Nodevember 2019 #02 – Clouds

Made a simple procedural cloud today.  It has a few components. Works well for cumulus clouds, but it’d be fun to make other cloud types as well.

  • 3 components to generate a greyscale mask
    • Z Mask – more density at bottom of clouds (using a color ramp)
    • XY Mask – falloff near edges
    • Cloud Noise – 1 low frequency + 1 high frequency with some distortion for wisps
  • Threshold – Contrast around a chosen midpoint

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Blender to Unreal FBX + T3D exporter with instancing

Blender: these objects share linked mesh data
Unreal: import one FBX, paste T3D as instances

I wrote a very simple Blender to Unreal exporter because I couldn’t find one that exported scenes to FBX and T3D at the same time. The purpose is to export only unique data to FBX, instead of all object data, this way duplicates (with linked data in blender) are preserved and objects can be pasted in to Unreal after placement was done in Blender. Now I can export a whole scene at once and still benefit from the efficiency of linked data, without needing to reconstruct object placement manually in Unreal.

It’s no Datasmith, but this is all I need for testing and it works with Blender.


  1. In Blender:
    1. Select objects to export, run script. (FBX names are based on mesh data names)
    2. Copy (T3D) text from console output to clipboard (Placed instance/object names will be the same in Unreal and Blender)
  2. In Unreal:
    1. Import FBX files
    2. paste (T3D) clipboard

To Do:

  • Convert to exporter addon
  • Options for file output destination, and content path in Unreal
  • Optionally skip either FBX or T3D output
  • Send T3D to clipboard or text file instead of console
  • Optional scale conversion
  • Instanced Static Mesh Component for Array modifier instances.
  • More features for iterative workflow?

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R2D2 – work in progress


Recently I decided to pick up Blender. I’d like to be able to work on projects at home, and I’ve always been a fan of Open Source projects. I decided to start with a modelling project.

Blender has some good modelling tools. I really love being able to use edge bevel weights with the bevel modifier, much like QuadChamfer in 3dsMax.


Artoo has a lot of good reference and blueprints available as well as a good variety of shapes, so I figured it would be a fun project to start wtih. Modelling is complete, but I’m still finalizing UVs before I get started with shaders.

click images for 2560×3840 (9MB)

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