are made by blending/layering all of the colors using varying masks of the wavy lines.

The rainbow-ish colors of the soapy surface are made by blending/layering all of the colors using varying masks of the wavy lines.

In Unreal I was able to add a Fresnel of white to the bubble to give it an artificial highlight as well as try to mimic the cartoon outline of Spongebob graphics. This material also fades out the opacity and albedo map near the center of the mesh.

In Unreal I was able to add a Fresnel of white to the bubble to give it an artificial highlight as well as try to mimic the cartoon outline of Spongebob graphics. This material also fades out the opacity and albedo map near the center of the mesh.