- The Blend
- Easy VDB Imports
Easy VDB Imports
Use other people's hard work for your own project
Become a better Blender artist in 5 minutes each week.
By Samuel Sullins
Have you ever heard of JangaFX?
Probably not. They’re a random software company.
But the cool part is what they’re currently giving away for free: VDB files.
Let’s explain. In Blender, when you create a smoke or fire simulation, (which can be challenging) you’re working with volumes.
Volumes, in 3D, are used to represent smoke, and fire, and other simulations. A volume object stores data as a 3D grid of cubes called voxels.
If you have some smoke animated over multiple frames, you can save it (bake it) to a file. The file format you use will likely be .vdb, which stands for Volumetric Data Blocks.
Now back to JangaFX. They’ve created a selection of pre-made smoke and fire simulations (using their own software), which they’ve put on their website for free as VDB files.
And guess what? You can download these and use them in Blender quite easily.
First, download a .vdb file from JangaFX.
These files are somewhat large, so make sure you have enough space before downloading (or choose a smaller file.)
Once you have the file downloaded, you need to import it into Blender.
Press Shift + A.
Choose Volume → Import OpenVDB.
Navigate to the folder with your VDB file in it. It will appear as a long list of files, one for each frame of the animation. Select all of them and import them.
Now you have your VDB object, and you need a material. The material for this will be simple: a Principled Volume node connected to the Volume output, with a Volume Info node connected to the Density.
(For simulations that include fire, connect the Temperature to the Temperature and turn up the Blackbody Intensity to make it glow.)
These will render best in Cycles, but do note that it will take forever.
As to what you should do with these…I really don’t know. I’m currently doing tests for a building collapse.
Really Random Render
Today’s random render is by littlenotlarge:
I don’t have a ton to say about this one.
I like it because it’s different and interesting. A tiny stylized castle is out of place on a realistic rock surface but, somehow, this one looks just fine.
And the lights in the castle are really quite cool.
I think some additional buildings or details (armies, villages, moat, drawbridge) might help ground it a little more
Score: 7 / 10
Can't think what to blend?
Make an alien monolith, but be creative. It can’t be a cube-shaped one.
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