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howto: atmospheric haze?

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I would like to add some atmoshperic haze, which would be visible around a point that represents the location of a bright star (such as the sun). I've been trying to look online for some ideas on how to do this, but haven't really found anything. Anyone have some pointers? I'm writing a space combat game where players will have freedom of movement / rotation in any direction. I've done that part and now I want to start making it look good. [Edit] Just wanted to mention that I don't want to "fake" it by using billboarding and a stretched "glow" texture pasted / scaled over it. That looks fake. I want it to be visible even if the player is not facing the sun directly (to some extent visible at least.) [Edited by - Gice on December 16, 2004 12:13:16 PM]

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a cluster of point sprites would work in this case, you might have to do some occlution testing though.

the correct way is using a billboard with a stretched "glow" texture pasted / scaled over it.
It only looks fake if it's done incorrectly.
On top of that you could add some kind of lensflare thingy.
The more stuff you add on to it the better.

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The billboard thing is not a bad idea, granted you had effects like full-scene glow.

On top of that if you have a "free" texture unit and your card supports 3D texturing, you can use the last texture unit to emulate a fog-like process (with texgen mode set to eye-linear) so that objects fade progressively with the sky in the distance. This gives very good results, is pretty easy to setup, but costs some performance.

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Thanks for the replies guys. I guess I'll try the billboard idea first. I have a top of the line gfx card but I want my game to be widely playable. I'll add card-specific eye-candy later but I want it to be enjoyable and look good on lower end hardware as well, as much as possible. Which means I want to stay away from vendor specific extensions for now. E.g. I believe full scene glow is only feasible on later generation cards? I've not even dabbled in that (haven't looked at vertex shaders yet) so I have no idea how to do that. Thanks again.

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Quote:
Original post by GiceE.g. I believe full scene glow is only feasible on later generation cards?

Not really. Latest graphics cards have very good features to make it look better or render faster, but in theory any OpenGL1.1 compatible graphics card with hardware mipmapping support can do it, that is all GeForces + all Radeons + probably older cards too. You can also skip the hardware mipmapping part for faster rendering (but less quality).

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