PDA

View Full Version : Houdini cloudFx tools- new tutorial..watch it drool and wish for it:)



prometheus
07-01-2013, 12:22 PM
Finally ...some more indepth information and showcase of the new houdini cloud fx tools, released june 24 th.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC6K3_xeN7s

And boy ..this is what I have been screaming for inside of lightwave for quite some time, VPR and hypervoxels in all glory, but it this is over the top awesome.
Take a look at the realtime..yes realtime and no previewer or vpr iterative feedback, this seems to be in open gl directly in real..real time, Open VDB plays a part in this
too.

shapes can be adapted from any type of sculpted geometry or fill your geometry shape with other items for the shape of the cloud and in combination with fractals.

Now I think I will stop fiddling with hypervoxels for this type of stuff, this is just too awesome and exactly how I want it to behave, got to download the apprentice version
and start that up again.

Houdini has been used for clouds in commercials, time machine and superman movies..and I beleive if you watch the latest man of steel ..it will be shown there too.

Michael

3DGFXStudios
07-01-2013, 12:41 PM
Hypervoxels 4.0 ;)

allabulle
07-01-2013, 12:54 PM
Yup, some improvements of our LightWave Hypervoxels would be super!

prometheus
07-01-2013, 01:16 PM
Yup, some improvements of our LightWave Hypervoxels would be super!

The problem is that we really have no idea if or when that will happen, some of this implemented in Lightwave and I might not feel the urge to jump in to houdini, but
since I have not clue to what will happen with or beloved and hated hypervoxels,(itīs been years we have been nagging) I am in the jump start blocks to download the houdini apprentice and get going with this.
Since I am a addictive cloudyholic and a Hypervoxel abuser, I need something else:)

The awesome stuff in this is partly the open gl representation of the cloud in Real..real time, and the way it can adapt to large box for cloudscapes, or use your own sculpted geometry,
the noise control is pretty sweet too, even though I like all the fractals in lightwave..the noise control in houdini is a bit different..with perhaps more control, but less different fractals to choose from.

I though modo had implemented itīs volumetric item for itīs own voxel engine quite good, but this is superior, donīt think I will jump in to modo to acess these kind of things.
heck not even vue can produce as nice hero clouds with its metasphereīs, vue has less control and even worse cloud detail control for noise than even lightwave and even more so agains
houdini....working with organizing metaspheres in vue is a pain in the too, and you only have the previewer to see it and scaling the previewer in vue gives very slow preivew update
results of the clouds, so the realtime opengl presentation is absolutly awesome.

It is nice to see how you can use item points within the cloud shape, this is sort of like having particles inside a geometry cloud shape and you can control the scale amount of them quite easy and see it in opengl instantly, we donīt have opengl presentation of the full volume for voxels in Lighwave, the dynamite plugin had it and it helps a lot to see it directly, VPR is slowing down depending on sizes etc, and it isnīt anything near realtime as opengl is, but the most impressive thing isnīt just the main voxel blob shape, but to be able and
see the noise in opengl along with the light shader..awesome.

Notable is also how well the volume blends when used with itīs internal blob shapes, and if you donīt want that ..simply just use the sculpted/modeled shape.

Im rendering my hv clouds right now by the way...should I stop and start working with the cloud fx tools?

Michael

allabulle
07-01-2013, 01:35 PM
Yup, I watched the video and I liked most of it. Quite so. Still I'll be working with what I got for now. I don't need it that often and I can manage somewhat decent results. I'm going to need to model a few clouds this week, probably, so I was hoping to ask you in another thread about it if I found myself losing too much hair and sreaming in the studio, but since you leave us, I will just cry. :)

Still, I hope we can see some updates of the Hypervoxels someday. For some things it still works OK and VPR helped a lot. For more control, precision and hero sculpted clouds maybe a more specialized tool set would be better, I agree. I don't even have Turbulence, yet, but I reckon it has it's strengths and limitations too. But hey, we DO have more options. Good thing. And what we have does the trick for quite some situations. So that's good, isn't it?

I'd love to hear from your advances and discoveries using other tools too. Being it Houdini or anything else. Will you keep us posted on that?

prometheus
07-01-2013, 01:55 PM
Yup, I watched the video and I liked most of it. Quite so. Still I'll be working with what I got for now. I don't need it that often and I can manage somewhat decent results. I'm going to need to model a few clouds this week, probably, so I was hoping to ask you in another thread about it if I found myself losing too much hair and sreaming in the studio, but since you leave us, I will just cry. :)

Still, I hope we can see some updates of the Hypervoxels someday. For some things it still works OK and VPR helped a lot. For more control, precision and hero sculpted clouds maybe a more specialized tool set would be better, I agree. I don't even have Turbulence, yet, but I reckon it has it's strengths and limitations too. But hey, we DO have more options. Good thing. And what we have does the trick for quite some situations. So that's good, isn't it?

I'd love to hear from your advances and discoveries using other tools too. Being it Houdini or anything else. Will you keep us posted on that?

I wonīt leave You..or lightwave for quite some time..depends on how I feel about testing houdini again, I had it installed for a while but then I got some apprentice license issues and at that time there was so many goodies in Lightwave and at that time I felt I should focus on that.
Houdini is a bit steeper and quite different in the node aproach so...but they do implement tools quite nicely in different toolsets like the cloud fx, seems quite easy to get started with really.
I did some test before with sculpted geometry in houdini and turning them to volumetrics, but this is way better.

Have to wait with the installation of houdini for a day or so, hypervoxel tests is running right now with some particle cloud animation.
siggraph and the nearest future presentations of next lightwave versions and if that will contain any updates in forms of improved hypervoxels and a sort
of ogo taiki atmopspherics will decide if I will start working more in houdini or not, and how well I adapt to that and how the tools in houdini fill my expectations.

Hypervoxels is quite nice to work with sometimes, partly because it is one of the easiest to get up and running with, and vpr has made it som much nicer, but it still lacks a level of control and final render realism that can be acheived with houdini.

Feel free to ask me anywhere about what you wanted to know regarding clouds, and I try to help if I can.
Sculpting methods in Lightwave might not be the biggest issue, the way hypervoxels form to it/them Is, we canīt go on having blob cuts where a cloud is smooth.

