How to Make a Rainy Window

Discover how to create a realistic rainy window image using simple particle systems and texturing.

49 mins
Blender 2.66a
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.8/5 (124 votes cast)

In this tutorial you will discover how to:

  • Model rain drops
  • Realistically texture a wet pane of glass
  • Use depth of field effectively

Final Result

Download the Finished .blend


Text Summary

Making the Rain Drops

Delete the default cube and lamp, and replace with a plane rotated at 90 degrees.


Position the camera front on to the plane.


Move to a new layer and add a UV sphere.


In side view mode, rotate the sphere 90 degrees. Then go in to top view, edit mode, and select the bottom most vertex.


Using proportional editing (O), move the vertex inwards, to create a squashed droplet.


Split the view to a UV image editor and load in this reference image. Duplicate the rain drop and start to model a droplet based off the reference image.


Model 6-8 more droplets based off the reference images. Set the shader to smooth.


Select all the droplets and press Ctrl+G to form a group. In the toolbar, name it Rain Drops.


Assign it a material with a glass shader, and apply it to all the droplets.


The Droplet Particle System

Add a particle system, set the type to Hair and check Advanced:


Set the rest of the particle settings as shown:


Creating the running droplets

Go back to the layer with the droplets, and duplicate the first one.


Select the top vertices as shown:


Extrude it upwards:


Scale the top part in so that it tapers off slightly:


Create a bunch of loopcuts (Ctrl+R) as shown. Download this reference image and load it into a split view image editor.


Using the image as reference, create a squiggly line by pushing and pulling vertices around:


For more squiggliness, add a subsurf modifier, then a displacement modifier with these settings:


Change the displacement texture size to 0.55:


Go into weight paint mode and paint the whole object red (value 1) except for the droplet head which should be blue (value 0). Now set the displacement vertex group to Group.


Create two more variants of that squiggly droplet by simply pushing and pulling around verticies:


Form a group out of the new droplets and call it Long Drops.


Go back to the glass and add a copy the old particle system, but name it Long Drops.


Change these settings:


Setting the scene

Position the camera close to the plane as shown:


Assign a material to the plane and give it a glass shader:


Add a Circle object (with a fill face) and place it above the glass as shown:


Assign an Emission material to the circle with these settings:



Select the plane, go into edit mode and press U to UV unwrap it:


Go to the node editor, add an Image Texture node, load in this custom texture and connect it to the Roughness input of the Glass shader.


Yay! Water trails!


Add a new Image Texture node and load in this texture. Connect it to the other texture with a MixRGB node with these settings:


Add a ColorRamp node and place it between the Multiply node and the new texture node. Move the black slide to the middle and set the white color to a mid-grey (this will reduce the amount of roughness).


Yeah makin’ progress!

Tiny Droplets

For a more misty effect, we’ll add some physical tiny droplets.

Go to the layer with all the other droplets, and add an Icosphere (to keep it low poly).


Go into edit mode and squish it against the origin point as we did earlier.


Create one or two variants:


Select all the new droplets, press Ctrl+G and name the group Tiny Droplets.


Assign the same droplet material as before.


Go back to the glass, and copy the same particle settings from the first system, but make these changes:


Huzzah. Tiny droplets.

Huzzah! Tiny droplets.

Background Lights

Now we’ll create some out of focus lighting for the background.

Start by adding a sphere into the background far behind the plane and camera:


Give it an emission type, with a strength of 20 and color of orange.


Nice. Now let’s do more.


Create a bunch more spheres of varying sizes, colors, and strengths:


Like Christmas


Final Touches

The funnest part of this scenes comes from the Depth of Field.

Add an empty and place it on the droplet that you want to be in focus. Name the empty Dof.


