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Little time for engine work but a bunch of improvements on particle emitters.

Posted by Dragonlord on Sep 17th, 2011

A bunch of other projects (especially in real life) got in the way of development so things slowed down a bit. Nevertheless another entry on the list of remaining tasks to do for the first engine release could be complete. Now I can head over to the rest of the entries on the list and these should hopefully not be that work intensive.

Particle System Improvements

The particle system received a bunch of updates which I had on my list since some time. As a new trend I talked about recently I'm not going to write much here but instead show you over to the Particle Emitter Wiki Page containing detailed information. So here just a short list of what changed. See the Wiki page for explanation on what each of the changes does.

  • Splitting into Particle Emitters and Particle Emitter Instances similar to animators. Makes working with particle emitters simpler as you have now the definition in one Particle Emitter that you can reuse on as many Particle Emitter Instances as required.
  • Support for multiple Types. Particles emitters have now different types of particles to allow richer particle systems and easier handling by the user.
  • Support for Collision Emitters. Produces emitter instances on particle impacts allowing to cascade particle emitters.
  • Support for Trail Emitters. Maintains an emitter instance for particles acting as their trail.
  • Support for complex burst type emitters using new parameter "Particle Count" and various changes to the emitter behavior
  • Support for Mesh Casting. Supports casting particles from vertices or faces of a model
  • IGDE supports now particle emitter inside game definitions for quick usage
  • Various changes on the particle emitter to help designing and testing emitters
  • and various other changes and improvements

So without further ado a bunch of particle emitters showcasing the various changes and to give a quick overview of what can be done.

I also made a test with it a couple of days ago with another model of mine. Here the particle emitter is attached to a model bone (first example particle emitter from the previous video used here). This shows also a test with Animation Difference to do body tilting. This method is especially nice since you can do full body tilt with various similar animations using only 1 additional animation (a tilt animation).


With this task gone the list of remaining tasks to release the engine is one less. Next step is adding the nodes support to animators and skins to add another layer of control for these cases where you want to do the really crazy and complex stuff. So stay tuned.

Post comment Comments
CMDKeen Sep 18 2011 says:

Wow. I have played (and modded) a lot of games, but your particles are certainly the most advanced I have ever seen. I can already see the thousands of combinations in my mind. Great job there.

Your Charizard's animations also look pretty great. Especially at the sloped surface, it looked pretty natural (until he stuck his tail into the ground, that is). I really like how modular you are making it, one could make any FPS, RPG or even a mech game out of it, and with all those systems it will look very natural.

I dare to say you are making an indie counterpart to CryEngine here.

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Dragonlord Author
Dragonlord Sep 18 2011 replied:

I think UE3 still has more up it's sleeves what goes for the particle system. This system here should be enough though to support various kinds of games. Still missing beams and then it would be complete. And I've got already a test-model for doing beams with ;)

+1 vote   reply to comment
CMDKeen Sep 18 2011 replied:

Well, I have never considered beams and ribbontrails in general to be particles, even when they are attached to them..

But you hit exactly the blind spot I forgot to write about. Ribbon trails.

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Dragonlord Author
Dragonlord Sep 18 2011 replied:

I never understood anyways what ribbon trails are supposed to be. I've seen them in the UE docs but no idea what it is.

+1 vote   reply to comment
CMDKeen Sep 18 2011 replied:

Here is an example from IL-2 Sturmovik:

There are three types of ribbontrails in that picture.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Author
Dragonlord Sep 18 2011 replied:

I see. So a ribbon trail is nothing else but a conventional trail. At last I see here can be done with the trail emitter in my engine. So that should be covered unless there are ribbon trails with more specific properties not covered here.

+1 vote   reply to comment
CMDKeen Sep 18 2011 replied:

Ribbon trail is just the correct technical term for it, though a standard trail can be assigned multiple chains (allowing to change color/width of different parts of the trail), max chain elements variable (how many polygons are put into the trail) and a bool if it disappears instantly after it's parent is destroyed. There may be more, but I can't really remember any right now.

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Crystan Sep 18 2011 says:

The ptl engine is indeed awesome. Nice work!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Sph!nx Sep 18 2011 says:

Very nice!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
SinKing Sep 18 2011 says:

You must be a genius to do all this work. The engine has a very special feel to it and it's getting better every time I see it. Well done!

+1 vote     reply to comment
AniCator Oct 3 2011 says:

Hope to see more soon. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
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