A couple of years back Alexandra Institute, Javira and Sunday Studio (creators of Sunday Pipeline for Maya), got together to develop a visual effect plugin for Maya that allowed you to create volumetric effects intuitively, with real time feedback in the Maya viewport.
Forget the long simulation and rendering times normally associated with volumetric cloud construction.
It has been a while since we have heard from the team, but recently there has been some new developments on the project. Elementacular 1.3 represent the latest release for the Maya plugin and is available now.
Elementacular really is a material that is applied to your geometry. In fact you can create volumetric effects simply by laying out geometry in your scene that will be come the cloud, fire, or volumetric effect. Elementacular will render out the geometry as the volumetric effect. This makes it easy to art direct and create the shot or effect that you want, without having to check the results in the renderer as you are working.
- Real-time production quality volume construction in Autodesk Maya
- The resulting volume automatically reflects the underlying geometry
- Physically based multi-scattering of light
- User-controlled volume characteristics
- User-controlled volume emission
- User-controlled reflectance. Multiple light sources
- Full 32-bit HDR pipeline
Elementacular offers fast user-controlled fractal generation that is GPU enabled, giving you production quality results without having to re-parameterize.
You really need to see Elementacular in use to appreciate the plugin within Maya. Here, The Alexandra Institute’s Jesper Mosegaard shows how Elementacular can be used to create a fireball effect that uses emission of light directly from the cloud volume.
This tutorial demonstrates how to use Elementacular to create a fireball effect using emission of light from the cloud volume. The plugin gives you real time high-quality rendering directly in the Maya viewport. It also supports the multi-scattering of light inside the effects elements for added realism.
You can learn more about the Elementacular plugin for Maya on the Alexandra Institute page, and purchase the plugin for around $175.00.