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Tutorial: How to create realistic rain


Andrew released a new tutorial demonstrating how to create realistic rain combining particle system, the new Dynamic Paint system, and textures in Blender.

Andrew writes:

Dynamic Paint is here! In case you missed the hype, dynamic paint is a new feature in blender that allows objects to paint each other. This opens the door for things like animated snow footprints, smoke interaction, fluid wet maps and, you guessed it… rain!

In this tutorial I will be showing you how to create realistic rain that interacts with it’s environment.

If a rain sounds like a familar topic to you, that may be because I created a rain tutorial just 18 months ago. But I’m doing it again because the old tutorial didn’t include any interation with the environment. So I’m hoping you don’t mind a repeat :P



  1. Is this method royalty free (ie, will people be allowed to use this method in a demo reel), or is it copyrighted?  Just to be on the safe side... I recall the fuss over another "guru" tutorial that showed up in someone elses work.

    • That's a bit harsh but I get your point. Although Andrew should be the right person to answer this; I guess if you don't use the provided blend file, follow along and create your own 'version' you'll be fine.

      • He don't get down of his castle to answer simple questions or comments... just see his first entries in his blog (he answered in each comment) and now... (he is gone of the comments)

        • What's wrong with living in a castle? The rent is low and the security is next to none!
          In reply to chromemonkey, you aren't infringing anything by following a tutorial, so don't worry about that. However, consider how it looks to a potential employer if they spot a tutorial in your reel. The design community is pretty tight knit.
          Tl;dr Use tutorials responsibly

      • I probably shouldn't have put "guru" in quotes, though on the other hand, just asking the question itself may have been crossing a line.  If so, live and learn I guess.

    • You could (as long as you created it yourself) but if an employer asked you how you did it and you said 'I followed a tutorial' I don't think they'd be very impressed. All you've shown is that you can carry out Andrew's instructions. Better to use the techniques learnt in the tutorial to create your own version that you can claim as 'yours'.

      I think the 'fuss' over the other tutorial was that that person hadn't changed it one bit and it looked exactly like Andrew's original, with no credit to him and his hard work!

      • Benjamin Lindquist on

        Well to be honest MiikaH has done a rain demonstration already so Andrew is just copying him. Like with pretty much all the tutorials he does. If you think Andrew is some god that makes up all these things by himself then you really need to wake up. Most people that do tutorials have learned it from someone else.

        Yes there are cases when someone thinks of something by themselves but it's a big world and it's more than likely that someone else has thought of that as well. You can't copyright a workflow, it's a ridiculous idea really.

        Edit: Was actually more of a reply to chromemonkey really.

        • Personally I think there's a bit of a difference to using the same technique e.g. rain using dynamic paint, and fully copying something down to the very last detail.

          If the original poster just meant can we use dynamic paint to create create rain as described in the tutorial, then yes of course we can, that's the purpose of a tutorial. I said that they should use the techniques to create their own version rather than the other show reel which really had just copied the tutorial and were claiming it as their own without credit to the original tutorial. I didn't think I was implying that Andrew came up with the whole technique himself, but he did create the final look of the tutorial which people should make their own.  

          • Benjamin Lindquist on

            Yeah I know what you meant and my comment was mostly targeted to people who think that Andrews methods are somehow original or magical. I wasn't implying you didn't understand that.

            Ofcourse copying a tutorial is not the way to go, but what I meant was that Andrew probably gets his info from the web too. He just repackages the info he has gathered into a readily chewed format.
            I was just trying to explain that he doesn't have some supernatural stream of brilliant info that no one else has access to. It just seems people are too lazy to read nowadays.

    • As I understand it, a person cannot "copyright" the stroke of a brush.  The blend file he might provide you with, would be considered a "finished work", and that would carry a copyright or a license of some kind.  So the question is this: are you going to take that blend file and claim it as your own, or are you going to create your own original work?  

      Andrew has worked very hard to produce tutorials on the professional level, he has also graciously decided to let people follow and learn from most of his tutorials for free.  I believe that he is deserving of a more respectful discourse.  To my knowledge Andrew has never charged anyone "royalties" for the use of his tutorials.  This is based on the working definition of royalties.  He may charge you to view some of his tutorials, and rightly so.  This is not a royalty, as you are not required to pay him every time you use the knowledge you gained, or view his tutorial again.  You are also not required to pay him a percentage of any sales you make from products based on the knowledge learned in said tutorial.

      The point is that from the moment an artist creates a work, he holds the copyright to that work.  That being said, if you have created original art, you have claim to the copyright on that art.  I say original, because simply copying something is not enough.  The rules are a little stickier, when it comes to copies of another artists work.

