Storm User Guide Introduction

Storm is a GPU accelerated procedural displacement generator coupled with a 3D render engine for Final Cut Pro, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Motion. The plugin lets you create beautiful, highly detailed organic, evolving forms and surfaces. Storm provides styled or photorealistic shaders including volumetric color gradients, directional lighting, reflection, refraction, fresnel and fog. It supports Equirectangular HDR environment maps and VR videos to create navigable skyboxes and their use in the reflection / refraction effects.

Geometry and color are directly created and transformed on the GPU without the need of importing 3D models. The first benefit is the extremely fast interaction with millions of polygons always disposable at the nearest spot where we perform all mathematical operations (on the GPU) to manipulate the geometry and determine the color of each pixel.

This “everything procedural” feature gives you a powerful and comprehensive tool to easily produce an infinite amount of high quality animated 3D content.

Any scene in Storm starts from a customizable primitive (Geometry Group : plane, sphere, torus or conical tube) where we apply directional or 3D displacements based on different types of fractal noises ( Fractal Noise Group : 3D, Directional , Ridged, Curly, Hairy ) and finally decide some constraints or supplementary deformations (Noise Subtractor, Noise Effector, Displacement Falloff , Twist).

All the features determining the geometric surface and color are animatable with keyframes and/or using the auto-animation module of the plugin (Animation Group).

Yanobox Storm comes with more than 200 presets and templates to get you started. This library of scenes is exposed through a Presets Browser featuring categories and keyword search and via templates in Final Cut Pro. Your personal creations can be saved as a preset and shared through the compatible hosts or for collaborative work.

Final Cut Pro X provides the best of both worlds. All the presets are exposed as classic Final Cut Pro generator templates, but the plugin interface lets you open the browser and load or save presets from any template.

Quick Start Guide

Apple Final Cut Pro X

Creating a Storm instance on the timeline

  1. Show the Generator Browser and select the Yanobox Storm category.
  2. Drag and drop one of the Storm templates on your timeline.

Loading a preset in a Storm Template Instance

  1. Select a Storm Clip on the timeline.
  2. Display the Generator inspector and click the Browse Presets button.
  3. Browse and select one of the presets from the window.
Apple Motion

Creating a Storm instance on the timeline

  1. Show the Library and select Generators/Yanobox/Storm.
  2. Drag the Storm generator onto your timeline.

Loading a preset in a Storm Instance

  1. Select a Storm Clip on the timeline.
  2. Display the Generator inspector and click the Browse Presets button.
  3. Browse and select one of the presets from the window.
Adobe After Effects

Applying Storm to a layer

  1. Select or create a new solid in the timeline.
  2. Open the Effects menu and choose Storm from the Yanobox Folder.

Loading a preset in a Storm Instance

  1. Select a layer with a Storm instance.
  2. Display the Storm Effects inspector and click the Browse Presets butto
  3. Browse and select one of the presets from the window.
Adobe Premiere Pro

Creating a Storm instance on the timeline

  1. Create a new Transparent Video asset in your project, and drag it to your timeline.
  2. In the Effect Pane, look for the Storm plugin in the Yanobox category.
  3. Drag the plugin over the transparent video clip.

Loading a preset in a Storm Instance

  1. Select a transparent video clip with a Storm instance.
  2. Display the Storm Effects inspector and click the Browse Presets butto
  3. Browse and select one of the presets from the window.

Managing Quality VS Interactivity

Storm uses the Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) of your computer to perform the majority of the rendering operations.

Rendering quality results from the resolution of the mesh (number of triangles) and pixel resolution. You can adjust the quality manually via the Mesh Resolution menu located in the Geometry Group. Additionally, a Supersampling option, in the Rendering Group, lets you render the scene doubling the pixel resolution to reduce anti-aliasing

Quality is also adjusted dynamically by the host, when you change its preview settings.

The memory, power and time required to render a scene is affected by the level of quality. Depending on the power and memory of your GPU you can adjust quality to preserve interactivity.

Quantity of triangles for the various Mesh Resolution settings and approximative GPU memory required :

  • Low - 200.000 triangles (32 MO VRAM)
  • Medium - 1 million triangles (128 MO VRAM)
  • High - 6 millions triangles (768 MO VRAM)
  • Very High - 20 millions triangles (2+ GB VRAM)
  • Extreme - 64 millions triangles (8+ GB VRAM)

Certain Fractal Noise settings require a higher resolution setup to display tiny details or to smooth the variation between adjacent triangles. For example the “Hairy” Fractal Noise type produces extruded surfaces that need extremely detailed mesh to unveil the complexity.

