Did some experiments with volumetric shaders today. With exception to light every single parameter was generated with a map that “the shadowland machine” created.
high volumetric density. colors and displacement from a shadow map
lower density, colors and displacement from a shadow map
density also driven by a shadow map (as usual: colors and displacement from a shadow map)
Quick summary: I am not happy with the outputs so far. The images look cheesy and kitschy in a bad way.
Idea: Multiple iterations of displacements. (“Staging and layering-approach”). Use a shadow map as base mesh displacement and a second shadow map as volumetric displacement.
looks a lot better. Unfortunately the render times rise enormously: Full HD image with 50 samples: approx. 3min on GTX980ti.
Closeup version of the cloud. Maybe render a small camera flight through the volumetrics?
I like the abstract qualities that are possible with this image.
Since the rendering did consume too much time, I activated a bigger machine (switch from GTX980ti to RTX3080) and rendered out a small animation. The switch cut the calculation times by approx. 70%, although it is far beyond any real time capabilities.
I animated two domains:
- the amount of volumetric displacement (from 0 to 0.5) = i.e. the influence of the 2nd map on the volume (I did not animate the map itself)
- a small camera movement