How to create moving sunrays for ocean sunrise?

I’m trying to create a somewhat graphical animation of a sunrise looking over the ocean directly at the sun.
And that was just the easy part, the though part is to create moving sunbeames.
I know that there is a way to use animated textures on a spotlight, like a marble texture with an offset in the dZ texture setting.
But that doesn’t seem to do anything.

Then I found this kinda old tut :
But no luck with that one either… :frowning:

What I really would like to see is a kinda caustic underwater effect but then looking straight at the source in this case the sun… [!]

Any help is most welcome

Here’s something I’ve been trying to do (no success yet, or I’d post a render/blend) I think its similar to what you’re trying.

Basically I want a spotlight (A) with halo shining down through some smoke textures (B). This would then affect the halo giving me some multi-beam effects like the sun shining through clouds ©. And the final surface (D) should have lighter spots and darker spots sepending on what the texture is up at (B).

Now, I’ve found that halo won’t go through a transparent area, so I’ve been working on creating a mesh from “just the black areas of a smoke texture”

That way, the halo would only be stopped by the dark regions. But, that’s also where I’m stuck, trying to get that blocking/stencil mesh created.

I’m hoping that 1) if I can create a nice mottled mesh replication of the smoke texture, and the 2) make it invisible. then 3) the halo will be broken up in the proper locations because it won’t pass through an object.

I can then move this “invisble” mesh around, simulating an animated texture that would also be projected by the spotlight on the final surface.

That’s sorta the same effect I was aming at!

Anyone else have a clue on how to do this ???

There must be a way to use moving textures on the lightsource so that it reacts with the halo beams…?

I don’t believe that a halo will shine through the transparent parts of a plane. I would model a couple of layers of planes with random holes in them. then as you move/rotate the planes the planes the pattern where the halo shines through all the planes would dance – sort of faking a animated texture with real geometry. I hope you understand what I mean.



Yea that was what I had in mind after I had run some tests with trying to get the halo to go through a transparent material.

My problem now is getting that cloud pattern into a mesh shape.

Oh oh, I just thought of a way to do it… going to take a lot of vertices, but I think it would work.

I’m going to try the “Modeling with Cross Sections” technique on a plane. Then from the “edge on” angle will cut out all the points that get moved by the noise button.

That should give me a fairly nice mask to use.

Time to play…

—Could you post an animation when you’re done? If it goes well you could even write a tutorial… :slight_smile:

Well, I’m not sure if this is tutorial material. But the following test is what I got to work. I think I can use this idea in a scene with moving clouds, or more to what I had wanted originally, hazy layers of smoke moving through a room lit by overhead lights… Now I just have to actually model it.

A) I created the disk shape, and applied several subdivisions to it.
B) Then using the technique of the afrementioned landscape tutorial, I added cloud noise several times.
C) Then looking edge on, I selected and cut out a couple of random layers until it looked interesting from above.
D) This I then applied subsurf to round out the corners.
E) I couldnt get the actual material to be totally invisible, so I cheated again and just moved the disk above the camera view.
F) Now, I inserted a rotation location at frame 1, rotated the disk from above a little bit, and inserted a new rotation location.
G) from the IPO curve window I found the one curve that was changing, and extrpolated it
H) Then per Cog’s excellent tutorial on animated meshes, I applied an animated mesh to the spotlight using the same texture I applied to the disk. Except I used the offsets X and Y instead of X and Z.

I) Fingers crossed, I hoped the animation of 20 seconds or so would not have the spot texture going in the opposite direction of the faked out halo texture. (I think I got that right)

go to

look under tutorials

download their waves tutorial. and then have a look at how they did the lightning.

i haven’t done the tut yet but i think it would help with the effect you are trying to get.

DracoFodder, I try to follow your explanations but I am afraid I don’t quite follow them… :frowning:

You’ll see, what I try to get is something as close as possible to this.

So, as you see, it is a very close idea to your sunrays, but I don’t get the C) point, I can’t figure it out as clearly as I would like…

BTW, wonderful and cute sunrays, I liked the animation a lot!!

juanjavier, that’s a beautiful effect. I’m not sure if this technique I’m trying would work for that, as you’re wanting to look more directly into the light.

Maybe with some creative use of masks and the sequence editor.

At any rate, your question about my step “C” I have broken out into the following.

Pic A is showing the disk after I applied the “noise” button a few times per the landscape tutorial technique.
Pic B is showing the selction of a few verts from my “edge on” view LEFT, and what it looks like at an angle RIGHT.
Pic C is after I have deleted these selected verts
Pic D is after I applied subsurf to the object.

Hope that helps.

OR you can get the effect of the movie clip you had, underwater.m1v, by making several single vertex planes. Give each a material all having the same settings, Halo and Star selected, just vary the number of stars. The stars are the number of rays generated. Then just move some of the very slightly. Start with just 3 such objects and see what you think. This will give the twinkling ray effect that I think was your main concern.

So here’s a short animaiton of the idea I mentioned above.
Click on this link to go to the avi file.

Right click on the above link and choose download to get the blend file.

----Not necessarily, DracoFodder. Either I want to achieve something like I posted before or this other thing, which clearly resembles your technique. Pay attention to the halo beams below the water surface, that is what it is all about.

My main problem is: I tried to model a disk with lots of tiny holes and make it spin around in order the spot halo would create flickering rays when seen from below the disk. Pity. That simple idea did not work: the halo completely crosses the solid disk, so the holes have no relevance. No matter if you place holes in the disk or you make it completely solid and opaque, the halo will pass thru it. Unless there is something I am forgetting or doing wrong…


the halo completely crosses the solid disk

Only with RayTransp, if you use Ztransp it should only make it thru the holes.


Hi, Fligh%, pamtango and DracoFodder…!!

I have come up with this in the end…which was what I was searching for in the really beginning…

To whom may interest, I post the blend file here…

Grettings to you all…


This is the initial setup of the sunrise I’m trying to create:
But then with animating sunbeams.

b.t.w. I really love the underwaterscene JuanJavier !!!
Looks really good !