Volumetric clouds and skybox rendering - how?

I just finished playing RAGE and I absolutely love their skyboxes with clouds:

How can I make good looking (non-photorealistic) volumetric cloudscape in Blender and then render it into a skybox (with alpha, so I can create layered skies in-game)? Thanks.

Is it possible? I am sure it is, I just would like to know how :slight_smile:

Going by the pictures it seems they are matte-painting their skyboxes using many sky photographs.

I’m sure it is possible to make a skybox in Blender as well but I don’t know how unfortunately.

This is more of a support question than a cg discussion.

@3dementia: I suppose you think I never googled it prior to asking here :confused: Follow your advice and you will see how all of the tutorials are outdated. None of them shows how to actually make volumetric clouds.

Let’s me clarify what I am after. I need to create a scene with sky and volumetric clouds. Then i need to render the scene as a skybox (not a skydome), into 6 separate images or 1 horizontal cross cube image.

Please use the support forums… moved from Discussions.

Sorry Uncle Entity, most of the time I get no response from Support section :frowning:

I got you covered man. I know those tuts I linked are oldies, but for the most part right on the money.

Read this one: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro/Build_a_skybox
More about envmaps:

Steps to create an environment map (or skybox)

  1. Create your environment, you can use a skydome, volumetric clouds, HDRI angmap…whatever you want or any combination of the three.
  2. Create a cube, new material, new texture. Set the tex as an environment map.
  3. Render! Your envmap is generated on the fly. Now look at the texture and click the the little arrow to the right in the environment map section to save it. I used to use this all the time to cut down on raytraced reflections for my scenes.

If you need to learn how to create volumetric clouds: http://www.blenderguru.com/create-volumetric-clouds

Now do you love me? :slight_smile:

Nice guide, thanks :slight_smile:

Is there any other way to make good looking volumetric clouds? Like with smoke or something?

There is the cloud generator script:

Probably more trouble than it is worth. I think matte painting is the right solution. Here is a fun link: http://www.microsoft-careers.com/job/Redmond-Matte-Painter-Skybox-Artist-IEB-Microsoft-Studios-343-Industries-Halo-(766758)-Job-WA-98052/1421065/

Here is a good example by Matt Hall http://www.matthallart.com/matte_gallery.html 2nd pic.

Tutorial on painting clouds: http://www.3dtotal.com/index_tutorial_detailed.php?id=514#.T40EuKtYuRo

Script based for movement: http://www.pixelstudio.nl/?p=138

Seriously all the pros hire matte painters for the skybox- http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?p=1516990

I’ve had decent results just combining photos and arranging the clouds so that the light comes from the right direction. Add some funky filters and you can get a painted look.

Alright, hopefully this helps.

Thanks, I will give it a try. Kinda wanted to avoid hand painting :slight_smile: