Creating Clouds, Smoke, and Vapours

Not talking about fog effects in post or photoshopped elements, but in a model: Billowing clouds, jets of steam, wisps of mist; all with soft edges, .

Building these out of successively smaller multiple objects nested together with high transparency might simulate a low res gradient at the objects’ edges.

Materials with alpha channels might pose a challenge with controlling object shape.

2d objects with gradient fills or materials would work, but only for individual views.

Thoughts welcome.

Sadly rhino does not support particle elements when rendering so you will be stuck faking it with objects and materials like you suggested above.

or, take you data into blender which does support particles and do proper smoke, clouds etc.

Thanks Kyle.

Thoughts about which of my suggestions might work best are welcome.

You are on a path that will require a lot of trial and error to get something that will look right for your particular image.

you can also try stuff like using an image of smoke or clouds mapped with an alpha channel onto a plane and position it strategically,.

I suggest looking through the Lazy Tutorials by Ian Hubert

Lazy Tutorials - YouTube

This may give you inspiration for faking everything you need in your image.

This compilation of stuff by his has a couple of approaches load out that may help too. These work also for stills.

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Ha, that’s an excellent video, I’m always amazed about how people generate these complex CG environments with so much fakes and eventually ending up making it look real.

And much of that I would suggest doing also for product shots or other visualisation. Do the minimum you need with actual rendering, the rest: fake it to the best of your abilities.