Also, certain kinds of shading effects like Fresnel and Specular, or the outlines generated by the “Curly” Fractal Noise are rendered with a greater detail when the Supersampling option is activated.

Storm Interface

The storm interface is identical in all hosts. It is organized into several parts. Each group contains a set of parameters dedicated to a particular process in the creation of the final effect. All the settings can be saved as your own presets and easily shared between the supported host applications.

Storm Icon Banner - Clicking this icon opens the online user guide.

Presets Browser - A library of scenes, examples, objects and starting points.

Bounding Box - Displays a wireframe bounding box around the 3D surface.

Parameter Groups

Animation - A module with several slots to automatically animate a choice of parameters.

Camera - Lets you set a field of view and fly over the scene.

Transform - Manages the global position, the rotation and the scale of the 3D surface.

Parameter Groups modifying the volume and surface

Geometry - Sets a 3D primitive, adjusts its options and the resolution of its mesh.

Fractal Noise - Displaces the volume or surface of the primitive in various ways.

Noise subtractor - An auxiliary fractal noise module filtering the original displacement.

Noise Effector - Modifies the displacement with falloffs or twists the 3D surface.

Parameter Groups dedicated to shading

Color - Applies a uniform color or a choice of gradients based on procedural distributions.

Surface Lighting - Sets directional lighting and specular. Smooths the vertex normals.

Fresnel - Adds a colored fresnel or rim light to the edges of the geometry.

Environment - Creates reflection and/or refraction based on an environment map.

Fog - Simulates depth and colored haze.

Background - Generates a solid or a gradient background or displays the environment map as a skybox.

Rendering - Sets Supersampling, blending and opacity. Manages the near and far clip planes.


The Animation Group provides 6 slots (Destination 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) that you can assign to 37 destination parameters. This feature lets you quickly animate a set of parameters without using keyframes. Each channel includes a menu to choose the destination and an adjustable Speed parameter with positive or negative values.

Animate - Toggle all the animations. Also useful to deactivate the pre-configured animations of a preset.

Destination 1 to 6 - Sets a parameter destination for the auto-animation.

Speed 1 to 6 - This value controls the speed of the animation. When positive, it increases the original destination parameter at a certain speed. When negative, the original destination parameter value decreases at the given speed.

Changing the original value of the destination parameter lets you offset the animation.


Storm provides a virtual 3D space with both camera and object transformations.

The Camera Group only appears in Motion, Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro. In Afters Effects, composition cameras are automatically detected and force the plugin to match the AE 3D space.

Storm supports the After Effects camera and lets you fully integrate the motion graphics elements generated by the plugin in your 3D compositions. Integration into a live action footage is also possible by using the After Effects 3D Tracking feature.

Use AE FOV - Only in After Effects. This option, when disabled, lets you force the value of the Field of View to be defined by the plugin and do not use the AE Camera FOV value. This feature is useful to create presets that look the same in the different hosts, especially when creating a wide scene or an extreme close-up

Field of view - Sets the view angle of the camera and creates zoom effects, changing the visible area on the screen. Angles with low values simulate lenses with long focal lengths, framing very restricted areas. High values simulate wide-angle lenses, covering large areas. Extreme values produce interesting effects, dramatically impacting the perspective.

Camera Type Menu

  • Viewpoint - Rotation axes are centered on the camera lens plane and create the classic Pan/Tilt/Roll orientations, changing the direction of the point of view.
  • Framing - The rotation axes are always centered on the world’s origin, producing spherical displacements of the camera. If the 3D surface or object is located at the origin (default position values of the Transform Group), the camera will rotate around it.

Position X, Y, Z - Sets the position of the camera in the 3 axes.

Rotation X, Y, Z - Rotates the camera in the 3 axes.


The Transform Group parameters rotate, move and scale the 3D surface around on the canvas.

Position X, Y, Z - Sets the position of the 3D surface.

Rotation X, Y, Z - Rotates the 3D surface around the 3 axes.

