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Influencing particles by wind

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hi i have coded a particle engine simulating fire, where the particle quads rise randomly up. the particles always face the camera (billboarding). now i have implemented wind influence, the wind linerarly changes between two vectors in random time slices. currently, i add the wind vector to the particle 3d point to simulate the influence. but i want to change the orientation of the particles according to the direction of the wind, but i have no idea how to do this.... can someone tell me how ? thanks for any answers! greets Gammastrahler

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What do you mean by "change the orientation of the particles" ?

If they''re just sprites, they don''t really have an orientation, do they? You could change what they look like by changing images used to draw them whenever the wind changes...

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Yeah, the whole idea of billboarding is that the sprite is always aligned with the camera. So how would you change the orientation? It seems that having the particles'' velocities change would be enough...

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Work out how the plane of the sprite (the one orthogonal to the camera view) is affected by wind (presumably it is rotated in some way) and then project this back into the plane of the camera lens. It''s a simple vector operation for each pixel in the sprite. Check out bitmap transformations.


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That would make sense if he was doing snowflakes, where the snowflakes can swivel around, but if he''s doing fire, the particles should always be aligned toward the viewer.

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I don''t think he means orientation, I think he means direction that the particles are travelling ie. velocity.

Gammastrahler, you will have to have a velocity vector for each particle too. Your code will then look something like this (under simple euler integration).

struct particle
vector position;
vector velocity;
rgba colour;
real mass;

and in your update loop you will have something like:

particle.position += particle.velocity * time;
particle.velocity += windvector * time;
particle.velocity += gravityvector * time;

The variable ''time'' in the above is the time elapsed from the previous run of the loop.

If I was wrong with my assumption and you want to be able to orient the particles differently (eg. leaves blowing in the wind), then you will have to add the following kinds of things to your particle structure:

real rotationvelocity
real rotation
vector rotationdirection

rotationvelocity is the angular velocity, rotation is the current angle and rotationdirection is the vector around which rotation takes place.

Now, your windvector will not only affect your particle''s linear velocity (ie. particle.velocity), it will affect your angular velocity as well as your rotationdirection. I don''t have the formulae for these changes, but I am fairly certain that they correspond to the same concepts in rigid-body physics.

In order to apply these rotations to the particle, you will have to do something like this in OpenGL.

glTranslatef(particle.position.x, particle.position.y, particle.position.y)
glRotate(particle.rotation, rotationdirection.x, rotationdirection.y, rotationdirection.z)

and in your update loop
particle.rotation += particle.rotationvelocity * time

Hope that helped...

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