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Clouds as Particle Systems
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Gian-Reto Offline
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Post: #1
Clouds as Particle Systems
Hi

For a Game Prototype I'm creating at the moment, I need Clouds as real Game Objects.

This game should feature Airplanes, with a partial top-down view, so the usual cloud system alone is not enough (especially as the clouds should also be used to give planes concealment).

At the moment I'm experimenting with Clouds as a Particle System, which works to some extent... but some things are not clear to me, and it highlights some shortcomings of particles for static, non-light-emitting objects.

1) Particles are unlit by default. This is no concern for particle effects like fire or explosions, but for static clouds it would be nice if they would be affected by light, or at least you could fake it somehow.
There isn't an option to have particle systems react to lights in the scene I assume?
Could I "pack" mutliple particle systems in close proximity and change their color as to "fake lighting"?

2) There is no option for particle shadows, right?
If I create an "invisible mesh" and have that as particle emitter, could I set this mesh to cast a shadow, even though its vertices are not visible ingame?

3) Anyone ever tried creating an invisible mesh as particle emitter?
How do I import such a mesh into EE?


Sorry about the maybe stupid questions, but I'm a little lost on the subject. Thanks in advance for any help.


Regards

Gian-Reto
03-20-2013 08:08 AM
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fatcoder Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Clouds as Particle Systems
You might want to check out the tutorial for volumetric clouds. That may be what you are looking for. From memory I believe they are affected by lighting and will cast shadows.

You can also cast a shadow for an "invisible" mesh by drawing the mesh only in the shadow stage.
03-20-2013 01:09 PM
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Tottel Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Clouds as Particle Systems
Check out "object clouds" in the tutorials list.
03-20-2013 01:23 PM
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fatcoder Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Clouds as Particle Systems
Yes! I meant object clouds. Thanks Tottel. lol Although volumetric clouds would be useful too.
03-20-2013 01:29 PM
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Gian-Reto Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Clouds as Particle Systems
(03-20-2013 01:29 PM)fatcoder Wrote:  Yes! I meant object clouds. Thanks Tottel. lol Although volumetric clouds would be useful too.

The volumetric clouds are awesome, and I'm already using them, they have one big problem though (apart from me not knowing how to get access to their density values at any given point in 3d space, which would be a requirement to use them as game objects):
They are invisible from above, and don't look nice from the side.

Thats why they are now placed at 1.5 km (6km ingame) altitude so the player wont be able to fly above them.

I'll check out the object clouds, forgot about this tutorial. Maybe this will lead me on the right path.

Thanks guys!
03-21-2013 11:40 AM
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Gian-Reto Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Clouds as Particle Systems
After checking out the object clouds, I have to say they most probably wont do either.

- They are basically volumetric clouds created and organised differently. The good thing is they seem to be attached to an object I could modify the matrix of. I haven't checked if thry are visible from above, but I doubt they will look as nice up close as a particle system.

- They are not casting a shadow, and I have no idea how to enable that. With the volumetric clouds it was on by default, so no idea. As the volumetric cloud shadows don't work in DX10+, I assume this is also the case here, just also that they don't work in DX9.

(Altough here it could be that my Esenthel SDK is just outdated. I will have to update it soon, but with all the name changes, it will be a bigger task)

1) Any idea if there is an option for "blob shadows"? that would enable to at least approximate a shadow casting for particle systems... I see there is a special Render mode for that. But I get somehow confused how to use that.

2) Could I somehow create an invisible mesh, have this cast a shadow, and make sure the shadow for this one object is much softer than for other objects?
(This post was last modified: 03-22-2013 12:53 PM by Gian-Reto.)
03-22-2013 12:50 PM
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