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Rain Tool for Poser and Studio


Product: Rain Tool
Product Code: ps_ac2560b
DAZ Original: NO
Created By: Nerd3D
Released: May 2, 2008

Product Information

  • You can find new icons for loading this product in the following Poser libraries
    • Figures: “Nerd 3D:Rain Tool”
    • Pose: “Nerd 3D:Rain Tool”, “Nerd 3D:Rain Tool:MATS”
    • Materials: “Nerd 3D:Rain Tool”
  • You can find new icons for loading this product in the following DAZ Studio folders:
    • “Environment:Nerd3D:Rain Tool”
  • View files installed for this product: N3DRainToolLIST.txt

Requirements ...

  • Poser 5 and newer or DAZ Studio 2 and newer
  • Something to rain on. Maybe a parade?

Overview ...

If you have used any of the other Nerd3D volumetric simulations you will have a real head start in this tutorial. The basic concept is very similar to the Snow Tool (Blowin' in the Wind sold at DAZ3D) or the Confetti Tool.

There are three main components of the Rain Tool. First–the Rain Tool itself; then the Splat Tool. The Splat Tool lays flat, just below the ground and simulates the rain drops hitting the ground. Finally, there is a Drip Tool. It is a single drop and splat. It's purpose is to simulate drips from eaves and the like.

The Rain Tool uses 150 “buckets” to control the 1200 individual “drops” in the Rain Tool. All of these elements are controlled from the control body part. Poser users will see this as a triangular handle above the Rain Tool. Studio users can select it from the Scene tab. Use this easily accessible handle to place the Rain Tool in the scene and control the style of the rain drops.

This system also includes a wide selection of materials for realistic rain and fantasy scenes. There are also “blur” settings. These are specifically designed to simulate a motion blur in the Rain Tool. This saves having to set up “real” motion blur in the render.

The Rain Tool's Controls ...

Let's begin by having a look at the Rain Tool's controls. Load up a Rain Tool from the library and select the Control Element. Yes, there seem to be a lot of dials there, but it's easier than it looks.

The Size section is used to setup the overall size of the effect. This moves the buckets further apart. Be careful here. If you spread the effect too thin, the rail will look choppy. If you need a larger area use more than one tool, but more on that later.

The Uniform Setup section affects all the elements or “buckets” the same way. If you want great big drops, scale them here. The controls you are most interested in here are the rotation controls. This is where you will angle the rain to simulate wind driven rain. That will most likely be setup with the SideSideAll dial.

The group scale dials allow you to scale 5 semi random groups in the effect. This is similar to the randomize size dials further down, but different. Experiment with these to see the effect they produce. They can give you a sheet effect in rain animations.

The next section controls randomization in the effect. The first group moves all the buckets a pseudo random distance along each of the three axes. This is important to keep the rain from looking too uniform. These don't need large values to break up the uniformity. Generally someplace between 0.1 and 0.2 is sufficient.

The Randomize Rotation controls probably won't see much use. Real rain falls pretty much parallel and these controls would break that up. If you do use them only the tiniest amount will give the drops the appearance of slightly different trajectories.

The Randomize Size controls are how you create an effect with random sized drops of rain. Once again real rain is pretty uniform. Small amounts go a long way with these dials.

Finally, we have the drop style controls. These affect the individual drops through morphs. The DropSize dial increases the diameter of the drop without affecting length. The length is probably the most important dial. By drastically increasing the length of the drops and using a “blur” material you can simulate a motion blur. This saves having to set that up in the render engine. Finally, the TearDrop morph allows you to create a fantasy style rain drop effect.

Splat Tool's Controls ...

Now let's take a look at the splat tool. It's purpose is to simulate the effect of rain drops hitting the ground and making a small splash. Load a Splat Tool from the library and select it's control element.

The splat tool should be positioned so the little splats are just barely below the ground. If the ground is not level you can rotate the entire tool using the control element. If the ground is rough you may want to position the individual splats just below the surface. Each splat can be posed, if necessary.

As with the rain tool the Size group sets the overall size of the effect.

The uniform setup section allows you to rotate and scale all the splat emitters the same way. This can be used to aim the splats if you are doing a driven rain scene, or to make them larger or smaller to match the scale of the rain effect.

The randomization controls are also very much like those in the Rain Tool. It's unlikely you will ever need the Randomize Y control as it would move the emitters above and below the ground.

The Randomize twist dial can make the splats appear different by randomly rotating them. This makes a different part of each one face the camera. The randomize size can really help sell the effect by making the splats slightly different sizes.

The Splat Emitters are grouped in to 10 sections plus a set of controls the operate them all at once. For still images you will only need the All Splat controls. The “splat” dial raises the emitter above the surface of the ground and shapes the splash. The radiate control increases the diameter of the splash.

If you are doing an animation, you'll want to cycle through the 10 groups. The frequency of the cycle will be dictated by the amount of rain. If you're thinking this will be a tremendous pain, you are right. That's why 3 animated poses to setup animations of the splats have been included. So, if you are doing animations choose one of the 3 included splat tool animations. There is light rain, heavy rain and cloudburst. The animations are 30 frame cycles. Simply apply the animation every 30 frames to cover whatever duration you need.

