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Planetary Clouds Test

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So I saw this cool Lightwave tut for making 3D clouds for a planet's atmosphere, you know, those really gorgeous shots of planets that you can tell have 3d clouds and not just some flat texture map. Well anyways, I decided to take a stab at making it AMified. So far it's turning out well, though I've run into a bit of a bump with it. The bump being that I kind of want the texture to 'taper' at the top, to simulate the 3d effect of clouds better. Now in lightwave, they used something called a weight material. Obviously AM doesn't have that, so I thought I could simulate it by doing some form of transparent gradient. Basically make the top more transparent than the bottom. So far that hasn't worked out. Another thing being that it casts a solid shadow on the ground instead of in the shape of the clouds. I was originally doing this with a turbulence material, but my laptop refused to render that, so I had to switch to using an image applied to the patch. The light's a klieg light and is there anyway for it to cast proper shadows? The image is applied as a transparency map BTW.

post-9859-1334711806_thumb.png

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that is a very promising 3D result you have there.

 

 

The light's a klieg light and is there anyway for it to cast proper shadows? The image is applied as a transparency map BTW.

 

Change the Klieg light from Z-buffered to Raytraced

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If you adjusted the turbulence material so that it never peaked at full white you might avoid the flatness.

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Well, after adding 7 minutes to the first pass, this is what the raytraced shadows did:

 

post-9859-1334713136_thumb.png

 

As for adjusting the turbulence, currently it's just an image applied to the object, but I found a way to get the turbulence to render so I may play around some with that. I just had another idea which I'm gonna try right now

 

EDIT: After applying another instance of the image and making it a bump map, I get this!

 

post-9859-1334713607_thumb.png

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EDIT: After applying another instance of the image and making it a bump map, I get this!

 

How about making it a displacement map?

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if you haven't played with the sine combiner with 3 octaves it makes great clouds

 

cloud17.mov

 

 

 

cloud17a.zip

 

 

Those are pretty good!

 

EDIT: After applying another instance of the image and making it a bump map, I get this!

 

How about making it a displacement map?

 

I tried that, but it didn't really look any different than the bump map. In both instances I brought them up to 300% and it just made the clouds look more like, I dunno rocks instead of fluffy clouds

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Cool looking clouds. I'd be interested in learning how you got that. That's weird...no shadows...hmm!

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This is with a displacement map cranked up to 800% As you can see, it loses some of that fluffiness and looks a bit more like rock.

 

post-9859-1334762065_thumb.png

 

@John. Thanks! I'll probably whip together a tutorial for it when I have found the perfect balance

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This is using the turbulence material. This is only pass 3/9. It takes about 6 min to render a single pass.

post-9859-1334769728_thumb.png

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Here's a the sine turbulence combiner inside a gradient combiner to fade it out at the top, all on a stack of 40 flat plates

 

Amazing Box o' Clouds (by Whammo!)

 

CubeRedBallTwo.mov

 

 

BoxOClouds.JPG

 

 

Cube_o_Clouds_05_With_Ball.prj

 

 

I dimly recall trying something like this back in the 90's but gave it up when it was taking an hour per frame. Now it takes 55 seconds and NetRender can do four at once!

 

Possibly with a different turbulence combiner more daylight between the clouds could be had?

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By golly I think you got it! And I've been using an FBM with a Fractal Sum nested inside of it. It's been giving pretty realistic cloud results on a 2D level. I've been using 24 planes for the depth, but obviously the more planes you use and the closer together they are, the more realistic the depth will be! I think it soon be time to apply this to a planet and then to make a tutorial!

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That's very cool, Robert! Now I've got an internal debate about something I'm working on that requires a cloud-like thing. I may have to experiment as well.

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Robert, couldn't you use just one plane? Animate the plane and maybe material and use motion blur.

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Robert, couldn't you use just one plane? Animate the plane and maybe material and use motion blur.

 

You could... we've certainly made do with such things over the years, but this method creates actual 3D forms within the cube. When you move a camera around a flat plane it becomes obvious that it's a flat plane but this appears as real shapes from any angle (unless you view the planes on edge).

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Here's a test with "cellular" turbulence. I think this has good possibilities for more-separated, cumulus-style clouds:

 

ThinTurn.mov

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This just occured to me that this would have fantastic potential for 3D nebulas. Also, could you post a prj to that first one, I'm having trouble finding that perfect balance with the gradient?

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Also, could you post a prj to that first one, I'm having trouble finding that perfect balance with the gradient?

 

I've added it to the post with the movie.

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Thanks for the prj Robert!

 

And now, some more clouds!

post-9859-1334848193_thumb.png

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Clouds on planet - needs a lot of tweaking

post-9859-1334851533_thumb.png

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Clouds on planet - needs a lot of tweaking

 

You might try upping the octaves on that for more detail.

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They're already at 3 and 4, I'm upping both to 5 now though

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Unsuccessful cloud material:

 

Cheese000.jpg

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HA! Dig the Robcat china-ware! What were you testing there??

 

I was trying to make puffy clouds but the negative space and the positive space got mixed up.

 

Mmmm.... cheese!

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Unsuccessful cloud material:

 

post-544-1334855032_thumb.jpg

 

 

Wait..how?! That's incredible!

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I'm confused Rob, you were making puffy clouds of cheese? Or was it supposed to be vapour coming off the cheese? Nice cheese model regardless......Said cheese 3 times now....crap that was 4.

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That;s the cool bit, I don't think he did model the cheese. It's a series of flat planes stacked on each other with a cellturb(?) material applied to the stack I do believe. Correct me if I'm wrong though Robert

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I'm confused Rob, you were making puffy clouds of cheese?

 

If you filled in the holes and took away the cheese you'd have the roundish, cloud shapes I was trying to get.

 

 

 

 

That;s the cool bit, I don't think he did model the cheese. It's a series of flat planes stacked on each other with a cellturb(?) material applied to the stack I do believe. Correct me if I'm wrong though Robert

 

The flat planes are triangular shaped at least, but, yes, the holes are the result of the material.

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WOW guys! All the tests looks beautiful. I might test this with AO tomorrow, but I do fear it will become a renderkiller due to all the transparency

 

Unsuccessful cloud material:

 

Cheese000.jpg

HAHA! This made my day

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WOW guys! All the tests looks beautiful. I might test this with AO tomorrow, but I do fear it will become a renderkiller due to all the transparency

 

I will say that the lighting on these layered things is very finicky. A lot depends on what angle you see the object at.

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A lot of that I imagine is due to the 2 dimensionalness of each plane. They might be a little easier/better to light if the planes had just a slight curve to them. I dunno, maybe worth testing

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Example - animated "cloudy" structure

 

CC_03.prj

 

I threw Serg's PRJ on the NetRender barbie...

 

SergBlue.mov

 

Looks like blue corpuscles!

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Very cool!

 

And here's perlin, c'mon, you knew this was coming eventually! :P

 

Playing with the amplitude presents some interesting electric style results too

 

EDIT: Like so:

 

post-9859-1334870895_thumb.png

post-9859-1334871294_thumb.png

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I'm glad our productive dialogue. Thank you!

very pleased to note.

I think how to make the wildness without coordinates the movement......

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What the heck??? Clouds were awesome! But cheese?? I missed something. I know i did.

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All of these procedurals, or at least the turbulences have a lot of potential in this 3D application of them, it's a lot of fun experimenting!

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Sauna!! That's really cool Robert! Soon as I;m done being busy in a few days, I'm gonna take a stab at a nebula...

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putting it in a transparent cube like that gives a uniquely high dollar effect.

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Here's flying into a stack of planes with turbulence clouds on them. This is rather pokey to render. About 25 minutes per frame. The "sun" is just a background image.

 

NoiseCloudsFlythru.mov

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Here's flying into a stack of planes with turbulence clouds on them. This is rather pokey to render. About 25 minutes per frame. The "sun" is just a background image.

 

NoiseCloudsFlythru.mov

 

 

They way you have the clouds appear/disappear would be good for a time lapse effect I think

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