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Cool tech demo: cloud simulation with Elementacular

Friday, November 29th, 2013 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Sunday Studio’s Elementacular technology is designed to simulate natural phenomena like clouds and rock in real time, using a simple drag-and-drop workflow. See more demo videos on the Elementacular website.

Danish research body the Alexandra Institute has released some interesting demo videos of Elementacular, its work-in-progress technology for simulating natural effects in 3D.

Elementacular, which is based on an OpenGL platform (“AAA game technology”, according to TD Christian Esbo Agergaard from project partners Sunday Studio), simulates clouds and rock in real time.

The technology has currently been implemented in a Maya plugin, shown in the video above, with an After Effects version already in the works. The studio is also considering a Nuke implementation.

Simple drag-and-drop workflow
As the video demonstrates, workflow can be as simple as importing an arbitrary model and dragging on a cloud material: “The platform is a base for VFX in real time without drowning in sliders and sim time,” says Agergaard.

Once created, the underlying cloud geometry can be adjusted live, with support for real-time relighting. Workflow for rock (above) is very similar, and the two simulation types can be combined to eye-catching effect.

Agergaard says that the platform could be extended to simulate other natural phenomena like fire, water or snow.

Currently in development, but sign up for the beta
The technology is currently a research project sponsored by EU funding body Shareplay, but the developers hope for a commercial release in 2014 or 2015.

But if you can’t wait that long, you can apply to beta test the Maya plugin now via the link below.

Visit the Elementacular website
(Includes more demo videos and the email address to register for beta access)

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  • Cam

    Some very impressive simulation technology! I hope the beta performs well.
    Cameron | Lanner | Process Simulation

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