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Experimenting with texturing volume shaders. This is an emission shader that uses two noise textures to drive density. Density is via a "greater than": saturation of the mix > 0.3, times a constant. One noise texture is rotated via an animated mapping node to create some hopefully interesting patterns that are related to the static shape. Texture coordinates are generated coordinates.
Glass is ghetto glass, a refraction shader mixed with a glossy on the basis of Blender fresnel. Real glass shader was giving me errors and taking forever to render.
Discovered that one of my issues with experiments with volume shaders was that I wasn't paying attention to volume depth in my render/light path settings. Very noticeable difference since raising that above 0.
My goal here is to create some hair halo fuzz that doesn't involve ten billion carefully tuned hair particles. Although, come to think of it, combining volume shaders with particles might be useful. Wonder how particles get generated tex coords. Can't use UV mapping with volumetrics, UV coords just return 0.
I can stretch out the plasma just by stretching out the shape, which gives me some strandiness. Strands are still too diffuse, but at a distance it might not matter. I can use curves to retain the original generated texture coordinates so that I can place the fuzz without screwing up the direction of its general flow.
Played with dupliverts for the first time yesterday. Kind of interesting, useful tool for some things. Poverty of settings, though, dupliverts is something that ought to be better integrated with the more powerful particle system. I suppose you could probably do dupliverts with particles, now that I think about it, just disable physics and randomness and the particles should stick to the mesh.
I probably ought to start studying Python soon. There are rigging things I want to do where it would be far easier to describe the behavior I want in terms of code. Or else, there are complicated structures I want to make (mesh-limited angles, twisty spline IK which is bendy bones without the limitations) where it's just too much of a pain to create and manage them without making code to do it for me.
There sure are a lot of different ways to do the same thing in Blender. Glass -> refraction mxes, dupliverts -> particles, bendy bones -> spline IK. Lots of stuff like that, Blender's obviously a hodge-podge, a product of many hands and many years.
640x640px 3.8 MB
This is really cool. Reminds me of that sphere with the cloth simulation you did (only in the sense that it has a slight hypnotic effect). I like this one a lot more. The animation loop is smoother.