Drip Tool's Controls ...

The drip tool is simply a single drop and splat hooked together. It is designed to simulate drips from the eave of a house, or a leaf, where ever rain might collect and drip.

The drip has a control element just like it's big brothers. The element is visible in Poser as a tall triangle that roughly indicates the size of the effect.

The Drip Control set the angle and fall of the drop. If this is to be an animation the Drop Fall will be the dial you need to control the falling drop.

The drop controls are exactly like the Rain tool, except they only control the one drop. Same thing for the splat controls.

There is an animation included to setup a drip. If you need a continuous drip just apply the animation every 15 or so frames until the necessary length is reached.

Some Utility Poses ...

Several utility poses are included. I think the shadow on and off poses are pretty self explanatory. Most times you will not want the rain and splats to cast shadows. It increases render times and is practically invisible in the scene.

The Smooth on and off are for Poser only. Poser's Polygonal smoothing can be a bit of a pain at times. In cases with the rain tool you will want it on. If you are doing a scene with very big tear drops for example. But if you are doing a scene with very long motion blurred drops it will need to be off or you'll get unexpectedly fat drops. DAZ's Studio does things differently and this isn't needed for studio.

Some Special Materials ...

The materials are pretty straight forward except the Blur materials. These work in conjunction with the Long Drop morph in the rain tool to simulate motion blur in the drops. Real motion blur in Poser takes forever to render and it's not even available in studio. To use these set the Drop Length dial up to 3-5. Then apply one of the blur materials. Ray Trace Blur isn't available in Studio because it handles refraction differently than Poser and it's impossible to make refraction and transparent happen at the same time.

Now let's build a scene ...

First thing load a pose your figure and setting before adding the rain tools. They are very low poly, but they have a lot of parts. It will slow down posing to some degree.

Load a rain tool and select the control. Set the Randomize X,Y,Z to about 0.1 and the SideSideAll to 120. We'll be doing a fake motion blur on this scene so Set the drop length to 2.5.

Now we seem to have some drops flying right through Aiko's umbrella. OK select those buckets and move them a bit so they aren't shooting out of the back of the umbrella. You might also want to check Aiko for any ballistic rain drops too.

You may also notice the the rain doesn't seem to fill the scene. That's OK, we can use more than one rain tool. But don't add it yet. We can save our selves a bunch of clicking and dialing.

To save time we can copy these settings. Select the control and Press [Ctrl] + C to copy the settings. Now load another rain tool. This one we'll move to the street. Before you move it select it's control and press [Crtl] + V to paste the settings. Now it's setup exactly the same as the first rain tool. Move it forward and so it's closer to the camera.

So what if you have a huge area that needs rain. A hundred rain tools? No way! Firstly it would take too long to setup and render but more important there's a better way. Use my Fog Tool for the far away stuff or use the built in atmosphere node in Poser. These will render way faster and take a fraction of the time to setup. You can only really see the rain for 30 or 40 feet unless you've got superman eyes. Use 2 or 3 layers of rain tools then fill the rest of the distance with fog or haze. That's the way real rain looks anyway.

Now we need our splats. Load a splat tool from the library. First add just a little randomization to the X and Z. 0.1 is plenty. You'll also want to add some to RandomizeSize. 0.5 will be enough. This is a still so we'll set off all the Splats. Set AllSplat to 0.5 and AllRadiate to 0.5.

Still looks to uniform doesn't it? OK, go down the list of splat groups and add just a little to a few of the dials. Maybe 0.3 to 3 Splat and 0.5 to 4 Radiate and 0.6 to 7 Splat. There that looks much better. For a finishing touch add a bit of RandomizeTwist this dial isn't as sensitive give it 45. Now, just like we did with the rain, copy the control settings, add another splat tool and past in the settings. Move the second splat tool so it's about the same place as the second Rain Tool.

Materials ...

Now let's apply the materials. For this choose Rain Blur. Apply it to each of the tools. Be sure to apply rain material to rain tools. The splat need to get the Splat Rain material. Poser 5 users will need to use the MAT-Pose files. Poser 6 can use the Material collection presets.

Wait, don't hit render yet. Remember the bit about Utility poses. Well, we should probably remove the shadows from the rain tools and maybe even the splats. Poser folks will definitely want to apply the Rain Smooth Off utility to both rain tools. Otherwise you'll get big swelled up drops.

These tools use a lot of transparency, but not much geometry. You will see some increase in render time, but not a lot unless you use the Ray traced materials.

Raytraced Materials ...

The raytraced materials look really good and are the more accurate reproduction. They take longer to render but it's worth it. To get the maximum from these you need to use the software render in Studio and FireFly in poser. The ray trace bounces needs to be set to at least 4 to a good effect.

Animating Rain ...

Animating an effect like rain is extremely tedious, that's why I've done most of it for you. Load a Rain tool and apply the Rain maker Pose. Apply the pose for every 30 frames of the animation.

Now load a second rain tool and move 15 frames into the animation. Begin applying the rain maker pose to that tool, repeating ever 30 frames. The first 15 to 20 frames are throw always as the effect gets going. If you need the effect to start from frame one you can use the key frame editor to move both of the rain animations 15 frames earlier.

