OK, I’m going o take your reply out-of-sequence here, as I think I can explain things a bit clear that way.
I would like a loop, or something loop-ish. I just wanted to avoid having to generate 3 minutes of random cloud movement. I figured there had to be a better way.
OK, bad news first: looping ‘noisy’, irregular materials to make a seamless loop WITHIN BRYCE is tremendously tedious, to the point of impractical. You can configure the material to create identical cloud patterns that will loop, but you will end up creating something that makes clouds so regular that they will fail to look like natural clouds.
The fast way to make seamless materials is to use a video editing program like iMovie, Final Cut, Adobe Premiere, and a few other editors for the Mac.
I don’t know enough about your project. Perhaps looping is essential. But WITHIN Bryce, there’s an easier way. Set a keyframe at the start of your animation sequence for your clouds. Set a keyframe at the end of your animation sequence for your clouds. Play with this second range of values. And you’re done.
I have been searching for how to accomplish this process in Bryce for some time; and it is a pretty basic action in, e.g., Carrara or Final Cut. I am surprised at how difficult it has been to figure out.
It’s been difficult for you because the nature of fractally-generated materials and textures are only ‘loopable’ mathematically, not mechanically. In a video editor, it’s easy: capture a sequence, overlap the end of that sequence with the beginning of the same, copied sequence, slow fade between the two and cut off the excess. Done. Copy/paste as you need. This is a simple dissolve from a piece of footage into itself.
I read this tutorial, but I cannot believe that this is the only way to do this. It seems unnecessarily complex.
Here’s the thing that many people new to animation fight against, but have to accept: When you take that step into animation, you will have to learn SEVERAL apps to get the job done. Even high-end do-it-all programs like Maya, Blender, Messiah, Mudbox, Modo and several others all generate CG footage… that is eventually handled by video editing programs, or grading apps, or titling, or particle motion simulators… Animation is complex. Even in Bryce… though in my opinion, Bryce has one of the simplest (and dodgiest) animation features of any application.
I don’t think I have animated “wind,” although in SkyLab, I have Sun & Moon, Cloud Cover, Fog, and Haze.
If you are creating a scene where clouds need to move over the duration of the action, use the Cloud Motion: Speed control and set a keyframe for it. You only need to set one keyframe for Cloud Motion: Speed at the beginning of your animation. Then the clouds just keep moving for the entire duration of your animation. This parameter is unique in all of Bryce, as it’s the only parameter that uses ONE keyframe to generate motion or change. If you want to change to cloud height, or cloud density, frequency or ANY other setting, you require at least two keyframes.
If I’ve missed the mark here, sorry… But that’s easy to do without a lengthy explanation of the effect you want to achieve, and how it’s going to be used in the final animation.