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So i have been working on this scene for a while using cycles and wanted to have a fog with a shape like in the image, the problem is that it looks too cheap, cut out and i cannot think of anything to make it look better, any help? (i took screenshots so thats why the render looks grainy)

enter image description here

Below is my node set up for the fog inside the mesh

enter image description here

thank you!

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If you want these curvy shapes you can try Volume Empty object with two volume modifiers.

  • Add a Cube, switch to Sculpt mode and with enabled Dyntopo use Snake Hook tool
  • Add Volume > Empty object
  • Add modifier Mesh to Volume and use the Cube as Object
  • Alternatively for more distortion you can use Volume Displace modifier with Cloud texture

Sculpted - three drags with Snake Hook tool (screen from edit mode) enter image description here

Volume > Empty object with Mesh to Volume modifier enter image description here

Added Volume Displace modifier > Cloud texture enter image description here

... another example smaller size texture and higher Density set in shader enter image description here

Volume modifier available from Blender 2.92 and above ... I'm so big fan of this feature.
Just a few clicks :)

BTW - ad to "graine" render - in Properties editor under Render property >Sampling > Denoising enable Viewport / Render Screens above are just result of 4 samples :)

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  • $\begingroup$ This is brilliant! thank you very much $\endgroup$ – Dan Nov 6 '20 at 19:31
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If you want the most realistic result, you should consider using a smoke simulation. However, if you want to do it using a shader, you can try something like this. The object I used is a plane, placed in front of the scene.

Fog1

All I did to make it was to warp the vectors of a Noise Texture with another Noise Texture (to make it even more random and "whispy") using a Vector Math node. The MixRGB in the middle is to lessen the warp effect.

Fog2

Then I used the same warped vector combined with a Gradient Texture and a ColorRamp to make an alpha mask.

Fog3

I show it in the photo (but not connected) that I also combined (multiplied) the original Noise Texture that I used for the warp factor (through another ColorRamp) with my alpha mask to make more "holes" in it.

The end result looks like this. Don't forget to put a light in front of it to make it show up:

Fog4

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You could create a cube, give it this node setup, which is a mix between a Noise Texture and a Gradient through a Math (Multiply), the Gradient making the Noise fade out on the Z axis:

enter image description here

Here is what it gives:

enter image description here

Front view:

enter image description here

Or you could try to improve your solution:

  • Create your cloud object with metaballs, keep the Resolution low to make them smooth. When you're glad with your shape, select them all and in the header menu > Object > Convert to > Mesh:

enter image description here

  • Create your material, plug the Principled Volume into the Volume socket of the Material Output. Plug a Noise Texture into the Density socket of the Principled Volume. As this setup won't take the cloud shape into account (the cut out aspect), plug a mix between Transparent and Diffuse into the Surface socket of the Material Output with a Layer Weight as factor:

enter image description here

  • Here is what it gives (I've added two Point lights in order to make it a bit brighter, but you could also add an Emission shader in your node setup, or give your Principled Volume a bit of Emission Strength):

enter image description here

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