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3 Dimensional Chat / Laster Beam and Engine Glow

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Bulleyes
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Posted: 26th Nov 2002 17:05
Can anyone teach me how to create a nice looking laser beam, e.g. like the beam weapon in free space.

How to make a nice engine glow as well, like the one usually seen in Star Wars game or any space simulator.

thanks!
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Van B
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Posted: 26th Nov 2002 17:24
Well, you can do a lot with particle effects, but if you wan't something a little different I have an engine trail example. It uses 2 dummy limbs on a model and paints a trail between them. You end up with a nice smooth trail behind your spaceship, but it could be used on any model cos it only needs the 2 dummy limbs. I'm trying to think howto explain how it looks, but it does look professional, I mean it would'nt look out of place in a commercial game, and it is fast enough to use in realtime.

I'd post a link right now but the RGT forum is down, so we can't get at our lovely snippets.

If you'd like, I'll email it later.


Van-B
Bulleyes
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Posted: 26th Nov 2002 18:24
Thanks! But what I really want is just the engine glow, the the trail. It looks somewhat like a flames from the lighter. I want to avoid using particles if possible.

How about laser beam? Any ideas?

Bad Nose Entertainment - Where games are forged from the flames of talent and passion.

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Van B
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Posted: 26th Nov 2002 18:29
This method is more like a ribbon comming from the engine, like a trail, I've used it on a lightsabre model too, if you can imagine a strip light being waved about, and it sorta leaves a trail of light? - that's the effect, no particles at all.


Van-B
Puffy
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Posted: 26th Nov 2002 21:13
yup.... particles are nice though

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Shadow Robert
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Posted: 27th Nov 2002 00:10
lol he could always use shaders or per inch polygons
there's so many ways to achieve what he wants.

(^_^) though if he gave us a piccy of something similar i'm sure we can all put our heads together and come up with something effective and fast.

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Van B
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Posted: 27th Nov 2002 01:38
This is how my trails look:




Van-B
Bulleyes
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Posted: 27th Nov 2002 06:53
Ok, I think I can give you guys a better picture. Take a look at the screenshot of Freespace 2 below. I want to do something like the beam weapon.



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Bulleyes
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Posted: 27th Nov 2002 06:54
Ok, I think I can give you guys a better picture. Take a look at the screenshot of Freespace 2 below. I want to do something like the beam weapon.



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Bulleyes
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Posted: 27th Nov 2002 07:00
An extra note, the beam is not flat, thus I am not sure it is a plane, as when I view it from the front, it does not look like a thin line.

Bad Nose Entertainment - Where games are forged from the flames of talent and passion.

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Bulleyes
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Posted: 27th Nov 2002 07:11
The engine glow that I am talking about is like. This is also taken from Freespace 2, showing the engine glow of a capital ship viewed from the back. If it is viewed from the side, you can see the rocket trail coming out from engine is slightly longer. And I don't think it is a plane as well, as it doesn't seems flat from any angle.

Any ideas? Thanks!



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Puffy
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Posted: 27th Nov 2002 11:27
yup freespace has some nice graphics... i would use particles... it could get that effect easily... i made an editor if you want to download it... so you dont have to run... run compile run so on... www.puffinteractive.com under downloads...

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Shadow Robert
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Posted: 27th Nov 2002 23:08
Ahh, constructive billboards (^_^)
Yeah pretty simple to make them - pain inthe ass to billboard thou

Lets see what i can come up with once i get time.
However Van's is no doubt not greatly different just not textured which is why it doesn't appear as good.

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Puffy
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Posted: 28th Nov 2002 02:19
hes right... =P but i bet with a texture it would really ownz...

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Bulleyes
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Posted: 28th Nov 2002 06:47
Using billboards? Sounds interesting... but how? I know that billboard is just a plane that always facing you. I know how to program it.

I know the engine could be a billboard. But I dun think those laser are.

Bad Nose Entertainment - Where games are forged from the flames of talent and passion.

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Puffy
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Posted: 28th Nov 2002 07:53
it could be 3 planes to gether... from the side its a box [] right (or rounded blast you name it)... from the front it looks like this O... but its simple... you have 3 planes two crossing eachother in a + sign from the front... but like this from the side the --- is the other plane [------].... then it has another plane that just is a round textured thing from the front... so it looks like this [+] ... get it... thats a really bad explanation...

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Shadow Robert
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Posted: 28th Nov 2002 09:51
billboarding couldn't be easier on straight lines, simply rotate around the Z axis of the object (which is the axis i'm guessing the model will start in)

wrap the the angle value and bobs your uncle, but if the wake is to trail then that makes it slightly harder and you have to configure the billboard Z rotation per twin of vertex along the trail mesh

confusing but if you read that enough times you might begin to understand what i mean hehee

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Puffy
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Posted: 28th Nov 2002 12:06
=P i still like my method hehehe...

