how far are we away from ….
… the next iteration of a bit “nicer” nebulaes at the moment?
Ahhhh yes, Teuns Nebula work is truly amazing and he does make some great videos and renders. So there’s a couple of issues that we have to balance when we make nebulae, the vdb file sizes and authoring. Teun (the author of the video you linked), from what I’ve read, uses particles in his scenes and not vdbs.
So what you’re seeing in the video isn’t a vdb, but a vast amount of particles that make it appear volumetric. I suspect this is done (and i would do the same) because to create a VDB high enough resolution would break even the most powerful of machines and be ridiculous to handle.
When it comes to authoring. Creating a nice looking gascloud in any sense isn’t easy, even with our amount of tools it does get a bit tricky. As you can’t really use traditional modeling techniques, but would need to use a combination of simulations and math functions to get the result we’re looking for.
Combining the 2 aspects that are needed to author our gasclouds, we try to get as much detail as we can whilst trying to maintain as small of a file size as possible. And that’s difficult to handle as detail doesn’t necessarily mean high file size.
As for your question, I’m the lucky duck that gets to look at new ways of creating better nebulas in HoudiniFx. Because Teun doesn’t go into great depth in his creation process, I’m having to explore different ways to make something similar, whilst taking into account our art direction and what has worked for us in the past. I can’t say when this will happen and when I will crack the problem. But I am looking at more complex methods such as Fractals that @KeySmasher pointed out as well as building and/or refining our simulation tools.
Also bit tricky when scientists don’t truly know how nebulas are formed. I asked, I didn’t like the answer, I got sad.