How to achieve this beautiful cloud rendering?

Started by gao_jian11, May 31, 2018, 09:31:35 pm

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gao_jian11

Today I saw this, is the preset of this beautiful cloud released? where is it? The new Cloud layer v3 rendering has been bothering me and always has a jelly feel.


René

I don't have much experience with v3 clouds. I think that in this example the lighting, top/backlight, is well chosen so that the new properties are being shown to full advantage.

WAS

June 01, 2018, 02:25:29 pm #2 Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 03:31:57 pm by WASasquatch
This is definitely a more "Rigged" scene, and doesn't represent real world values besides the clouds itself. At first examination I can tell the atmosphere has been altered, perhaps there is little to no sun glow in the haze so you can focus on the clouds. There also appears to be some colour changes in the Tweaks tab to add some accent to scattering, or just for the sky. Additionally, the suns visible disc has been disabled I believe as the angle of light seems to be within frame.

The clouds themselves are very dense, so you can see volumetric effects glow in thin areas, and scatter in dense areas. Than, there is a detailed Simple Shape Shader mask being used in the Depth Modular to focus the clouds in frame, in a dome shape.

Edit: Things to walk away with for practical use: Pretty thick edge sharpness(0.9-1), dense clouds (5-10), maybe little less sun glow amount (1.25). Small density fractal scales (for details), large Lead-in for large shapes.

I have a mock model rendering, with any luck, it may look similar, and I'll share it. The density and volumetric effects being so strong make render times on my little stick incredibly long.

Oshyan

I'm not sure what you mean by "rigged". The atmosphere has been adjusted a bit, but it's not radical at all. Mostly what was changed is a reduction of haze (0.5 instead of 1.0) and increase in Bluesky Exp Height (20,000). No color changes, in atmo or cloud. Here's what it looks like with a default atmosphere:
[attach=1]

Does that look worse or unrealistic?

The thing is the "magic" of these clouds is in the *shape* (density shader input), and the reason they haven't been shared yet is that the setup to create that shape is very complicated. There are nearly *60 nodes* that all combine together in various ways, starting mostly with various Power Fractals, then colour adjusted, mixed, added and subtracted, etc. all down to a single input to the Density Shader of a single Cloud Layer V3. There is just a single Simple Shape Shader, which defines the radius. The rest is the artful and laborious combination of many different isolated scales of noise functions in different ways.

The Easy Cloud presets and node were made based on some of the ideas that went into this cloud setup. This type of "hero" cloud preset hasn't been added yet, but we do intend to at some point. I've asked Matt about sharing this specific cloud before and he'd prefer to encapsulate it in an easier to use node setup, like the other Easy Cloud presets. As it is only a small minority of people would actually be able to do anything good with it besides render it as it is in the example image. The hope is to ultimately provide things that are *easier* to use to achieve good-looking results (hence Easy Cloud).

That being said, if you want to build something similar, just think of building your noise function for your cloud shape/density in layers of scale, and shapes that are added or subtracted from each other to get the intended effects. Small wisps for example can come from multiple small-to-medium-scale noise functions with low density contribution. Doing them all separately like this allows you to control the "weight" (density/effect) of each noise level and shape separately and is vital to getting the subtlety of shapes and shading shown here. But remember, it all just comes down to 1 single cloud layer in the end, and the settings for it are not particularly strange.

I'll paste the cloud settings here so you can see what the actual shading setup is:

<terragen_clip>
   <cloud_layer_v3
      name = "Altocumulus layer 01"
      gui_use_node_pos = "1"
      gui_node_pos = "180 300 0"
      gui_group = "Atmosphere"
      enable = "1"
      input_node = "Planet atmosphere 01"
      gui_use_preview_patch_size = "0"
      gui_preview_patch_size = "1000 1000"
      seed = "0"
      enable_primary = "1"
      enable_secondary = "1"
      move_textures_with_cloud = "0"
      centre = "0 -6378000 0"
      radius = "6378000"
      cloud_altitude = "2500"
      cloud_depth = "3000"
      local_sphere = "1"
      local_sphere_centre = "-18468.87602 2406.276349 -29238.66179"
      local_sphere_radius = "4000"
      local_sphere_falloff = "0"
      local_sphere_value_at_radius = "-1"
      density_shader = "Add scalar 04"
      edge_sharpness = "3"
      cloud_density = "1"
      coverage_adjust = "0"
      cloud_colour = "0.25 0.25 0.25"
      sun_glow_amount = "2"
      sun_glow_power = "1"
      light_propagation = "3"
      light_propagation_mix = "1"
      fake_internal_scattering = "0.2"
      enviro_light = "1"
      enviro_light_tint = "1 1 1"
      darker_unresolved_scattering = "1"
      altitude_offset_function = ""
      altitude_offset_multiplier = "1"
      depth_modulator = ""
      depth_modulator_centre = "0"
      final_density_modulator = ""
      direct_light_modulator = ""
      enviro_light_modulator = ""
      ambient_light_modulator = ""
      shadow_function = ""
      ambient = "0 0 0"
      fake_dark_power = "0"
      fake_dark_sharpness = "10"
      improved_lighting_model = "1"
      taper_top_and_base = "0"
      flatter_base = "0"
      base_wispiness = "0"
      base_softness = "0"
      invert_profile = "0"
      coverage_gamma = "1"
      rendering_method = "1"
      quality = "1.001134187"
      number_of_samples = "872"
      sample_jitter = "1"
      enable_ray_traced_shadows = "1"
      acceleration_cache = "0"
      use_2D_shadow_map = "0"
      shadow_map_resolution = "200 200"
      shadow_map_blur_radius = "2 2"
      use_voxel_buffer = "1"
      millions_of_voxels = "49.939008"
      voxel_buffer_resolution = "509 192 511"
      use_voxels_to_accelerate_empty_space = "1"
      visualise_voxels = "0"
      use_voxels_for_shadows = "1"
      voxel_shadow_threshold = "4"
      >
   </cloud_layer_v3>
</terragen_clip>

- Oshyan

D.A. Bentley

Thanks for the setting Oshyan!  I put this together as a really rough example.  Not as nice looking, but a start.

Derek


Kadri

June 02, 2018, 12:19:02 am #5 Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 01:02:37 am by Kadri

Curious do you remember how long the render time was with that cloud Oshyan?

WAS

June 02, 2018, 12:32:50 am #6 Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 12:34:45 am by WASasquatch
Quote from: Oshyan on June 01, 2018, 09:43:16 pm
I'm not sure what you mean by "rigged". The atmosphere has been adjusted a bit, but it's not radical at all. Mostly what was changed is a reduction of haze (0.5 instead of 1.0) and increase in Bluesky Exp Height (20,000). No color changes, in atmo or cloud. Here's what it looks like with a default atmosphere:
[attach=1]

Does that look worse or unrealistic?

The thing is the "magic" of these clouds is in the *shape* (density shader input), and the reason they haven't been shared yet is that the setup to create that shape is very complicated. There are nearly *60 nodes* that all combine together in various ways, starting mostly with various Power Fractals, then colour adjusted, mixed, added and subtracted, etc. all down to a single input to the Density Shader of a single Cloud Layer V3. There is just a single Simple Shape Shader, which defines the radius. The rest is the artful and laborious combination of many different isolated scales of noise functions in different ways.

The Easy Cloud presets and node were made based on some of the ideas that went into this cloud setup. This type of "hero" cloud preset hasn't been added yet, but we do intend to at some point. I've asked Matt about sharing this specific cloud before and he'd prefer to encapsulate it in an easier to use node setup, like the other Easy Cloud presets. As it is only a small minority of people would actually be able to do anything good with it besides render it as it is in the example image. The hope is to ultimately provide things that are *easier* to use to achieve good-looking results (hence Easy Cloud).

That being said, if you want to build something similar, just think of building your noise function for your cloud shape/density in layers of scale, and shapes that are added or subtracted from each other to get the intended effects. Small wisps for example can come from multiple small-to-medium-scale noise functions with low density contribution. Doing them all separately like this allows you to control the "weight" (density/effect) of each noise level and shape separately and is vital to getting the subtlety of shapes and shading shown here. But remember, it all just comes down to 1 single cloud layer in the end, and the settings for it are not particularly strange.