Michael

prometheus
07-01-2013, 04:49 PM
you can also read up about it on the sidefx page as well as check the video on vimeo...
http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2498&Itemid=166

another cool tool for cloud effects (larger global cloudscape), but not really at the level of full quality render of clouds..that is lumion, amazing anyway to get that feedback of cloudscapes and how they move realisticly in real time..and with shadows casting on the ground, it still lacks finer cloud edge turbulence noise and it lacks a little of shadow depth and shadow smoothness, they are a little to hard but you can perhaps smooth that out in the effects tab.

It would be sweet to have something like this with virtual studio and in all full real time glory to see instantly how the motion goes of the cloud and how it looks in the cam instantly, then when needed it should be an option to final render at best quality.


Perhaps a cooperation with them and the realtime tech could be something?


Lumion clouds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqGEmOe1fSI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-drknWBaG2w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj-b6otUneU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fI2ic0u-OQ

Michael

erikals
07-01-2013, 05:24 PM
nah, i can pretty much do the same thing in Ogo Taiki...

(and Lumion clouds look cool, but fake)

prometheus
07-01-2013, 05:58 PM
nah, i can pretty much do the same thing in Ogo Taiki...

(and Lumion clouds look cool, but fake)

absolutly right about lumion clouds, cool but still a little fake look to them, as mentioned ..it will need a better noise turbulence at cloud edges, cloud change translation in the movement could be better, and also cloud depth and shadow smoothness, the algorithm for the sky/air attenuation needs improvement to, but still pretty impressive for realtime.

about ogo taiki, I think I know what you mean, but it is no way near that level of control or smoothness in clouds, ogo taiki seem to blend smoother, but it also hasnīt got as smooth
shadow and illumination quality as with hvīs, even though you can set quality in many ways.
Besides ..ogo taiki needs to be rendered, even though it may be with interactive VPR which isnīt realtime, and you cant apply ogo taiki volumetrics so it adapts a geometry shape as
houdini does and modo does.

for sculpting sort of, you have to rely on particles or point clusters, with the fill solid tool you could fill a geometry object with points, but that is static and you cant change amount of points
without deleting it go back and redo it etc..etc, if we had a particle fill tool inside of layout, it would be something closer to what houdini does by using fill source, but fill source has full control of how you fill the volumetric item.

now that is the secondary shape that is added, from the very beginning you add the cloud fx ..it adapts to whatever geometry shape you have created, and there is noway hypervoxels or ogo taiki can do that, you can do something similar with turbulenceFD, wich I mentioned in a thread and alos posted a scenefile of that, but that always need initial sim and setting voxel resolutions and adding noise is way longer to render and tweak than houdini noise.

Ogo taiki has other wonderful aspects ..such as a global textured cloud layer etc, global earth scale to zoom out and above clouds in a space POV, heat refraction and other stuff.
But for creating Hero clouds, not as near as good as this wih houdini.

To actually use sculpting tools with point or particles directly in Layout and directly with Hypervoxels on with VPR, then they should also follow how modo does that, the particles and points can be sculpted directly so you donīt have to sculpt points switch to layout and see it wasnīt what you wanted, go back to modeler tweak...back to layout and noo..Basicly the split non unified issue with that.
But that is regarding points and VPR, the beauty of Houdini cloud fx, is Realtime opengl presentation of the volumetrics, and the implemented volumetric surfaces. then I really love the shading method in houdini.

I just downloaded houdini apprentice, but I donīt dear install it tonight, Im afraid I wonīt sleep properly if I start fiddling with that.

Michael

allabulle
07-01-2013, 06:11 PM
It's already late night. :-)

Thanks for the links and explanations. Interesting subject, indeed.

prometheus
07-01-2013, 08:52 PM
Couldnīt help it..will be screwing up my sleep anyway:)
I downloaded houdini and installed the apprentice version, just added a box, went to the create cloud tab and applied it, voila...instant cloud object and sky environment at once, in openGl, this is gonna be fun, just tested it for a minute or so, but I see so much potential..and the openGl real time feedback is awesome, beats VPR..even though itīs not per definition a render, but it works in realtime, so nice to tweak noise and see it
without any iterative rendering process at all.
Theres quite a lot of decent noise tabs, you have the initial noise tab then you have a secondary noise called advection and you also have noise mask where you can use point cloud radius or point cloud points.

image shown is just a stretched cube, so this uses no fill source, I will test on sculpted geometry soon too, just openGl view...sweet isnīt it?
And you know what, you can learn and use it for your own personal showcase without time limits, take that luxology:)

Michael

prometheus
07-01-2013, 09:44 PM
shouldnīt endorse houdini to much here really, its great new stuff that I wanted to show anyway.

I did a simple tweak in lightwave for a very simple cloud shape style, exported as obj, scaling becomes of the charts so I need to find a good workflow and find right units for that, i rescaled it in houdini
and added the cloudfx tool, you can see the process in the images....I noticed that when I reloaded saved scenes, the obj geometry is gone, so that was a bummer, do not know if it has something to do with the apprentice version or
something else.

images shows
1. basic lwo geometry in lightwave
2. obj geometry in houdini
3. obj with cloudfx without noise, just the volume adapted after the shape
4 obj with cloudfx and small scale noise
5 obj with cloudfx and larger element size

really impressed with the different noise types and how you can get larger scale to mix with smaller scale in a decent way suitable for clouds, and thanks to the opengl feedback
you can set this up in seconds.

Michael

sukardi
07-01-2013, 10:00 PM
I tested out houdini some while back. While I cannot help but to be impressed by its flexibility and power, I was just overhelmed by how much you need to know to do the simple stuffs.

In Houdini, a box is not just a box. It can be something that will change size and shapes into a different geometry or drive the particle engine or shape the cloud etc-etc. Most of the time, you just want a box but that is not how Houdini works.

Obviously, I have not spend a lot of time in Houdini but seems to me, it is not really a tool for a small shop or 3D generalist and its complexity also means that you cannot use it like a simple plugin (eg: turbulence fd).

Even if you master it, I guess you still need Lightwave to do the simple stuffs quickly...

prometheus
07-01-2013, 10:23 PM
I tested out houdini some while back. While I cannot help but to be impressed by its flexibility and power, I was just overhelmed by how much you need to know to do the simple stuffs.

