Rough Guide to the Atmopshere Editor – Part 6 – Clouds Tab

This part of the guide refers to the clouds tab of the Atmosphere editor. It is also related to three other pages of reference material which show what each of the cloud types looks like when rendered in each of the three models they are available in.

See the Guides page for these reference guides

You will notice that the cloud tab with the spectral mode has a few more options than the standard and volumetric models, as such the spectral model will be covered later in the guide in part 7.

The cloud animation area will be largely ignored for this guide.

Cloud Layers
Cloud layers allows you to view, add, edit scale and delete cloud layers from a scene. In order to add a cloud layer, you must click the “Add” button and select which type of cloud you want to add in your scene. You should be aware that spectral clouds do not work in standard or volumetric scenes.

In the following example we will add “thick cumulus #2” clouds to our scene.


Click Add…


Then select the cloud type you want.

In order to delete the cloud layer, just select it and click delete. To change the scale of the clouds decrease or increase the cloud scale value. You are able to edit the cloud material by right clicking on the picture of the cloud and selecting edit material. You will be presented with the material editor.

Altitude
The altitude affects the height of the clouds, and is similar to scaling the clouds, however using altitude increases the level of interaction with other clouds, the sun, lighting and shadows, so it is reccomended to use altitude rather than scale unless you want smaller clouds lower down. The higher the altitude, the greater the quantity of clouds that you will see.

This is scalar from 100m to 3km although you are able to add your own value.

Continuing to use the “Thick Cumulus #2” cloud layer…

100m

400m

750m

1km

1.5km

2km

2.5km

3km

Thickness near horizon
Thickness near the horizon determines how strong the clouds are in the background of the scene, the larger the number the more defined the clouds will be, and if the number is too low then the clouds will start to be affected in the front of the scene. Scalar from 0 to 100, but user values are permitted.

0

20

40

60

80

100

200

Cover
Cover determines how much of the sky is covered by clouds. The higher the number the more clouds there are as demonstrated below.

0

20

40

60

80

100

200

This setting works well when teamed up with density shown below.

Density
Density controls how dense the clouds that are present are, for example in the examples above up to around the 60% mark the clouds where not really visible, if they had been denser they would have had more of an impression.

0

20

40

60

80

100

200

Global Exposure
Global Exposure appears to represent how much light the clouds are able to absorb or reflect, the manual refers to this as…

Adjust the Global exposure of the clouds using the slider to darken or brighten the clouds,

-5

-2.5

-1

0

1

2.5

5

Light Balance
The manual refers to this as…

The Light balance control is only available if the Apply to sky and clouds option is not selected in the Light tab. This control lets you adjust the balance between ambient and sunlight in each layer independently

Scalar from 0 to 100, user values are accepted.

0

20

40

60

80

100

Contrast
Contrast level increases the level of difference between the light and dark spots in the cloud formations.

However, upon testing I was unable to see any changes between images when this settings was at either end of the extremes.

0

100

Anyone able to fill me in on what is going on here please let me know!

Global Illumination
Global illumination seems to dictate how much light is obtained/reflected from the global environment, i.e. from the sun/sky dome. To better illustrate these examples, the sun has been moved into the scene.

0

20

40

60

80

100

Near the Sun
This setting affects how much the clouds that are near the sun are highlighted. The larger the value, the greater the impact of the sun.

0

20

40

60

80

100

And thats all for the cloud section for the volumetric and standard models.

Dont forget to check out the reference pages for the clouds.

Standard Cloud Reference Guide

Volumetric Cloud Reference Guide

Spectral Cloud Reference Guide

Part 7 will focus on the Spectral cloud settings, dont forget to subscribe to be informed when it comes out.

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