Volumetrics are also for solids! … and cartoons ;)

Hi all 🙂

When someone think about volumetrics the first thought that came to his mind are clouds, smoke, fire… but actually volumetric is everything, and with care and patience many material types could be achieved. The advantage of volumetric solids are that you could have procedurally infinite detail without adding geometry at all (render time will not be free but in solid volumetrics each ray integrate only few steps so are faster that gaseous volumetrics)

For example here are some tests from an excelent door model that I have downloaded from Blendswap where I have applied a solid volumetric material, first the default solid model:

This is the volumetric rendering without composition, currently volumetrics seems to not cast shadows on other volumetrics …. something to look soon.

seems that volumetric dosent cast shadows on other volumetrics ....

And here I have composited the solid rendering with correct shadows to the volumetric rendering: much better 🙂

Composited image

here is the .blend of the door scene:
Door scene

some nice volumetric stones:

Some examples of volumetric stones

study here the volumetric stones .blend

Here are another example of using ramps for internal coloring

and the .blend

And finally a very interesting discovery I have made: using the constant integrator parameter step a cell shade effect or cartoon shading could be achieved with volumetrics! seems that sky is the limit 🙂

Constant step 0.1

Constant step 0.2

Constant step 0.22

study here the .blend

For the amount of detail gained and the correct shading with every ligthing enviroment possible (except fake GI) solid volumetric perform very fast and i think should be considered as an alternative to some texture/displacement traditional methods.

Cheers Farsthary

PD: Before you ask, fluids are on the way of being committed by Jahka very soon, once integrated the engine, I will resume mi work on surfacing 🙂

Volumetrics are also for solids! … and cartoons ;)

18 thoughts on “Volumetrics are also for solids! … and cartoons ;)

  1. matty says:

    awesome finally some sophisticated rocks that don’t eat memory

    by the way do your best to persuade them to fix the shadow issue


  2. I’m hoping the funloving kids over at Durian are seeing this. I’m thinking this apprioach could really come in handy for some of the snow scenes. Imagine being able to have the camera showing as much detail as needed when it’s near the ground (like when Sintel gets knocked over).

    Definite possibilities!

    Thanks for sharing a great technique Farsthary!


  3. Max Puliero says:

    Hi my friend!

    what awesome examples!! there is a way to push the scatter at “normal” material shading but preserving the “volume” feature?



  4. farsthary says:

    Hi all 🙂

    Thanks to everyone for the comments!

    @Matty: I probably shouldbe the one to fix that shading issue (though I think is not a bug but a missing feature currently)

    @hperigo: Thanks for the link, I will check it

    @Max Puliero: I think I dont understad what you told me, could you be more specific? thanks in advance

    @Blendiac: As always my friend , thanks a lot for your forecasting comments 🙂

    Cheers to all


  5. 3pointedit says:

    Thankyou for wonderfull work. I have used your door .blend and tried to substitute in an image map. Instead of clouds. But I cannot get the image to carve out a shape. Also the image sequence settings seem buggy (they change frames while mousing).

    How should I map texture co-ordinates for a black and white image to map on your wall?


  6. Hi,

    I am trying to get solid volumetrics to work in Blender 2.54, until now with no success unfortunately. I am especially interested in using them to create biological / organic things. I was unable to download the files you provided in this blog (message says the files don’t exist) . Do you still have them, and will they still work in 2.54 at all?

    Thanks for any help!


  7. Rickyblender says:

    Amazing stones

    the files don’t seems to be available anymore!

    i open a new thread in WIP forum
    for planet texture and volumes stones!

    if you have a chance can you upload the files there

    nice work
    Thanks happy 2.5


  8. Rickyblender says:

    if anybody can upload the filoe on a new thread i ope
    cause theses here are not working anymore!

    i open a new thread in WIP forum
    for planet texture and volumes stones!


    plese come and share your new volume or planet texture on this thread so people can come back there and find samples file to experiment with

    merry christmass and happy new year

    thanks happy 2.5


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