PDA

View Full Version : CloudWright plug-in


rvkennedy
10-11-2008, 02:50 PM
I am Roderick Kennedy, head of Simul Software. We make a program called CloudWright (http://www.simul.co.uk/cloudwright), which generates skyboxes using volumetric clouds.
http://www.simul.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/forum_images/sample1.jpg
We are developing CloudWright into a set of plug-ins for the main 3D programs: Max, Maya and XSI.
We're currently furthest along development of the XSI version and I'd like to gauge the level of interest in the XSI community in the plug-in. What we'd like is some constructive feedback on:1. What features you'd like to see in a sky/clouds plug-in, and
2. What you would use it for.
Any and all comments are welcome.

[edit] The images below are from CloudWright and are generated in a fraction of a second with the GPU. The images from the plug-in would take longer, but the quality will be higher.

jasonio
10-11-2008, 07:29 PM
Looks great. The animated clouds look amazing - especially because they are realtime. All your products look pretty interesting, in fact. I do CGI for architecture and HL2 modding mostly, so this looks like it could be a good alternative to the products by e-on (ozone).

I'm not sure how far you are into the development so my advice might be too late (or take too long to implement.)

I suppose this is my list of things that would make things more intuitive (than Ozone 3.0):-

1. Fully intergrate it so that it renders in the viewport with the render region, so that when I update a cloudwright slider its the render region that updates. Ozone forces you fiddle with non-softimage interface which I wasn't too keen on.

2. Make sure it can be used in place of the mental ray physical sun/sky shaders, which is used for HDRI and FG calculations.

3. Make clouds/sunlight animatible by placing keyframes on sliders so animation can be controlled directly in XSI.

4. Allow linking to scene lights to create sun direction or at least a way of animating it in XSI.

5. Perhaps a detail/resolution slider so that we can do quick test renders with very low res skies and then final renders with hi res.

6. If you animate the camera position it would be great to have the clouds move above you.

7. Lots of sexy presets for all times of the day.

(PS: If you could add animated stormy lightning scattered skies at some point with your weather effects too, we'll all be -:bowdown: )

- I'd use for studies of architecture; daylight studies, flythroughs and stills and panoramas, cube maps for games/mods.

Have you posted about Cloudwright at moddb.com?

Also, it's great to see a UK tech company doing CGI plugins for a change. Taking a look at Cloudwright. Thanks.

cgswami
10-12-2008, 05:41 PM
at 24.99 pounds ... thats a great price ....

I wil invest in this .. BA volume cloud seems nice and i use vue but it will be a great asset to have a dedicated built plugin for clouds and weather ...

when can you ESTIMATE a release may be due ....

Stephan

Arbalest
10-13-2008, 08:07 AM
I think jasonio said it all^^
Definitely looking forward to this, as it looks very nice and is very affordable!

Tekano
10-13-2008, 09:24 AM
Is it a separate app or is it ran from within XSI? an ability to import camera data from xsi would be a good start if its seperate. Also would really like to see the features that are in the SDK demo, an ability to change the wind direction and strength so you can animate parameters over time would be most welcome. Ive purchased cloudwright and have noticed it is very flaky with stability, (ozone had this problem too) at the moment it runs once perfectly but wont run again until you reinstall. its early days still I realise, this has a lot of potential and also its great to support some home grown UK talent.

DecWest
10-13-2008, 12:16 PM
Hi Rod

We worked together (briefly) at Evos, I'm at Sony Liverpool now with the CG team. We are all XSI based and like the look of this plug in/toolset. MUCH faster than rendering via volumetric shaders/Mental Ray.

This plug in needs to have all it's parameters exposed to XSI animation code, camera integration and rendering. It would be really nice to be able to very quickly generate flythroughs via hardware rendering and be able to composite the results in the FX Viewer/Render Tree.

Would it be possible to use the realtime cloud sims in a unique and dedicated lighting pass? Having ultra fast sky rendering passes for reflection and/or FG/GI passes would be pretty incredible.

Nice work, very impressed

rvkennedy
10-14-2008, 12:29 PM
Thanks very much for your feedback!

Jasonio: The plan is certainly to have it working within XSI's existing structures - right now we're considering it as a volume shader, we may need to make an environment shader as well. The clouds will move relative to the camera - we may define a scale factor for this. We'll put our lightning in at some point, we haven't added this to the standalone CloudWright because it's fundamentally an animated effect. I'll get onto moddb soon.

cgswami: Ready when it's ready, but we'll be beta-testing before the end of the year.

Tekano: It will run from within XSI. Please get in touch with support@simul.co.uk (http://forums.cgsociety.org/support@simul.co.uk) with regard to your problems with CloudWright as we need feedback to fix any issues that don't come up in our own testing.

DecWest: How are you doing? All parameters will be exposed. We're considering the options with regard to including realtime, I'd like to make maximum use of it. Perhaps you can help us with beta?

Michael32766
10-14-2008, 05:52 PM
I have had to use different Sky programs for rendering backgrounds for matte paintings and VFX backgrounds/sky replacements for films.

You proably have some of this already but A few things I would like to see are:

Cloud Layers or the ability to set different types of clouds at different altitudes.

Ability to render different cloud layers with Alpha Channels.

Ability to interact with sun position or a time of Day/Date plug in for the Sun

Ability to turn off Clouds and just render background Sky

Move different cloud layers at separate speeds

This is a bit of a stretch but Download real world weather data for cloud types and positions

Ability to save versions of cloud formations or types or save differnt layers

thanks,
Michael

DecWest
10-14-2008, 07:30 PM
Thanks very much for your feedback!