Now add a splat tool. Apply Splats Heavy rain to that. Once again apply the pose every 30 frames.

If you need a larger effect use the included animations as an example. For a taller effect you can stack 3 or more rain tools and cycle them the same way that the two cycle in the inclued animation.

There are three rain animation setups. Straight Rain, Rain maker (which is at a bit of an angle) and Sideways Rain. Sideways is the one you hope you never see in real life. There are also three Splat setups Cloudburst, Heavy and Light.

Happy rendering and have fun raining on things.

Rain Tool Folder Listing

\Runtime\Libraries\Character\Nerd 3D\Rain Tool\
Drip Tool.cr2
One Splat.cr2
Rain Tool.cr2
Splat Tool.cr2
Drip Tool.png
One Splat.png
Rain Tool.png
Splat Tool.png
\Runtime\Libraries\Materials\Nerd 3D\Rain Tool\
Rain Acid.mc6
Rain Black.mc6
Rain Blood.mc6
Rain Map Blur.mc6
Rain Purple.mc6
Rain Raytrace.mc6
Rain RT Blur.mc6
Rain RT Grape.mc6
Rain RT Wine.mc6
Rain White.mc6
Splat Acid.mc6
Splat Black.mc6
Splat Blood.mc6
Splat Purple.mc6
Splat Rain.mc6
Splat RT Grape.mc6
Splat RT Rain.mc6
Splat RT Wine.mc6
Splat White.mc6
+ Invisible.mt5
+ White.mt5
+ Invisible.png
+ White.png
Rain Acid.png
Rain Black.png
Rain Blood.png
Rain Map Blur.png
Rain Purple.png
Rain Raytrace.png
Rain RT Blur.png
Rain RT Grape.png
Rain RT Wine.png
Rain White.png
Splat Acid.png
Splat Black.png
Splat Blood.png
Splat Purple.png
Splat Rain.png
Splat RT Grape.png
Splat RT Rain.png
Splat RT Wine.png
Splat White.png
\Runtime\Libraries\Pose\Nerd 3D\Rain Tool\
+ Rain Shadow Off.png
+ Rain Shadow On.png
+ Rain Smooth Off.png
+ Rain Smooth On.png
+ Splat Shadow Off.png
+ Splat Shadow On.png
Drip Animation.png
Rain Maker.png
Sideways Rain.png
Splats Cloud Burst.png
Splats Heavy Rain.png
Splats Light Rain.png
Straight Rain.png
+ Rain Shadow Off.pz2
+ Rain Shadow On.pz2
+ Rain Smooth Off.pz2
+ Rain Smooth On.pz2
+ Splat Shadow Off.pz2
+ Splat Shadow On.pz2
Drip Animation.pz2
Rain Maker.pz2
Sideways Rain.pz2
Splats Cloud Burst.pz2
Splats Heavy Rain.pz2
Splats Light Rain.pz2
Straight Rain.pz2
\Runtime\Libraries\Pose\Nerd 3D\Rain Tool\MATS\
Rain Acid.png
Rain Black.png
Rain Blood.png
Rain Map Blur.png
Rain Purple.png
Rain Raytrace.png
Rain RT Blur.png
Rain RT Grape.png
Rain RT Wine.png
Rain White.png
Splat Acid.png
Splat Black.png
Splat Blood.png
Splat Purple.png
Splat Rain.png
Splat RT Grape.png
Splat RT Rain.png
Splat RT Wine.png
Splat White.png
Rain Acid.pz2
Rain Black.pz2
Rain Blood.pz2
Rain Map Blur.pz2
Rain Purple.pz2
Rain Raytrace.pz2
Rain RT Blur.pz2
Rain RT Grape.pz2
Rain RT Wine.pz2
Rain White.pz2
Splat Acid.pz2
Splat Black.pz2
Splat Blood.pz2
Splat Purple.pz2
Splat Rain.pz2
Splat RT Grape.pz2
Splat RT Rain.pz2
Splat RT Wine.pz2
Splat White.pz2

DAZ Studio Files:
Rain Tool.png
\Content\Environment\Nerd3D\Rain Tool\
Rain Acid.ds
Rain Black.ds
Rain Blood.ds
Rain Map Blur.ds
Rain Purple.ds
Rain Raytrace.ds
Rain RT Grape.ds
Rain RT Wine.ds
Rain White.ds
Splat Acid.ds
Splat Black.ds
Splat Blood.ds
Splat Purple.ds
Splat Rain.ds
Splat RT Grape.ds
Splat RT Rain.ds
Splat RT Wine.ds
Splat White.ds
Rain Acid.png
Rain Black.png
Rain Blood.png
Rain Map Blur.png
Rain Purple.png
Rain Raytrace.png
Rain RT Grape.png
Rain RT Wine.png
Rain White.png
Splat Acid.png
Splat Black.png
Splat Blood.png
Splat Purple.png
Splat Rain.png
Splat RT Grape.png
Splat RT Rain.png
Splat RT Wine.png
Splat White.png