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I'm trying to create a Nebula walk through using Blender but my final art is unrealistic. I would like to create a realistic nebula without Image backgrounds... I used particle System and clouds, but the isn't realistic. Any suggestion? Or tutorial? Thans in advance.

Update 1: It seems that the best approach is using the "Quick effect smoke." I'm working on it and here you can find my first render... enter image description here

Update 2: More tests. Now the background is a Ocean System and Clouds with Particle System... I think looks better... enter image description here

Final Update: The easyest way is create an Ocean (via Ocean System) in Cycles render and some durst and stars (via particle System) in Blender render; and mix both scenes in Compositor. Here you can find the final render... https://youtu.be/-Lx_U_Z3Z6s

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    $\begingroup$ Sadly this is too broad for here. Try BlenderArtists :) $\endgroup$ – VRM May 12 '15 at 18:38
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    $\begingroup$ I say reopen this... I think creating the effect is similar to many other well received questions on this site. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms May 12 '15 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ I'd try using volumetrics $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms May 12 '15 at 22:52
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    $\begingroup$ Is it possible you could upload an example of the effect you are looking for? $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 May 13 '15 at 10:25
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    $\begingroup$ @atrusplus that looks amazing! Perhaps you should edit your question with some screenshots, and explain what it is you're unhappy with. $\endgroup$ – ajwood May 16 '15 at 3:36
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Here's what I came up with using the ocean modifier and a volume shader:

enter image description here

I used a cube with a volume emission particle system to add stars:

enter image description here


I had planned to use a smoke simulation with the ocean objects as emitters, but a smoke rendering bug is preventing me from testing this atm.. Will update further once the bug is fixed.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is fantastic! Have you tested the smoke addition yet? I would love to learn what more can be done with this! $\endgroup$ – WishyQ May 14 '16 at 0:17
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I've been experimenting a little, but I've mostly used Blender Internal, and only recently started using Cycles on a more regular basis, so this isn't perfect, but it may serve as a starting point. And to be clear: This isn't intended to create a nebula shape from a primitive object like a cube or a sphere, by just varying the density. Perhaps it can be built on to create something that does that, but probably not. Either way, with this setup, the shape has to be modeled.

This is an overview of the material:
enter image description here
The Color input of both the Scatter and the Absorption node groups are just that, color inputs. You can connect anything that outputs a color to them, ColorRamp, MixRGB, textures, or simply change the color directly, like with any node.
The Density texture and Anisotropy texture inputs of the Scatter node group and the Texture input of the Absorption node group control the density and anisotropy of the scattering and the density of the absorption respectively. You should connect the fac output of a texture, or anything that produces a value between 0 and 1, or you can set it directly.
The Maximum and Minimum inputs control the max and min density and anisotropy of the scattering and the max and min density of the absorption. The density of both go from 0 to the ridiculously high 10000, and the anisotropy of the scattering goes from -1 to 1. You can connect other nodes that produce such values, or you can set them directly.
The Curve shape inputs control how the densities and the anisotropy are distributed. A value of 1 gives a straight line from highest to lowest, a lower value gives more of higher density/anisotropy and a higher value gives more of lower density/anisotropy. They go from 0 to 1000.

Here's the "inside" of the Scattering node group:
enter image description here

And here's the "inside" of the Absorption node group:
enter image description here

In the setup I show here, I've used only one of each node group, and combined them with a mix shader with a factor of .5. As you can see, I've also used the same noise texture for everything. You may want to combine several of each node group, with different values, and, of course, different textures, and possibly something that gives a little randomness to the fac input of the mix shader(s), or perhaps try using (an) add shader(s) instead.

Here's a little something I put together with the exact setup shown here. It's certainly not a nebula, but like I said, this may be a starting point. It's not a complete solution.
enter image description here

Here's the .blend for this setup:

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  • $\begingroup$ @cegaton Thanks. I don't know how that happened. I used the user script to upload the .blend, and it automagically pasted that. I was trying to find out how to get it right, with that nifty icon, but this will do nicely. $\endgroup$ – user7952 May 15 '15 at 20:13
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There's an easy way producing realistic volume effects, without dealing with high render time:

  • create a 2D image or movie of the nebula
  • combine it with your scene in mix mode, using the normalized z value of your scene, so that the more far is the object, the more the nebula is visible
  • trim your setup with a B/W color ramp between the normalize node and the fac input of the mix node, and maybe add some blur to let the nebula "bleed"

This way let's you speed up render times a lot!

enter image description here

Render time: less than 1 sec.

The movie clip has been done by shooting a plane with a clouds texture, animating the texture coordinates during the 1000 frames shot. The color ramp lets you control the amount of the fog: more black equals to more crisp, more white means more fog.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hello, can you add an image of your process/node setup for people who are beginners? $\endgroup$ – WishyQ May 14 '16 at 0:20
  • $\begingroup$ Easy and fast, try multiply or screen for various fx's $\endgroup$ – josh sanfelici May 14 '16 at 12:26
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On Blendswap the user viksaz came up with a shader that produces procedual nebulas like this:

enter image description here

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