Another Cloud Simulation idea...

Well a while ago i wanted to come up with a way to make clouds… so i tried and came up with this:

The texture I used for the displacement map was a Cloud procedural set to Hard noise and the NoiseSize was set around 0.600.

The mesh just starts from a cube that you extrude out rather randomly in the basic shape that you want it… and the displacement modifier does the rest…

I think this should explain it mostly… and if you want to make it fluffy i think that would have to be done in the compositeing stage… I just have got that far yet…

EDIT: Oh yeah… this method uses alot of verts and takes a reeealllly long time to render…with SSS included… so if anyone finds a way to make it look just as cool or cooler… but with less verts… please post your results here… and hey if you create a cool render with this you would like to share feel free to post it here…:smiley:

  • Lumpycow

Wow Cool!

Is there a way to make their edges more fluffy in the materials? Perhaps with some sort of alpha mask?
Sure, compositing would work, but I just like having more options.

I wonder what this would look like if you used the Discombobulator?


I set my sss error to 1 and my render time was under 2 minutes. Still looked like yours.

If I set the first subsurf to 1 (instead of 2) and turn off AO, I get 19 seconds. Still very close to yours

(sorry for not having pics, I was stupid and did not save them.)


hey I’m impressed I have been trying to get nice clouds with the particle system. And I like your smoothing displacement and texturing nice.

Nice, it almost looks like popcorn… hehe

Wow. So they don’t look exactly like real clouds, but for certain styles, this is perfect, and it could be tweaked to look realistic. And it’s way better than using halos.

Good work.

Well you could also add a mesh around it for halos in certains parts to simulate the softer fluffyer parts…

Really really interesting. I’ve seen it in your artwork… impressive. Thanks a lot for sharing!

Thanks for sharing your idea.

Looks nice and is easy to set up, the render time is good if you tweek some things as KevinW sugested. Thanks. Its not “photo-real” this render is very toon looking, but I think you could mess with it some and get some realistic looking clouds.


Wow these are really, really attractive clouds! And a rendertime of under 2 minutes! Awesome. :smiley:

Wow, thanks for sharing lumpycow.

It’s really a quite cool technique that gives a very stylized return!

(I’ll have to post my attempts when I get home)


wow shr1k!! your cloud actually does look photorealistic in the thumbnail, it is only when you open the full size image that it looks sort of cartoony. So maybe doing an oversized render & then shrinking it down could be a good way to make realistic clouds… Or maybe some post-processing on the render could take away some of the toonyness… Just some thoughts…

It works like a charm! And is real fast! Thanks for the setup :smiley:

The cartooniness (To me at least) seems to be caused by the solidity… if you can give it a kinda… translucent look, but not thin enough to see all the way through, you may be able to do even better… iono… just an idea

Close up it almost looks like a wad of solidified paper.

You need fuzziness.

Here is another (its the same mesh) It does need some “fuzzyness” as CD says to look real. I cant figure out a good way to do that. this is about 14 min render. to long for the quality if you ask me. I’m sure that the render time could be decreased with some sort of LOD on the far clouds. Thanks again I’ve had some fun playing with this.


Definitely better… for the fuzziness you could do some post prod on it, or maybe use mist?

Maybe combine this technique with some of the better aspects of other cloud tests.

Copy the mesh and add some kind of low alpha halo material maybe? Would need to tweak a lot or it would probably white out I think. Who knows?