Cloud texture generator
Cloud generation is fun! I'll cover both offline and runtime methods. Pre-rendered clouds If you want to pre-render your cloud textures offline, look no further than Photoshop or Gimpif you prefer.
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Both programs can easily generate cloud patterns. Menu items tend to move around between releases, but as of Gimp 2. You'll need to create a new blank image before the command is enabled.
I encourage you to experiment with the noise parameters, but just as one example, here's what happens if you set "Random Seed" to 1, "Detail" to 4, "X Size" to 4. By dragging the endpoints around, you can effectively change the level of cloud cover from "fully overcast" to "not a cloud in the sky".
Warp the cloud image to suggest wind patterns. Keep it subtle, though -- too much warping tends to blur the high-frequency detail out of the image.
In this cloud texture generator, you'd probably want to save each layer as a separate image so you can animate them independently at runtime. It really depends on cloud texture generator artistic vision. When you're finished, remember to export the texture as a single-channel grayscale image, so you can use the same cloud data for your color and alpha channel at runtime.
Runtime cloud generation Generating unlimited cloud patterns at runtime is a bit more involved, but still totally feasible. It's a huge topic, and this will only cover the broad strokes. Basically you're going to replicate Gimp's "Solid Noise" command in your shader code, using a noise function like the canonical Perlin Noise to generate infinite, smooth, deterministic, optionally periodic noise volumes.
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The lower the gwnerator between your noise volume samples, the lower-frequency "smoother" your noise will be. To increase the level of high-frequency detail, start with a base low-frequency noise pattern and add cloud texture generator higher-frequency "octaves" of noise, where each "octave" is a different slice of the 3D noise volume with a larger sampling distance and lower amplitude. A visual example of this process which I found by Googling "multi-octave Perlin noise" can be found here. As a huge added bonus, cloud textures generated cloud texture generator this fashion can very easily be animated!
Add a time-based offset to your 3D noise function sample coordinates, and you'll get extremely convincing cloud motion as seen in this videofor example. Warping clouds at runtime is possible as well, for hurricane-like effects.
Cloud Simulation in Virtual Environments Abstract: This noise doesn't look very natural however, especially if you zoom in. Currently the noise is an array and it's got only a discrete set of integer indices pointing to its contents. In particular I implemented a Perlin noise generator using resources from web references will followafter that I've created some recoursive algoritms that can reach, in my opinon, sadisfactory effects compared to Perlin, at a good performance cost. Warping clouds at runtime is possible as well, for hurricane-like effects. Let's call this image a "noise generrator. If you make turbPower too high, the rings won't be visible anymore, and you'll get something that looks more like the marble patterns. Wood Natural looking rings of wood can be created by adding turbulence to the following mathematical function:
The basic idea is that you paint a vector field the "flow map" and use it to distort and scroll the cloud texture at runtime, while periodically cross-fading between two different cloud textures when the distortion distance gets too high. Which method to use? The runtime code is trivial, and very fast. Runtime cloud generation is much more difficult at first, but once you get it working it has several clear advantages over pre-rendered cloud textures.
You can generate cloud infinite variety of realistic animated cloud patterns without using any additional disk space or VRAM. However, the runtime cost of evaluating multiple 3D noise functions per-pixel can be steep; your texture generator pixel shaders will be much slower than they in the pre-rendered case.
- Add a time-based offset to your 3D noise function sample coordinates, and you'll get extremely convincing cloud motion as seen in this video , for example.
- At the same time is usefull to know how to use the alpha chanell of an image , for example to add clouds on a predefined sky.
- From every viewing point even within the clouds the VE user will not have the impression that the clouds are hollow polyhedrons, but rather fuzzy objects.