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Van B
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Posted: 28th Nov 2002 12:27
Well, I could change my method to allow a similar idea to Puffs, I did something similar in Stoked. In stoked, I had 4 dummy limbs at each corner of the snowboard, the snow trails would follow the board, but the board could also be going sideways so the trail had to be logical. I devised a system that decided which limbs to draw the trail between, so if you were going straight forward, it would use the 2 limbs at the back of the board. If the player was moving with the board at and angle, like a skid - it would use 2 opposite corners. Worked a treat, but not exactly what's needed.

If you had 4 limbs, like positioned as a little box on your model, each limb being positioned at the corner of this box. Now, if you were to use a dummy object to grab the screen positions, you could logically decide which limbs to use (top left to bottom right, or top right to bottom left). This could give a nice fat trail. Put on a particle at the end and it might look solid enough.


Van-B
ChipOne
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Posted: 28th Nov 2002 22:24
i threw this together over lunch:


you'll notice that the camera is rotated and that the beam is 'facing' the camera. the red spheres are used to calculate start and end points.

there are still a couple minor problems, but works okay for the 45 mins I put into it.

you can move the red dots around, or the camera, and the beam always looks good, starting and ending in one of the dots. this uses the 'billboarding' idea.

you could easily modify this to use multiple plains using the 'emitter' approach found elsewhere in the forums.

i'll do some touch ups and post some code tomorrow if you're still interested.

cheers.

-= i only do what my rice krispies tell me to do =-
ChipOne
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Posted: 28th Nov 2002 22:28
just another little note: there is also a graphics part to this. it's not just a coding thing. for this example, i am texturing the plain with a tga that has a transparency channel used to blur the edges and create falloff. you can create all kinds of cool effects like this, with different colours, etc. you could also modify this and scale UV co-ords for the texture and, with some fancy graphics work, create some nifty 'beaming' effects for a teleporter, etc.

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Bulleyes
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Posted: 1st Dec 2002 17:58
Looks cool man... Do you mind post some DB code snippets for this? I might grasp the concept easier by this. Thanks a lot man!

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Kohai of UWDesign
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2002 09:48
Hey, Chip, yes, i'll be very interested ( as many others, i think ^^ ) by your code !

I can't see how billboards can create such a perfect laser beam ... ? ( is it ONE mesh, or multiple meshes ?? )

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Paul J
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2002 18:20
yeh I'd love to see the code for this too!

Nice one.

Paul J

ChipOne
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2002 21:30
heheh...okay...no one was posting to this, so i let it drop thought all had lost interest...

anyhoo...i'll work on it a bit more and post code+media for you guys later.

cheers

-= i only do what my rice krispies tell me to do =-
DEANO
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2002 23:13
Very coooool! love to see the code!

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Shadow Robert
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2002 23:55
lol i think it was more a case of waiting for the code
sitting here bored wondering when you'd put us all out of our misery

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ChipOne
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Posted: 3rd Dec 2002 21:50
sitting here bored wondering when you'd put us all out of our misery

lol...sorry to keep you waiting, RV. sorry it's taking so long...i get like 1/2 hour here and 20 mins there to work on this.

anyhoo...just about finished the comments in regards to actually building the beam & how the translation between spherical co-ords works. found a couple weird bugs with dbpro with this little experiment (transparent pieces of plains seem to make invisible objects that are below them!) and i did find that i wasn't properly handling the camera at inverse (negative) angles to the beam. just have a little bit of math to tidy up and we're good.

if not tonight, then tomorrow for sure. sorry again to keep you all working. been a while since i had to play with trig...

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Shadow Robert
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Posted: 4th Dec 2002 03:57
lol oki now your doin' it on purpose
j|k ... can't wait to see it

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DEANO
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Posted: 8th Dec 2002 15:50
da-codes da-codes, I must see da-codes


DEANO

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Bulleyes
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Posted: 8th Dec 2002 17:09
Waiting patiently...

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Shadow Robert
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Posted: 9th Dec 2002 05:19
lol i think Chips forgotten about us here

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Bulleyes
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Posted: 10th Dec 2002 16:06
Oh no.... pls don't... don't leave us alone, will ya...

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alfarjamie
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Posted: 11th Dec 2002 21:14


hey come on to my cool site
www.alfarjamie.shorturl.com
alfarjamie
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[url]www.alfarjamie.shorturl.com[/url]

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hey come on to my cool site
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Shadow Robert
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Posted: 12th Dec 2002 03:56
ermmmmoki then
its nice your here in the forums and all but... erm not particularly well helpful there!

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Bulleyes
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Posted: 12th Dec 2002 10:54
What the heck?

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Shadow Robert
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Posted: 12th Dec 2002 12:04
so i'm not the only one bemused by it thats good

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Kale
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Posted: 13th Dec 2002 01:15
nice code there alfarjamie... erm.... *looks sideways at the others*... <should i tell him, or you?>

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Shadow Robert
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Posted: 13th Dec 2002 14:15
:: turns to kale :: be my guest

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Kale
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Posted: 13th Dec 2002 14:50
he he...

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