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Chinaski

Clouds

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I just got back from a vacation, and on the plane ride home, we passed over a spectacular cloud cover. Here are some pics that may be good reference for people here. These images MAY NOT BE USED FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES. Reference only, please :D

 

clouds_01.jpg

 

clouds_02.jpg

 

clouds_03.jpg

 

clouds_04.jpg

 

clouds_05.jpg

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Awesome matte painting skills! You should work for Reuters.

 

Seriously, those are really gorgeous pics, Chinaski.

 

 

Hee hee. Should be noted that I did very little to these pics in PS. Only curves and minor color correction. This is pretty much what it looked like out of the window. Also while these clouds looked great, they didn't make for a smooth plane ride.

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Guest Sao_bento

You must have sat in the seat that doesn't have 20 yrs. worth of activator smeared all over the window.

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You must have sat in the seat that doesn't have 20 yrs. worth of activator smeared all over the window.

 

 

that's not activator! you know the story ... the one 90% of people say if it happend they would make love to the person next to them ... yeah anyway ... carry on.

 

great pics.

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I took a few hours today to see what methods might be best for reproducing these types of clouds.

 

I focused on 2 methods (using Cinema 4D here), one where the general shape of the cloud is built and then filled with particles, varying the size of the particles, and the other, where I used cloud maps to precisely control the placement and size of the particles. I think the cloud maps worked the best. Here are some comparison frames.

 

cloud_compare_01.jpg

 

cloud_compare_02.jpg

 

The hardest part is getting the edge noise to look right. No matter what type of noise I tried and whatever settings I used, I just couldn't get it to look the same as the reference pics. I played around a lot with # of particles, size of particles, etc, too. These are the best solutions I could come up with for now.

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Guest Sao_bento

Earlier, I was going to (jokingly) ask you to go ahead and re-create the clouds with TP, or pyrocluster. You beat me to it. Nice job though, looks really good.

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Beautiful pics chinaski.

Have you done any cloud animation? Sorta time-lapsy cloud growth and dispersion?

I have some old TP examples, but have been wanting to convert them to MoGraph/TP.

 

I got a break this next week (woohoo!)... I'll post 'em here when I get a chance.

 

-m

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I have animated clouds but not time-lapse. Just a little evolution on the noise. I'd love to see what you were able to do, as I'm not that satisfied with these. Out of curiosity, why are you converting them to Mograph/TP? Does pyrocluster even work with mograph?

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I have animated clouds but not time-lapse. Just a little evolution on the noise. I'd love to see what you were able to do, as I'm not that satisfied with these. Out of curiosity, why are you converting them to Mograph/TP? Does pyrocluster even work with mograph?

I wanted to convert them to a MoGraph/TP combo to take advantage of effectors and parametric controls.

 

I had a job about a year ago where I needed to animate a cloud with a triangle cut out of the center of it. The center triangle had to rise through the center. It was pre-Sky Module and quite a bitch. As you can see, in order to get the definition I had to create "fat" volumes on the inside and smaller volumes on the edges. My solution at the time was to do polygon emission (which would set the particles size proportional to the polygon it was emitted from), but it was sloppy at best. *shrug* It worked and we hit out deadline, but I always wanted to go back and clean things up... make it more flexible and modular.

 

-m

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Alright...

This last week had some of the best weather NYC has seen all summer so I spent most of the time outside with real clouds, so no new cloud experiments. However, I do like to throw a little something in the pot whenever Chinaski contributes to keep things interesting. So I whipped up a quick-dirty animated cloud example:

 

monkeyClouds_02.jpg

(movie) (c4d file)

 

It's just a single cloud mass stripped down for speed (pretty fast for pyro), but you can add shadows and such later as you need them. This example uses a rolling particle emitter and some friction. The friction is only there to keep the particles "clustered" towards the end of their lifespan so that they don't stray too far from the main group. For more specific cloud shapes (especially ones that require flat bottoms) I usually have two or three different TP Groups with slightly different pyro settings that follow spline paths (in which case the friction isn't needed).

 

-m

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Wow nice clouds. How do you use cloud maps? Sorry if that's a daft newbie question, but now that I've got Cinema I can'ty stay away. Thanks

 

 

Not a newbie question at all. I'm using those maps to place cloud particles on cards, using the b&w values to control position, size, and velocity of the particles. The specifics of how to do that are different for each application. In Cinema 4D, you would use matterwaves.

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Not a newbie question at all. I'm using those maps to place cloud particles on cards, using the b&w values to control position, size, and velocity of the particles. The specifics of how to do that are different for each application. In Cinema 4D, you would use matterwaves.

Hi Chinaski, thanks for the tip, I've spent about 4 hrs building clouds, but so far I can only place particles by using lights and PMatterWaves in Cinema 4D. If you're using C4D, could you give any tips on how you set up the b/w image maps for the PMatterWaves node, so that you get more precise control. I've tried millions of combinations nearly and my brain hurts. Any tips would be great, it's a cool effect. Thanks.

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Hi Chinaski, thanks for the tip, I've spent about 4 hrs building clouds, but so far I can only place particles by using lights and PMatterWaves in Cinema 4D. If you're using C4D, could you give any tips on how you set up the b/w image maps for the PMatterWaves node, so that you get more precise control. I've tried millions of combinations nearly and my brain hurts. Any tips would be great, it's a cool effect. Thanks.

 

 

http://mograph.net/board/index.php?showtop...;hl=matterwaves

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I was asked by a board member here to elaborate a bit on the settings I used for my cloud tests and how to optimize pyrocluster for quicker rendering. So, hopefully this helps some of you:

 

First, in terms of speeding up rendering, the main setting to adjust is in the pyrocluster volume tracer. Always set it to user mode, and then try different settings for world step size. A smaller step size means that more samples are taken per puff, so the smaller your step size is, the longer your render will take. Good settings will be proportional to the size of your puffs and the scale of your scene. Try different settings here to balance quality versus render speed.

 

Second, the step size for the shadows play an important role, too.

 

Third, try different shadow settings (ray traced vs. shadow map) and see what renders faster. Typically, unless I am going for very diffuse shadows, I use a very large shadow map for crispness. Sometimes the time it takes to calculate the shadow maps is greater than the time it would take to do a raytraced render, in which case I usually use raytraced shadows.

 

Try to keep 2 lights at the most affecting the pyrocluster. There is an exclusion tab to exclude other lights. Also, try to use only one shadow casting light.

 

In terms of how many particles to use, in the volume fill method example, I am using 800 particles. in the cloud map method, I am using about 1400 particles. One thing to do, is to check the Use Particle TM box. This allows you to control the size and rotation of the puffs via thinking particles. This means that you can easily randomize and vary the size and rotation of the particles.

 

While videopost is a quick render solution, I find that it does not work as well as the atmospheric render mode for quality results. For the clouds I did here, I have my volume set to 100%, Luminosity at %5 and density at 50. I have Use Illumination checked, and mode set to Ray Angle, with all values set to 0.

 

All my shadows are turned on, with 0% transparency, and a light color chosen for ambience (this will change depending on the look you are going for).

 

Different types of noise will produce different results. One quick way to work out the noise values is to create a cloud made of only 1 puff and work the settings out on that puff. Since the noise settings require the most tweaking, this is the quickest way to test it out.

 

For lighting, use infinite lights. I am using a 2-light set-up. I have a shadow casting keylight (raytraced) and a fill light that does not cast shadows. (this is not an "ambient" light. you must position the light correctly to be a fill light)

 

The only additional tips I would mention would be to collect lots of photo reference and really pay attention to what happens in the photos so that it will be easier to reproduce that kind of look. And think about how light actually works with objects in the atmosphere. When you see orange, sunlit clouds, it is not that the clouds are orange, but the light on them is orange. Shadows would typically skew toward the complimentary color or the light source or to the color of the sky. So, keep the color of your clouds white or light grey and use light to reproduce what is actually happening in the atmosphere.

 

I hope that helps!

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Gday mate, first of all great clouds, damn nice reproduction, just a couple of questions, relatively new to pyrocluster however I've bashed my way through and managed to come up with a fairly good explosion. But my question is for clouds, the matter waves way seems perfect for creating a sky but I need to know how to stop the seed so my clouds can be still? I'm animating somthing falling through them rather than evolving so I'm not interested in movement from the clouds point of view, any idea how to do this? also I can't seem to get the lights to colorize my clouds, all the box's are ticked ( I think). The light seems to be affecting the cloud, but no joy for colorization. Man if you could help me here that would be awesome!??

 

Cheers

 

Joos

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Wow nice clouds Chinaski way better then my attempt. A different example more of a flying through a cloud but here was my first attempt at it using a standard particle generator. link

 

I'm learning TP now so hope to get something as good as yours! Those are the best clouds I've seen in C4D!

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