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General => Terragen Discussion => Topic started by: Darknight on January 31, 2017, 07:33:37 PM

Title: Making clouds like this
Post by: Darknight on January 31, 2017, 07:33:37 PM
I have tried and failed miserable many times over to make something similar to this

Is there any chance of you guys releasing a tutorial on how to make something like this?

Title: Re: Making clouds like this
Post by: N-drju on February 03, 2017, 05:51:14 AM
Hey Darknight. Guess nobody showed up yet so let me give you some tips.

First of all, creating cloud like this is not a trivial task. One thing you have to remember though is that you can't hope for a nice cloud using only one cloud layer. It will never work. In order to build up complex, varied clouds in TG you usually need to have several, overlapping cloud layers of different altitudes and patterns.

The promo that you have seen on Youtube, has probably also been proceduraly created with the use of the dreaded "blue nodes" or "functions". :P This requires lots of knowledge that most of us (or so I think) has neither time to learn nor understanding of.

Have you tried the "Cloud library" thread in the "File Sharing" section by now? There you can find some nice ideas for cloudy skies. However, as you will probably see, many of the clouds in there are also rather flat... But you may just find something interesting to work with. I, for one thing, always use dandelO's meta-cloud solution to build high, diverse clouds. Yes, it is an old idea but is still very useful for me, versatile and user-friendly. :)

In general this is what I can say about the topic but it is early morning and I have not eaten my breakfast yet, mind you... Also, it might be a case that, by sheer chance, many of my renders were not even planned to have such robust cloud instances, so building monsters like the one in the video is not my everyday chore.
Title: Re: Making clouds like this
Post by: Oshyan on February 04, 2017, 11:43:11 PM
The cloud example you see in that video was created with just a single cloud layer, but it does indeed use lots of blue (function) nodes, numerous density fractals blended together, and it results in a fairly complex and demanding (to render) setup. Adjusting settings of this setup is quite challenging without an existing and thorough understanding of Terragen noise functions. Anyone deeply familiar with both the shapes generated by Terragen's noise functions, and the shapes represented in real-world clouds, could (with sufficient math/function knowledge) create something similar, all the building blocks are there in Terragen already. So basically, if you had this example you might be able to make the exact same cloud, but it would be hard to make variations of it that look more specifically like what you want unless you had the knowledge that would have allowed you to create it in the first place.

Given the complexity of that kind of setup, what we're trying to do now is encapsulate that quality of output into easier to use "preset" kind of nodes like Easy Clouds. You might for example see a "thundercloud" or "hero cloud" option in the future which would give you something like what is shown in the video, but would be much more easily controlled. It would not be as flexible as the pure raw nodes setup, but that is the inevitable trade-off: ease of use vs. flexibility. If you just want to achieve cloud types like that one, then we can hopefully provide you a solution in the future with more Easy Cloud types. If you want to know how to create the specific shapes you want and achieve similar realism and quality to what is in the video, then you need to focus on really understanding how Terragen's noise functions work and how to blend them in 3D space to get a specific outcome.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Making clouds like this
Post by: N-drju on February 05, 2017, 07:17:47 AM
What's a "hero cloud"? ;D
Title: Re: Making clouds like this
Post by: Oshyan on February 05, 2017, 08:19:24 PM
"Hero" is just a term for any major feature of a scene that will receive a lot of scrutiny and thus needs to be most detailed, high quality, and realistic. So "hero rock", "hero tree", or "hero cloud"... Usually a singular, stand-alone item (rather than, say, a whole cloud layer leading to the horizon, or a population of random rocks, etc.).

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Making clouds like this
Post by: N-drju on February 06, 2017, 10:40:03 AM
Oh... you mean "protagonist cloud". ;)
Title: Re: Making clouds like this
Post by: Oshyan on February 07, 2017, 02:20:07 AM
Hah! Yes, precisely. ;)

- Oshyan