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Point density, that great miss

Posted by Marius Oberholster on Monday, September 30, 2013 Under: Quick Blog Tutorial
Hey all!

I'm sure many of you have heard of this feature, but you have absolutely no clue as to how to use it. I was there and I'm still learning some cool stuff about it; even today (the day I started writing this post; yes, sometimes it takes more than a day per post due to render times for examples)!

Now, just to show you some examples (click on them for the videos), I rendered some more practical projects and listed them below:


(ignore the cliff material's moving; it's caused by the texture used for warping; apparently warping is somehow tied to camera movement like IOR is; you know, like distorted glass bends light)

While these are good and fine, they don't show the greatest feature of point density; varying colors, for varying density systems. What does that mean? See these examples (click on them to see the video):


You can see here that these systems' colors, though different, still have an effect on each other. You also don't use Emission Color influence to get multiple colors, but Reflective - and Transmission color. I do not recommend more than one color system per volumetric material.

As this is a quick blog tutorial, here's how to set up basic point density:
- Every point density system has it's own texture on a volumetric material. Preferably only one particle system per volume material unless your systems are the same color.
> Add a cube over an existing particle system with it's own mesh (the particle system has to be on the base mesh, not over subdivision modifiers or it will not render right or at all, plus break the baked cache)
> Make the cube have a volumetric material with it's density set to 0, so the texture can adjust it (not density scale, that remains at 1 or higher)
> Move to the texture tab and add a point density texture (from the type of texture drop-down)
> Select the mesh object that has the appropriate particle system
> Select the appropriate particle system and point size (default of 0.300, but this can be too large or too small; see in your render whether it needs to be bigger in your scene)
> Set the color source to particle age (left of the ramp means start of the particle and the right side of it means death of the particle)
> Set the turbulence, if needed (which it is almost always)
> Set the Mapping Coordinates to be Global; never generated or whatever else, or the texture and density will not line up
> Set the influence to reflect at least Density and Emission Color; the rest are optional.

Tip: To have it receive shading, make External Shadows active in the material options.

And that's it for a basic point density system. Now it just needs customization from you! Have fun with it and play around with this feature! It has a lot of potential!

Hope this inspires you to try some stylized renders :D!

Thank YOU!!!!!

In : Quick Blog Tutorial 


Tags: jesus  blog  quick  tutorial  point  density  particles  blender render  volumetrics  point density 

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." Revelation 22:18-21

"Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Proverbs 30:6

King James Version, Public Domain

About Me


Marius Oberholster Hey! I've been doing this full-time since July of 2011. It has been an incredible learning experience, not only learning how Blender works (still learning), but also about Open-Source and the incredible software available. ----------- This Blog will be a way to stay up to date on all things Panther Dynamics as well as some personal stuff as well.

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