In Houdini, a box is not just a box. It can be something that will change size and shapes into a different geometry or drive the particle engine or shape the cloud etc-etc. Most of the time, you just want a box but that is not how Houdini works.

Obviously, I have not spend a lot of time in Houdini but seems to me, it is not really a tool for a small shop or 3D generalist and its complexity also means that you cannot use it like a simple plugin (eg: turbulence fd).

Even if you master it, I guess you still need Lightwave to do the simple stuffs quickly...

Indeed that is so, I couldnīt imagining doing product renders I did for a company with houdini really.
and yes..modeling basics isnīt as easy to go as with lightwave, there is a lot of things that will feel awkward, I had actually forgot how to model simple things in houdini so it will take some time to get back to that.
There will be a lot of things I will be able to use lightwave for my personal work, and hopefully payed work..but depending on what things the lightwave group throw in the next versions, I might start
to say..Itīs enough for me right now and updates will only be done when it starts to meet my needs more closely, so far the lightwave team has put in very interesting stuff anyway in order to have my interest, but
at the same time some tools regarding environments/atmospherics, volumetrics has been excluded..and when you then see something like this, which is exactly what Ivé been pushing and ranting for them to implement in Lightwave..well
if nothing happens..more time will probably be spent in houdini ..if I overcome some learning curves.

I hate the selection system within houdini when your trying to model, and you just canīt hit a shortcut for render etc, you have to create your render node first...so there is indeed a lot of simple things
you will find awkward in houdini.

back to the cloudFX...amazing how much control you have over the stuff, depth shadow map is there to..if you dont want raytraced, I haven ttested rendering with that though, the mantra render is fast anyway.
And finally I can create clouds exactly as I wanted them to be designed, I can tell you now that there is no way I could get what I want in Lightwave regarding cloud shape...since voxels are based on local points in space and can not
use a geometry shape for it..then your stuck with blobs, I have mentioned that the Lightwave team needs to redo the voxel blending mode sort of similar to dynamite, right now they donīt do any good for the Hv volume mode, but still
that will not compete with volume item or implemented surfaces for volumetrics as shown in houdini, you can skip the blob part there.

Vue can not compete with itsīmetaclouds either in terms of shaping clouds and noise control and a lot of other things.

If it works out decently with houdini, I think I might invest in some other licensing for creations without watermark and higher resolutions, In the future.

Michael

erikals
07-02-2013, 02:37 AM
you can make smooth Ogo Taiki smooth, though haven't tested it that much.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW0ImR2zZ9M#t=5m55s

the alternative is to add smoothness to areas in post. several ways to do this, here is one >
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?112843-Neat-video-and-Pixiedust-smoke

come to think, instead of NeatVideo, it would probably be better to use RSMB somehow...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO4EIPH-f5I

prometheus
07-02-2013, 03:18 AM
you can make smooth Ogo Taiki smooth, though haven't tested it that much.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW0ImR2zZ9M#t=5m55s

the alternative is to add smoothness to areas in post. several ways to do this, here is one >
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?112843-Neat-video-and-Pixiedust-smoke

come to think, instead of NeatVideo, it would probably be better to use RSMB somehow...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO4EIPH-f5I

yes..Ivé seen all that before..but
I just Cant stand post processing smoothness of hvīs, works for some effects, but for clouds itīs no good.

And yes..the volume blending seems better with ogo taiki.

But neither hvīs or ogo taiki beats whatīs up now with the cloud fx tools in houdini, I am really impressed with it, Im not that overly fond of working in the houdini workflow though, and
I fired up pyrofx to test that, and to me it seem harder to tweak the pyro shader than before in earlier versions of houdini unfortunatly, I have to check some tutes again about them...I can say this, I rather use turbulenceFD in lightwave, seems
to be much faster to,,(not sure if I can switch to cuda somewhere in houdini and if it takes notice of that) Itīs also easier to control the openGl fireshader in TurbulenceFD, houdini can have both smoke and fireshader going on in open gl, turbulence can not ..yet, but I canīt seem to get the hang of tweaking houdini pyro for now.

The cloudFX tool is done right though and I seem to find my way around that..and all the different noise settings you can use are very delicate, nothing like that in ogo taiki or hypervoxels.
the fill source is pretty cool too if you first model your main shape, and want extra bulges/inflations..the light control offers far mor options and control than hv light options.
And density curve mapping is available for density so you can get softer edges, nothing like that in hypervoxels, we donīt even got a decent gradient for the thickness channel, smoothing out of hvīs can best be done
with a local density gradient in the dissolve channel, that smooths voxels out quite a bit at edges but also overall since it propagates through on each local point density, in houdini with curve mapping you can control that over
the boundary edges of the whole cloud.

Then we canīt simply cant have a smooth blend over a full cloud volume in lightwave, except for when using cloud layered methods with ogo taiki, but those are hard or impossible to use for the larger cuminolumbus clouds, as
mentioned..we need a volume item voxel mode that adapts ..fills a geometric object with the volume ..as you can do with turbulenceFD, and I think something you can with volumedic too.

erikals, try and sculpt a point cluster and Ill bet you canīt get away from the blob look anyway, thereīs no nead for creating point cluster in houdini since we can use any geometry directly.

Images shows opengl and render, I think I didnīt do a correct color correction with the gamma affecting opengl and render likewise, have to recheck that.

Regarding hv hero clouds, to avoid blobs, the best way I know is to simply use one single large null, or two, that way you have noise propagating through a spherical volume but the hypertextures cutting in, but
it still is akward if you donīt set your fractals right..since it can get uggly if the texture isnīt cutting of the spherical volume properly..and you end up with some weird cut offs in the volume.

Michael

erikals
07-02-2013, 03:44 AM
i definitely think Houdini is on to something, i just don't think it's there yet...
and for that i can't defend the price.

though yep, Ogo is not there either...

prometheus
07-02-2013, 04:11 AM
i definitely think Houdini is on to something, i just don't think it's there yet...
and for that i can't defend the price.

though yep, Ogo is not there either...

Yeah price is one thing, depends on if you got to use it for a special work commercial or your own reel projects, there are different licens versions.

