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asterix12

What is Bilboarding?

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Yeah pretty much. Billboarding is simply applying a texture to a quad, and pointing it in the direction of the camera.

It's used often for objects in the distance such as trees. If you have a forest stretching to the horizon, you don't want to render all the polygons for all the trees.. just keep the trees close to the viewpoint as a 3d mesh, and use billboards for the trees in the distance.

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Basically, billboarding means drawing 2d images in a 3d world. Most commonly, you have a mesh that consists of two polygons (to form a quad), and make it so that it always points towards the camera.

Of course, you'd most probably want something that looks 3d'ish. Billboards are often used for drawing particle systems, objects that are far away (in that respect, it is also a bit related to impostors), forests in trees, balls, armies (look at the older Total War games) et cetera. There are often most useful when you have to draw many, many objects of similar appearance, and when "rotating" about the drawn object gives a similar look to what you'd expect when the model is "really" 3 dimensional.

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