With the camera selected, set the focus point to Dof, the Aperture to F/Stop 1 and Blades 8 (which makes more interesting Bokeh)




This is completely optional, but feel free to add some vignette and sharpening in the compositor:





Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you made something awesome with it, feel free to post it in the comments below :)
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How to Make a Rainy Window, 4.8 out of 5 based on 124 ratings

About Andrew Price

User of Blender for 9+ years. I've written tutorials for 3d World Magazine and spoken at three Blender conferences. My goal is to help artists get employed in the industry by making training accessible and easy to understand. I'm an Aussie and I live in South Korea ;)
  • zbugni

    I like this a lot, thanks for the tutorial!
    It decided to render some weird light streaks on the side though, I’ll have to fix those.

  • Daniel L

    Great tutorial Andrew, thank you.
    It inspired me to go ahead and make my first animation ever. It’s simple and all, but it’s there :)

    See it here:

  • Edsonmilan

    Why do I get too much noise in my rain drops? :( I’m stuck with that I already tried rendering the other panel side but it’s the same thing.

    • Edsonmilan

      In the step where you render for the first time with the circle emission object my rain drops rendered with that noise but I’m not sure why so I continued the tutorial.

  • Herdo

    Took me about 6 hours but I finished it. I’m very happy with this considering it’s my first render.

  • Herdo

    I am stuck when I get to the first particle system. I create the group (they are all green and in the group “Rain Drops”. I create a new glass material and apply it to them all individually. I then go through and fill out the particle system window exactly like he did, but nothing is showing up. I still just see my 7 raindrops. I’m in Cycles Render as well.

    • Herdo

      I figured it out. You need to apply the particle system to the plane, not the drops. Makes sense now that I think about it…

  • Tharindu L. Pathirana Em

    I did this by following your tutorial… Thanx Andrew!! :D

  • Guest

    I did this by following your tutorial… Thanx Andrew!!

  • Gwen

    Thanks Andrew !
    It was a pleasant tutorial. Only thing is that i had to add depth to the plane for the coloured meshlights to be visible. If i used a simple plane, no light would come through at all…

  • Betaman156

    When I unwrap the plane to add the rainy texture, this happens.
    Any ideas?

  • Pingback: 制作被雨淋湿的窗户 – Make a Rainy Window | Blender Totem

  • Nikhil Johny

    awesome tutorial…. I made the following image for my parents. :)

  • Jan

    i cant seem to find the diffuse bsdf button anywhere on the toolbar……. someone tell me where? idk if its purposely hidden or not cause it is not there :(

  • Chase K

    Hey guys, I’m a bit new to blender and i have a little problem that i have no idea how to fix. Im running an blender v2.66 ( I know, I know i need to updated it). Im at the part where you make the long squiggly raindrops as you can see. In the video tutorial you press ctrl + r to add more vertices so you can bend and move the rain drop around, but with mine its doing something a little weird that i cant figure out, as you can see below. So if anybody is able to help me, that would be fantastic cause I’m really excited about finishing this. Thanks

    • Weceslas

      I have exactly the same problem! (v.2.69). It never allows me to do the loop cuts like in tutorial. Would appreciate any help.

    • Weceslas

      Hey, I got it! In case you haven’t give up our figure it out sincou your comment is 24 days old… We apparently miss the “E” when he said “push E” (extrude) and we just pushed the vertices instead. If you extrude, you should be able to do those cuts right.
      My bad English is to blame.

      • Chase

        Thank you so much!!! That makes complete sense.

  • Nethaneal Enson

    hello…sorry if i disturb you. I have problem want to ask you. My blender v2.69. As you see the image below. It is under material tab. The problem is, doesn’t have Surface & Displace like you did in Rainy Window video. I really stuck in the middle because of that. Can you help me? thanks.

    • Shengdi

      It’s because you’re using Blender Render engine, you have to change it to Cycles Rendering. It’s in the upper-middle part of the window.

  • lutfi

    thank you for sharing ,
    this is good tutor i waiting for another video :)

  • Jan


  • Andreu Martínez

    Great tutorial, but I have to practice more! :P