Scene Origin - Changes the Z position of the 3D surface. This parameter is equivalent to changing the position Z, except it creates an offset of the anchor point used by the Orientation X, Y, Z destinations in the Animation slots. It helps to combine rotations and orientations in complex orbital paths.

Scene Scale - Manages the global scale of the scene.


This Group lets you choose one of the primitives used as a starting volume or surface, defining its properties and orientation. Optionally you can stretch or crush the primitives along the 3 axes within the Scale parameters and define its Mesh Resolution.

Notice all the properties related to dimensions are explained in units. This choice helps to transpose the presets in any resolution without affecting the framing. To convert pixels to units or vice versa you can use the following formulas :

pixels = ( canvasPixelsWide / 2 ) x units
units = ( 2 / canvasPixelsWide) x pixels

Primitive - Renders a sphere, torus, cylinder or plane. Each selected primitive dynamically reveals its own set of parameters and has distinctive and interesting characteristics.

  • Sphere - Place the camera inside to fly in an enveloping universe. Stretch it along one axis to design a cloud. Use displacement falloff and Hairy Fractal Noise to create a jellyfish. Apply noise to the surface and transform it into an abstract planet.
  • Torus - Torus is an incredible primitive due to its variable double radius and looped volume. Place a camera inside with a wide angle and rotate the torus for an infinite tunnel ride.
  • Cylinder - Close its top and apply 3D Fractal Noise to get an animatable single flame.
  • Plane - Use it as a 2D surface to animate frontal textures, create a terrain or a smooth flying drape.

Radius - (Sphere, Torus, Cylinder) - The radius of the primitive.

Minor Radius - (Torus) - The minor radius of the torus.

Length - (Cylinder) - The length of the cylinder.

Closure - (Cylinder) - Progressively closes the top of the cylinder.

Width & Height - (Plane) - Defines the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the plane.

Uniform Scale - Keeps a uniform scale for the primitive. When this option is disable you can stretch or crush the primitive along any axis by using the Scale X,Y, Z parameters.

Mesh Resolution - Sets the mesh resolution for the selected primitive. Please read the Quality VS Interactivity Paragraph for detailed explanations.

Adaptive Resolution - When activated, changing the preview resolution in the host dynamically degrades the mesh resolution for better interactivity.

Fractal Noise

This module lets you apply fractal noise (multiple layers of gradient noise) to geometry. It results in a very organic and naturally smooth pseudo-random appearance of the 3D surface. When animated, these deformations produce organic, cloudy, fiery, drapery or liquid effects.

Storm provides different types of Fractal Noise offering an incredible variety of sources to deform the original geometry. The different Fractal Noise types have common parameters : Displacement, Interpolant, Octaves, Lacunarity, Roughness and Offset XYZ . When choosing certain types, the interface also dynamically reveals other special parameters.

Notice the Displacement, Lacunarity, Roughness and Offset XYZ can be both positive or negative offering a deep exploration in procedural design.

Animating the fractal noise is easily done by setting one of the Animation Group Destination menus to Fractal Noise Offset X,Y or Z and adjusting the corresponding Speed parameter. Of course, you can set multiple slots to animate the noise offset along several axes. A second way to animate is keyframing the Fractal Noise Offsets X, Y, Z parameters.

Fractal Noise Type

  • 3D - Produces a three dimensional noise gradient displacing the mesh equally in all directions. This mode works nicely to create fire, clouds or drapery effects. This mode reveals special parameters :
    • Smooth FBM offset -Decrease the amplitude of the offset depending on the octave. This option is useful to prevent the higher octaves (high details) of noise to crackle.
    • Offset Smoothing - Smooth the offset of the higher octaves.

  • Directional - A simple fractal noise gradient displacing the mesh in the direction of the triangle normals. This mode works well to create terrain or drapery effects. The directional fractal noise reveals optional parameters to clamp the noise displacement.
    • Clamp Noise - Enable the displacement clamping.
    • Clamp Amount - Sets a threshold beyond which the noise displacement is cut.
    • Clamp Smoothness - Creates a smooth transition zone for the effect.

  • Ridged -This mode has an interesting character. The negative values of the noise are clamped producing laces alternated with ridges along the different scales. Ridged noise is a very organic primitive. Abrupt transitions due to the clamping can be smoothed with an optional parameter :
    • Smooth Ridges - Smooth the border of the laces. At large values the laces are drowned between the ridges.

