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Does anybody know of any good resources with information on emulating volumetric effects (smoke, water, fire, etc)? I know you can use particles for smoke and fire, and use fog to emulate water, but they don''t give it the same ''feel'' that emulating true volumetric smoke would give. My main concern is currently volumetric smoke.

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I think Gamasutra had an article about using the alpha buffer to calculate the depth of a volume in front of every pixel (if you know that depth doing volumetric effects becomes a lot easier).

Add the depth of the front planes, subtract the depth of the back planes or the pixel''s depth depending on a stencil test (the stencil is initialized to indicate wether the pixel is inside the volume or not). Hey presto you have the total depth of an arbitrary volume in front of a pixel.

The precision for alpha buffers on consumer 3D cards is a little too low to make the method work well at the moment. The 32 bit floating point formats for DX9 level cards will make it shine though.

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