The image below is a crop from NASA’s 250m resolution TERRA satellite – 2003/163 – 06/12. The crop shows a 40km sample over Somerset, UK (160 x 160px). I’ve already been able to extract the cloud layer from a similar image and converted it two a layered cloud image. The challenges ahead are to identify cloud forms, and shapes, add particle clouds where the actual clouds are that form the height of the cloud. Ensure the particle clouds are the correct height and shape.
This technique has been discussed by Dobashi (et al) – “Modeling of Clouds from Satellite Images Using Metaballs”. Note that they used metaballs (soft geometrical shapes) to create simulations of whole cloud systems. This technique may not be practical for realtime visualisation if it requires hundreds of metaballs. I will conduct further investigation to see whether this technique is feasible. It might be over complicated for the result I need. Just analysing where the balls are and converting them to particles may be sufficient.