Lightwave volumetric Items, clouds and sky moods, planet clouds, fog, godrays Part 2.

RPSchmidt

Member
I think of those renders, number 6 is the most aesthetically pleasing to me... you still have some flattening, but also some height in the upper portions of the clouds, so that they aren't completely flat but they aren't shooting out of the atmosphere.

The atmosphere also looks better in number 6 (my opinion only, of course). The lighting seems more realistic... in the other renders, the clouds are throwing some very harsh shadows... I guess because there is no visible land mass, they just keep going, which looks odd.

I would like to see what #6 looks like with land masses, i.e., a planet surface.

#1 and 2, the clouds look good, but the lighting looks odd... again, maybe just the harsh shadows.

I would still love to get into the process. There are so many things that I would love to be able to experiment with, but work + life just doesn't give me the time to play.
 

prometheus

REBORN
I think of those renders, number 6 is the most aesthetically pleasing to me... you still have some flattening, but also some height in the upper portions of the clouds, so that they aren't completely flat.

I would still love to get into the process. There are so many things that I would love to be able to experiment with, but work + life just doesn't give me the time to play.

Thank´s for the feedback RPSchmidt, and I agree...nr 6 looks the best and I kind of figured that one would be most aesthetically pleasing for most folks.
The first ones are mostly just to showcase and describe various methods.

As for shadows not terminating, that isn´t about earth surface really, don´t think so, since it´s the same in nr 6, but rather a matter of atmosphere density or anisotrophy perhaps that terminates the shadows I believe, will have to take not of that, at that angle..the shadows goes on quite long since it´s mostly passing trhough the atmosphere in quite some length and not directly in angle to the actual earth surface, where it ends or merges in to the atmosphere depends on those settings of the atmosphere.

May have to stay away from 3D for some days now though, got the other things in life as well, and spring cleaning the final stuff so I can enjoy when summer arrives over here, i´ts been some rainy and cold spring days the latest week, but summer can kick in with a knocker within a week or so, and then it´s just summer...and clouds to watch out for.
 
A few months ago (inspired by the intusatic disscusion of two Scandinavian guys about Imperial Star Destroyer and planetary surfaces :)) I did some tests.

Here I have combined an ancient method with the new volometric objects.
The actual cloud cover consists of a sphere with many layers. A cloud texture (photo) controls the transparency. A weight map additionally controls the transparency of the individual layers, so that the clouds are rounded towards the top.
A second cloud cover is a volumetric object whose density is also defined by a cloud texture. Furthermore, there is an atmosphere that also is made of a volumetric object.

Although this "onion layer" cloud cover object was originally intended as a render time saver, I use it because I can display the cloud formations already in OpenGL. This makes it faster to find nice formations (plus I'm not that good at making procedural clouds). With the volumetric objects, you can't talk about saving time here anyway.

Erde_v004a.jpg Erde_v008a.jpg Erde_v009a.jpg

ciao
Thomas
 
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prometheus

REBORN
A few months ago (inspired by the intusatic disscusion of two Scandinavian guys about Imperial Star Destroyer and planetary surfaces :)) I did some tests.

Here I have combined an ancient method with the new volometric objects.
The actual cloud cover consists of a sphere with many layers. A cloud texture (photo) controls the transparency. A weight map additionally controls the transparency of the individual layers, so that the clouds are rounded towards the top.
A second cloud cover is a volumetric object whose density is also defined by a cloud texture. Furthermore, there is an atmosphere that also is made of a volumetric object.

Although this "onion layer" cloud cover object was originally intended as a render time saver, I use it because I can display the cloud formations already in OpenGL. This makes it faster to find nice formations (plus I'm not that good at making procedural clouds). With the volumetric objects, you can't talk about saving time here anyway.

View attachment 150036 View attachment 150037 View attachment 150038

ciao
Thomas


Viking inspiration, in space..yeah, I recall that :)

Looking good Thomas, so a hybrid setup..interesting.