Im not sure what you mean with you donīt think itīs there yet? can you describe that further more what you mean? quality, realism? workflow?

just these few hours with houdini cloud tools, ivé noticed that I can finally create cloud shapes, and general noise that surpasses anything I have been able to do with hypervoxels for years.
I need to learn more about the rest of the sky and atmospherics and lighting, if I could throw in dp_sunsky in there..or some similar decent sky model, that would be nice:)...dpont_sunsky with hypervoxels does give nice
shading and illumination for clouds really, itīs just the problem with voxel blending.
Ill see if I can produce some sweetness to show off with the cloud fx..I do have some other stuff that needs to be done in lightwave though...so a couple of days or a week or two.

Michael

erikals
07-02-2013, 04:45 AM
realism http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif
it's all about realism for me.

the only way to achieve that these days is by sculpting the clouds manually, add several cloud layers, and add image planes from real footage clouds for the soft types. +soft turbulence smoke if used for cloud fly-throughs.

if you know your way around PhotoShop and use a Pen, then still images is by far the best. (unless fly-through)
clouds layers can then be morphed to add subtle cloud movements. (use the UV-morph trick)

Ryste3d
07-02-2013, 05:03 AM
I think the new Lumion 3 cloud looks good, and it only takes 1 sec. to render a 1080p frame :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh73wmYX2NE

erikals
07-02-2013, 05:15 AM
it looks good, and it too is onto something, though not photo-realistic.
it does have some unfortunate "popping" in the clouds, hope they can fix this later on...

the rendertime is super-neat... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

JohnMarchant
07-02-2013, 08:37 AM
Agreed mate. I stopped at LW 10.5 and now use Houdini, its a steep learning curve and im still on the bottom rungs but its a powerful tool none the less.

erikals
07-02-2013, 09:54 AM
well, i'm absolutely not saying Houdini isn't good for VFX, so don't misunderstand.
for modeling i think i'd stick to LightWave still...

particles in Houdini rocks, but ain't got the cash... good for studios though.

this discussion is for clouds though, where Houdini still isn't quite there.

JohnMarchant
07-02-2013, 10:39 AM
well, i'm absolutely not saying Houdini isn't good for VFX, so don't misunderstand.
for modeling i think i'd stick to LightWave still...

particles in Houdini rocks, but ain't got the cash... good for studios though.

this discussion is for clouds though, where Houdini still isn't quite there.

I still model in LW and will continue to do so, that's why i stopped at 10.5 as there did not seem to be allot of modeler love going on, even now most of it is geared to layout. 10.5 modeler is fine for me

prometheus
07-02-2013, 04:56 PM
Lumion is definitly interesting ...if they can step up 3-4 levels in cloud quality and shape and motion, it will most likely rock and be a game changer for many applications, it is very interesting as some sort of
archviz companion to lightwave too, with realtime feedback.

I canīt argue with you erikals about you not thinking itīs not there yet,after all nothing beats a real cloud.
a discussion could be made if any or which tool can generate a cg cloud the best in terms of realism? and what type of technique is used, I will exlude the geometry and image mapping technique ..since I go for a type
of cg cloud that can be altered to any angle,direction style and lighting conditions, which premade photos on to geometry can not acheive.

we have textured based layers such as skytracer use, ogo taiki, ozone, vue, terragen uses, gives the most realistic global large scale cloud landscapes, vue and terragen also has options to localize such layers to a central big cumulus clouds which takes some tweaking to get right.

Particle based or point clusters for hvīs or ogo taiki volumetrics, or like afterburner for 3dmax used in matrix etc, is another way, in Lightwave that often yield blobby looks with hvīs ...ogo taiki seem to handle that blend much better, and I do wonder why that is? there must be something in the volumetric shader that does a better job..and what is it?
I think they used maya to sculpt model main geometry for the superman returns movie, sent it over to houdini and filled the geometry with thousands of particles and then rendered with houdini volumetrics, I though it looked quite nice.

Usin fluids are probably the method that yields the most realistic turbulent cloud shapes, but it is also very sim expensive and with higher detail or subgrid detail..it becomes slow to render and also slow to tweak, it isnīt really
practical to tweak the noise with subgrid in turbulenceFD when you compare to the feedbackl of tweaking noise in houdini cloudFX, you get way more faster respons with cloudFX tools, and even hypervoxels gives you more instant feedback than tweaking fluid noise.

Fluids might not be the first choice either for large global scale clooud landscapes, Ivé seen some very nice fluid cloud grids from some maya guys, and I have tested it myself ..and that is promising in terms of realism, but it actually renders slowly.

Ive tried the same with turbulence and it is also promising for the actual shape and density and such, it doesnīt match up to hypervoxel illumination or the lighting options inside of houdini cloudFX tools thouh, turbulenceFD illumination is tricky and
you would probably need multiscattering which has been flakey so to speak in turbulenceFD.

That said, if we were able to fast sim the shapes, and have much faster tweaking of noise, and options to save out as single volumetric items from a fluid sim...then fluids will do a way better and realistic job of underlying whisp faded vapors from clouds, which is probably hard to do with cloud fx.

Terragen in all glory with nice frank basinsky cumulus clouds, they are some of the best, but carefully looked at you can still distinguish parts of clouds that doesnīt look right, apart from that..they are extremly slow to render..and trying to tweak it
takes a long long time compared to realtime houdini cloudFX tools, itīs gonna be interesting to see how fast the new terragen 3 previewer can showcase clouds..if a demo comes up.

I would say that one of the most important enhancements for hypervoxels would be to implement openVDB and a sort of volumetric item/implemented surface which allows us to use any geometry and convert it to
volumetric and that will be served as the main shape which upon further noise and advection and random scaling can be applied ( I think I mentioned that 4-5 years ago:)) depth map shadows too for faster rendering, and additional math noise deformer in addition/combination with fractal textures.

Elmar did some test with volumetric item from volumedic, looked promising..but the shading lighting didnīt look as nice..it may just be a question of tweaking and getting to know that system perhaps.

The cloudFX tools are fun, since I can create advanced L-system branching, and apply cloudFx on to that, that yields some crazy cloud stuff, maybe not realistic..but awesome to have those possibilities, it also works with
houdini metaballs, so you can use spheres as metaballs which blends nicely to organic shape, then add cloudfx to that.

