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Atmospheres & Clouds

Artwork by Alen Vejzovic

Amazingly Realistic Skies

VUE has one of the most realistic atmospheric systems on the market, from fully volumetric clouds to procedural, scene-wide wind and breeze animations, customizable haze and fog and weather effects. Spectral Atmospheres provide unprecedented control for setting the right mood in a scene.
Atmosphere models

Atmosphere Models

VUE's hero atmospheric model, the Spectral Atmosphere, is available as a standard spectral version for a more artistic approach and as a photometric spectral version with real-world light intensities and extremely realistic light scattering. In Photometric mode, all lights in the scene operate with photometric intensities in lumen or candela and optional IES profiles. Render time-lapse animations of rising suns and changing weather conditions. Add drama with rainbows, rain and snow.

With standard and volumetric atmospheres, two fast-rendering legacy models are also available. Choose between different GI modes with varying degrees of accuracy and light bounces for the best balance between render time and realism. Every atmosphere model features scene-wide wind and breeze which animate entire EcoSystems with realistic wind algorithms.
VUE ships with a large collection of pre-made atmospheres. Extend the library by saving your own creations to the Atmosphere Content Browser and change the mood of a scene with a new atmosphere on the fly.

Artwork by Mike Reid


Volumetric Clouds

The Standard/Photometric spectral atmosphere engine is capable of rendering highly realistic volumetric clouds with accurate lighting and volumetric shadows. Spectral cloud layers are three-dimensional, allowing you to create anything from thin ground fog to massive Cumulonimbus.

You can place as many layers as you need, at any height, and even combine spectral and standard, non-volumetric cloud layers (to add high altitude Cirrus, for instance). Spectral layers are created using any type of noise function, and provide a wide range of control over density, cover, sharpness, illumination, and even vertical profile.
Artwork by Daniel Seebacher
You can easily control the overall shape of the clouds, from feathery to clumpy and create skies with as many overlapping spectral cloud layers as you like for complex and unbelievably realistic cloudscapes! They look equally good from below or from above, and thus are perfectly suited for fly-through sequences, as well as ground fog or “mountains peeking through clouds” effects. With the right settings, you can produce natural phenomena like God-rays.

In addition to infinite cloud layers, Metaclouds, which are standalone cloud objects, can be used for easy cloudscaping. Convert meshes into Metaclouds and create any shape imaginable. Metaclouds can be seamlessly animated to morph from one cloud shape into another.

VUE in How To Train Your Dragon 2, Copyright Dreamworks Images

Atmosphere Export

Atmosphere Export*

Skies can be rendered out as 32-bit HDRIs in different layouts such as spherical, hemispherical or cubic. This makes VUE the perfect tool for skybox creation and for building up your own library of HDRIs. Bring VUE atmospheres into other applications and render them with any render engine of your choice.

Clouds can be rendered into the HDRI or alternatively exported as static or animated OpenVDB file sequences. These OpenVDB files carry multiple grids, from cloud color over ambient lighting, density and transparency.
*Note: These features apply to VUE Professional & Enterprise only.

VUE sky and spectral clouds rendered in Redshift

Lander 12 by Barry Marshall

OpenVDB Import

OpenVDB volumes can be imported as Metacloud volumes. For shading the volume, the raw information from the OpenVDB file may be used or a mix of VUE's cloud noises, custom density functions with nodes and the values from the OpenVDB object.
VUE's Function Graph offers an OpenVDB node which can read the grid information from the file and make it accessible for use within a node shading network.
Artwork by Barry Marshall
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