So the cloud texture transparency is a pure surface object, while still rendering as cloud texture and serve as openGL preview, and the additionl volumetric cloud object is pretty much the same cloud texture from bitmap images?

No procedurals then, it´s probably a good approach though you can not do much with the cloud animation wise, though how often would you really need that anyway, and at that scale you hardly notice it unless showcasing a cyclone perhaps over a timelapse, so even if you have one of the layers as volumetric clouds, because it is image based, it will render faster.

Though they are lookin good, as images mas ar purely 2d, you do not get that depth and volume, especially when noticing the side of the clouds,certaina angles, not since clouds are truly 3d volumes, if you want to push high pillar clouds up, or make exoplanets or gas planets for instance, works quite often with plain ol earth, but personally I think it tends to look to flat.

Thanks for sharing the method, it´s one way to go as well.

I will have to check in to Terragens way of planetary clouds as well, and another software soon.
 
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prometheus

REBORN
was by the way slightly surprised by the SkyTracer2 example >


Yes..that is very good for skytracer, I think he nailed the motion and the shading and colors quite nicely, perhaps som additional noise in there would be nice.

But if you run this over a ground, it will not cast shadows, so a big con, and you can´t have aeroplanes or other objects behind the clouds either, or apply it to a mountain range as clouds covering it, it´s not fully volumetric in that sense, and you can´t cast godrays, so it fails in situations where a ground or other earth items needs shadows casts.

And other issues is the sunlight, it only works properly with the SKT sun, not the newer light types, and you can only position and pitch it through the skytracer sunspot panel, which isn´t that easy to get right.

but for similar results, without any sunbeams or shadows..it can be nice, and its quite easy to setup and is almost infinite in cloud layering, which is harder to acheive with the more recent newer volumetrics per item basis.

What we need in further lightwave volumetrics enhancement apart from proper multiple scattering, that is infinite cloud layer system.
Now ogo taiki had that nailed, as well as pretty much everything except for GI ..and the fact that quality control and speed was a huge issue, particle control as you are aware of, land with procedural infinite detail, air refraction for heat shimmer, godrays, even planetary views that could look great when going from terrain and through and over clouds to planetary view.
The problem was the rendertime and to get decent quality, and to set it up all from scratch...foremost, secondly getting GI in there if needed.

Sky tracer´s cloud fractals are not so good to use with the newer volumetrics by the way, built formost to fit in skytracer, it just looks horrible trying to get something decent out of it with volumetric item ala 2019.

What you could do perhaps, that is to use skytracer and the method of using transparent plane with fractals to cast shadows, so you could get your shadows and rays, not exactly matching the skytracer clouds, but giving some illusion of that and sunrays, if you need a backdrop to match the sun with the scene for buildings etc.
 
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prometheus

REBORN
Since my last post about skytracer I did set this up, though I should leave clouds alone for a while..punching holes for the light in the sky.

Note, should be enhanced with better detail and scattering, an dark siluette of a Lightwave knight on a cliff as well, perhaps also even the Lightwave logo animated within the clouds to cast those sunrays :)
But animation I don´t think is gonna happen with clouds and global godray scattering until I get a new superPC..maybe two three years from know.

Setup time 12-15 minutes perhaps, and perhaps 15-20 minutes of iteration to this stage in VPR.
volumetric light quality 12
Step size 10m
Radius size 95.5 m (diameter almost 200)
scaling of null, multiplying of the actual cloud size by 200 x 412, wich yields a scale around 40 000 km for the cloud layer on the smallest scale axis.
So a fairly large scale clouds, compared to LW content, and it´s positioned at the altitude of 700 meters.

Global volumetric scatter 0,737
Light volumetric distance 6.35 km
Light type sunlight hosek.

