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I am a long time Blender user and I built some nice scenes with it. I also love the new 2.8 but ever since I was working with volumetrics in Blender I was never really happy with it.

So what I want to achieve is something like this: enter image description here A Fog, which brighten up things in the back + dont nessessarily make it muddy grey (as it always happens in Blender)

So I know three ways of creating dusk in Blender, but none of these is really what I want.

  1. create an Object and give it the volume-scatter material. There you can lower the densety until it gets a nice foggy feel. Unfortunately, the only result I get is stuff like this: enter image description here a muddy looking grey + dark fog. Yes I can higher the strenght of the light - but this doesent really solve it. First the rest of the scene gets way too bright and secondly there are still greyish parts in my fog. Not as in the reference picture I posted at the beginning.

2.Create A volume scatter node in the world node editor and plug it into volume. There I get pretty much the same thing, but over my whole scene. Still not right ..

3.Add Volumetric Fog in the composer AFTER the rendering. But this is kind a complicated to be honest. You need to figure out the exact numbers for the volume density and render over and over again. I gave up on using this technique because it was too complicated to be practical in my eyes

In game engines like Unity or Unreal I can achieve this with one or two buttons, and it looks exactly like I want it to look. Therefor I even found a cool gif/vid on twitter: https://twitter.com/i/status/1148767976096747526 check it out. Something like this or at least a world volume adjuster HAVE to be possible in Blender. How?!

Kind regards Frece

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  • $\begingroup$ it seems easy to do in Eevee, if you use Cycles (and even Eevee) you could just use some semi transparent planes that will fake the fog, you can give them noise texture to make it more cloudy, it's a nice trick to keep a light scene in my opinion $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Dec 1, 2019 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ @moonboots this sounds like a bad idea to be honest. I mean thanks for the help but the idea with the planes is just as complicated as the compositor solution. I would need to create new planes for every "layer" to the background I have + It doesent make it brighter. So how is this actually a solution at all? Am I getting it wrong? $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2019 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think it's complicated, you just create several planes (or duplicate the same), use procedural mask between transparency and diffuse, and if you want to make it brighter you can use a mix with some emission. Actually in Cycles I see 3 solutions: Mist / Volume Scatter (the one you tried) / Gradient texture (the one I've just explained) as I explain here: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/114207/… maybe there's another one but I don't know it $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Dec 1, 2019 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ For a detailed post on the subject read: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/109746/… $\endgroup$
    – susu
    Jun 8, 2020 at 18:47

3 Answers 3

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Just in case anyone still wonders about how to jazz up the fog in Blender: Cycles, like Arnold, has the raydepth for Volumes set to "0" by default. This is to make rendering faster. As you probably know Volumetric rendering is punishing on a path-tracing renderer. However, that setting means that no actual scattering happens within the volume and results in muddy grey fog. Not necessarily a bad thing depending on the look you're going for but if you want more glowy life in your volumes without making it emit light i.e. physically correct then you need to go to: Light Path settings

In the light path settings add a non-zero number to volume. Beware, it will drastically increase render times. I find 1 or 2 is more than enough. You'll also need to adjust the "Total" value to reflect the sum of all you light bounces.

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  • $\begingroup$ I should also add that pushing the "anisotropy" value into positive and negative numbers will pull or push the glow of the fog towards or away from the light sources $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2021 at 16:34
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I'm sure you figured it out by now, but it took me a while to find the right answer...so for anyone else: I used the Principled volume node At first it is also dark, but take a look at the Emission Strength and Color Parameters...the dark fogs shall lighten up for you!

Have fun!

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To me Volume Scatter node is not an option if You want to use some HDRI as lightning or background image.. doesn't matter how low I make Density and Emission it will always override any background.. but in my opinion would be good in this forest image except it gives effect to early.. on that image it looks like fog starts from the second tree.. Volume scatter node in world settings

Increasing Max Bounces for Volume makes the fog a bit brighter.. less grayish.. This is with Volume scatter node applied to material of the solid (background and shadows still visible). solid scatter material bounces 0 solid scatter material bounces 2

If the camera is inside of the solid, worlds volume scatter node didn't make any effect.. on those images with solid I still had Volume Scatter Node in world settings turned on.. It seems not to effect other Solids with scattering Volume..

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