Making Realistic looking Clouds In Maya


Hello guys and welcome!!

In this tutorial we will learn how to create realistic looking clouds in Maya using powerful tools of fluids, later on I will show you how to animate the shape of clouds from one angle to another as the clouds dose in real world.

this tutorial is very helpful beginners to intermediate users can enjoy, if you don''t know nothing about fluids I tried to explain as simple as I can to make you understand what I am trying to say!!

ok lets get started!!

fire up your Maya any version regardless in this tutorial I am using version 8.0 since version 8.5 or higher is also available, and then make a fresh scene.

1-Now change your module to dynamics and then go to (Fluid Effect>>Create 3d Container>> then click on the option box as the image is illustrating below.

2-When you hit the option box the dialogue window will appear and do the settings as below,

Note: Later on you can change the values to make it bigger to fix on your camera for rendering reason.

The higher values the slower rendering performance  and system work.

3-Now you should have something similar to the image below.

4-Go to your attributes editor if its not open hit (CTRL A) from your keyboard once your attributes editors comes up, with the fluid 3d container selected click on the tab called (FluidShape1), now expand the (Contents Method) and set all the drop down menus to (Off(Zero), like one on the picture below,

5-Scroll down to bottom and find out the (Shading) tab expand it and do the setting as the image is showing below,

6-Still in the shading properties scroll a just bit and do the setting as in the image below,

7-Keep scrolling and find out the (Textures) tab expand it and just check mark the check mark boxes as like the image down below,

8-Back to (Opacity) settings and change the (Opacity Input) to (Constant) and the (Interpolation) to (Smooth) as like the image below,

9-If you follow along with me now you should have something like the image below,

10-Scroll down back to (Textures) properties and do the settings as the image showing below,

Note: If you are not happy with the shape of your cloud you are more then welcome to play with these settings below,

Frequency Ratio,

Depth Max,

Texture Time,


11-From bottom your clouds should look something like the picture below,

12-Now its time to animate our clouds as I promised in the starting, still in the textures tab you will see a option with (Texture Origin) it has 3 blank boxes each of these boxes are representing of X,Y,Z coordinates, this is great option that let us to animate wherever we like, in this case I will animate this guy to Z axis, in the last box right click from pop up menu choose (Create New Expression) like the picture below.

13-The expression editor window comes up and now type this expression (fluidShape1.textureOriginZ=time*15) and then hit apply,

Note: The value of 15 is the speed of clouds how fast they should move if you don''t like that much fast clouds then you are most welcome to play with the values,

Ok since we are done just hit play and you will see the clouds are moving randomly from one side to another,


Here are some of my final renders I wanted  to render the whole 200 frames animation but for now I am not dealing with powerful computer, so do it your own and then let me know how you find it!!

Final Render at frame 50

Final Render at frame 100

Final Render at frame 150

Final Render at frame 200

Congratulations you have successfully completed the tutorial I hope you have learned something cool and helpful, so there is allot more things to do since you got the idea just play with the settings I am sure you will find something new and cool.

if you have any kind of comments please feel free to write me I will answer you for sure if I am not busy too much.

Till next I wish you guys all the success,


Aziz Khan

by: aziz3d
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Added 9 years ago
in this tutorial i will show you how to create realistic looking clouds in Maya 8.0 so have funn!!

Keywords: Maya, Clouds
Tools: Maya (Autodesk)
Subject: Animating
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