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Soft Particles Sample from DXSDK

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I was looking for a good modification to my particle system, and i stumbled upon the Soft Particles sample from DXSDK. I got the main idea but i really didnt get their code(especially the part about the gradient density, what was that about????).

I just want to see if i got the main idea:

- Get a depth map from the scene geometry.
- Render the particles as usual(as camera-aligned particles), and specify a sphere for each one.
- Based on the difference between the depth of the geometry and the depth of each particle, calculate the alpha value so it will be invisible when the scene geometry occludes with each particle.
- Use alpha blending
- Done.

Did i miss something???
the sample in the SDK did specify a section about volumetric noise textures which i really didn't get, can someone explain it for me???

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You got it pretty much right for texture mapped billboards.

The 3D noise texture is used as a fog/smoke density/intensity function. They do this to achieve a volumetric effect instead of using a texture on a billboard. Somewhat like volumetric fog. Think of each particle as a sphere filled with uneven smoke.


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