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Gun muzzle flash effect anno 2013


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#1 spek   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 993

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:19 PM

A classic question, and probably with classic answers. But let's ask it anyway since the last time I made such an effect was back in the sprite-era. How to make a good looking gunfire muzzle flash effect? I'm mainly talking about the short flame, thus not the smoke and heat afterwards.

 

I can think of 3 techniques:

1- Just make 1 short "flame" sprite facing towards the camera

2- Make multiple crossed quads with that sprite effect (but how to combine and blend properly then?)

3- Do it in 3D with particles

 

Notice I only need the effect for a first person view, so you won't be able to see (much) of the effect asides. That makes the need of a 3D effect less important.

 

I'm guessing trick 3 is the common way to go nowadays. But then my next question would be how to define this rather complex effect? I mean, drawing a flame sprite is easy. But generating a good looking one with particles is different stuff. Are there (free) tools to define such effects in a handy way (and store them so I can load the effect later on?). I have particle building methods in my engine, but it's pretty basic. Each particle would need a timeline, movement, animation, fade-in / fade-out, texture sprite frames, and so on.

 

Greets,

Rick



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#2 Ashaman73   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6568

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:24 AM

2- Make multiple crossed quads with that sprite effect (but how to combine and blend properly then?)

Don't know how modern games make such an effect, but I used once this basic idea. Infact I use a 3d model consisting of a muzzle collar (orthogonal to fire direction) and 3-5 crossed quads in the fire direction. All polys are rendered without backface culling and additive. For lighting up the surrounding use a point light.



#3 spek   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 993

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

Apologees for the late reply.

Using an ordinary (animated?)textured mesh... that almost sounds too simple hehe. But then again, why not. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

 

 

Now that we're talking about gun effects, I have a similar question about bullet tracers. I guess again the answer isn't too complex, though my efforts to create a tracer aren't very satisfying so far. The tracer is basically drawn as 2 crossed quads with an additive texture on it. As the tracer travels forward, the quads will stretch longer and longer, so you get the effect of a transparent line (that fades out quickly). However, as the bullet will also fall down after a while, or can bounce of surfaces, the line has a few points so it can make a curve or rotate. In theory it would be pretty cool, in practice it looks like crap so far. Are other games doing it completely different?






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