DecWest: How are you doing? All parameters will be exposed. We're considering the options with regard to including realtime, I'd like to make maximum use of it. Perhaps you can help us with beta?

yeah cool we have some projects coming up soon that might benefit from this. PM me some contact info (I'm off to the US for a few weeks so will get back to you when I'm home)

cheers - good luck

techmage
10-18-2008, 02:10 AM
fully integrated with MR physical sky and sun

And if it was a volumetric shader which allowed you to add fog or volumetric haze onto scenes as well, all integrated with MR physical sky and sun, that'd be quite awesome

and if it was volumetric, couldn't you implement a rain/snow system as well? using the volume shader to fill the scene with flakes and drops.

rvkennedy
10-21-2008, 03:52 PM
I have had to use different Sky programs for rendering backgrounds for matte paintings and VFX backgrounds/sky replacements for films.

If you still need to do this with our plugin, we'll be doing something wrong.

You proably have some of this already but A few things I would like to see are:

Cloud Layers or the ability to set different types of clouds at different altitudes.

Ability to render different cloud layers with Alpha Channels.

Ability to interact with sun position or a time of Day/Date plug in for the Sun

Ability to turn off Clouds and just render background Sky

Move different cloud layers at separate speeds

This is a bit of a stretch but Download real world weather data for cloud types and positions

Ability to save versions of cloud formations or types or save differnt layers


All of the above is in the plan for version 1.0, except the real world weather data. We'd like to do this though - do you have a particular source/format in mind?

Michael32766
10-22-2008, 05:14 AM
Hi, I'm not exactly sure how they do it but Microsoft Flight Sim X has the ability to read real world weather data.
I think they are looking up public METAR Data which is a weather report in a text format.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/METAR

How to read a METAR report
http://www.met.tamu.edu/class/metar/quick-metar.html

FTP Acess to METAR reports
ftp://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/data/observations/metar/

The part that you would be looking for is Sky Conditions
for example
BKN015 OVC025
means Broken Clouds 1,500 feet Overcast 2,500 feet

Hope that helps some.
thanks, Michael

rvkennedy
05-11-2009, 04:42 PM
It's available now! Here's the download link:

http://www.simul.co.uk/cloudwright/plugins

http://www.simul.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/LivePreview.jpg (http://www.simul.co.uk/cloudwright/plugins)

I'd appreciate any feedback, either here or at support@simul.co.uk. Good luck!

NOTE: the uninstaller for versions before 0.9.5 does not work correctly, and could delete XSI's own files. Don't use it - apologies for this.

T4D
05-12-2009, 04:00 PM
looks very good :thumbsup:

any chance of a 64bit version ? :blush:

eldee
05-13-2009, 12:48 AM
same, i'm 64bit only. surprises me how many plugins out there aren't compiled for 64bit, it's the direction our industry is moving after all ;)

rvkennedy
05-13-2009, 02:15 AM
same, i'm 64bit only. surprises me how many plugins out there aren't compiled for 64bit, it's the direction our industry is moving after all ;)

Quite right, it's been a long time since processors were 32-bit, and 64-bit OS's are pretty reliable. I'll build a 64-bit version as soon as possible, certainly in the next few weeks.

cgswami
07-05-2009, 03:00 PM
yaay !! thats the only reason why i have not tested yet .. so 64 bit .. waited on ... :beer:

ace63
07-05-2009, 03:42 PM
Looking forward to it :)

rvkennedy
08-13-2009, 01:23 PM
Well, we finally cracked the main roadblock for 64-bit so it should only be a couple more weeks to get it out to beta. I'll probably release an updated 32-bit version with it. Thanks for your patience!

Roderick

rvkennedy
09-02-2009, 01:44 PM
64-bit is now working, you can find it here:

http://www.simul.co.uk/cloudwright/plugins

It's still an alpha - it's not feature-complete, but it works and needs feedback.

Use the help files - they're not complete but there's a feedback form for anything we've missed.

If the setup doesn't work you may need the Visual Studio 2005 redistributables and DirectX December 2006. If this is an issue for many people I'll put it in the installer, though the download size increases quite a lot.

Let me know how it goes!

mehran
09-06-2009, 03:11 PM
looks very very interesting. and the price also looks very atteractive. But I am a maya user.
when can we see a maya version ?

tarkovsky
09-27-2009, 04:31 PM
Hello, and thank you for making this promising plugin.
I'm having trouble though. Just downloaded, and installed in XSI 7.5 x64.
When I add a cloud layer, Softimage crashes instantly when hitting render
(or using the render region).
Using Windows 7...

Thanks

tark

Wil
09-30-2009, 02:22 PM
just downloaded and installed the plugin in v7.5 32bit, but the plugins won´t load in xsi. "unespected failure". anybody knows why? any workaround? i would like to give the plugins a try so much. please help

JFialho
10-10-2009, 07:17 PM
Hello everyone

I recently tried this plugin for Softimage (aka XSI) but cant make it working.
the program install in C:\softimage by default as i dont know how to start working with it i taught it could work with spdl or aplication(like other plugs for Softimage) in user folder of Softimage.

Btw, i started learning Softimage about 1,5 years ago. As user other well-known 3d apps before, cloudwright its one more awesome plug for this Brilliant application, for what i saw in standalone cloudwright trial its cooooooooool.

If someone can give me a little hint how to install/use the cloudwright inside Softimage i will be very thankfull, maybe its a very basic thing but im not getting it.

My first post ever in CGtalk

thanks

CGTalk Moderation
10-10-2009, 07:17 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.