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Hi I'm trying to make a character that looks like he's made of mist or smoke in Cycles. The Volume absorption works pretty much as I'd hoped.
But once the character is posed, any little mesh intersection shows up as a 'hole' in the volumetrics.
Does anyone know a possible solution or is this just a limitation of volumetrics at the moment?

The armpits and elbow here are an example.
See armpits and elbow here for example

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Maybe try Remesh modifier on top of your mesh? Just move it to the bottom of your modifier stack and do not apply it.

You may expect different visual bugs and shape degradation, however for volumes it could work.

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    $\begingroup$ Well this is a surprising solution I never would have thought of. With octree set at 8+ and smooth on this works pretty well! I'll have to have the modifier off for animating and drop it in for rendering though. Cheers. $\endgroup$ – Stephen Hamacek Sep 26 '14 at 11:21
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The holes you see are from the mesh intersecting with itself, which will confuse the choice of being inside or outside of the mesh with volume shading. Using the remesh modifier with smoothing can relax the mesh enough to prevent the intersection.

Another approach that can give more control is to use shape keys. While the mesh is posed in that position, create a shapekey that moves the necessary vertices to prevent the intersection. If you are animating you can add keyframes to the shapekey value so that it is applied as the character moves into that pose.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the suggestion sambler. I had considered using shape keys, until I tried a pose where the character had his arms crossed. There were intersections with fingers/thumb/arm/body. Yecch! Will see how this goes with Remesh for now. $\endgroup$ – Stephen Hamacek Sep 28 '14 at 0:45

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