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  • Creating clouds

    Hi!

    I need to create a cloud sequence for an upcoming project. The camera will move in all directions so the clouds have to be 'real', as in volumetric.
    I'm a VRay-Maya user and not very familiar to Phoenix yet, but I've seen a couple of aerial cloud shots here in the forum that look great.

    Is it possible to create different clouds and then import them into a new scene to populate a cloud landscape (similar to importing poly objects as proxies or references)?
    I'm aware that render times can be massive, but maybe there are ways today to make it more reasonable?

    Any cloud experts?
    Thanx folks!

  • #2
    Hi,

    This should be really useful for you: 200 clouds that you can download and open in your package of choice. I'm having difficulty getting them to render with distributed rendering though.

    https://cubebrush.co/byvfx/products/...openvdb-clouds

    Let us know how you get on.

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    • #3
      cooool! downloading now.. i had the idea to crank out a set of vdb clouds to sell, but somebody beat me to it! not looked through them yet.. hopefully there is lots of nice variety.

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      • #4
        Thats funny, I found that collection earlier today and I'm doing some tests with the free sample cloud atm
        Without the farm, so can't yet tell if distributed rendering is working or not.

        You import VDB clouds to a VRay volume grid, correct?
        Right away there is an alternative to load a render preset depending on the clouds' origin (FumeFX, Houdini, Maya Fluids or no preset).
        I found that 'No preset' seems to work Ok for this particular cloud. The Maya fluid preset is way too opaque.

        A volume grid can't change the look and feel very much? (the opacity curve and light scatter multiplier seem to be only settings that affect the render).
        So I guess its important that the VDB cloud has the right amount of complexity for your project?
        Last edited by fasterG; 18-05-2018, 06:15 AM.

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        • #5
          well you can use 3d procedurals to modulate the opacity/shading to add detail .. you can use vraydistance tex linked to geometry to sculpt or punch holes in it, but doing those things bump up the rendertime quite a lot.

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          • #6
            hm .. downloaded them.. cant complain for the price i paid, but they all have the same shape (one shape for round, one for flat) with just the details changing.. i guess there is still room for a set for sale with a bit more variety and some consideration of real cloud types.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by fasterG View Post
              Thats funny, I found that collection earlier today and I'm doing some tests with the free sample cloud atm
              Without the farm, so can't yet tell if distributed rendering is working or not.

              You import VDB clouds to a VRay volume grid, correct?
              Right away there is an alternative to load a render preset depending on the clouds' origin (FumeFX, Houdini, Maya Fluids or no preset).
              I found that 'No preset' seems to work Ok for this particular cloud. The Maya fluid pre-set is way too opaque.

              A volume grid can't change the look and feel very much? (the opacity curve and light scatter multiplier seem to be only settings that affect the render).
              So I guess it's important that the VDB cloud has the right amount of complexity for your project?
              I used the Fume FX preset (as a random selection) and found the clouds to look pretty good out of the box, as such.
              Changing the Simple Smoke Opacity, Smoke Color, and the scales seemed to have the most effect on the clouds for me. I couldn't find any way to increase the resolution though, they can look a bit 'blocky' if you have them too large.

              We don't currently have a solution to creating clouds in-house, so this was a good find! I only found it the other day by chance.

              If someone were to create a more varied library of clouds, please let me know! We do lots of in-air flybys of planes, so being able to create massive cloud environments easily, would be really beneficial.

              As they take a long time to render as we can't use DR, I'm creating still renders of a few of the clouds then applying them to polygon cards, that are then scattered with MASH in Maya... I've found it's a fairly good way to get a big cloudscape if a little limiting.

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              • #8
                Super gnu: yea I noticed that too, looking at the previews. Just two different big shapes with small variation of details. But maybe cool to build your own bigger cloud constructions from these pieces? Provided they blend nicely together!

                Sebbiej: Ok I'll try the Fume FX preset later. Exactly, the resolution would be so sweet to control to avoid blockiness. The volume of 200 clouds come in two resolutions, hope the hires ones are creamy and sweet
                Last edited by fasterG; 18-05-2018, 10:35 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sebbiej View Post
                  Hi,

                  This should be really useful for you: 200 clouds that you can download and open in your package of choice. I'm having difficulty getting them to render with distributed rendering though.

                  https://cubebrush.co/byvfx/products/...openvdb-clouds

                  Let us know how you get on.
                  They look like pretty basic & quick houdini exports straight from it's generator. Which can be done with the free/trial version of houdini. Probably took him a day to generate them all and another day to package them up for sale.

                  They really need a little bit of wind to push them into new shapes once they've been generated as an amorphus ball of fluff like that - given some weight and movement.
                  New versions of phoenix can load these as their first sim frame, or maybe it's just nightlies - I requested this some time ago and it was added within a day!
                  It's probably better to get houdini yourself and generate your own clouds rather than buying those, then set up a couple of phoenix sims which pull the simulator through space to introduce some drag. The cloud generator is a single node and out of all the things it can make requires possibly the least amount of actual houdini knowledge.
                  Last edited by Neilg; 18-05-2018, 09:24 AM.

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