I notice that in this tutorial Im mentioning in the thread, I see to much noise and high amplitude, and to small noise, and it is often the same in many type of cloud renderings, and the large scale sample in the tutorial doesnīt look good either, I know I could get such large scale samples looking better with hypervoxels, but thatīs not a limit in the cloudFX system, itīs always a matter how much effort and time you put in to the cloud tweakins, you own sense on how to form clouds, and how carefully you study real life reference, houdini CloudFx tools overcomes some obstacles with the creation of volumetric clouds ..wich in other systems are much harder to overcome.

I think given some more time, and more artists using it, we will see more realistic samples from cloudFX generated clouds.

one thing about textured layers and fluids, they canīt match the designed approach such as you can do when using cloudFX to completly style and create clouds Exactly as you want them.


115343

Michael

hrgiger
07-02-2013, 05:48 PM
Sigh...Hypervoxels are in real need of an update or something else all together.

prometheus
07-02-2013, 05:58 PM
Sigh...Hypervoxels are in real need of an update or something else all together.

Keep them, they are great for some stuff, they could simply add different shader tabs, and item tabs, for either use it as an infinite cloud layer texture as ogo taiki does, or use on a volumetric Item geometry shape.
add a special shader tabs where you can either pick a fireshader ala dynamite( keep lightwave fractals, then noise in dynamite was poor except for smoke nosie), or add a special designed cloud shader with best illumination and light scatter model for that, keep all the fractal options but with
additional math noise functions.

Michael

prometheus
07-02-2013, 09:07 PM
erikals...check your profile account mailbox, ogo taiki related.

Michael

prometheus
07-02-2013, 10:06 PM
erikals...I sorted the issue out, no need to check.

cheers

Michael

Netvudu
07-03-2013, 04:11 AM
Heh....fun thread. Iīve been tinkering with CloudFX since it appeared. Itīs a blast to work with and it gives awesome quality.
I feel the first youtube tutorial isnīt a good presentation because the cloudscape presented there itīs really poor and doesnīt really showcase the toolīs possibilites. Look for Dreamworks "how to train your Dragon" to get a true showcase of what the tool does, as itīs exactly the same tool they used, but more mature.

Iīm making something pretty slick right now with it, only itīs not finished.

A sneak peek, though...

115348

and yes...they are animated :D
Pretty tough to do the same with ANY other package.
I use Houdini a lot these days, and I feel itīs a perfect companion to Lightwave features.

prometheus
07-03-2013, 04:34 AM
Heh....fun thread. Iīve been tinkering with CloudFX since it appeared. Itīs a blast to work with and it gives awesome quality.
I feel the first youtube tutorial isnīt a good presentation because the cloudscape presented there itīs really poor and doesnīt really showcase the toolīs possibilites. Look for Dreamworks "how to train your Dragon" to get a true showcase of what the tool does, as itīs exactly the same tool they used, but more mature.

Iīm making something pretty slick right now with it, only itīs not finished.

A sneak peek, though...

115348

and yes...they are animated :D
Pretty tough to do the same with ANY other package.
I use Houdini a lot these days, and I feel itīs a perfect companion to Lightwave features.


Exactly what I said too..the cloudscape sample isnīt very good, I could throw in a particle field with hypervoxels and get that to look better.

training a dragon sample...maybe 1.25 in showcase it good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV-Ud2Lr9L4

yeah..you got some weird samples too:)

I had some issue when I saved houdini scenes with imported lightwave objects in obj format, when I tried to reload the scene..the objects isnīt there, do not know if the path get screwed up or what.

I would prefer to model in lightwave for now anyway.

There was one guy at sidefx forums that asked about turning the cloudfx cloud into autodop a fluid emitter, and that seems to be doable from what I heard, but I think they are tinkering with that.
no way you could pull that off with current tools in lightwave.

Im back and testing some ogo taiki clouds...and for cloudscapes seen from ground...they are really sweet, though long rendertimes if you use fixed linear sample quality..which is needed for good quality clouds.
I would like to know if houdini has something similar for textured volumetric layers that also work infinitly, and also if has a similar volumetric engine with decent air properties like ogo taiki or ozone,vue.

superman returns and the aeroplane sequence is another sample of nice houdini clouds, you also got a nice aeroplane commercial somewhere and cloud animations from the time machine.
houdini volumetrics has a distinct softness to them, and nice shading.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aWxJ0cxD8c

Michael

Netvudu
07-03-2013, 04:43 AM
Yeah. The reason I mentioned "How To train your dragon" (or anything recent by Dreamworks) and not Superman or Time Machine or any other of the myriad volumetric examples is that thanks to a technology agreement between Side Effects and Dreamworks the off-the-shelf tool in Houdini is exactly the same tool they are using in Dreamworks for clouds, OpenVDB and all.

Also, regarding the price of Houdini, which someone mentioned, I agree the commercial version itīs kinda expensive, but at 4495$ itīs just 500$ above Realflow price (THAT one is really expensive at $3995). So for 500$ more you get a full-blown effects, animation, shading and rendering package with everything you could ask for, plus better fluids than Realflowīs current version (IMHO, after testing both).

prometheus
07-03-2013, 05:10 AM
Yeah. The reason I mentioned "How To train your dragon" (or anything recent by Dreamworks) and not Superman or Time Machine or any other of the myriad volumetric examples is that thanks to a technology agreement between Side Effects and Dreamworks the off-the-shelf tool in Houdini is exactly the same tool they are using in Dreamworks for clouds, OpenVDB and all.

Also, regarding the price of Houdini, which someone mentioned, I agree the commercial version itīs kinda expensive, but at 4495$ itīs just 500$ above Realflow price (THAT one is really expensive at $3995). So for 500$ more you get a full-blown effects, animation, shading and rendering package with everything you could ask for, plus better fluids than Realflowīs current version (IMHO, after testing both).

yeah..it is still expensive, you would have to be very sure that you will have projects or clients able to pay for some jobs or you might need to be certain of getting job at a studio before putting up the wallet for that license, or you simply might be well off somehow:) which means that itīs no big money for you.

houdini HD apprentice for 99$ might be something, you can render stills without watermark at any resolution and animations at 1920 x1080 for nice personal showreels, and the software wont expire...as I mentioned before, they
have a very good approach of getting people to know their software, a personal learning version that donīt expire, and a watermark that doesnīt run all over the test images, and then the apprentice HD version.

