I decided to run with scene I introduced in my sketchbook this afternoon. I cleaned up the shader a bit, and figured the mountain should live in the clouds. And maybe it should be a volcano.
Low sample render, denoised in the compositor:
Still a lot more to do, but this lays out the general goal. The mountain shader still needs a lot of work, and the smoke plume is currently quite … lacking. I’ll likely poke the clouds a bit more, although I think they might hold up if I work on the lighting.
The biggest pain thus far has been overlapping volumes. If two or more volumes overlap, I’m getting harsh artifacts at the intersection. So I’ve had to arrange things carefully to avoid them, or at least keep them hidden.
I’d like to eventually add some vegetation, but as this is a shader displacement on a plane, I’ll need a proxy mesh on which to scatter. In the past I’ve not had much trouble with that, but I can’t seem to get a plane with a displacement modifier to line up properly with this one. Another hurdle. If anyone knows of alternative ways to scatter objects/collections on a shader displaced plane, please let me know!