  • Curly - This Fractal noise type has a more graphical aspect with concentric bulges. With high octaves settings the bulges have tiny thickness and require the Mesh Resolution to be set to High or Very High for the finest quality. It is also recommended to enable the Supersampling during the final rendering.

  • Hairy - This Fractal noise type produces sharp extrusions and optionally applies oscillations to the spikes, simulating hairs, tentacles or furry. In this mode, both the displacement and the roughness parameters emphasise the spike lengths. To reveal all the details and render with the finest quality, set the Mesh Resolution to High, Very High or Extreme. The oscillation of the spike is managed by the following parameters :
    • Hair Extrusion - Sets the extrusion uniformly with Linear or in a more random way with Quadratic.
    • Hair Oscillation - The quantity of oscillations injected in the spikes.
    • Oscillation Frequency - Adjusts the oscillation frequency.

Displacement - Manages the amount of Fractal Noise displacement injected into the mesh vertices. This value can be positive or negative.

Interpolant - Octaves or layers forming the fractal noise are created from a lattice grid where the value of each point is smoothly interpolated with its neighbours to produce a gradient. The quality of this gradient depends on the type of curve used for the interpolation.

  • Cubic - Generally, gradient noise uses an interpolant based on a “cubic” curve, which is fast to compute. The cubic curve does not provide the finest quality for the gradient but this issue is masked by the layering of the multiple octaves forming the fractal noise.
  • Quintic - This curve provides a better quality for the gradient, especially when they are a few or a single octave.
  • Custom Roundness - This option lets you adjust the roundness of the curve and is worth exploring because of its particular look with extreme values.

Octaves - The quantity of (gradient noise) layers forming the fractal noise and controlling the level of detail. Note: Extreme values result in really taxing the GPU.

Frequency - Scales the fractal noise (all layers uniformly) around the surface.

Lacunarity - Controls the size of the secondary finer details. The default value is 2.0 which doubles the size of each new layered octave forming the fractal noise.

Roughness - Determines how quickly the amplitude decreases for each new layer of noise. By default, with a value of 0.5, each new octave amplitude decreases by a factor of 2, based on the amplitude value of the previous layer. Basically, with this setting the higher octaves (higher frequency) have less impact. Increasing this value beyond 0.5 produces a rougher surface with sharper angles.

Offset XYZ - Offsets the fractal noise along the given axis.

Noise Subtractor

The Noise Subtractor module provides an auxiliary fractal noise generator whose values influence, by subtraction, the displacement amount of the main Fractal Noise. This feature lets you modify the uniformity of the main Fractal Noise creating higher details on the entire surface or drawing valleys by removing large parts of the displacement.

To add tiny details, like skin irregularity, set the Sub Amount to 15% and the Sub Frequency to a value greater than 80. For large valleys, set the Sub Amount to a value greater than 80% and the Sub Frequency to less than 2.

Sub Amount - Sets the amount of subtraction.

Sub Octave, Sub Lacunarity, Sub Roughness work the same way as the corresponding parameters of the Fractal Noise Module.

Offset Factor - Manages how the current offset values of the Fractal Noise module influence the animation of the Subtractor auxiliary Noise.

Noise Effector

The Noise Effector lets you apply different distortion effects with a customizable falloff zone. Its influence is materialized by a plane or a sphere moving along an axis.


  • None - The Effector is disable
  • Displacement Fall Off - Locally removes the fractal Noise displacement.
  • Roughness Fall Off - Locally decrease the roughness of the Fractal Noise.
  • Twist Noise - Locally twist the mesh after the Fractal Noise is applied.
  • Twist Primitive - Locally twist the mesh before the Fractal Noise is applied.
    • Twist Angle - Adjusts the angle of rotation of the twist effect.
    • Twist Exponent - Sets the influence of the twist near the origin.

Show Shape - Displays a wireframe of the shape (plane or sphere) influencing the effect.

Shape Distance - Offset the shape from the origin in the direction of the Effects Axis.

Shape Rotation - Rotate the shape using the Shape Distance to create the radius of a circular path.

Effect Axis - Sets a direction with X, Y or Z axis for the Shape Distance offset.

Fall Off - Adjusts the width of the fall off zone, smoothing the influence of the Effector.

