I personally consider Volumetrics one of the most important and useful features in LightWave 3D® for creating impressive effects like smoke, fire, fluids, and even clouds. Our HyperVoxel technology is amazing and I’ve used it so much myself to create useful effects but honestly, it has gotten a little “long in the tooth” as of late. One of the challenges that I have often faced when working with HyperVoxels is getting the volumetrics to fully integrate into my detailed lighting of scenes. It usually requires some “smoke and mirrors” (pun intended) to make that work well and our team has been aware of this for quite some time. We did some work on our volumetric engine to help resolve these past issues.
One of our users in the forum asked “Is this just the next evolution of HyperVoxels?”. The short answer is NO. We have created a brand new system we’ve been developing, and it’s tightly integrated into the new PBR rendering engine. What this means is that just as with PBR, our new volumetrics are physically correct and can more easily integrate into the renders without so much cheating. Being able to render clouds, smoke, nebulae, pyroclastic and non-pyroclastic effects with a very high level of realism is something many users have been asking for.
We answered with “state of the art” volumetrics, perfectly integrated in the render engine, and responding correctly to refraction, reflection and radiosity. Attributes such as Emission, Scattering, Absorption (among others) can be tweaked and animated to simulate nearly any real world volumetric effect, and combined with any image or procedural texture you can find in LightWave®. Testing this feature has been a great pleasure for me, and I really couldn’t wait to share some of my test images with our users! So…. Here they are! Enjoy!