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Creating Clouds


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I've been trying to create realistic clouds from scratch. This is what I have so far. Make sure you click on it to view it in full size.

 

th_skyexperiment_zps487e18e5.png

 

What can I do to make it look more realistic? Anything about the texture or whatever?

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Try this: http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/18950-almost-realistic-fluffy-clouds/

Personally I use Clouds Plugin by @Sepcot when I want more control (i.e. realism) of generated clouds. I believe this plugin was the precursor to the built-in Clouds effect.

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Both plugins suggested by EER are very useful.

Remember real clouds are often at different heights in layers - it can be effective to use the magic wand to erase parts of the clouds generated by the plugins to show the sky behind.
Also, importantly, clouds like everything else are subject to perspective. To get the more distant clouds relatively smaller, zoom/rotate is useful and for 'aerial perspective' lower the contrast on the most distant clouds. You will be looking through much more atmosphere towards the horizon than you do looking straight up. The atmoshere is full of dust/water vapour that reflects the prevailing colour of the light.
When beams of light pass into clouds they can illuminate them from within and when they pass through holes in the cloud they can show as 'crepuscular' rays - very dramatic. (crepuscular simply means evening, but that is what the rays are commonly called).

I don't think you learn anything by just downloading a photo that someone else has taken.However,  looking at photos for reference and trying to work out where the light is going etc. is very useful. And learning about the different types of clouds and the conditions that give rise to them is fascinating too.

The image you have shown is a very good start. It looks like you are looking almost straight up at the 'silver lining' around the edge of a cloud. Personally I would decrease the brightness of the cloudless area above the silver lining, possibly try a light blue gradient. The body of the cloud is good but looks a little artificial to my eyes, I would be tempted to add some more, very subtle, outlines to echo the shapes of the main outline. But these are only opinions.

I did some Pdn experiments with clouds, you may find interesting here:

http://i1127.photobucket.com/albums/l621/Red_ochre/possible%20PDN%20gallery/cloudexp3c.png
http://i1127.photobucket.com/albums/l621/Red_ochre/possible%20PDN%20gallery/cloudexp3a8.png

Also I did this with real oil paints recently (I used Pdn to play with composition ideas before commiting to expensive paint).
http://i.imgur.com/vepxoZJ.jpg">http://i.imgur.com/vepxoZJ.jpg
 

 

Red ochre Plugin pack.............. Diabolical Drawings ................Real Paintings

 

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It really depends on the angle and the time of day as clouds are hard to do in some cases like sunsets or sunrises when there are multiple hues. (It's a result of light having to travel a greater distance through our atmosphere and hitting it on it's side)

If you want to do clouds in the daytime, it's much easier as it's shades of gray to white. Think of it as a white blob accented by darker grey areas which would be the shaded parts of the cloud giving it a 3 dimensional look. Also clouds don't have bulges in uniformity, the bottom of of a cloud is often more flat than the upper portions when viewed from the side. If you view the cloud from the bottom, you see it more as a large slightly greyish blob accented by white parts that face the sun.

I just use the distortion filters with a normal brush to splatter on color and gausian blur it very slightly. To finish it off, I'll smudge it a bit with pressure set to 7 as too much pressure will leave streaks. Once it looks a bit like scrambled eggs but white in color, that's pretty much it! Hope it helps!

cloudrf43.jpg

RFX5A1.jpg

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Try the clouds plugin and erase a portion of it. Copy what is left a paste to a new image. Make a new layer. Go back to the cloud and reverse what you erased to make a new shape. copy and paste it above the new image on layer two. Make about 4 layers with new cloud shapes. Blur, drop shadow, replace colors with bright whites on top and darker blues or greys on the bottom. It's good to go wild and create. You never know what you can figure out, until you give it an honest try.

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