Export Clouds to OpenVDB

Started by AtlJimK, January 26, 2016, 09:43:38 AM

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Hello guys,
I also think that possibility to import VDB over export is definitely the way to go. Being able to model precise cloud shapes in any other 3d package would be very very nice.
Is there any news about an upcoming import feature. Is there any chance to have a approximate schedule ?
Thanks for your hard work, your software have really really nice looking results.


Quote from: Darknight on August 02, 2016, 06:27:02 PMI second what Alexn007 said. If we can get some sort of clouds sculpting geo to direct the volume of the clouds to make it more art directable, that will put Terragen even higher in terms of what it is used for in games and film.
I have to resurrect this thread because of these reasons. There are times when just procedural is fine, but to truly be unique, the clouds need to be art directable, mainly through geo or sculpted geos via VDB import. From what I see too, the quality of Terragen renderer for skies is very nice. We've been testing with other renderers like Vray/Houdini/Redshift and they don't match it very well. Do you know if this is still a feature being worked on? It would truly bring Terragen to another level.
Senior Cinematic Artist


I do not believe Matt has any plans for a VDB importer (besides this dead topic I have not seen it mentioned), but it would be nice. I imagine TG could make VDBs look subperb. I have a problem with other renderers. For example, there's a lot of hype with Houdini and I feel it's using ground-relative smoke simulation that looks very unrealistic as clouds in lighter atmosphere and updrafts and downdrafts and side-to-side movement and growth. Always ends up looking like odd smoke clouds to me. I am a very hard to convince on realism though.


I think he plans to do it Jordan. But i don't know when or in how shape it is now (works in the Linux version i think?):



That's awesome. Though I think it may be awhile off. We still need Windows VDB exporting.

Though I think with Windows 10 now shipping with the option for the Windows Linux Subsystem, you can install Ubuntu from Windows Store and probably export/render with the Terragen Node on Windows without much performance hit. Haven't tried it as ironically it won't install on my computer (nothing will from Windows Store on this CyberpowerPC windows 10 install).


VDB for Windows software is not very straightforward since there are no public windows binaries available and one needs to figure out all dependencies themselves to make it work.

This has been the status quo for quite a while, but because of this topic I just discovered someone finally managed to fight his way through the process:

A walkthrough PDF of the process can be found here:


I'll need to get VDB working on Windows before I'll write the VDB importer. I can't give a timeframe these things yet, but they are both high priority.

Thanks for the links, Martin, and thanks for explaining the difficulties.
Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.


I think this is exactly why Windows added the Windows Subsystem for Linux. There are a lot of dependencies which make no sense on windows and often for a small task. And at that point doesn't make much sense -- especially when you factor in for production rendering, most these machines will be Linux based.

I'm curious if Matt could make it work with the WSL alone without the need for a OS like Ubuntu which installs ontop of WSL. That way to get these features in TG one could just enable the WSL and Terragen can tunnel Linux features.


From the looks of it though, Matt would probably have to create his own light kernel for TG so maybe not the best route.