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intyuh

Level of details for particle systems

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Hi,

I'm currently doing a little bit of research to add level of details to our particle system. There doesn't seem to be much papers/articles on the subjects, so I thought I could ask in case someone have interesting ideas on the subject :)

Here is what I thought of so far :

We have a good animation system which I can use in the following way : the key time will be the emitter's distance to the camera, mapped to the [0, 1] range, and the value will be in the range [0, 1]. So, for any particle's parameter that I want to be "lodable", I can just let the artists create a curve to have precise control on how the parameters vary depending on the distance.

For the moment, the only relevant parameters that I thought could be "lodable" are the particles' birth rate (will make the number/density of particles decrease) and the particles' size (as the number of particle decrease, we might want to slightly increase the size to get a good visual result. I can't think of any other parameters that could be tweaked depending on the distance ... is there an obvious one I'm missing ?

And the second part is the materials. I thought of providing a list of materials, and depending on the position of particle at spawn time, assign the correct material (I don't want to switch material during a particle's lifetime, that would probably produce some glitches) That would allow to use cheaper shaders, smaller textures as the emitter goes farther from the camera.


What do you think ? Any other idea to improve a particle system base on distance ?



Thanks in advance for any help, and HAPPY NEW YEAR :)

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What about the update rate? So updating the particles at lower rates in the far distance.
Like updating them only once per two frames you render. Or if possible, prerender them in some sort of impostor that you can render in a single quad, maybe in combination with their depth.

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Excellent idea ! Didn't think about that one, and it's probably the simplest to implement :) I would just need to accumulate delta time so that the speed of the particles, etc. won't slow down.

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