      • I think I did misuse the phrase "royalty free" but it wasn't to invoke a tone of disrespect, it was just the only term I knew of that seemed right when I wrote it.  Well "free and clear" might have worked in its place I think.  The question though was legitimately meant, last time around someone really got pounded for misusing another's work in a similar way.

        • Yeah, I figured that you didn't mean it that way, after I posted.  I didn't think that you intended to strike a tone of disrespect, it was mostly for the benefit of others reading and joining in on the conversation.  No offence intended.  

          I do agree that the last time things got a little blown out of proportion.  I believe it is a very good thing to talk about these issues, especially in a community that favors GPL & CC type licences.  Copyright stuff can get really complicated really fast.

  2. Good demo!

    Es impresionante el avance de Blender y los blenderheads, en este caso Blender Guru, de pasar de unas fotos, ha esta calidad casi de película.

    Me siento muy feliz de ver este avance increíble, aunque hace rato no trabajo en Blender, veo que se tiene mucho futuro.

    Bendiciones y saludos desde Tiquicia!


  3. You call this realistic?  The rain "drops" are the size of billiard balls. However, as it's advertising a tutorial I suppose we can't complain too much...

      • I don't think so. Look at the scale of the patches of water compared to the road - they'd have to be as big as a hand, at least.

        • I must admit that I agree for the scale of the first patches on the road. However according to me, the way they are reflecting and evolving is very realistic. this is just a problem of ration that can be easily fixed on our own scenes. That why I won't pay attention on this detail on my side :-)

        • To me it looks like a one lane road, and I have seen some large rain drops.  Otherwise I would agree that it does seem quite large.

  4. I followed the tutorial yesterday for an overview - it's very complicated (at least for me), but I've been wanting to create ripples in puddles for a very long time. It would be nice to be able to create the sequences as an asset of the puddles and use that as an animated texture - wouldn't like to set this up every time I wanted the effect, it'd drive me nuts! Guess there's no pain without gain though ;)

    Would have loved to have seen this effect composited to a real image background :)

    • @Jay-Artist : Maybe you could try my setup named Ripples Maker. I made it a long time ago with Blender 2.49, but it works fine with 2.5x and 2.6x.It is a texture generator setup allowing to create ripples and bouncing droplets by the use of displacement mapping. There is a short video on top of the page :
      I think that it is the tool your want.

      Sorry for multi-post. I sometimes forgot to use the Reply feature !Best regards,Philippe.

  5. @Jay-Artist : Maybe you could try my setup named Ripples Maker. I made it a long time ago with Blender 2.49, but it works fine with 2.5x and 2.6x.
    It is a texture generator setup allowing to create ripples and bouncing droplets by the use of displacement mapping. There is a short video on top of the page :

    I think that it is the tool your want.

    Best regards,


  6. Andrew Price always ahead of the Game...I love this Guy.
    Hey Andrew an new teaching Materials I have got some money to spend!!!

  7. Thanks a million Andrew.  I actually don't care where you learned it, or what pieces you learned from others.
    I don't credit my kindergarten teacher for teaching me to count.  Never did, never will.

  8. I learnt a lot from Andrew's tutorials, and it is thanks to his Nature Academy that I finally switched to Blender 2.5x. Before, I was stuck with 2.49 and had a big fear of the new versions. Thank you Andrew, one more time !

  9. We all have learned and still learn from the work of others.
    Simple put: if you use the techniques in a tutorial for a scene conceived by yourself, no problem. No one can charge or criticize you. However, if you recreate this very scene, just altering minor details, you are "acting bad". Tutorials are there to be learnt, scenes are not there to be copied, else you credit them properly.
    I don't care if Andrew is a guru or not. The tutorials from him are almost always useful and professional. Sure, he strives to earn his living from what he's doing, but he can hardly be blamed for this.

    • In this instance though, the scene is a very general one and it could become problematic very quickly.  Anybody who models any curved section of a road with a railguard and some greenery and a streetlight can be said to have recreated "that very scene" with minor alterations in details.  Even in music, Huey Lewis sued Ray Parker Jr (and won the lawsuit) over the Ghostbusters theme song, and the only similarities there are that they both use a walking bassline and a VII-IV-I chord progression.  Lewis don't own either of these, separately or in combination!  And I was really galled that his lawyers managed to convince a judge and jury otherwise.  It's events like that which make hot-button issues for me and get me all hypervigilant and second-guessing my own efforts.

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