I mean..take a look at luxology how they provide a demo for 15 days, and another demo you can pay 25$ for..and that expires within 30 days, that is ridiculous bad marketing, I thought modo had something with itīs volume item, but considering how houdini does it, and the licensing options and free learning version...I donīt think I will look much at the modo direction.

I have and is still urging for the lightwave team/newtek to provide at least a 60 day demo, with some small watermark,render limit and some export limits, I think that will help sell it better,
maybe even a non limit personal edition too.

Michael

zarti
07-03-2013, 07:41 AM
havent had much time to play with H12.5 ,

but i remember to have read times ago a news article on custom "cloud assets" made and used in houdini on RIO .

actual cloud tools seem to be production inspired-and-prooven ,

but were possible ( read the article ) for every houdini users even before ,

since its philosophy gives `special attention` to asset / tool creation process itself .

.. so this might be an interesting read into `volumetrics context` for LW community ( and LW-makers ) :

http://www.sidefx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2034&Itemid=68




.cheers

souzou
07-03-2013, 07:55 AM
Also, regarding the price of Houdini, which someone mentioned, I agree the commercial version itīs kinda expensive, but at 4495$ itīs just 500$ above Realflow price (THAT one is really expensive at $3995). So for 500$ more you get a full-blown effects, animation, shading and rendering package with everything you could ask for, plus better fluids than Realflowīs current version (IMHO, after testing both).

Although one other thing to consider is ongoing cost - Houdini is $2500 per year maintenance vs. 750euros for Realflow, so long term it costs a lot more. And if you drop off Houdini maintenance you would have to repurchase it, there's no upgrade from an earlier version.

Netvudu
07-03-2013, 09:29 AM
Thatīs true to a point. To be fair you have to factor in that while Realflow will update once or twice per year, Houdini updates around 360 times per year, and all those updates are included into the first year. With Realflow now releasing a version almost per year those 1000$ per year also become 2500$ which is the upgrade price. In my mind this turns again the tide towards Houdini.
Not to mention weīre still comparing a full 3D app with a "just for dynamics" specialty application.

souzou
07-03-2013, 10:44 AM
I totally agree in terms of value, we're not comparing like-for-like and Houdini wins hands down. I just wanted to mention that when you look at the costs it's not as straightforward as "this app costs x to buy and this app costs y" (unfortunately). And I wish SideFX would let you upgrade from an earlier version.

prometheus
07-04-2013, 09:57 PM
some feedback on lightwave obj to houdini for modeling clouds.

I had some issues initially where the obj created in lightwave dissappeared after I saved a houdini scene and then opened it, but it was merely a object reference missing path.

since Im more comfortably modeling in lightwave..it works nicely to create cloud objects in lightwave and import as obj into houdini and saving the scene, also worth noting, if you have both lightwave modeler open and houdini, you can simplyredo och change your model completly in lightwave, save it, and swich back to houdini and hit the reload geometry button, if you previously have added the cloudFX tool on the previous model geometry and now reload newly updadet ge ometry, it will keep it within the cloudFX tool without changing that, just changing the model shape...this is very nice, itīs ofcourse similar to working with points in lightwave modeler and do changes and updates will be done with hypervoxels when switching tolayout.

Cool that it works within the Lightwave to houdini pipeline and cloudFX tools too, for better workflow of designing modeled cloud pillars.

Michael

prometheus
07-04-2013, 11:01 PM
heres some comparative stuff when working with model geometry,hypervoxels and appliance on point clusters filled within that geometry, since theres no way of using
it on geometry level....versus exporting to obj format and applience of volumetrics on the Whole geometry level.

See image..same model is used in lightwave for hypervoxels ...by filling the geometry with points with the fill solid tool, result shows VPR draft render...
Houdini uses same model but is converted to a full volumetric object with the click of the cloudFX button, results shows openGL result..no render.

Horrible model:) I just wanted to kick up something fast, started with spheres and modified them a little with magnet tool, thereīs loads of options to sculpt in different ways in both lightwave and houdini of course, or
use zbrush or 3d coat. or displace them.

I love those cloudFX tools in houdini, so much control of different scatter shape to break the uniformity the main sculpt(not noise) then add noise control, and also the secondary noise control called advection, then
the density control that allows you to control softer outer cloud edge density, but still have thicker inner density...and then we have light propagation to control better how light penetrates the volume density in a nice way.
Though..I want to work in lightwave with this:) so what do I have to do to get it there? :) Im a little tired of the local point density cut off that propagetes through point clusters ...since we cant have full volumetric item.



Michael

Mr Rid
07-06-2013, 02:12 AM
HVs with post processing. Click on twice, and zoom.

6 mins, due to mixing volume with sprites. Using Crumple.
115427

1 min. Using Gardner.
115426

115430

prometheus
07-06-2013, 03:27 AM
yes..works with mixing sprites with volumes to get fuzzy edges to a degree, some more random size and it looks quite good.
and yes you can always tweak a little extra and get better results than what I showed in the compare chart, as Ivé been doing also in former tests...se images,
But it takes to much tweaking time, and sculpting particles by spray point or use fill solid, deform them with various tools will result in internal point proximity
that arenīt equal and thus the whold volume will be based on that wich isnīt giving any nice results....
and how much full control can you have working with sculpting of particles, using a model geometry volume approach..

you can sculpt them exactly as you want the end results to be, with particles, points ..you tweak and tweak to get something without that full control,
the fill solid tool was a nice addition since we can fill geometry with point clusters, but it isnīt near enough as good as the real thing,
points will not fill equally in that volume, thus gaps in the cloud density, which can be sort of filled with larger point size ..but then you loose the overall shape.

you can still not get a way from the local density point shadowing.
unless using random particle size at quite large random size ..you end up with repeating point pattern, sure post processing helps a little bit, but not good enough.

believe me ...if you were to try this cloudFX tool out...you donīt
want it any other way.
The problem is that you canīt design hypervoxels exactly as you want..you
could go hypervoxels on large nulls to avoid local point density in the shape, but mixing null voxels with large particle size overlapping is deadly on rendertime, avoid that at all times.
Images show are without post processing, the only thing to smooth things out is to use local density gradient on dissolve channel, and lower thickness.

