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blaze02

Mesh Rendering Idea

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I'm really interested if this would look good or if anybody has tried it: Instead of rendering the geometry of the mesh, render all the vertices as large points. Apply a mildly transparent texture to all the points, like a cloud texture. If we did this to a walking character, it seems like it would turn the character into a walking cloud. I was also thinking you could pass all the vertices into a vertex shader and give them some sort of smoothe, slow movement so they are not too static. Has anybody tried this before? I'm pretty busy now but it is definately on the todo list.

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With normal meshes, this would only really look good if it happened by accident. After all, vertices are normally NOT distributed evenly over a character. So you'd have much more opaque regions in the face, hands, knees, elbows, etc., while the shins and torso would be almost invisible.

But why tie things to vertices? Simply texture the model with a mostly-transparent texture splatted with the "large points" you were talking about. Not exactly the same effect, since the points wouldn't be parallel to the viewing plane, but visually similar and cheaper and easier to do.

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You could get a similar result by drawing the character with a cloudy textyre to another texture (cleared to transparent), blurring that texture a lot them drawing it in a screen aligned quad on top of the existing buffer.

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In Quake 1, if the monsters were far enough away, the renderer would switch to single-pixel point rendering to avoid doing the triangle setup. Remenber that they were targeting a 320x240 software renderer -individual pixels were pretty big back then.

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There is a demo in Futuremark's 3DMark 2001 benchmark program that does exactly this. It draws a mesh (a specially prepared one no doubt) by drawing each vertex as a point sprite.

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