Maya's fast and pretty volumetric(!) clouds for UE4 - how can it be done in Blender ?

So the guys says he doesn’t have powerful PC, so true volumetrics are out of question. Then it looks exactly the same in Maya and in UE4. So it’s gotta be something simple.

Does anyone have any ideas how it could have been achieved and if something like that can be made in Blender (and exported into UE4) ?!

is it Elementacular?

Maybe something to do with particles instanced on a point cloud, but it seems very accurate so a high particle count would be needed and the advantage over actual volumetrics is not huge. Maybe layered sprites, but how they respond so well to light I cannot explain. I asked the author directly on the comment section but I guess it must be a well guarded secret. :slight_smile:

Edit I think I can make out at times in the video the jagged look indicative of a grid sampled volume… but not sure.

No, it’s not it.

we have a real time volumetric display in blender in the viewport,

maybe it’s something similar?

I doubt it. It runs on mobile, according to the author, so it’s definitely not volumetrics.

I think it is some form of volumetric with a dynamic grid. More dense on the edges than the center?

Smartphones aren’t that powerful to render volumetrics. And the author said it runs fast on mobile.

Caught this freeze frame.

maybe it rasterizes using a volume somehow onto a sprite it makes realtime? and not the whole thing every frame?
(hence the deinterlacing or whatever if it moves too fast?)

I am thinking he created volumetrics in Maya or MAX (forgot what he uses), then rendered it in slices and in UE4 created bunch of planes, each plane having slice of rendered of volumetric ?

I recall Epic did that for explosions in their Infiltrator demo. Called it 3D texture.

Looks like it’s just a bunch of static planes then, rendered as “soft particles”, looking up into a 3D texture. The problem with that is obviously that it doesn’t work at all angles.

That’s how they got it out of Maya, but when they actually rendered it, they randomly scattered a bunch of screen aligned quads (again, soft particles) where the volume was going to be onscreen, which works at all angles.

But how can I render Blender volumetrics (Smoke) in slices, to make 3D texture for UE4 ?

It should work by rendering with an orthographic camera and moving the clipping planes. However, I just tried this and Cycles didn’t respect the “End” clipping for volume rendering. Maybe you can get it to work with shader nodes.

Also, to get this to work with dynamic lights, you will want to render the volume attributes (color, density). and then you’ll need a suitable shader on the UE4 side.

Double post

I am not really sure where to begin when it comes to Cycles nodes and camera clipping planes o.O

Once slices are rendered, I can just see how they did it in the Infiltrator. Perhaps can re-use material they have there.

Although I kinda doubt 3D textures are mobile friendly :confused: