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#21 brink

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 10:55 AM

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.

#22 Chinaski

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 03:55 AM

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/b...;hl=matterwaves

#23 Chinaski

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 03:05 AM

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!

#24 joos

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 06:17 AM

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

#25 triplej96

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 09:59 AM

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!

#26 guera

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 11:51 AM

wow great clouds and topic.
I am new to C4D and I was thinking how to make clouds in C4D. Looking for tutorials... but this topic is really nice.
Thanks for sharing all this stuff guys. I really appreciate it.
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#27 peddamat

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 03:45 PM

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:

Posted Image
(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



Thanks for the c4d. This site is truly a treasure trove.

#28 Chinaski

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 07:51 PM

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



For still clouds...

Try emitting only for 1 frame and make sure to turn off all age parameters in the pyrocluster material. Also, kill any velocity/spin/rotation/etc. that your particles might have.

For colorization, are you using colored lights? That should work... Keep playing around. You'll get it.

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!


Thanks! Yours are looking pretty good!

At some point I will post some clouds done with Houdini and volumetric smoke/fluid simulation, which looks really amazing - way better than pyrocluster clouds.

#29 a2visual

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 08:50 PM

For still clouds...

Try emitting only for 1 frame and make sure to turn off all age parameters in the pyrocluster material. Also, kill any velocity/spin/rotation/etc. that your particles might have.

For colorization, are you using colored lights? That should work... Keep playing around. You'll get it.



Thanks! Yours are looking pretty good!

At some point I will post some clouds done with Houdini and volumetric smoke/fluid simulation, which looks really amazing - way better than pyrocluster clouds.


Would love to see those. I just downloaded the apprentice version of Houdini to get into the procedural particle stuff for a few personal projects I'm working on. I downloaded the fluids videos from their site to get started. Any tips?

#30 Chinaski

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 12:50 AM

The 3D Buzz videos are fantastic. I'd start there. Be prepared for some hard work. :)

#31 a2visual

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 03:54 AM

Thanks! Yeah, I'm probably in over my head with the effects I'm trying to achieve, but that's how you learn, right?

#32 joos

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 04:47 AM

cheers Chinasky, will give that a go, colours are all working, will get back to ya when I'm getting there, cheers!

Joos

#33 dan_hin

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 11:13 AM

@chinaski - you've just saved my arse. Thanks!

#34 Sommerlost

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 03:57 PM

Chinaski, thanks for you insite into cloud rendering and optimizing.
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#35 vozzz

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 01:42 AM

wow, Chinaski, that second cloud test looks awesome!

I had to make clouds a while back, thankfully they where static, but they did need to be volumetric ( around a floating island). Ended up just putting a matrix object on geometry and then apply pyrocluster to the particles. Stupid cloud object was too blocky, and i couldn't increase the steps...

now you guys have made me want to experiment with clouds. will have to see what i can come up with..

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#36 Chinaski

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 07:43 PM

For what it's worth, the techniques described in this video are the best way to go about doing clouds (sorry, not in C4D's domain) that I've seen:

http://cmivfx.com/tu...oudini Fractals

I recently did some pretty cool cloud work on a project using the volume displacement technique. Hopefully I can post some of it in a month or so...

Some other information (siggraph papers) here:
http://tessendorf.org/reports.html




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