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Cumulonimbus Clouds in WorldBuilder: Page 1

In this brief tutorial we will examine one of WorldBuilder's coolest features. It allows you to render realistic 3D clouds, usually referred to as Cumulonimbus.  These are different from the clouds found in the Compound Sky element.

Note: This tutorial is designed to be used with the free downloadable Demo version of WorldBuilder 4.  Certain features in this version have been disabled, such as file and image saving.  Likewise, the Demo version does not allow you to create animations.  For this reason, example scene files and animations are available for you to download and compare to the results obtained in this tutorial.

Click on the Cumulonimbus Clouds button in the Creation toolbar

A bounding-box object will appear in the Viewports.

Because of the way the cloud object is rendered, it cannot be displayed in real-time except in bounding box mode.

Select the cloud's properties. 

The first of these is Cloud Shape.
The first set of parameters in ‘Cloud Shape' is the Voxel Number settings.  These are the spatial dimensions of the Cumulonimbus cloud, where X = width, Y = depth and Z = Height

The range, for each of these settings, starts at 10 and has a maximum value of 100.

Note: A voxel (‘volumetric pixel' ) is a special kind of object used for rendering cloudy or gaseous materials.

Below Voxel Number there is a Random Seed control.  This varies the distribution of the voxels throughout the cloud' s volume.  Try clicking on the up or down scroll arrows, to change the seed value. 

Render the results.

You can also play with different parameter combinations for Spheres Number.  This property sets the number of spheres that contribute to the cloud' s ‘density of detail' ; a low Spheres value makes a very smooth cloud, while a higher Spheres value produces more ‘puffy' details in the cloud.

Let' s look at a few rendered Spheres Number variations:

Spheres Number = 1

Spheres Number = 50

Spheres Number = 500

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