Fall Off Shape

  • Plane - The Effector influence is materialised by a plane.
  • Sphere - Inside or Outside - The Effector influence is inside or outside a sphere.
    • Sphere Radius - Sets the radius of the sphere.

3D Surface Shading

The next groups of the Yanobox Storm interface are dedicated to shade the surface of the procedural geometry. They combine different methods to simulate volumetric colors, lighting, reflection and refraction. The geometry is finally layered onto a customizable background ( transparent, solid color, gradient or environment skybox) where it is optionally mixed with fog.


The color module lets you apply a uniform color or a choice of gradients to the 3D surface based on different kinds of procedural distributions.

Color Distribution

  • Uniform - Sets a uniform color of the surface.
  • Based on Depth - Applies a gradient to the surface based on the depth position of the vertices.
  • Based on Radius - Applies a gradient to the surface based on the distance between the primitive origin or radius origin and the vertices.
  • Based on Noise - Applies a gradient based on smooth noise.
    • Noise Color Mapping - Sets the noise distribution to Model or the World space.
    • Noise Exposure - Adjusts the gradient distribution modifying the noise exposure.
    • Noise Frequency - Changes the noise size.
    • Noise Evolution - Offsets the noise position.

Color Range Start & End - Offsets the propagation of the gradient in both directions for Color Distributions Based on Depth or Based on Radius. When these values are set to zero, the gradient is ideally distributed along the volume offering a good starting point for deeper ajustements.

Gradient Type

  • Liquid - Generates a gradient fading from the selected color to pure white.
  • Temperature - Generates a gradient based on a fixed temperature range around the selected color and fading to black or white on borders.
  • Simple Gradient - Generates a custom gradient based on 2 colors.
  • Normals - Generates a custom gradient based on the vertex normals and modifiable with options.
    • Invert Normals - Inverts the normal colors.
    • Normals Picker Style
      • Subtract - The color from the picker is subtracted from the original normal colors.
      • Replace - The original normal colors are replaced by the picker’s color.

Edge Emphasis - Creates a color contrast based on the vertex normals.

Invert Gradient - Inverts the direction of the gradient.

Show Gradient - This helper displays an image strip with the color gradient at the bottom of the canvas.

Gradient Curve - This menu lets you choose an interpolation curve for the gradient. By default, when set to Linear the gradient is uniform. All the other settings based on various mathematical curves will compress the color repartition with more or less impact on one or the other side.

Loop Gradient - Enables a repetition of the gradient interpolation which produces stripes. When this feature is activated the color Range Start & End parameters determine the repetition interval. The closer their value, the greater the repetition.

  • Crop Gradient Start - Crop the colors located at the start of the gradient
  • Crop Gradient End - Crop the colors located at the end of the gradient.

Gradient loop Phase - Offsets the gradient loop through the 3D surface animating the stripe propagation.

Trace model Size - When this option is active, colors are dynamically calculated to match the form and the volume changes, especially when the surface is scaled non uniformly by the Scale parameters from the Geometry Group.

Surface Lighting

This module lets you apply a directional light and colored specular highlights to the 3D surface.

Diffuse - Adjusts the influence of the lighting on the surface.

Specular - Sets the amount of specular reflection.

Specular Shininess - Determines the size of the highlights.

Specular Color - Sets the specular color.

Light Direction - This menu provides preselected directions and a custom mode revealing a set of position and rotation parameters to create more precise settings.

Skim Lighting - Offsets the light closer to the 3D surface creating a grazing light effect.

Smooth Normals - Calculation of the light, specular and also the Fresnel and Environment are derived from the vertex normals. As the geometry is completely procedural and dynamic, normals are computed on the fly and can be smoothed depending on the shading level of details needed.


Unlike the diffuse light (Surface Lighting Group) that works by subtracting a dark zone to the original color, the fresnel creates a kind of colored rim light illuminating the edges of the 3D surface by addition. The fresnel can also target the reflection and refraction from the Environment group. In this case, the fresnel functions like a mask, filtering the environment shading.

Fresnel Amount - Adjusts the amount of fresnel lighting.

Fresnel Expansion - Control the width of the fresnel effect.

Fresnel Color - This color picker lets you choose a color for the fresnel.


This module uses an equirectangular HDR, EXR environment map or a VR video to create a spherical 360°skybox and generates realistic reflection and refraction onto the 3D surface. Storm embeds 11 EXR environment maps to let you quickly produce metal, liquid and glass effects. Of course, you can load your own equirectangular map as a source. We recommend using the EXR format when possible because it offers a large amplitude of exposures with very fast decoding. However any footage (equirectangular 2:1) image format like JPG, PNG or video codec should work wherever they are supported by macOs.

The skybox generated by the environment map can be displayed as a background selecting the “Environment Map” option from the menu in the Background Group.

Environment Amount - Adjusts the global amount of reflection and/or refraction.

Environment Map - This menu offers a selection of exterior, interior and studio environments. The first entry of the menu lets you choose any footage as a source with the “Load Environment Map” option.

How to load your own Environment Map?

Adobe After Effect and Premiere Pro

  1. Drag and drop your environment footage from the Project window to the timeline.
  2. In the Environment Group, set the Environment Map Menu to “Load Environment Map”.
  3. Select your footage from the Env Map Image Menu.
Apple Final Cut Pro X

  1. Import the environment map footage into Final Cut Pro.
  2. In the Environment Group, set the Environment Map Menu to “Load Environment Map”.
  3. Click the Environment Map Drop Zone located below the Rendering Group.
  4. Select the environment map footage and click the “Apply Clip” blue button below the canvas.
Apple Motion

  1. Import the environment map footage as media into Motion.
  2. In the Environment Group, set the Environment Map Menu to “Load Environment Map”.
  3. Drag and drop the environment footage into the Env Map Image Wheel.

The look of the reflection and refraction is completely customizable using a combination of parameters to adjust the exposure, saturation, contrast and sharpness of the environment map.

Shading - Defines the type of environment shading effect.

  • Reflection - Reflects the environment onto the surface.
  • Refraction - Refracts the environment through the surface.
  • Reflection & Refraction - Create liquid or glass effects with this combination.
  • Refraction & Reflection - A variant of the combination with a different blending.
  • Refraction & Invert Refraction - An interesting mode with a double refraction to create special effects.

Env Blur - Applies a blur to the resulting reflection/refraction and/or the skybox background depending on the Blur Destination Menu selection. Blurring the reflection gives a rough aspect to the surface and simulates polished metal. Extreme values create glow effects.

Blur Destination - Sets the blur destination.

  • Foreground & Background - Both the reflection/refraction and background skybox are blurred.
  • Foreground - Only the reflection and/or refraction are blurred.
  • Background - Only the background skybox is blurred.

Env Exposure - Adjusts the exposure of the environment map. When using EXR or HDR footage this parameter has a very large amplitude and reveals raw details normally under or overexposed.

Env Contrast - Increases or decreases the environment map contrast and consequently the color contrast of the refraction and reflection.

Env Saturation - Changes the color saturation of the environment map and the refraction and reflection.

Env Map Resolution - Modify the resolution of the environment map before sending it to the GPU. Modify this value to accelerate the interactivity during design or to maximize the quality when rendering. The Embed Environment Maps have a 4K resolution that can be degraded if necessary. You can also combine a low resolution with large Env Blur values to produce interesting effects.

Reflection and/or Refraction Tint - These color pickers let you colorize the reflection and/or the refraction. Notice these tints are not transmitted to the skybox background by default. You can modify the influence of these colors onto the skybox changing the Background Tint Menu and Tint Amount settings in the background Group.

Preserve Highlight - This option prevents the custom tint to affect the reflection and refraction highlights.

About the Fresnel Parameters. Reflection and refraction are mixed together using a fresnel equation. These parameters let you modify certain variables of the function.

Fresnel Bias - Adjusts the fresnel influence in the blending of the reflection/refraction.

Fresnel Scale - Controls the width of the fresnel effect.

Fresnel Power - Multiplies the result of the fresnel by itself using this exponent value.

Refraction Index - Adjusts the refractive index. This value is not physically modeled but calibrated for an optimal reproduction of the distortion seen through liquids or glass, when set to or around 1.4. For total transparency without deformation (like in the empty space inside a vacuum chamber…) set this value to zero.

Reflection Amount - Sets the balance between the reflection and refraction when the Shading Menu is set to display both types of shading. This parameter has an important influence to create a convincing effect depending on the Environment map and the deformation of the 3D surface.

