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Shag

Creating Nebula

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I''m just after some ideas on how I can create nebula in a 3d space sim. I really want them to be fully 3D, so they will appear different when viewed from different viewpoints. Obviously they will need to be blended with stars to create a semi transparent area in space. I''ll probably use coloured fog when the user is inside a nebula - that''s easy enough. It''s creating a realistic nebula to start with the is the problem. Here''s an idea I''ve already had. Use fairly complex 3D models - render them to bitmaps, and use these bitmaps for billboarded quads. This is ok if the user isn''t moving to quickly. But what if the user if flying through a galaxy very quickly. Does anyone have any experience with the performance of rendering to textures in real time? If so - what kind of slow down can I expect? Cheers

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>>Here''s an idea I''ve already had. Use fairly complex 3D models - render them to bitmaps, and use these bitmaps for billboarded quads.<<

these are called ''imposters'' btw u meant textures instead of bitmaps

>>But what if the user if flying through a galaxy very quickly. Does anyone have any experience with the performance of rendering to textures in real time? If so - what kind of slow down can I expect?<<

perhaps then render the model (ie not into a texture) though all the blending is gonna kill fillrate quite a bit if the nebula takes up a lot of space on the screen

http://uk.geocities.com/sloppyturds/gotterdammerung.html

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yeah texture, you know what I meant

Impostors really apply to 3D textures.

Anyway - the problem with rendering the model, is that the edges will be too sharply defined. I would prefer to use an alpha chanel around the edges to soften the edges. That''s why I''m interested in the performance of rendering to ''texture''.

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OK, I''m gonna toss an idea in here ... please give me some feedback.

What would be the effect if I created a series of cross section textures through a nebula. perhaps 5 textures through each of the X,Y and Z planes. I''m struggling to visualise this - not sure what the final effect will be.

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In this post some one tells how the nebula
effect in freespace 2 was done.
http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=28534

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