Hypervoxels in conjunction with dp_sunsky some on particle fields or on subpatched grids, some uses only nulls...

also a repost on the image of houdinicloudfx, some changes in light propagation, just learned how to controll that, that is very sweet and gives a light propagation in a natural way that you
can see in large cuminulumbos clouds before heavy rain, much easier to control in houdini vs hypervoxels, you could sort of fake that with gradients and hypervoxels when used on large single voxel clouds, (wont work with particles,points since that will only end up in sillby local density blobs) but even used on singel voxels, it isnīt as near as realistic compared to houdinicloudfx light propagation.
All images are non processed hypervoxels, except for one image which is the houdini cloudfx tool (check it to see light propagation double click on image to zoom), realtime open gl, I wrestle to get the render looking as good though and it actually feels slow.

Michael

Mr Rid
07-06-2013, 09:52 PM
Of course LW cant compare to Houdini. LW is not the tool for FX. The only reason to choose LW is for the price. But if you are going to use LW for FX, the fun/hell is finagling tricks and workarounds.

http://hhe.wikispaces.com/file/view/rube-goldberg.jpg/51160771/rube-goldberg.jpg

Hail
07-07-2013, 12:37 AM
HVs with post processing. Click on twice, and zoom.

6 mins, due to mixing volume with sprites. Using Crumple.
115427

1 min. Using Gardner.
115426

115430
wow! looks awesome! would be nice if you can share the scene :)

prometheus
07-07-2013, 06:37 AM
wow! looks awesome! would be nice if you can share the scene :)


its not that difficult to set up by yourself, create some points, spray points, or use the fill solid command to fill any geometry with points, you could also use the same geometry and do an object copy to another layer and then thicken it outwards and use that object to fill
it with so called outside particles, then you can use sprites or lower density volume particles for a softer edge and also with a different hypertexture than the inside point volume.

for shading of the voxels you need to find a good balance between the density and thickness channels, to much density and the spherical blob thickness will show, it will help with a dissolve gradient, I tend to use more a previous layer gradient which
in fact seem to help reduce the blobs, and you can also use local density gradient, but it might also destroy the volume shading depending on how it is set.

a tip for creating point clusters with equal space between points, use the quantize command, but you need to set proper scaling within that, the end result will order every point in equal order withing those values so you donīt get point gaps.

Then of course as Mr rid does, process it afterwards with blurring , I find inverted compound blur in after effects to give decent blurring that actually blurs edges more than the whole area, if you donīt have after effects or fusion, in lightwave
try image processing/image filter/full precision blur.

Michael

Michael

jasonwestmas
07-07-2013, 07:57 AM
HVs with post processing. Click on twice, and zoom.

6 mins, due to mixing volume with sprites. Using Crumple.
115427

1 min. Using Gardner.
115426

115430

Wow, 1 minute, I like it.

prometheus
07-07-2013, 10:37 AM
Wow, 1 minute, I like it.

Rendertimes doesnīt tell much though, what is interesting to know if Mr rid used any AA for voxel pass? how large is the particle size and how many points are there rendered?
And what quality settings used for hypervoxels general and the shadow settings? and I suspect you turned of volumetric AA?

high smoothness, low opacity gives longer rendertimes, and the fractal itself can yield faster or longer rendertimes depending on which one used.

Back to cloudFX
the weird thing about houdiniCloudFX, I can get better results in openGL at no rendertime compared to using mantraPBR, I need to learn that one, got to much noise still, and it renders slowly, from what I heard it should be fast for volumetrics
but when I compare rendering with hypervoxels in lightwave, they seem much faster in lightwave...but note that it is different type of voxel system apployed, havent compared to ordinary point volumetrics, keep in mind that it calculates
a whole volume item.

I did test point clusters from lightwave exported to obj and rendered with cloudFX, works as a charm too, the final result doesnīt showcase any density blob cut off around each point, they blend nicely to give the impression of
a full point cloud volume, Now ...how do they do that?

Michael

prometheus
07-07-2013, 12:51 PM
Back to lightwave for a while
Fiddling with gardner clouds and checking rendertimes again...you can see specs, renderdata and amount of points,hypervoxel settings downbelow, I had photoshop,daz studio and houdini running along with some web browsing too:)
also some recent checking of ogo taiki



hypervoxels...double click and then zoom to see full size.
115466

Ogo taiki volumetric engine and the Dpont weather (inverted)fractal for clouds,no specs available at this time (forgot)
115463
115464
115465


Rendertime for the hypervoxel image... 18min 19 sec
1600x1200 resolution
perspective cam

amount of points 1112
particle size 77.07m
size variation 318.5%
hypervoxel render quality good
shadow quality medium
rayleigh illumination/two lights used

volumetric shadows and textured shadows on.
a single null sprite is also in there beneath the cloud to give a small sense of dark whisp underneath.
I could go down to maybe 3-6 minutes,and maybe even around 2 minutes with this machine, but it takes a lot of reducing
the quality and changing some other stuff, for smoke or explosions turning down quality to lowest might work fine,

I really donīt like doing that with clouds though, thereīs a huge difference between medium and good render quality I think, I
skipped any form of AA...that includes excluding volumetric AA, that could give much finer quality but at render cost, and
using volumetic lights with hypervoxels and AA is needed to avoid noise in the godrays which means long long waiting unfortunatly if
you want that.

specs...
Lightwave 11.5 64 bit
windows 7 home edition
Asus laptop
intel i7 2670QM CPU 2.20 GHz
ram 8gb
Gtx 560m

Hail
07-08-2013, 07:05 AM
its not that difficult to set up by yourself, create some points, spray points, or use the fill solid command to fill any geometry with points, you could also use the same geometry and do an object copy to another layer and then thicken it outwards and use that object to fill
it with so called outside particles, then you can use sprites or lower density volume particles for a softer edge and also with a different hypertexture than the inside point volume.

for shading of the voxels you need to find a good balance between the density and thickness channels, to much density and the spherical blob thickness will show, it will help with a dissolve gradient, I tend to use more a previous layer gradient which
in fact seem to help reduce the blobs, and you can also use local density gradient, but it might also destroy the volume shading depending on how it is set.

a tip for creating point clusters with equal space between points, use the quantize command, but you need to set proper scaling within that, the end result will order every point in equal order withing those values so you donīt get point gaps.

