Natural looking Clouds Tutorial - Fake volumetrics

Hi, I have spent some time working on a natural looking Fake Volumetric Cloud setup, and I want to share the result, even if there are still some artifacts mainly visible in animations. I have spent a long long time trying to fix them, but as they don’t appear when rendering small parts of the image with Border rendering, they might be due to a bug in the render engine. While waiting for a response about this annoying thing, I think that the setup of the clouds is interesting enough to release it now.

The tutorial is here :

The Blend File is here :

A usefull script written by David Bertin (aka GFA-MAD), used in the tutorial his here :

The topic about my trials :

Links where you can download some video test :

This video shows a previous test done with raytracing, and without SSS. It is not covered by the tutorial. It is easy to switch to this method by disabling SSS and enabling Raytracing. The lamps will have to be set to raytraced shadows.
This setup requires a very long rendering time, so I searched an other method, leading to the tutorial. It is only shown for the historical :

I hope that you will find the setup useful.


Great clouds!

Thanks for the great tut man. Much appreciated.

Thank you my friend! You are quite dedicated to advancing the blender community, with your studies.

Thank you for your comments ! This tutorial is rather old now, and true volumetrics will give better results in Blender 2.5…

Nice work! The shading looks excellent! I agree with you that true volumetrics give better results. But I am sure that a HD render of volumetrics clouds would take longer to render than 7 minutes. Faking things like clouds, smoke, and water often results dramatically faster rendering with almost the same results.

I wrote a similar tutorial about creating Volumtric Smoke in Blender 2.49

Are there any tips you can offer up to maybe use this for a “toon” style cloud?

I think it would be nice to have a quick rendering toon version of this, if possible.

yes but is good to know that there is an alternative