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Explosion Effects Advice

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I really would like to create a better explosion effect. Right now I hvae a set of 30 images that look great, but once I put it into a level as a billboard it just kinda sucks. I'm wanting to create a great looking explosion effect. Should I use particles to do this? Should I use shaders? Or is the billboarding the right way to do this? Thanks for your advice, David

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I usually use a series of layered animated particles (rendered as billboards).

Important things to remember to get "decent" looking explosions:

Add lots of colourful glow behind your actual explosion - this will have the effect of "lighting" the surroundings and ground your explosion in the scene.

Use additive blending to get brighter effects - standard blends look dull and boring.

Use a few different fireball animations and randomly interchange - nothing looks worse than seeing the same animation over and over again...

Scorch marks left by explosions will also help to make them more "real" - nobody wants to see a huge fireball leave the terrain looking pristine - even if it fades after a short time.

Heres one from an old project of mine:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Hope this helps

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That explosion is really nice.

theres also a good article in GPG5 about making a nice explosion. The upshot of it is that you want to have a fiery core of particles that lasts the longest, some kind of flash that temporarily blonds the player right at the start (should last ~0.2 seconds) then you want long thin "flare" particles coming radially out of hte core. then some smoke particles at the end that rise up due to the hear of the explosion. And some fragments of whatever just blew up should be ejected from it.

Hope this gives you something to think about,

Rob

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About ScootA's explosion pic.

I'm guessing that explosion is made up of smaller particle explosions.

If so, I'm having trouble figuring out how you get particles to seem like they "merge" together. I mean you have the core of the particle, and then the glow factor with it. When you put multiple versions of these particles together, they seem to "merge" and so the core is now combined between the two similar particles and the glow effect is now around this new bigger particle.

Is there a special way you are supposed to render the particles in parts or something in order to get this merging effect?

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download the trial version of Particle Illusion from WonderTouch and breakdown their explosions using their editor. Superb effects. You can get a really good idea of how they combine numerous particle systems together to make a stunning effects.

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