Physically correct cloud??


What renderer do you use to create a physically correct cloud and what’s the exact method do you use?
I’m using mental ray and looking for a way to create a stormy realistic sky, and still haven’t found anything yet. Particles might work, right?


You can see some cloud examples at


Thanks. Hopefully terragen can do justice here, but I doubt it though. What software do you use to have more advance control on cloud, like create clouds that form into a monster. What do you use then?


You can mask the clouds to customize the shapes. On the TG site there’s a file of a heart-shaped cloud masked through a camera


Alright, but I’m looking for cloud in full 3d, not some masked sky box.


Particles with goals…

In maya you can map a fluid texture onto particles. There’s a pretty big discussion on it in the dynamics forum.


vue might be able to give you enough control over cloudshapes and its rendrer is very good. :slight_smile:


…that Maya’s fluids combined with mental ray will offer you the best solution, and the only physically accurate one out of the box on the market, although XSI and Houdini probably can also do this effect. Terragen’s render times negate its usefulness for animation entirely, and Vue’s clouds while nice are still too slow and grainy to be animatable, short of a render farm.

With mental ray though of course you can customize it entirely, even beyond the photon count (which Terragen and Vue don’t even touch upon, that I know of) and you can optimize your render times to make animation possible, in this lifetime.


Hey, thanks. I appreciate that.


I have Max 9, and I use Afterburn or Dreamscape for clouds. Both do quite nicely. Blur also has a plugin called Dust devil that isn’t bad. If all else fails you can do a decent cloud using a helper gizmo and atmospherics with lots of tweaking


If you want to make a cloud into a monster, frankly you’re going to have to model the monster, then use clever texturing to make it into a cloud.


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