Raggedy clouds (cloudscape returns) (realistic SSS shading with planes)

A good example of what you can do with billboards parented to particle systems and SSS.

Raggedy look is on purpose, some clouds in real life really do look kind of messy. (have to look at it full size to see the raggedyness;)

And I think it’s a great improvement compared to my first cloud test

Looks good Cyborg Dragon! There was a guy that did something with similar
results except he used a very high-poly mesh (subsurf level 5! :eek:) and subsurface
scattering. Do you mind sharing the .blend? (And if you don’t want to, that’s fine).

The benefit of doing it this way is much less polygons, you can use the polys you save to actually model a scene to go with it.

The secret is setting the SSS scale really high (250 or above), avoiding the back scattering, and setting the foward scattering just low enough to avoid washout, that way you avoid artifacts and washouts that would ruin the scene, the material was simply a sphere blend texture as stencil with a clouds texture set to alpha.

The shapes were done by meshes with particle systems, the meshes created the particles, the planes were parented to the meshes.

Minor adjustments like changing texture colorband and number of particles can create some noticable differences, for the smoothest clouds, just set the blend texture to alpha and forget the clouds texture for a very raggedy and messy effect, set the clouds texture to high contrast. If you get artifacts, set the SSS scale higher.