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ak-73

Alpha Transparent Particles

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While the latest article on creating an Explosion effect is quite nice, I am actually having a different problem regarding particles: When rendering with alpha transparency I normally should order geometry by distance, rendering back to front. However when using many particles I assume that requires an efficient way of keeping alpha transparent particles/geometry sorted. Can anybody recommend a specific way to do that efficiently? Which data structures/sorting algorithms do you recommend? I assume keeping track of last frame's sorting order might be key? Also - how do you handle alpha transparent beams properly? Do I need to keep track of the beam intersecting with alpha transparent objects and dissecting it if necessary? Alex

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1) use per-byte radix sort instead of bubble or qsort;
2) if your camera has 90-degree FOV, use an index list for each of the 8 octants the camera view direction can be in, and recalculate sort order only if the camera viewing octant changed/particles moved.

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