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Translucent plastic & liquid caustics

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This is what I’m trying to achieve… translucent plastic with liquid that diffuses/refracts light.

IMG_0002


This is what I have so far, after MANY hours of tweaking materials, lights, light domes…

Cup

I want to get light refracting through the liquid. There’s a tiny bit of that along the bottom center and left of
the base of the cup. but generally, the liquid is too dull. I added a separate, more reflective material, and some turbulence to the top surface
of the liquid to catch & reflect more light. Even tried dropping a short-reaching point light inside the liquid, which looked fake, so I removed it.

Started both materials with Chris Tyler’ fresnel driven method. That’s what these materials are.
Also tried starting with default glass materials (from the built-in shaders) and adjusting transparency, reflection, smoothness, etc. Didn’t look right.
Still not getting what I want, and I had to mess with the light settings to get the plastic to look sort of right.
I’m using a light dome (interior scene), one spot to light up the front of the cup, and a distant light to cast the shadow.
There’s also a dim glow panel above the scene to light the rim of the cup and the surface of the liquid.

Any suggestions?
Settings for the scene and materials are below.

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