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duhroach

PointSprites vs. Custom billboard system

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I've always tried to use Pointsprites for particle systems, mainly because it's a hardware feature, and it's "supposed" to speed things up. I've been reading however, that it's wiser to use a custom billboard system instead. Has anyone compared the two, and has some insight as to which is better performance wise? ~Main

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Definitely make your own system. There are many good examples online.

Point sprites are a PITA, are often limited to 64x64 in size, can't adjust the texture coordinates, and sometimes you don't want your bilboards to be screen aligned.

I just have a base class for a cluster of particles. When creating the particles, I create them as points, lines or points + radii, and then at draw time, if the aabb of the particle system is in the frustum, I use the current positions & velocities to create bunch of lines, screen-aligned quads or tris into a dynamic vb.

I decided to not make a data-driven design b/c I don't plan on having many particle types. Right now I have smoke, sparks and laser bolts, all with proper collision response.

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Quote:
Original post by SimmerD
Point sprites are a PITA, are often limited to 64x64 in size, can't adjust the texture coordinates, and sometimes you don't want your bilboards to be screen aligned.


plus you cant rotate them, they are clipped as points, not as quads and atis point sprites in opengl have been utterly broken ever since (them claiming that they wouldnt have heard about that over half a year after they got the first bunch of error reports isnt exactly making me expect that they will ever fix it.. wouldnt even be surprised if some of their "lets trade flexibility for 1% more speed"-optimizations simply make it impossible).

for d3d and if you dont care about rotating or really big sprites they might be worth a look, but if you use opengl you shouldnt touch them (or at least you would find yourself doing your own fallback for ati anyway).

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