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Adding Clouds to Blender Cycles' Sky Texture


Did you know you could use the node editor on the Cycles world materials? EnigmaToots shows us how to set it up in this quick tutorial.

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. This is awesome. This example really shows that thing that really matters is your creativity.
    I mean this could've done months ago but anyone noticed it until you did. I will always use this in my outdoor scenes for sure. Thanks for your tutorial.

  2. I still find the node editor confusing for materials, so this has been good practice. My ocean scene really needed some clouds, and this is much more customizable than an image texture. This is also better than the cloud texture I used in my last project, which put the vanishing point of the clouds much lower than my ground, causing my scene to look like it was very high up.
    Unfortunately on my ocean scene, the sky texture puts a green ground texture behind my ocean scene. I might be able to apply this to a sky dome or a gradient texture instead, for the look I want.

    • If you wanted to rotate the sky image so that the horizon line doesn't appear in your camera, you could just grab everything in your scene with A, jump into camera view with Numpad 0, then hit R twice and bring your mouse down a little.This will rotate everything up a bit to move the horizon below the far point of your scene.
      It's a bit of a final move sort of thing because it will throw all your objects' local rotation axes out, but it might solve your problem :)

      • Since this is a scene that gets re-used a lot, rotating the whole scene wouldn't be practical. What I've decided to do for now is to use a Preetham sky texture instead of the Hosek/Wilkie sky texture since it doesn't include a ground.

  3. that is great. done alot of fiddling about with the compositor lately,never stumbled across that set up. that one is gonna come in real handy.thanks for the heads up.

  4. chromemonkey on

    Regarding the sky texture node, is it possible to drive the illumination vector according to the rotation of an object such as an icosphere being used as a planet object?

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