I'll paste the cloud settings here so you can see what the actual shading setup is:

<terragen_clip>
   <cloud_layer_v3
      name = "Altocumulus layer 01"
      gui_use_node_pos = "1"
      gui_node_pos = "180 300 0"
      gui_group = "Atmosphere"
      enable = "1"
      input_node = "Planet atmosphere 01"
      gui_use_preview_patch_size = "0"
      gui_preview_patch_size = "1000 1000"
      seed = "0"
      enable_primary = "1"
      enable_secondary = "1"
      move_textures_with_cloud = "0"
      centre = "0 -6378000 0"
      radius = "6378000"
      cloud_altitude = "2500"
      cloud_depth = "3000"
      local_sphere = "1"
      local_sphere_centre = "-18468.87602 2406.276349 -29238.66179"
      local_sphere_radius = "4000"
      local_sphere_falloff = "0"
      local_sphere_value_at_radius = "-1"
      density_shader = "Add scalar 04"
      edge_sharpness = "3"
      cloud_density = "1"
      coverage_adjust = "0"
      cloud_colour = "0.25 0.25 0.25"
      sun_glow_amount = "2"
      sun_glow_power = "1"
      light_propagation = "3"
      light_propagation_mix = "1"
      fake_internal_scattering = "0.2"
      enviro_light = "1"
      enviro_light_tint = "1 1 1"
      darker_unresolved_scattering = "1"
      altitude_offset_function = ""
      altitude_offset_multiplier = "1"
      depth_modulator = ""
      depth_modulator_centre = "0"
      final_density_modulator = ""
      direct_light_modulator = ""
      enviro_light_modulator = ""
      ambient_light_modulator = ""
      shadow_function = ""
      ambient = "0 0 0"
      fake_dark_power = "0"
      fake_dark_sharpness = "10"
      improved_lighting_model = "1"
      taper_top_and_base = "0"
      flatter_base = "0"
      base_wispiness = "0"
      base_softness = "0"
      invert_profile = "0"
      coverage_gamma = "1"
      rendering_method = "1"
      quality = "1.001134187"
      number_of_samples = "872"
      sample_jitter = "1"
      enable_ray_traced_shadows = "1"
      acceleration_cache = "0"
      use_2D_shadow_map = "0"
      shadow_map_resolution = "200 200"
      shadow_map_blur_radius = "2 2"
      use_voxel_buffer = "1"
      millions_of_voxels = "49.939008"
      voxel_buffer_resolution = "509 192 511"
      use_voxels_to_accelerate_empty_space = "1"
      visualise_voxels = "0"
      use_voxels_for_shadows = "1"
      voxel_shadow_threshold = "4"
      >
   </cloud_layer_v3>
</terragen_clip>

- Oshyan


Rigged as in things were setup specifically to show off the new v3 clouds, as you go on to explicitly explain. Realistic I guess is more opinion. The high blues in the volume don't match naked eye or corrected images imo. Changing default settings adds to the final effect which, obviously, doing this with default settings changes effects. I'm unsure how 0.5 haze makes such a dramatic difference in the colour though. Post work? Though a very obvious saturation difference.

I'm also very surprised it took 60 nodes to create such shapes. I didn't up the coverage in this example to give any haze/whispiness, but you get the idea. That's 6 sahders. Also what do you mean by "Hero" clouds? In relation to cloud types they look like Cumulus Congestus.

Dune

I don't get the difference between v2 and v3 in this example. In the clip it says:
light_propagation = "3"
light_propagation_mix = "1"
fake_internal_scattering = "0.2"
While in v3 clouds these are called:
softness
param B
paramC
So are these similar variables?

Oshyan

Quote from: Kadri on June 02, 2018, 12:19:02 am
Curious do you remember how long the render time was with that cloud Oshyan?


At 1280x960 I think it was 30-45 mins on a dual Xeon. At 1080p 1-2 hours.

WAS, that's a very nice result. If you can achieve that with way less nodes, awesome! Matt was the one who setup the original "R&D" cloud, so I can't speak to exactly why each node was needed (or used).