Env modulation - By default the reflection, refraction, or the combination of the two are mapped onto the 3D surface without any particular restriction other than those defined by their own algorithm. This menu lets you filter or mask the environment mapping using particular rules or the input from other modules.

  • Color Distribution - Environment appears only in the Color Distribution range.
  • Invert Color Distribution - Environment appears outside the Color Distribution range.
  • Effector Falloff - Environment appears inside the Falloff range defined by the Noise Effector.
  • Invert Effector Falloff - Environment appears outside the Falloff defined by the Noise Effector.
  • Invert Effector Falloff - Environment appears outside the Falloff defined by the Noise Effector.
  • Range or invert range - Reveals parameters to define a custom range of appearance. Calculation is based on the same option as the Color Distribution Menu, but with custom values.
    • Env Range Start & End - Lets you define a custom mask range for the environment.
    • Range Smoothness - Defines a feather zone smoothing the range limit.

Env Map Pan - Rotates the environment map, the skybox and the reflection /refraction around the surface.


This module lets you apply a depth effect to the scene where the far away objects have their contrast decreasing with the distance. It simulates fog by mapping the background color onto a delimited zone around the 3D surface. When the background is an environment footage, light warping can be achieved by blurring the environment before using it as a fog color.

Enable Fog - Enable this switch to create a fog effect.

Fog Type

  • Solid Color - Fog uses a custom color.
  • Background - The current background image is sampled to create the fog color.

Fog Amount - Adjusts the amount of fog.

Fog Space - Determines how the fog distance is calculated.

  • Model - Fog distance is relative to the object.
  • World - Fog distance is relative to the scene.

Fog Offset - The farthest distance the fog comes into action.

Fog Range - Controls the width of the fog extension.

Background Blur - Sets the amount of blur applied to the background before it is sampled to create a fog color

Preserve Highlights - Prevents all types of highlights (color, environment, specular, fresnel) to be affected by the fog.


The Background group provides several ways to render the pixels not covered by the 3D surface. The pixels can be transparent to composite the 3D surface onto another layer in your timeline. Other options let you create a custom gradient or display the equirectangular Environment footage as a spherical skybox that orients itself when moving the Camera or the on screen Trackball (FCP X and Motion).

Enable Background - Lets you disable the rendering of the background in the canvas but transmits its image into the Fog module where it can be used to create a kind of light warp.

Background - Defines the background setting.

  • Transparent - Renders without any background.
  • Solid Color - Lets you define a simple solid color for the background.
  • Color Gradient - Creates 4 corner gradients.
  • Environment Map - Displays the Environment Map as a Spherical skybox.

Background Tint - Tints the background with the color forwarded by the Environment reflection or refraction.

  • None - The background is not tinted.
  • Reflection Color - The reflection tint from the Environment group is used as a tint.
  • Refraction Color - The refraction tint from the Environment group is used as a tint.

Tint Amount - Adjusts the influence of the reflection or refraction tint onto the background.


Supersampling - This option renders the plugin output twice the resolution to reduce aliasing. It is recommended to enable this option for high quality rendering.

Blending - This pop-up menu sets the blending method. Storm provides 2 types of blending modes creating completely different looks. In both additional modes, the Fresnel settings influence the color blending of the surface triangles and smooth their addition in a pleasing way, creating cellophane like materials.

  • Over - Composites the 3D surface over the background.
  • Add & Soft Add - Blends the triangle colors with addition.

Opacity - Controls the opacity of the 3D Surface.

Face Culling - This feature lets you hide the front or back face of triangles forming the 3D surface mesh.

  • None - This is the default setting where no face culling is performed.
  • Back Face - Hides the back face of the triangles.
  • Front Face - Hide the front face of the triangles.

Near Clip Plane - Sets the z position of the near clip plane defining the minimum drawing distance.

Far Clip Plane - Sets the z position of the far clip plane defining the maximum drawing distance.

Trackball XY - An on screen control point to change the scene orientation In Apple Final Cut Pro and Motion. Moving this point horizontally rotates the scene along the Y axis. Moving it vertically rotates the scene along the X axis. Combination of these offsets let you orient the scene (3D surface and environment skybox). This parameter exists in the Animation Destination menus and is useful to quickly create circular movements.