Then of course as Mr rid does, process it afterwards with blurring , I find inverted compound blur in after effects to give decent blurring that actually blurs edges more than the whole area, if you donīt have after effects or fusion, in lightwave
try image processing/image filter/full precision blur.

Michael

Michael
I m currently messing around here with that technique with no good results:(

prometheus
07-08-2013, 08:42 AM
I m currently messing around here with that technique with no good results:(

Uhum..yeah, that might be, can you post the scene of what you got? . or at least an image, if you donīt post the scene, try and post a print screen of some hv settings and point cluster..I could check scene and might be able to guide if I see what you got.

Mr rid and I have probably spent a lot of time with hypervoxels tweaking and cursing from time to time, thatīs maybe what it takes do know the inside out of them in order to get the results you want, opacit, dissolve thickness smoothness, ambient light, shadow settings etc..each one of those parameters affects one another and you always have to balance them, and to do that you need to know how they work.

But as I mentioned in the thread itself, houdini cloudFX tools got me where hypervoxels couldnt for years, and that within a couple of sessions, but that said...it is for shaping and the look of the cloud, I need to overcome other obstacles in houdini.
I hope this thread might serve as yet another call for the Lightwave team to take a look at openVDB and other tools for the aid of creating specific dedicated tasks such as clouds.

Edit..what specific technique are you copying? and is it the hypervoxels you have a mess with or is it the point cluster creation?

Michael

Hail
07-08-2013, 09:01 AM
Still not looking good, 115472 :(
*very frustrating*

prometheus
07-08-2013, 09:19 AM
Still not looking good, 115472 :(
*very frustrating*

yes...the first thing you should do, do not tweak hvīs against black, use a gradient or blue color so you can define cloud edges better, then you have to think about general lighting which affect the cloud too.

second..way to small particle size,(mine were aprox 80 meters for each point/particle size ...also if you are aiming for just creating a cloud to use in post processing you might get away with size at mm level, if you intend to rescale in post process etc, I generally try to sculpt in real world size, you have to take in acount the light that will fall on your cloud volume in the end, thus might be best to work from a real scale model.
If you want to throw in a spacecraft ..or have the clouds cast shadows on terrain...something will not be right with mm size:)

third, I would position the cloud at 200-400 meter so they also are in the real world position too.

fourth, you have equal particle size, you should have a little variations in the bulging of the particle sizes, set a value of maybe 50 80 or more in size variation.

fifth, you might be better of using the dpont_gardner fractal, go to dpont site and download his Rman collection, it is free.
http://dpont.pagesperso-orange.fr/plugins/Download.htm

sixth, you have way to much density...

seventh, you might want to change illumination to rayleigh for more realistic light scattering in clouds.

eight....you have to small hypertexture amplitude, but if you use gardner clouds, you can sort of control the texture much more with increasement, offset,gain etc...

nineth...opacity could be reduced, you are blocking all light that should pass through volumetrics, and lower opacity letīs the light shine through more, try 50 or something.

I will hit the sack soon, but Iīll might improve your scene a little bit and repost...but meanwhile, do go and get dpont_renderman collection

Michael

jasonwestmas
07-08-2013, 09:44 AM
Those are some nice skies Prometheus. Does ogo-taki have a purchase page, I can't find it. Something like that would be super nice to have in LW native.

prometheus
07-08-2013, 09:51 AM
Those are some nice skies Prometheus. Does ogo-taki have a purchase page, I can't find it. Something like that would be super nice to have in LW native.

check instructions in erikals videos, and also on Akihiro Ogoshi site...you purchase license for hikari, which then is used to register ogo taiki as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW0ImR2zZ9M

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~pq1a-ogs/sss_e.html

http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~pq1a-ogs/buy_e.html

jhinrichs
07-12-2013, 10:10 AM
I downloaded Houdini Apprentice the other day because I'd like to explore fire and smoke stuff but I am frustrated by the cost of Turbulence FD. Just a hobbyist here, 1080 output is fine for the stuff I do and $600 bucks for TFD is a stretch financially. I kinda like the industry trend of releasing non-production learners editions for cheap. RealFlow was a no-brainer.

I spent a couple days with Houdini, watching tutorials and messing around. The power relative to Lightwave is ridiculous, but yeah. I have to agree with some of the previous posters that trying to do something quick like I'm used to in Lightwave isn't easy. The simplest scene is a nightmare of nodes. Still for $100 bucks and 1080 output it might be worth it just to have as another tool in the tool chest.

prometheus
07-12-2013, 10:21 AM
I downloaded Houdini Apprentice the other day because I'd like to explore fire and smoke stuff but I am frustrated by the cost of Turbulence FD. Just a hobbyist here, 1080 output is fine for the stuff I do and $600 bucks for TFD is a stretch financially. I kinda like the industry trend of releasing non-production learners editions for cheap. RealFlow was a no-brainer.

I spent a couple days with Houdini, watching tutorials and messing around. The power relative to Lightwave is ridiculous, but yeah. I have to agree with some of the previous posters that trying to do something quick like I'm used to in Lightwave isn't easy. The simplest scene is a nightmare of nodes. Still for $100 bucks and 1080 output it might be worth it just to have as another tool in the tool chest.

yes..the simple things:)

In houdini you need to be very aware of in which level you are working in, jumping in and out of "containers" and nodes.
If you are solely working with that and has been for a while, then that might be very locical and easy...and the power of having everything in building blocks represented with nodes that can be replaced, changed,switching types and adding
own created nodes ..that is an emmensly powerful software that can create almost everything.
But it will only be powerful in the right hands so to speak.

I rather still work within the lightwave environment as mentioned, just give me some better hypervoxels with reference on how to houdini cloudfx do it please....and a couple of other stuff of course.
houdini feels like a construction engineer tool that has no limits, but..getting started..puh, where lightwave feels like a movie making film stage where you might need some assistent running away to buy assets not available on that
very stage:)

Michael

jasonwestmas
07-12-2013, 10:23 AM
Yep, realflow (even maxwell) and houdini apprentice is a real no brainer for non-commercial needs. I'm quite astonished what is available these days for that kind of pricing.