I´m getting pretty fast at setting the stuff up nowadays, and to get godrays working as I want mostly, always tricky to get the right shading though with godrays, this is no GI no environment light, and it´s too flat perhaps, I could enhance that with texturing in various channels though to fake the scatter, but then it would have taking me longer time and I have to watch U18 hockey now :)

O yeah, I did use two textures, one turbulence in the opacity input for gardner clouds, one of those things to set the right density for the overall look.

Gardner clouds godrays.jpg
 

prometheus

REBORN
Looks nice!  


Yeah, tweaking clouds = t.i.m.e.c.o.n.s.u.m.i.n.g.

only a small part regarding the actual fractal tweak to get it right ..is part of that, but mostly it's due to render times and vpr iteration speed for checking how it looks..and to add to that which is the major clogger..that is the volumetric lights on top of that.

i'm almost sleeping..terror bird just woke me up for some minutes...so back to dreamland.
 

i'm almost sleeping..terror bird just woke me up for some minutes...so back to dreamland.
had one here too...


not the nice Blackbird one, but a one going Beeep-bep Beeep-bep Beeep-bep..... until no end.... aagh...


 

prometheus

REBORN
had one here too...


not the nice Blackbird one, but a one going Beeep-bep Beeep-bep Beeep-bep..... until no end.... aagh...

There is always more than one terrorist.
same language over there as over her apparently, so yes...that´s the one, though at this time, it´s resting it´s voice and the blackbird have taking over which is nicer to sleep to.

Woke up again after almost 3 hours, I am having some issues this month of only able to sleep 2-3 hours, then waking up, either from the bird, or having to pee, or
heartburn, or the dayrythm screwing things up generally, and trying to fix that dayrythm by going to bed earlier doesn´t really work so good, the other alternative is to stay up for 26-28 hours before going to bed.

More godrays coming up later this week I think, will throw in some land as well.
 

prometheus

REBORN
20 Layers



Did some tests in Terragen too :).

View attachment 150050

ciao
Thomas

Yes me too yesterday since we are in the same universe right now, first try with terragen planetary clouds. terragen demoversion 4.1.11

Lightwave volumetrics is the thread though, but sure..we need something to compare to when choosing methods.

Terragen I have some issues with in some scenes with it not rendering scattering correct as it is shown in rtp, it comes out completely wrong, and I do not see that it would be the cause of tone mapping, but must be some raytracing render settings I need to check up on.

You have a nicer softness in the atmosphere there, mine is a bit harsher but I wasn´t focusing on that too much this time.

terr2.jpg


terr1.jpg
 
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prometheus

REBORN
you should probably check out Shaun's work with > LightWave Octane VDB

some videos >
rendertimes = unsure, think they are pretty high.











and he´s got octane to deliver animations, and tfd..but that´s mostly it to deliver animation.

While cool and so, not really something I can extract something useful from, nor particular impressive for clouds, mostly it is fluids from tfd it seems, and the scattering is still not
to that level needed, and for some stills, it seems to use octane fractals that don´t look particulary good.

What I thought was nice and really cool though, that was when millenium falcon passes through the cloud and create smoke whisps, but the actual cloud shape and noise in the vid ..could be better, had he gotten both that fractal adressed, and a bit better scattering..then it would of course have been just awesome.

Personally I am in the zone of " It´s taking to long time of my life" to continue with all this, just the feeling I get after some hours of tweaks and tweaks both in lightwave and in terragen, usually I shut down for some weeks and then fall back to it now and then.
I do think It may be wiser though to get more from other things in life and let technology do it´s thing and get back to it when I can afford CPU´s or the software has improved much much more so not too much time goes to tweak, watch for hours, tweak etc and not getting there anyway.
 

...and the scattering is still not to that level needed,...
afaik it can be adjusted to look very good. the Falcon example kind of shows the potential.
but might indeed not be to a Terragen level.

and let technology do it´s thing and get back to it when I can afford CPU´s or the software
might very well be. will probably take quite a few years.
was thinking the same yesterday.

unless i had to do it for a production.

 
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