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Particle system - dynamic vertex buffer?

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In my particle system i store translation values for every particle, then i loop trough each particle of the emitter, set the transform and render it. This is quite slow, but it''s very easy to get the particle aligned with the viewport. Now, i heard a lot of people use a dynamic vertex buffer because it''s faster.. but you have to do some computations anyway to get the quads aligned to the view, so my questions are: is it really faster to do all those transforms on the cpu? how do i compute the screen-aligned vertex position? i guess i could do something like getting the camera rotation angles and doing some trigonometry, but are there easier ways?

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If you are into a particle system, why don´t you use Pointsprites? they are allways screen-aligned(billboard)

The DX SDK has and example on it.

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Dunno if you''ve seen this tutorial from 32bits.co.uk
http://www.thehavok.co.uk/scene/32bits/tutorials/directx/techniques/tut3particlesdx9.php

It explains why point sprites are not necessarily a good thing, and might be of some help to you.

Jx

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the article insists on the fact that point sprites scaling is only supported by a few cards
I have a GeForce4 Ti 4600, so it's not a very new video card, but the MaxPointSize value in the Directx caps is 8192
..so I think that the article is rather old, and I hope that nowadays all the cards support point sprites scaling
Anyway, do you know what cards do not support it?

[edited by - Arcibald Wearlot on May 21, 2004 2:08:18 PM]

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Why not just verify that scalability is supported beforehand, and use a "traditional" billboard method if they''re not?

I haven''t really done any testing yet, so I don''t know what real performance advantages the pointsprites give, though.

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