Hi all,
In the following tutorial, I am going to create this animation from scratch:

Last July (yes, one year ago …), I perfomed a master class at Grafik Labor.
Here is a tutorial version (in French) of what we did during it.

Even with french audio, you will be able to understand. If not, here is a quick sumary of used tools (just below the video)




  • Go to orthogal view, top view (5/7)
  • Create a circle, duplicate with Shilft+D, using Ctrl+R for repeating last operations Rename them :)
  • Rotation of suns (left and right)
    • Create an empty at rotation center
    • Parent sun to empty (Ctrl+P)
  • Sun rays :
    • keep object center at center of sun, so be sure to be in Edit Mode to move vertices
    • Duplicate with alt+D (keeping only 1 mesh data), rotation 30°, and repeat with Ctrl+R
  • Create Sun rays shapekeys (for height, width, appearing and disappearing)
  • Cloud :
    • Create cloud with multiple circles, and join them into 1 object (Ctrl+J)
    • Move up cloud (to be above sun)
  • water drops :
    • Create a plan
    • Using local view (/)
    • In edit mode: Scale, and duplicate (Shift+D then Ctrl+R)
    • In object mode (to modify local axis of object)
    • Ctrl+Tab : selection by edge. Select an edge, then select similar to select all edges wanted
    • Change to pivot “Individual origins”
    • Scale 0 on Y axis to make edges horizontal
    • Go back to “Median Point” pivot
    • Duplicate drops, and joint into only 1 object (Ctrl+J). Be sure to select correctly named object last, to be sure the resulting object will keep this name
    • Move drops between sun and cloud.(go to front view 1, and wireframe Z to see it correctly)
  • Do not parent rays to sun, but create a copy location constraint (for non rotating rays) :
    • Select sun, then a ray, Ctrl+Shift+C to add copy location
    • Select all rays, with constrainted ray last, and Copy contraint to selected object
  • Copy location of sun for cloud, use offset to be able to move the cloud
  • Same process for water drops (copy location, enable offset)
  • Animation of sun empty :
    • frame 0, rotation keyframe (I)
    • frame 10, change rotation, insert rotation keyframe
    • frame 20, reset rotation (_Alt+R), and insert keyframe
  • Animation of cloudy sun empty:
    • frame 20, rotation keyframe
    • frame 30, change rotation, insert rotation keyframe
    • frame 40, reset rotation, insert keyframe
  • Change end of animation at frame 39 (for looping) (using E on timeline)
  • Using _Alt+A for play animation
  • Open Graph Editor and DopeSheet
  • On cloudy sun, move all keyframes 1 frame earlier ( G -1)
  • Change end of animation (now on 38)
  • Using Home to zoom on Graph Editor
  • Change handle type to free (V), then change curves
  • Animation of rays:
    • Keyframe (I) at frame 0 and 10 for appearing (on height)
    • Keyframe at frame 10 and 20 for disappearing (on height and width)
    • Tweak curves (change handle type first (V)) for better result
  • Animation of drops:
    • On frame 19, insert location keyframe
    • On frame 39, move drops using local axis (_G, Y, Y), insert location keyframe
    • Change interpolation to linear (T)
  • Tweak Z position of sun to avoid mesh penetration
  • Animation of render visibilty of cloud:
    • Render off, insert keyframe at frame 0
    • Render on, insert keyframe at frame 19
    • Can be done on View 3D visibility to see it
  • Switch to Cycles render engine
  • Use Emit shaders
  • Create 1 material for central circles, 1 for sunny sun, 1 for cloudy sun
  • Insert keyframes on color, set curves to constant to avoid interpolations
  • Use sun shader for rays
  • For cloud, cloud on ‘4’ to make a new material based on gray material, and change color
  • Create a new material for drops
  • Add a camera, use 0 to go to camera view, and G, Z, Z to get a correct location
  • Have a first render :)
  • Change sampling to 10 to go faster
  • Using splots to compare different sampling (using J to switch splots)
  • Create a plan, scale, and create a new material (animated gray/blue, using constant interpolation)
  • Hide plan in view 3D, should be better for 3D view selection
  • Animate sun material color, that I forgot to do earlier
  • Create a new plan for drop hidding
    • Create plan
    • add constraint Copy Location, using offset, to follow the cloudy sun
    • Move up the static circle
    • Move cloudy sun up and drops down (need to delete Z curve)
    • Create a new material with HoldOut shader
    • Set film to transparent
  • Compositing
    • Move background plan to another layer
    • Create a new render layer for background layer
    • On Node editor, duplicate render layer node
    • Switch the duplicated one to background render layer
    • Add alphaOver node, tweak socket if needed
  • Bug displayed is fixed in 2.78, don’t worry ;-)
  • Render Animation :)