Beer glass scene creation
This course contains a little bit of everything with modeling, UVing, texturing and dynamics in Maya, as well as compositing multilayered EXR's in Photoshop.
# 1 20-05-2005 , 11:33 PM
niobi xd's Avatar
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Location: brisbane, australia
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cloud particles too circular

Hey Guys,

I'm currently making a scene which is just a thunderstorm in the clouds....what i'm doing is making the clouds in maya and taking them to after effects to create the lightning (not sure if i can do lightning in maya). Anyway...i've been following an old tutorial for maya 4.0 that i found on the alias site using particles. The problem i'm having is that my clouds are too "circular" they need to be more is an example of what i'm talking about:

I've tried fiddling with the settings to no avail...if anyone has some advice on how to fix this or could point me to a better tutorial, i'd really appreciate it.

Thanks - stace

msn: great_expanse AT
# 2 24-05-2005 , 05:23 PM
Dann's Avatar
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There are about a million things you can try. It looks like you have very few particles in your scene. I would increase the number of partcles, decrease to density, and use some sort of 3D fractal as your blob map.

I have never gotten clouds to be perfect with the exact blend of whispy, crisp and soft that real clouds have. However, I keep trying. Good luck.

# 3 31-05-2005 , 09:04 PM
Xander-0's Avatar
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there actually is a built-in lightning effect in maya (as of at least 4.5) However, it generates only a single 'bolt' (at least, that's all I've ever seen it as) - think a single jagged line between two points, not the fanning spread of some bolts. Color starts out as REALLY blue, but that can be changed.

# 4 31-05-2005 , 09:56 PM
Alan's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London, UK
Posts: 2,800
maya's lightning and smoke and fire effects suck ass user added image they always look awful user added image

anyways I think dann is right, you need more also what shader is on there? you could go to the downloads section here and download my chunky smoke shader that might help ( i did it AGES ago though but it might help)

with smoke and stuff you just have to keep trying and trying and eventually it will look good user added image

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Technical Director - Framestore

Currently working on: Your Highness

# 5 04-06-2005 , 07:05 AM
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Depending on your version of Maya, you could study the Fluids samples that are in your main menu, and the docs.

Fluids, when tamed well, work very well for things like clouds, and smoke, and thicker things like pyroclastics, etc.

Check it outuser added image

Israel "Izzy" Long
Motion and Title Design for Broadcast-Film-DS
# 6 08-06-2005 , 03:37 PM
niobi xd's Avatar
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Hey Guys,

Thanks for all your replies.

Took your advice and increased the number of particles in the scene..made a great looking daytime setting!..night time was a bit trickier to get working.

The shader i used was one the cloud one i came directly from a tutorial.

I will definately check those fluids out. For next time purposes anyway!

What i eventually did was just render out all the clouds separately and just used photoshop to get rid of the backgrounds and composite them in after effects.

For my lighting..i ended up find a trial version of the sapphire plugins for after effects did the trick - they have a zap plug-in which once you play around with the settings can create some pretty damn realistic lightning!...since it was only for an assignment it doesnt really matter....i'm quite happy about the way it turned out...the only thing thats not happening is the clouds moving but that wasnt a really big issue for it.

If anyone is interested, the finish thing can be seen in the film trailer downloadedable from (its roughly about 30mb). The film trailer was for a script called "bloodhouse" which was written by some local writers in my area. My assignment was to create a presentation as a pitch to some producers/investors to secure funding for the project. I went with creating a film trailer and a multimedia presentation.

Thanks again all for your help!

msn: great_expanse AT

Last edited by niobi xd; 08-06-2005 at 03:40 PM.
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