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I'm trying to make underwater reeds for a scene in Blender cycles.

I have my reeds textured and ready, I'm using a particle system as a hair type and I've set it up so the "grass" covers my floor plane.

My problem is the grass is spread evenly across the plane. I want them to be in patches, clumped together and have the floor visible where they're absent.

A solution in my head would be for the particles to follow a noise node, tightened up using a colour ramp but I cant seem to figure this out, if it's at all possible?

enter image description here

Thanks for your help

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The method I would use to clump the vegetation together is by tweaking the 'radius' value in the particle's children tab. Note that children type must be set to 'Simple'.

3d viewport radius Children menu

This is the most simple and easy way to achieve the 'bush' look, but if you want more freedom and customization possibilities, a density texture is the way to go!

For example: I'm using a cloud texture to control where the hair can grow and where not.

texture 3d view clouds and ramp

For this example I'm using a cloud texture, but you can obviously paint a texture by hand and gain 100% control.

Make sure to check the influence of your texture: density check

And assign it in the particle system as well: enter image description here

A fundamental difference between these methods is that by using a texture, you're actually 'cutting' out portion of your scattered hair. By using the radius option under the children's panel, you control where the hair-particles are going to be scattered. So your amount of particles in the settings will be higher when using a texture.

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  • $\begingroup$ It's not perfect but it's the best I've come across. Thank you for taking the time to explain that $\endgroup$ – Sean Kilburn Jan 24 '18 at 15:01

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