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How to realize engine exhaust?

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Hello, I've searched the forums and the net for implementing a engine exhaust used in actual commercial games, i.e. x3: http://www.egosoft.com/games/x3/screenshots/x3_screen_255.jpg http://www.jumpgateevolution.com/images/microsites/jump/3.jpg http://www.jumpgateevolution.com/images/microsites/jump/jumpgate-2008-04-09-10-50-52-5002.jpg I thought about the technique and think the ribbon is realized as billboard stripes, textured and fading out at the end. But how I realize the exhaust glow in a best way? First I've thought about billboards too, but how I realize the exhaust from different point of views? Has anyone knowledge about this topic and can point me in the right direction? Best regards, Chris

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A simple version could be done by constructing a ribbon trail, like the use in home world (now open source, look there for an example), and then apply a glow shader to it.
The render process would go like:
i. Render Scene
ii. Render ribbons into texture (keep depth test enabled)
iii. blur texture
iv. render texture onto fullscreen quad, additive blending

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