Hi, From time to time I switch back to this thing. As most of us, I’d want to make realistic clouds with the tools already available in Blender.
This is my most recent trial. The textures are only alpha, and shadows are real.
Unfortunately, this method needs raytracing, and this 8 seconds animation of only one cloud took 24 hours to render on a quad Core computer at 3GHz !
The setup has been done manually, but uses a method almost identical to the one used in the excellent CloudGen script written by Alan Dennis, excepted that The cloud of dots used for the placement of the billboards has been done using David Bertin’s (Aka GFA-MAD) DotFiller script, allowing to fill a mesh with vertices placed at random.
TYou can model the shape of the cloud, fill it, and then copy bunches of vertices and make your cloud as you want.
The square Billboardshave to be subsurfaced at least twice to avoid artifacts.
Raytracing is necessary, and the billborads must receive transparent shadows based on alpha.
This leads to a huge computing time. I’d like to get the same thing with Buffer Shadows because they are really faster, but so far, I haven’t got the transparency effect I want, and there are ugly visible edges around the billboards, visble even with specularity disabled…
More news later if I find a better and faster solution (in my dreams !)