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My skies are boring. I would like to know how to make white fluffy clouds, storm clouds, cirrus clouds, pink apple blossom clouds, etc. Is there a tutorial that deals directly with this question?

 

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I purchased these photoshop brushes recently but haven't used them yet. I thought they would be a great way to create skies with clouds.

 

52 Photoshop Cloud Brushes.

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We don't have an all-purpose cloud generator in A:M but if you search on "cloud" on my tutorials page there are several post about using sprites and or materials.


Another approach is to us a photo of real clouds as a backdrop in your A:M scene.

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And if you have a specific shot you want to create clouds for we can pursue that here on the forum.

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Thanks! I thought there would be something about how to use particles. I appreciate the references to the cloud brushes and background pictures. I didn't know that's how clouds were made. I'm a little curious though about how to make a cloud that a plane or bird flies through. Is there a way to create a cloud that has substance?

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Here is a test utilizing glow on transparent spheres... I've been toying with new uses for glow... this has pastabilities but needs more testing.

aaa_5.jpg

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Thank you, robcat2075 and John Bigboote! That will give me lots to think about and try. I've been thinking about creating a dogfight scene and using clouds in the tactics, or just having a plane fly through clouds. (I might not be ready for dogfights yet.) Clouds in the distance will be great also. Thanks again to everyone for ideas for those.

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Wow! I've downloaded the items provided and looked at all the suggestions briefly. I've only really put robcat's project on the computer and looked at it from several directions and let it render. All of this is rather mind-blowing for me. I have been playing with A:M for a while now, but I can't really say that I understand how it works. The particle systems especially remain a mystery. I understand that particles have something to do with a rapid, random, presentation of pictures under a set of parameters specified by the artist, but beyond that, it is still pretty much a collection of numbers and tables to me. I went through the hair system in the book that came with the program, but about all I know of that is combing the hair once it is already there. How hair can become a cloud is one of those ideas I will have to get used to over time. (When my son wanted to drive, I had to think about that for a few days, because to me he had just been born. Takes a while to get used to things.)

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...How hair can become a cloud is one of those ideas I will have to get used to over time...

 

I'll note that in my PRJ the particles are sprites rather than hair.

 

Each sprite is one tiny, single cloud puff image, but if you emit many of them in different sizes in a clump you start to get something that looks like a cloud!

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Thanks, robcat, for the clarification. I had looked in the Materials part and saw Fluffy Clouds Hair and Fluffy Clouds Sprites and drew a wrong conclusion from the title of the project. I will be trying to figure all of this out during the next few days, and I'm sure I will make many mistakes, but I am truly awed by your expertise in creating this project. Thank you for making this available for me to examine!

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Well... I haven't actually looked at that project in a long time... :rolleyes: maybe I did try hair? Maybe hair can work as well?

 

But I'm pretty sure the version in my video clip is sprites.

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I got to the end of the render and only the first cloud in the Choreography list made. The others remained as frames. I looked at the others in a rather cursory way, and they seem to have all the parts of the first one, but they didn't form. I was wondering if my computer isn't powerful enough to do more than one or if I might not have some critical setting for the render, such as multi-pass enabled or something like that.

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Whoops! I'll have to take a look at it and see what behaves differently in v19.

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I unzipped the project and reinstalled it in the program. I started rendering it again, and it's very slow, but several of the clouds have formed so far. Maybe my computer was having a glitch or the project did not download or unzip correctly the first time. I'm still using A:M version 18 btw. You know that I also have the screwy graphics card that we checked out that time. Anyway, it seems to be working now, but it takes more than 5 minutes a frame (almost 6 minutes) to render.

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Six minutes?

 

Why, when I was a boy, we had to wait...

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It is indeed a slow technique. The more typical technique of using an image backdrop will always be faster but this is an option for when you need to fly among the clouds or build a particular shape which the other techniques can never do no matter how fast they are..

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I agree. This technique has many important advantages. I was looking at your cloud frames. I see that they are mainly distorted spheres. I was curious about the squares that are distributed through them. Are the squares how the program shows sprite emitters or what? Also, you are the inventor of this technique. Is it OK for us to use it, or are you showing how such a thing can be done? This technique seems like more than just a pointer on how to do an ordinary thing with the program. This looks pretty remarkable.

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The squares? :o Can you show me a couple frames with those?


I'm sure I'm not the inventor of this technique.

 

I'm thinking I tried it after either hearing someone talk about something in another program that sounded a lot like our sprites or maybe even seeing some CG clouds in a movie and thinking they looked suspiciously like sprites we could make in A:M.

It's not very different from how we've been doing sprite smoke except it's not getting blown away.

 

I also recall a shot someone did a long time ago showing the white contrail smoke trailing a rocket and that was pretty much the same technique except their sprite was more toony with harder edge.

Yes, you may use this technique and re-use my sprite.

 

The biggest limitation of this technique is that you have to craft the sprite to match direction of the sunlight in your scene as seen by the camera. If your camera swings around to see clouds from another angle those clouds will need a different sprite made to match their surrounding illumination.

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Well, thanks again for all your efforts in this. I'll see what I can learn as I try to apply the technique.

 

I almost did not see what you asked about the squares I mentioned. Here is a screen shot I took of your model for a Cumulus cloud:

Screen shot of Cumulus cloud model.png

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Well- I hit render on this animation and then went away for a week of vacation, came back to find it done... kinda cool!

 

FLYTHRU.mp4

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Well, thanks again for all your efforts in this. I'll see what I can learn as I try to apply the technique.

 

I almost did not see what you asked about the squares I mentioned. Here is a screen shot I took of your model for a Cumulus cloud:

 

 

The Squares you see in the model window are A:M's quick way of showing sprites when you are in wire frame mode. They are basically a wireframe of the square image map that is on the sprite. We normally don't think of the model window having "time" but in this case you can drag the time pointer in the PWS to see the sprites develop.

 

I just loaded the PRJ again and I'm not sure why only one cloud shows sprites in real-time mode. It must be a new bug/feature in v19, when I load it in v16 all the clouds show sprites in real-time mode.

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Well- I hit render on this animation and then went away for a week of vacation, came back to find it done... kinda cool!

 

attachicon.gifFLYTHRU.mp4

 

that looks Super!

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I agree. The Fly-Thru video is great. I think there must be something wrong with the way my graphics card works. I have version 18. Thanks for all your help.

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