I stumbled across this quite simple method to create pretty realistic looking cloudscapes in Blender - Cycles - without doing any modeling or simulation at all. (View a few shots I took on Artstation: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/wdOOg)
Here’s the mashup anyhow:
It is also practical for animation purposes. Here is a timelapse animation I created (rendertime of about 6h on 2xNVIDIA GTX1070):
I am basically just giving a cube a volumetric scattering material with a generated density map, which consists of several noise textures overlaying.
This is more like a quick test setup but I think it might be worth digging more into it.
At the moment I am setting up the different parameters for easy control. After that, it would be interesting to implement different cloud types and formations but that’ll be more complicated.
One downfall is definitely that you cannot see the shape of the clouds in the viewport. Even more of a hangup is probably, that it is pretty heavy on the machine power the larger the area gets. It is perfectly fine for small areas though. (Don’t get me wrong, the rendering is still slow as hell.)
There is not really that much to setup yet but here is the early Version of it if you want to give it a try and play around with it a little bit: ProceduralCloudscapev0.2.blend (839 KB)
- I highly suggest that you exchange the sun lamp for an hdri
- Set the Volume bounces (Light Path render settings) to at least 1 for more realistic lighting with thicker, darker clouds
- if you (like me) experience a CUDA Error on GPU, try a lower Tile Size
Feel free to use the .blend for any purpose whatsoever (except killing baby seals…don’t do that).
I’d be glad to hear from you guys what you think. Do you think it’s useful? Is it too render heavy? Is it worth putting a ton of effort into it?