I'm bothered by the Bump node in Materials. i'm trying to do a earth render and i want to recreate the cyclone's volume and have to find a good way to soften the bump effect.

on the left is the effect i'm trying to achieve.

[what i'm trying to achieve[1] Bump effect

And this is what my render look like now. horizon view enter image description here

When i tweak the bump node to make it look smooth, it looks kinda flat, not fluffy enough. But otherwise the shadow is too harsh and the whole thing just doesn't look like a cloud. i also tried creating a normal map, didn't work out too well....

Any recommendation on what other methods should I try or what else can I do to resolve this? Big thanks to any advice!

normal map


So i tried using a blurrred texture, It has some effect, I'll try to improve on that... with blurred texture and also, the nodes i'm using enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Is the cloud texture a separate texture from the rest of the globe? How do you apply the texture / use it in your material? Does the cloud texture have an alpha channel? BTW the result already looks pretty good! $\endgroup$ – Robert Gützkow Jul 26 '19 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ Hi! i have 4 seperate uv spheres, one for the surface, two for clouds, one for atmosphere. The cyclone alone is on a different sphere from the rest of the clouds.(for better resolution). so what i'm applying to the cyclone is a seperate texture from everything else. The texture itself has alpha channel. I can see the transparency in my UV Editor. Thx for the compliment! I'm just really frustrated that i dont know if any node can smooth the bump a little bit $\endgroup$ – zeyu zhu Jul 26 '19 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ This is likely easier to do outside of Blender in an image editor. For instance selective gaussian blur in GIMP could be what you're looking for. The shader nodes unfortunately don't include the operations from compositing, so what you can do in the material to edit textures is quite limited. Well actually you can do many operations but it would be a very complicated node setup, e.g. to perform image filtering / convolution. $\endgroup$ – Robert Gützkow Jul 26 '19 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ ok i'll try that, thx! $\endgroup$ – zeyu zhu Jul 26 '19 at 17:41

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