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Smoke and why you should use textures

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  • The particle object sprays blocks on default. It looks odd, and why don't change it to look better and increase the performance? Instead of 5 small cubes you could have 1 smoke puff.

    Here's something i made using simple custom puffs.

    http://www.fileshack.us/get_file.php?id ... e_test.cap

  • sweet!

  • Isn't it because cubes use less rendering time? Also, smoke isn't the only thing people would use the particle object for. It can be used for Snow, Rain, Fire, Explosions, Ricochet's and pretty much anything else that requires many particles

    EDIT: Nice example by the way! The third one looks really good

  • Yeah cubes may be faster to render, but if you use round objects you can get the same result with with fewer particles.

    I know it's not only used for smoke, but this thread made me upload this here.

    I wonder if you can make the particles look like water with some effects..

  • I don't think using cubes (textures off) actually runs any faster: the bottleneck is almost certainly the number of vertices being sent to the GPU, so using a texture won't actually make performance any worse - just reduce the idle time of the GPU. The reason it is off by default is because originally the particles object didn't support textures, and by default I made it act like it did before (ie. drawing squares). Maybe I should make the default use a texture?

  • I don't think that's nessesairy. But then again, seems like not everyone notices the option is there.

  • I wonder if you can make the particles look like water with some effects..

    I played around with something the other week. It looks cool if you add an Emboss effect to the particles, it makes them look 3D, giving them highlights and shadows, and it makes overlapping particles look blended together as a liquidy blob instead of separate shapes. You can use a Tint effect to colour the particles, like for blood or slime effects or something.

    Also, I've tried using another identical emitter behind it, making this one have a Magnify effect which creates some nice background distortions. When you put the Embossed layer as Additive or something similar, you can see the distortion better because the particles show up as just highlights.

    All of this looks best with some motion blur if it's realism you want.

    I have a cap file at home, I'm at work at the moment though but it's pretty simple.

  • Yeah i'd like to see the cap of that

    I tried myself too, and i noticed the potential of bevel, but i went with the distort effect. Not very useful, but it does give a nice distortion with just few particles.

  • I'll refine it and get something uploaded. In the meantime, I hope you don't mind dude, I played with the smoke effect from one your these examples and eventually made a cigarette smoke type effect. It uses blur and bevel with a few events to randomise the angle a bit. DOWNLOAD CAP FILE HERE

  • My system doesn't like the motion blur.

    In my opinion the bevel defeats the purpose of using few sprites to make a bigger cloud. If you could have 5 sprites, some filling and debris, you could make a decent looking explosion.

  • It would be nice to have some options that could change the angle of the particles too! like angle away from center, randomize angle etc. or being able to spin the particles! for example if you want a bunch of stars flying around they look much nicer if they spin. Great for anyone making a "my little ponny" game!

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  • It would be nice to have some options that could change the angle of the particles too!

    I don't think DirectX supports changing the angle of particles. To do this, you'd need to create your own particle system using sprites - which would probably be a fair bit slower.

  • In my opinion the bevel defeats the purpose of using few sprites to make a bigger cloud. If you could have 5 sprites, some filling and debris, you could make a decent looking explosion.

    Yeah, but for that example I wasn't really going for speed, I was looking for a nice effect, I think it moves more realistically with more particles. In a game, I agree, for a steady framerate less is the way to go. I used the bevel to make the smoke look 3D and one cloud, I think it works well, but wouldn't be the best way to go for practical use in a game.

    Hmm, that explosion idea is interesting, I did something very similar in MMF2, using a few fiery explosion particles and a couple of large smoke clouds which grow and fade, works well but the particles have to be animated for the best effect.

    My system doesn't like the motion blur.

    The framerate mode needs changing to Unlimited if you wanna turn the motion blur off, otherwise it doesn't work, I overlooked that bit, sorry.

  • I wanted to use the company of heroes smoke as example, but i could not find a good image. So i hope you know the game so you know what i mean.

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