using sprite effects in 3d?

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  10 October 2006
Question: sprite effects in 3d?

I really hope Im using the right terminology here, but I have been beating my head against the wall trying to figure this one out for a few weeks now: how do I make my own sprite based effects that work in 3d worlds. (like almost all of the effects in Zone of the Enders 2)
anyways, if you know where I can find some good tutorials please link me up!

I think I have also heard it reffered to as "fake 3d" (like the leaves on most trees in games)
and cardboard cutouts (things that ALWAYS FACE YOU NO MATTER WHAT)

ok well thanks for your time
Porto Folo

Last edited by bonkanailios : 10 October 2006 at 09:36 PM.
  10 October 2006
I think what you mean is a particle system. Pretty much any game engines will have one incorperated. You dont "make" them like you make a model, they are procedural. 3ds max has an advanced particle system but its meant to be used for high res rendering.

As for tree leaves, you generally do those with planes and alpha masks.
  10 October 2006
for the most part sprite effects are rendered out to images (from particles in a 3d package) and then are simple alpha planes. You can also make the 'particles' in a 2d package like photoshop. Usually you would take the texture w/ an alpha channel into a level editor or effects editor. The Unreal Engine for example uses a particle editor to create these complex effects from basic images.

A simple example would be a glowing circle you could make in photoshop. Create an alpha channel then import it into Unreal. You would then use unreal to give it life. You could make 50 spawn and cyclone around a spawn point to create a magical effect.

Hopefully that made some sense
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  10 October 2006

And the technique used to make sure those particles are always facing the camera is commonly called 'billboarding'.
  10 October 2006
so billboarding would also be something that is handled differently game engine to game engine?
Porto Folo
  10 October 2006
bonkanailios: Yes. If you were to build a tree consisting of one alpha-blended plane, you'd have to have a way to tell the game-engine that that plane should rotate along with the camera. You could set a flag in the game's editor, for instance, or apply a specific shader to your tree object.
  10 October 2006
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