Artwork rendered in Blender

When presenting scientific work, it is often helpful to have a nice respresentation of your experiment. Increasingly, groups are turning to professional graphical artists to make their artwork in the hope that this will increase the visibility of their paper. However, it is much more rewarding to make this artwork yourself. Blender is a beautiful piece of Open Source software that allows you to do just that!

Magnetic light matter interaction

© 2010 Dries van Oosten

I created this image when Physical Review Focus wanted to write a piece about our PRL about magnetic light matter interaction. It was later also used for a Research Highlights piece in Nature Photonics. This image illustrates how the end of a metal coated near-field probe inductively couples to the magnetic field of light in a cavity.

© 2011 Dries van Oosten

An alternative rendering of the same experiment. I use this for presentations. This is rendered with environment lighting. It make the images a bit noisy, which somehow enhances the realism. Also, there are some errors in the mesh that I chose not to correct, because it actually looks a bit like damage to the structure.

Ultrafast near-field investigation of a nanocavity

© 2011 Dries van Oosten

In this image, I wanted to experiment with using actual measured data. The faint colors on the photonic crystal device are near-field measurements. This red and yellow mountains on top of the transparent cone are Fourier transformed near-field measurements. The idea behind the image is that the Fourier transform is like a diffraction pattern that you are never going to see, because the k-vector lie below the light-line.

A new 2D MOT design

© 2011 Dries van Oosten

This is a rendering of a new way to make a two dimensional MOT.

A new 2D MOT design in Cycles

© 2011 Dries van Oosten

The same model as above, but now rendered with Blender's new Cycles engine. I used the latest build from trunk available for 32 bit Linux (r41939) downloaded from The materials used in the 2D MOT are simple glass and gloss. The floor is the new velvet surface introduced in Cycles. The light comes from a single emission plane placed above the scene.

The images on this page were modelled and rendered using Blender. All images (except the Blender logo) are copyrighted property of Dries van Oosten. The Blender logo is a copyrighted property of NaN Holding B.V.