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Thread: Clouds.....

  1. #1

    Clouds.....

    I have a scene and I want to make both ground cover and sky clouds...Looking for some suggestions, tutorials, etc...

    The scale of the scene is a mountainous area, roughly 6km around...though I dont want 100% coverage...the ground clouds would be below peak levels in the valleys.

    I resist using Hypervoxels because of the blobbiness. I dont want to use a poly based object because its a pain to get soft edges.

    Ive tried a VBO, but at that scale I need a ton of particles, which brings LW to its knees. Ive tried a straight volumetric object, but there's no option to assign a particle object to define its shape, distribution, etc.

    Even a tutorial on using AE to create them in 3d and doing it all there would be fine.

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwanmtr View Post
    I have a scene and I want to make both ground cover and sky clouds...Looking for some suggestions, tutorials, etc...

    The scale of the scene is a mountainous area, roughly 6km around...though I dont want 100% coverage...the ground clouds would be below peak levels in the valleys.

    I resist using Hypervoxels because of the blobbiness. I dont want to use a poly based object because its a pain to get soft edges.

    Ive tried a VBO, but at that scale I need a ton of particles, which brings LW to its knees. Ive tried a straight volumetric object, but there's no option to assign a particle object to define its shape, distribution, etc.

    Even a tutorial on using AE to create them in 3d and doing it all there would be fine.

    Thanks.

    I can give you hints and guidelines, tutorials may be possible after this summer..but it may be commercial.
    What Lightwave version?

  3. #3
    Im using 2019.0.3.
    Sky clouds I can do in AE easy enough, since those dont need to interact with the landscape..gonna be doing alot AE for the project..hehe.
    But the ground clouds have to keep their relations to it.
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  4. #4
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwanmtr View Post
    Im using 2019.0.3.
    Sky clouds I can do in AE easy enough, since those dont need to interact with the landscape..gonna be doing alot AE for the project..hehe.
    But the ground clouds have to keep their relations to it.
    Since you have 2019, you shouldnīt have to use old legacy volumetrics, unless you simply like the looks of it.
    VBO..whatīs that?

    You can not add volumetric item on to points in 2019, but you can add particles generated from points, so if you have made a point cloud shaped as you want it..you have to go through that route unfortunately and then use the particle emitter as target for the volumetric item.

    But, I think you should skip particles completely and just use a large volumetric cloud item, or a couple of them...that way you can avoid the particle volume blending..which otherwise is a bit uggly.

    You can also do a fluid simulation in blender and save out as VDB and then use it in your landscape.
    To note, currently VDB doesnīt have the newer addon for volumetrics ..called shadow intensity, that makes a big difference to controll cloud shadows.


  5. #5
    Goes bump in the night RebelHill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwanmtr View Post
    Ive tried a straight volumetric object, but there's no option to assign a particle object to define its shape, distribution, etc.
    I guess you're talking about the fog/clouds you get forming in the valleys between hills and mountains...

    If so, and presuming youre doing the terrain with displacement maps, then you can use that same map in the volume object as an alpha to clip the density of the volume, thus shaping it around the terrain contours.
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  6. #6
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RebelHill View Post
    I guess you're talking about the fog/clouds you get forming in the valleys between hills and mountains...

    If so, and presuming youre doing the terrain with displacement maps, then you can use that same map in the volume object as an alpha to clip the density of the volume, thus shaping it around the terrain contours.
    Absolutely, and he could also weight paint on a subdiv grid the areas around his landscape (valley?) and then use old hypervoxels on that, the new system I do not think is capable of that, maybe with nodes to extract weight data for particle emission, but not directly...then again he could just use select painted weigh and delete the points that is not selected and use that for particle emitting per vertices and then apply the new volumetrics.

    In blender he could paint a weight map and let the fluids emitt from that to create a low level cloud fog style ..save as VDB and load in to Lightwave.
    Edited..

    VDB tools mesh to volume may also be a way to go, you have to model the cloud shape around the valleys, mesh convert to volume and simulate with advection, save out a frame to get a good noise going on...but this process is slow...I would probably myself go with other options, but it is there.

  7. #7
    What ive done so far is make an object that fits the valleys where I want them...the VDB (sorry, for some reason I think VBO...dunno why..lol) is fairly quick...but as you can see from the images, Im not sure how to get them to respond to lighting properly...nor are they see though, cept in a few areas.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Rob Depew
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  8. #8
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwanmtr View Post
    What ive done so far is make an object that fits the valleys where I want them...the VDB (sorry, for some reason I think VBO...dunno why..lol) is fairly quick...but as you can see from the images, Im not sure how to get them to respond to lighting properly...nor are they see though, cept in a few areas.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think there are two issues here,
    first you are trying to use a noise that isnīt ideal for cloud..not even for a lesser dense valley cloud fog, with vdb there is only two kinds of noise and the one you have picked will only be on the surface of the volumetric and not on edges such as hypertexture or the texture options for the new volumetric item.

