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I want to make some kind of lenses.

I want to dye (or buy) a piece of white glass or plastic (whatever works best). However, I still want to be able to see through it - I guess about 80% white and 20% transparent. I only need to see through from one side, so a mesh would probably be a good idea, although it is not the preferred solution.

One side should be dark, the other bright most of the times, and the white side (as perceived from the bright side) should be perceived as white even if the "outer" person is very close to the glass.
The "see-through" from the inner site doesn't have to be as perfect as a two-way mirror. It's okay if the person has to get really close (like the distance of sunglasses), but pinhole glasses won't do it.

  • The "frosted" look probably would let enough light through but is not see-through.

  • There are some electric "foils" that can be put on windows, to change it from clear to opaque (by percentage), but I don't think that this is the thing I'm looking for, because I don't need to change the opacity, and they would make the effect reliant on electricity.

  • Dye could also be the way to go.

How could I solve this problem?

I like the airbrushed part of the visor on Robocop by Legacy Effects: could this be a possibility? How would I do this so it remains a little bit transparent?

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If you put clear tape on frosted glass it becomes see-through. You could try that if it's meant to be a momentary peek-though situation.

screenshot showing clear tape on frosted glass

Or you could mostly frost it with white alcohol ink. Just leaving enough of an open lattice to achieve a veiled appearance.

I'd think a decent way to accomplish that would be to put on some gloves, wad up a small piece of fabric, wet it with the alcohol ink, then dab it on the glass. Practice on a scrap piece of clear plastic a few times to get the technique down, like from a 2-liter bottle that you cut apart.

I remember hearing about see-through concrete that had similar properties: link to article

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  • the goal is to make lenses, that are white from the outside and see through from the inside, so the peek-though won't work. – Frezzley Mar 14 '17 at 9:26
  • Would pinhole glasses do? – Doyousketch2 Mar 14 '17 at 9:33
  • No, not really, It should be equally white everywhere, but still thank you for the input. – Frezzley Mar 14 '17 at 9:35
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    My kid has a little ninja mask with see through fabric. It's stretchy like, a thick form of nylon-stockings. You could look into sheer fabric. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheer_fabric - Attaching it to frames might be tough though. – Doyousketch2 Mar 14 '17 at 9:41
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I'm not sure about white particularly but you can buy colored transparent paints, even some Walmarts have it. It's mainly used to give the appearance of stained glass but depending on how thick you spray it on, you can see through it!

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