As for the term "hero" cloud, "hero" in scene construction (particularly 3D I think) simply refers to a prominent, usually distinctive, often large (in frame, at least) element in an image. It can be a "hero rock", a "hero cloud", etc. It's basically applying the singular concept of "hero" to an inanimate object. It has nothing to do with what type of cloud (or rock) it is and everything to do with its prominence and distinctiveness. A "hero" object would likely be used only once or a very few times in a scene and would have more work put into its specific look, whereas background objects can be more generic. Not all scenes have hero elements, either.

Dune, I don't really know the answer to your question. It seems to me that perhaps the same parameter names are used for interoperability purposes, but the actual effect in v3 clouds is different (perhaps much different).

- Oshyan

WAS

June 02, 2018, 05:31:42 pm #9 Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 05:33:29 pm by WASasquatch
Quote from: Oshyan on June 02, 2018, 05:10:59 pm
WAS, that's a very nice result. If you can achieve that with way less nodes, awesome! Matt was the one who setup the original "R&D" cloud, so I can't speak to exactly why each node was needed (or used).
Indeed, but when it comes to "attention to detail" I can see why. The look in the R&D has some subtle uniqueness I was struggling to achieve, actually, which ended in ruining the file late last night (luckily I have incremental saves on).

I also struggle to perfect small details which is why I still haven't released the Asphalt I was talking about, because I was not impressed with it, at all. I've since reworked it.

Quote from: Oshyan on June 02, 2018, 05:10:59 pmAs for the term "hero" cloud, "hero" in scene construction (particularly 3D I think) simply refers to a prominent, usually distinctive, often large (in frame, at least) element in an image. It can be a "hero rock", a "hero cloud", etc. It's basically applying the singular concept of "hero" to an inanimate object. It has nothing to do with what type of cloud (or rock) it is and everything to do with its prominence and distinctiveness. A "hero" object would likely be used only once or a very few times in a scene and would have more work put into its specific look, whereas background objects can be more generic. Not all scenes have hero elements, either.


This didn't even come to mind at all actually, which is slightly embarrassing. I was thinking entirely in cloud types and I was like "Ooh what is this!" and went searching.

Quote from: Oshyan on June 02, 2018, 05:10:59 pm
Dune, I don't really know the answer to your question. It seems to me that perhaps the same parameter names are used for interoperability purposes, but the actual effect in v3 clouds is different (perhaps much different).

- Oshyan


Simply re-using variables and frameworks already in place in the code. The functions within the v3 clouds will be handling the variables differently. It just probably saved Matt a lot of time doing redundant coding work. It's just in terragen's XML, it's using raw var names, I believe.

Kadri

Quote from: Oshyan on June 02, 2018, 05:10:59 pm
Quote from: Kadri on June 02, 2018, 12:19:02 am
Curious do you remember how long the render time was with that cloud Oshyan?


At 1280x960 I think it was 30-45 mins on a dual Xeon. At 1080p 1-2 hours.
...


Thanks.

Mid-Knight Acchan

60 nodes!
I can not even imagine how we can calculate that much node combination.
This is the result of fighting v3 by combining the nodes I came up with.
It is no longer a cloud, but expressions other than clouds are also possible :P
I started 3D landscape with "Bryce" and am currently editing Japanese Wiki as a Terragen user. I am riding the Kawasaki ZEPHYR1100. I am a reader.

gao_jian11

June 03, 2018, 10:41:41 am #12 Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 10:44:05 am by gao_jian11
Thank you for your speech. This is very helpful. Now I get this result, v3 charm!


D.A. Bentley

Does anybody want to share their tgd?  Curious to see what you came up with?

Derek

WAS

Quote from: D.A. Bentley on June 03, 2018, 04:46:02 pm
Does anybody want to share their tgd?  Curious to see what you came up with?

Derek


I'll search through my incremental saves and find the cloud model I shared and see if I can't make it look nicer with more wispiness.

Also, Oshyan, I notice voxel shadows is in use, and dramatically increases preview and render times. What is the benefit here?