    I wouldnīt use that kind of noise at all, and that noise also seem to be fed in to the scattering channel, probably causing the general look to be too dark.'

    Normally a cloud doesnīt have much emission ..if at all, but you can fake light scattering by implementing the emission channel, that means plugin the grid also in to the emission channel.
    The VDB tool doesnīt have texture density or shadow intensity..for volumetric item clouds that is an option and would have helped tuning it.
    You probably need to play around with gradients in scatter channels, perhaps emission, higher scattering values means denser volume presentation as I know of, lower yields thinner and lighter clouds.
    Personally I would probably skip mesh to VDB volume and use normal volumetric item, with alpha maps as Rebelhill described.

    Edited, one longshot...and if itīs not commercial, you can use these modeled clouds and send to houdini apprentice, use cloudfx on them..that way you will get control of noise edges of the clouds in a much better way than you do
    by simulating advection with lw vdb tools, you can do this static in houdini, you will also be able to control the scattering light that will be translated once saved back as vdb to Lightwave, if it is a commercial project and you would want to go with the mesh to houdini to vdb route and back to lightwave, indie version of houdini could be an option.
    Sending a mesh to blender and simulate mostly the filling of the objects with fluids ..with some small vorticity could also be an option, but I havenīt tried that route properly to see if that is a smooth workflow with good enough results once sent back to lightwave as VDB.

  9. #9
    My understanding is the procedurals effect density of the particles in the vdb. Ive never used Houdini..well once, but couldnt figure out the interface....hehe.

    I could use RealFlow, I guess..but I havent played much with RF's control for this sorta thing.
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  10. #10
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwanmtr View Post
    My understanding is the procedurals effect density of the particles in the vdb. Ive never used Houdini..well once, but couldnt figure out the interface....hehe.

    I could use RealFlow, I guess..but I havent played much with RF's control for this sorta thing.
    Realflow seems a bit unnecessary, you donīt need any fluid sim like that for this kind of stuff.


    Houdini, yes ..takes a while to learn it, but for a specific case like just creating a vdb cloud from a mesh, it doesnīt require much learning, not for creating the cloud I think, but I maybe am a little to biased based upon my own
    knowledge of it.
    you do need to know how to navigate in the viewport, spacebar and pan, zoom and orbit, then you need to know how to apply a cloudfx on to a mesh, then jump in to the proper node and apply a vdb save node, itīs not hard when you know how to, and doesnīt take many steps to do it either.

    Apart from applying cloudfx on to a premade imported mesh, you can instead also use the volume paint tool ..and with an airprush in the viewport paint your volume around the landscape mesh, then apply cloud lighting, and cloud noise, and last save out as VDB file.

  11. #11
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    Too bad classic Hypervoxels don't meet your needs. They don't have to be "blobby" if you use the Stretch in Y with a small percentage.

    Sample LW2015 scene attached. The particle emitter generates all the ground-fog particles at Frame 0, but the HV texture moves over time so the fog appears to move and grow, etc.. Another World Coordinates texture is used to control the Y stretch. The rain is another particle emitter with a long stretch in Velocity. Dark grey backdrop lighter at the horizon with fog completes the scene.

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    Small MOV file: HV_GroundFog_Mountains_SlowCamera_small.MOV

    The Public Domain rainforest ambience sound was taken from here:

    http://soundbible.com/1818-Rainforest-Ambience.html

    overlayed with the non-commercial-use licensed soft rain sound from here:

    http://www.orangefreesounds.com/soft-rain-sound/

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  12. #12
    Perhaps I'll give HV another shot.
    Havent had a chance to try Houdini yet, and Id have to decide what software to forget to make room in my brain for another...lol

    Thanks for the replies....I"ll drop an image once I have something to let yall see my results.
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  13. #13
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonroePoteet View Post
    Too bad classic Hypervoxels don't meet your needs. They don't have to be "blobby" if you use the Stretch in Y with a small percentage.
    True, but that is sprites isnīt it?
    by itīs nature and not being enough slice per voxels, you do not get the blobby look with sprites, but sprites do not have any realistic lighting in them, fake with gradients and good lighting setup and you may get away with something
    semi realistic.

  14. #14

    yes, sprites lack realism, mostly like Prometheus says since it lacks SubSurfaceScattering

    this also goes for HyperVoxels in 2015 in general.

    [HyperVoxels] - fake with gradients and good lighting setup and you may get away with something semi realistic.
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  15. #15
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Blender quick ant landscape, saved as obj and then imported in Houdini...
    Houdini paint volume fog, this is located in the volume tab, not cloudfx tab, but you will use the cloudfx tab later on for adding noise and cloud light ,
    Image shown, Gizmo in red is the paint brush, sizable with shift and dragging the mouse, then just paint away.
    it shows with noise and with bypass of the cloudnoise.
    Once you add an convert openvdb at the end of these nodes (cloudLight) ..you can save the VDB out to lightwave and render there.

    This initial test is however too noise..I rarely did any change in noise though, and it is a bit too thick.



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