January 30, 2010

Volumetric Clouds in After Effects?

Quba HQ saya he's working on a project but can't explain the details yet in Volumetric Clouds in After Effects? Yes We Can!

One way to do that in After Effects was mentioned by Brian Maffitt on an old Total Training tape. He demoed making a 3D volume of a human from scanned slices of some poor guy and said one might do the same with renders some Fractal Noise or similar as offset 3D layers.

There's probably a variety of additional techniques found through some searching, and maybe Andrew Kramer's cloud still as particle might help. One option might be to use the AE filter Aurora Sky: "Taking advantage of the new 3D capabilities of After Effects, Aurora Sky lets you use texture and cloud shaping maps to create an infinite variety of skyscapes... [it]... works in 3D space, both its own and After Effect’s. The built-in camera can fly throughout the vast world within the plug-in, using all the standard axis controls."

Updateas noted in comments, Aurora Sky might not work. QubaHQ never posted but the wireframes were rendered. There was a successful project from Dan Sollis though:


Michael said...

Aurora Sky doesn't work on After Effects CS4. It is also extremely hard to control the camera that is built into that plugin.

I have wanted Volumetric clouds in AE for so long! I was searching for them for about about 2 months prior to making a dogfight animation. In the end I settled with trapcode particular and its 'custom' particles.

you can the view the animation on my website, in the '3D' section, titled "Rex Belfast - head in the clouds"


Rich said...

Thanks, I didn't know Aurora Sky didn't work on After Effects CS4!

Michael said...

no worries! dont quote me though! i just was really after trying it out, and could not find a demo version of it anywhere that would work on cs4. digi-element claim that they have a version that works with cs4, but they didnt respond to my emails, and the demo on their site also wasnt working on cs4. i dont think its been updated in about 2 years

Dan Sollis said...

I've just put together an AE experimental project that uses fractal noise (and many, many layers) to create a pseudo-volumetric cloud effect. It's pretty effective and even works with AE lights and shadows, though it does suffer from long render times and some visual artifacts. I've put the project file online if anyone wants to have a go at solving these issues.

Check it out here: http://vimeo.com/24922196